At the age of 20 Jonny was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar, and later began making films on YouTube about the condition that have since been watched by hundreds of thousands of people. He now speaks publicly about living with mental illness and has written articles and given various interviews on TV, Radio and in print around the world to help educate and break stigma. Find out more.
All of our ambassadors have a passion for raising awareness of mental health. They help promote our work as widely as possible and encourage people to support our campaigns and projects.
The Shaw Mind Foundation's ambassadors make massive contributions to our charity, by supporting our work and speaking in the media about mental health.
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean Ice-skating legends
We are delighted to announce our new ambassadors: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean!
Nottinghamshires own ice-skating legends won the British, European, and World Championships for figure skating. In 1984, a British TV audience of more than 24 million people watched them win Olympic gold in Sarajevo; the judges awarded them the highest ever points score in figure skating history.
Since their retirement from the sport in 1998, they have continued coaching and choreographing routines for many people, including the French Ice Dance team, Anissina and Peizerat, who went on to win first place in the World Championships in 2000.
They are also widely recognised for their roles as coaches, choreographers and dancers in ITV’s Dancing on Ice, which is set to make its return in 2018.
Marsha Wright Entrepreneur, business expert, media personality, author
Marsha Wright is a celebrated entrepreneur, TV business expert & media personality, investor, 4x best-selling author and philanthropist.
This London-born millennial spends most of her time travelling the world for business and pleasure, which is a far cry from her true-life rags to riches story of personal triumph and determination. Find out more.
Jonny Benjamin MBE Mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker and writer
John Simmit Comedian
On stage sardonic comedian John Simmit is smart and thoughtful, in big contrast to his best known role, playing ‘Dipsy’, coolest of the Teletubbies in BBC TV’s international hit series.
John’s TV appearances include : BBC 2’s The Real McCoy, BBC 2’s Blouse & Skirt, Channel 5’s Club Class, Carlton TV’s Drumbeat, BBC TV’s Malai Monologues , Channel 5’s The Gadget Show and Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the 90s. On the radio airwaves he’s featured on Radio 1’s The Guest List and Radio 5’s The Way Out.
In the UK John makes regular appearances at major UK theatres on Upfront Comedy bills, at venues such as Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, and Hackney Empire; and is a regular face on the UK’s Jongleurs comedy circuit. Internationally he has received a standing ovation at Amsterdam’s Nieuwe De La Mar Theatre; headlined in Bahrain, and played the New York Fringe Festival as part of Stand Up Black Britain.
You can follow John on Facebook here.
Colin Minto Mental Difference Capability Champion
Colin is founding partner of Mental Health in Business and Big Idea Talent. He spent six years as group head of resourcing strategy and HR systems at G4S, the world’s second largest private employer.
Colin himself has chronic and ferocious OCD. He has learnt to battle it, to the extent that when it attacks him, Colin has the confidence, tools and strength to fight back and win. Find out more.
Chrissie Hodges Mental Health Advocate
Chrissie Hodges is a mental health advocate, speaker on lived experience with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, peer support specialist, and OCD resource consultant. Chrissie’s advocacy includes her YouTube video series in which she talks about the reality of living with violent, sexual, and blasphemous intrusive thoughts with OCD. Find out more.
Nikki DuBose Model, author and mental health activist
Nikki DuBose is a former model turned author, speaker, and mental health advocate. Nikki understands the complexities and despair that sufferers go through as she herself battled with a wide range of mental health conditions, including eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, depression, psychosis and even suicide attempts.
Nikki has been featured on television shows and networks such as TD Jakes, CBS Los Angeles, and the Oprah Winfrey Network, and profiled in publications such as People, LA Times, Vogue UK, Esquire, India Times, and Inquisitr. Find out more.
Matthew Cowley Racing car driver and mental health activist
Matthew is a young, UK racing car champion. He was easily distracted from school work, and this became a real issue with his post 16 education. Course work was good, but issues with focus affected exam performance. To overcome these exam issues, Matthew changed to study an engineering course through distance learning, allowing him to combine education with his passion and skill for racing cars. Both in and out of a race car Matthew has significant focus. Whilst continuing with his distance learning studies, he is currently racing cars in the USA and leading the championship on the first step of the ladder of what he hopes will be a career in motor racing.
Matt is very passionate about mental health and helping those who suffer. “Promoting The Shaw Mind Foundation and their work through my racing gives me the opportunity to help raise awareness of the wide ranging support there is available to those with mental ill health”. Find out more.
Domenique Fragale Actress, model, writer and mental health activist
“Mental health is something I hold close to my heart. Working in the creative industry, a lot of pressure is placed on performers every day; building anxiety and internal suffering. Having close friends who battle with depression and losing some to the torment is something I do not want anyone else to have to go through on their own, again…” Find out more.
Tom King Mental health nurse and mental health activist
Tom King is a UK based mental health activist and mental health nurse.
Tom has been instrumental to The Shaw Mind Foundation’s Headucationuk crusade, given his special interest in educating young people about mental health. As an ambassador and advocate of The Shaw Mind Foundation, Tom played a pivotal role in launching the UK government petition to get mental health education as a mandatory subject in all primary and secondary schools.