“ That's what I love about SEED as well, the complete acceptance of everyone & knowing that people are welcome just as they are, irrespective of colour, religion, size, sexuality or anything else. Makes it such a safe place to be! ” —C
Is an ordinary Mum first and foremost, who is a co-founder and secretary of SEED and been recognised for Services to Eating Disorders in the New Years Honours List 2009. I am married to my wonderful husband Dennis who is my rock and supports me in everything I do. Without his support there would not be a SEED. We have 4 children and 7 grandchildren will never be rich but rich in many other things.
Co-founder, Trustee and Treasurer of SEED. Keeps the money in order and the bills paid. A wonderful father and grandfather to his 7 grandchildren. His family are his world. He is kept busy supporting Marg putting others before himself always. Having been married to Marg for 30 years he is sure he has shrunk a good 2” since first meeting as he continues to continue running around after everyone.
Manager / Patron of SEED, Gemma Oaten was born and bred in Hull, she grew up with her wonderful parents, 2 sisters a brother and 2 dogs. Having attended Malet Lambert High School, and working in various jobs growing up, from cleaning to retail, she always dreamed of becoming an actress. The road to success wasn't an easy one, having been blighted with an Eating Disorder for 13 years. But, thanks to her supportive and loving family she overcame the odds and at 24 years old auditioned for Drama school in London and was thrilled to be accepted before going onto making her name as Rachel Breckle in ITV’S Emmerdale and more recently Sydney Somers in BBC’s Holby City. Now living in London, she is still pursuing and filming future roles, as well as her public speaking engagements on mental health and eating disorders in schools and corporates around the country and is delighted to be taken on the role of Manager along with her position as patron of SEED. SEED was inspired by her own struggles and triumph, down, she says, to her inspiring parents Marg & Dennis Oaten. “It’s a real full circle journey for me to be the Manager of SEED and one I am incredibly proud of in continuing my parents legacy and helping the thousands of sufferers and carers who need us”
SEED Ambassador, Rachael Downie is a sports presenter specialising mainly in football and motorsport. I cover the TitansRX series for Eurosport, travelling Europe and presenting live most weekends. I’m also a motorsport expert for global news channel TRT World, covering Formula One every race weekend.
One of her other passions is the work she has done for United Nations Women, campaigning for gender equality through their HeForShe campaign.
Rachael says "I’m so proud to be Seeds first ambassador and really hope to make a difference with the work we do. To be part of something so personal is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and now feel that Seed is the perfect charity to start this new and exciting journey."
SEED Ambassador, Hugo Rifkind is a columnist and leader writer for The Times and a presenter on Times Radio. He is also a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz. Born in Edinburgh in 1977, he now lives in London with a wife, two daughters and a dog.
Hugo says “I was delighted when Gemma asked me to become an ambassador for SEED after she came on my radio show in late 2020. Why would I not? I'd like to live in a world where the conversation around mental health and eating disorders is open, accessible to all and free from shame, and I completely support SEED's efforts to bring that about.”
Maria is experienced Administrator with over 30 years in this field. She joined Seed as our Administrator in 2014 after being a Civil Servant for 20 years. More importantly she is caring and kind and always has a smile for everyone in order to support others in her role as Administrator within the Resource Room.
Chair of Trustees, Carly has spent ten years working in Corporate Social Responsibility within the retail environment, developing and delivering strategies with a focus on human rights, gender equality and environmental impact. This work has enabled Carly to support people and communities across the globe and has fueled her desire to make a difference.
Outside of work Carly has been supporting Seed for the last 12 years as one of their e-mail buddies and is passionate about raising awareness of and supporting those affected by eating disorders.
Seed has a very special place in Carly's heart and she is incredibly excited to have been invited to be a trustee enabling her to increase her support for Seed and the fantastic work they carry out.
Professor Marie Reid’s primary academic and clinical specialism is in the treatment of eating disorders and other feeding problems, and she has practiced in this field since 1996.
She uses cognitive behavioural therapy and elements of other appropriate therapies for eating disorders.
Marie is warm and approachable and is getting really good results from the people with whom she is working. Marie provides 80 sessions of Therapy per annum for clients registered with SEED.
Leighah is a counsellor and psychotherapist. She has been working with Seed since 2010, initially as a volunteer but then becoming employed as a therapist and consultant. She facilitates the self help groups and the closed therapy groups "The Road Travelled". Leighah is endearing and has an individuality that allows her personality to shine through. She is warm, caring and friendly and always supportive clients of SEED and is actively involved in training and recruitment of volunteers.
Stuart has over 25 years experience of technology in the education sector, with the last 7 years as an elected member of the BESA executive council. In 2017 he was elected BESA Treasurer, and is also a MirandaNet fellowship council member.
He is currently a co-opted governor of a large primary school, a trustee of Seed, and a MirandaNet council member represents around 800 educators and acts as a professional research association.
"I’m delighted to become a trustee of SEED, and look forward to working with Gemma, Marg and the team to help try to make a difference to those suffering eating disorders and supporting those families who suffer just as those afflicted"
Beth Morris is a personal publicist with long experience and expertise in talent publicity. Prior to commencing her professional career, she earned her B.S. in public relations from the University of Florida where she President of her PRSSA Alpha Chapter. Beth returned to the UK (she is half British / half American) in 2011 after a long stint in Los Angeles and has since successfully run her company from London for the past decade.
Beth’s strengths lie in personality and entertainment publicity with a focus on strong networks, entertainment, fashion and beauty clients, as well as health and fitness. She has also built a solid reputation as a hard worker that always puts her clients first.
For press enquiries, email Beth at email@example.com.
I’m Ian Smith, aged 58. I was born and bred in Middlesbrough, however I’ve lived in York since 1992. I have four daughters from the ages of 29 to 11. I also have a 3 year old grandson. I’m married to Helen.
I am now retired having worked for 35 years in Retail leadership. My hobbies include Football (Middlesbrough fan) and my active hobby is golf. I try to play three times per week. In retirement this gives me the exercise, fresh air and both physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy.
In 2015 I was very poorly which made my mind up to retire and enjoy life to the best of my ability. I am now fit and healthy and in a position to give back. I’m delighted to become a trustee of SEED and I hope to support, encourage and make a difference with the rest of the team.
I like to have fun, I love seeing people smile, I love it when people achieve after adversity. There are two sections of people I want to help. The people that work for SEED and the people that need SEED. I will try to help with the passion, power and purpose that gave me such a rewarding career in retail.
We are all in this together, we will succeed together, we can make a difference together. That’s why I want to be part of the SEED family.
I grew up in Cardiff, and from the age of 6 gymnastics was my passion. I was Welsh Champion and gained GB Honours, later transitioning to trampolining, sports acrobatics and on retirement from the sport age 17, became a professional contemporary dancer (whilst also working full time for the Co-op insurance company).
I met my wonderful husband when I was just 20 and we have been together since. I was lucky to be able to stay at home (though always a very active member of school committees and fundraisers), I brought up our 3 fabulous children whist supporting Mike in his amazing career (which combined with my sunny nature and energy has led me to having contacts across business, charity, sports and media, all of which I hope to share with Seed.)
10 years ago I began to train as a counsellor and later added coaching and neuroscience qualifications. I have worked as a Trustee of a small charity helping gain lottery funding, and also as a consultant for larger charities, both in fundraising and organisational roles.
I’m really excited to be able to bring my skillset to Seed and help this amazing charity flourish.