Bob Bharij | Chief Executive | Ashoka Fellow

I vowed never to have anything to do with psychology again when I finished my degree in the subject at the age of 21. It’s not without a sense of irony that I now find myself co-leading an organisation that advocates the study and practice of psychology as a means to make living in the world that little bit easier.

I entered the substance misuse field in 2004 and became excited about the idea of facilitating change in the people I worked with not through therapeutic interventions but by increasing self awareness. In effect, they could then go on affecting change in themselves and move beyond the identity of a client. Two years later in 2006, I qualified as a yoga teacher and have integrated my training and experience in both worlds over the years. This has led to a deep understanding of the inner workings of the whole being, with a particular focus on trauma and its impact on the body-mind connection.

I believe that everyone has a story, that every body tells a story. People need to build a relationship with themselves, their bodies, and the world around them, and that making sense of the past is crucial in moving forwards into the future.


Antonia Griffiths | Communications Assistant

When I moved to London newly sober I struggled to find a support group or recovery community I could identify with. When I began the Knowledge for Change course, my brain began to light up and things that had always confused me about my past and my addiction began to make sense. I became sponge-like during the Psychology for Change course I did afterwards and absorbed everything I could. 

Slowly I regained some peace, empathy and an understanding of myself that I could build a new self-confidence from. I threw myself into all sorts of volunteering and returned to my love of painting and colours and the creative part of me I had neglected for so long. When COVID-19 put everyone into lockdown I re-engaged with Foundation for Change through the Making Sense Of... podcast. Looking back on the topics I had originally learnt, I saw how valuable and empowering the courses had been for me. I began to volunteer with FfC and was then offered an apprenticeship.

I am so excited to be part of a team of people who see and treat addiction differently. I hope to combine my own experience of FfC with my love for creativity to communicate just how powerful the FfC approach is.


Bex Exell | Clothing for Change Lead

I began FfC’s year-long, level 3 course – the Accredited Practitioner Training programme – in 2016 to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in the sector, carrying out my volunteer placement with FfC. I studied illustration and then moved into costume design, wanting to somehow bring this love of art and the connection it allows us to make to ourselves to people in recovery. During my placement, I was helped to visualise and structure my dream of creating a project that combined my passion for people, clothes and creativity: Clothing for Change. This will be a qualification-based training scheme in which individuals will learn the basics of tailoring, learning to make clothing that will sell through our online clothing shop.

I’m excited to be able to contribute towards FfC, expanding the scope of what I see as being an incredible charity that is always open to new ideas and ways of working.


Tonya Connor | Feminism Lead 

"I have known Bob and Liz since doing the The NEXT Project in 2012. NEXT gave me insight, opened me up and enabled me to understand who I was in the past and present.

Graduating from the NEXT Project opened up many positive pathways for me. I felt empowered and motivated. I understood and liked who I had become. This enabled me to volunteer at WDP in the family and carers team, alongside completing Foundation for Change’s year-long, Accredited Practitioner Training Programme. It has now become a great passion of mine to enable and empower people who may think they have no power.

I went on to work at a Lookahead Care and Support homeless hostel for 1 year supporting individuals with multiple and complex needs and joined Foundation for Change in April 2018. My role is Lead for the Feminism for Change project. It involves delivering the incredible Feminism for Change course and taking the ideas from that course outwards into our mixed gender courses.

My goal is to guide and empower people which I know can be achieved through the power of knowing and understanding oneself and through education.


Heather Black | Trainer & Group Facilitator

I came to the Foundation for Change team as a volunteer, having completed several FfC courses and grown significantly through each one. I was searching for something to fulfil my need to do something deeper with my life and volunteered to co-run the Clothing for Change course, having some experience of sewing and working for a clothing label. 

I studied history and anthropology in my forties to try to understand the world we live in and where our society comes from, having rejected it for most of my life. Learning about psychology with FfC gave me a greater understanding of myself on a personal level, showing me where my patterns of behaviour and thinking came from. Through this, I became able to be a little more understanding and forgiving of my destructive life choices. The FfC approach somehow seemed to resonate with my background of communal living, a punk ethos and my history of rejecting ‘straight’ society.  

I went from being a participant, to a volunteer to a member of staff. A large focus of my work is our Feminism for Change course. Helping to develop and facilitate this has been an amazing experience and I feel privileged to be in a position to support women to better understand how the patriarchy shapes their lives. 

FfC’s ethos of self-learning radically shifted my understanding of personal development. Empowerment is a loaded word these days but to be able to explain things to people for them to empower themselves is the ultimate DIY ethos that I am proud to be a part of. 


Magano Mutepua | Trainer & Recruitment Coordinator

Experiencing a bereavement early on in my life changed my perspective on a number of things. It made me realise how fragile life is  forcing me to live in the present and stop planning so much. For the first time in my life I really became aware of my emotions. Wanting to understand myself more, I began trying to find answers to the many questions I had about life through education.

After graduating with a degree in psychology, I worked in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) – a nationwide government initiative to help tackle anxiety and depression within the population. Though the experience was valuable, coming across FfC’s model of supporting people to help themselves through education was a refreshing change. Choice is something I value deeply – presenting information and theories and letting those we work with decide what to do with it rather than pushing a particular viewpoint is something I love about my work here. 

Throughout my life, education has been hugely restorative in helping me come to terms with my own challenging life experiences. I hope to use my passion for psychology and life experiences as a woman to help people on our courses build confidence and support them to make their own way into the world. 

Interested in being part of our team?   Get in touch