About Us

Suicide is a global issue, that takes someone’s life every 40 seconds. It’s the biggest killer of young people and men under fifty, yet two-thirds of people who take their own lives do not approach their GP or health professional. We believe it doesn’t have to be this way and that suicide is preventable.

Action To Prevent Suicide CIC is a not-for-profit community interest company whose vision is for a life-affirming world free from suicide. We wish to prevent suicide by helping people recognise and support those at risk, whilst also raising awareness and breaking the stigma. Our shared aim is to achieve this through training, advice, collaboration and guidance.

We’re a member organisation of:

  • The Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance (DTSPA) – an alliance of local organisations dedicated to suicide prevention and after-care for those bereaved by suicide.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) – an alliance of public, private and voluntary organisations in England who care about suicide prevention and are willing to take individual and collective action to reduce suicide and support those bereaved or affected by suicide.

Meet the team

Chukumeka Maxwell

Founding Director
More about Chukes

For the last 9 years, Chukumeka has worked for the NHS as a Community Development Worker, Equality and Diversity Adviser and in health promotion as a trainer and Health Improvement Specialist. He co-authored a chapter in a book aimed at GP’s working with mental health across different cultures and is a registered Social Worker (MBASW). A part-time lecturer at the University of Plymouth, Chukumeka is a suicide prevention trainer specialising in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST) and SafeTalk as developed by LivingWorks.

Jan Pritchard

Trainer and Schools Project Manager
More about Jan

Jan has a background as an administrator within the NHS, working in many areas of the health service, most recently in the South Devon & Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group. During her time in the NHS, she studied to become a counsellor and became involved in suicide prevention, going on to become a trainer for ASIST and safeTALK. Jan left the NHS in January this year with a view to becoming more involved in suicide prevention and raising awareness of suicide. She is now the local representative for the Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance and is passionate about mental health and wellbeing, especially within children and young people. Jan is also a Papyrus Champion.

Matthew Rochford

Communications Director
More about Matthew

As a communications lead, Matthew has an extensive background in the voluntary and private sector working for organisations such as Healthwatch Devon and Tai Chi Nation CIC. He’s also trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

An experienced coach, facilitator and marketing consultant, Matthew brings his strategic skills to the team whilst helping with the development of the organisation as a whole.

Lydia Tewkesbury

Communications Assistant
More about Lydia

Lydia is an editorial assistant and feature writer whose work has been published in Devon Life magazine and multiple other Archant Life titles. She is currently helping us with our communications and marketing. An experienced social media manager, Lydia works hard to connect people with services they need the most.

Nick Brown

Trainer & Adviser
About Nick

A freelance Trainer and Consultant specialising in Suicide Prevention & Mental Health, Nick has been delivering ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Workshops since 2006 and Mental Health First Aid for the last 4 years. He has been a Trainer, Counsellor and Facilitator for over 20 years. His background includes working for multinational companies BT and Philips Electronics as a Human Resources Professional. He worked for 10 years at Workability, a Community Mental Health project in Brighton. In the past years he has delivered Mental Health First courses (including MHFA Lite) to organisations such as Unilever, Ernst & Young, and NHS England, and to a variety of voluntary/community groups.

Jenny Pickup

Trainer & Adviser
About Jenny

Jenny has over 22 years of experience working with suicide prevention and mental health. She is currently working in a dedicated quality assurance role to support an international network of ASIST trainers. Reviewing ASIST trainer reports and participant feedback with a view to offering timely and appropriate support, feedback and encouragement to trainers.

She also delivers Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST) Training for Trainers to participants from all kinds of backgrounds. Offering support to new ASIST trainers.

David Lacey

Trainer & Adviser
About David

David Lacey has over 25 years’ experience of designing, accrediting and delivering training. David is the Founder of CHANGEWORKS Training and has previously delivered training to organisations such as the National Lottery, Devon County Council and Northern Devon Healthcare. For six years, David was a Regional Training Director for Relate and advised on their national training strategy. Recently he has left a post as Lead Trainer for the innovative CoLab (formerly CVS) in Exeter, with whom he continues to have a close relationship. He is currently delivering a host of training programmes including ASIST and safeTALK.

Russ Drayton

Trainer & Adviser
About Russ

Russ been working in mental health social care since 1996. Because of his work experience, in 2014 he was asked to support a family member who was having thoughts of suicide and who eventually suicided. It is this experience that has motivated him to get involved in suicide prevention. In 2015 with his friend and colleague Marie Ash and he co-founded the Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance (DTSPA). The ethos of which is collaboration, working in partnership, cutting across the imaginary lines between statutory, none statutory and communities to make suicide prevention in Devon ‘happen’. He is a LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) and SafeTalk trainer.

Alison Jordan

Trainer & Adviser
About Alison

Alison is the Chief Executive of the suicide bereavement charity Pete’s Dragons. Swapping from a career in law after the death of her brother to suicide in 2010, Alison is passionate about the importance of suicide prevention and suicide bereavement support within the local community. She is an ASIST and SafeTALK trainer as well as a Grief Recovery Specialist. In her role at Pete’s Dragons she uses the ASIST techniques frequently and so can assure those that may be interested in taking the courses that the techniques really do work and save lives by giving participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to help a person at risk of suicide.

Frances Northrop

About Frances

Frances is a freelance consultant, working with communities as an adviser for the the NEF/Co-ops UK Community Economic Development Programme. She is also a Director of Totnes Community Development Society (an IPS ben com) which exists to hold land and buildings in community ownership for activities which meet the needs of residents. One of these projects is Atmos Totnes, the regeneration of an 8 acre ex brownfield site in Totnes as a mixed use development with truly affordable housing, enterprise and community space.

Joyce Borgs

Trainer & Adviser
About Joyce

Joyce has over 11 year’s experience in suicide prevention and has worked in the charity sector for over 20years in a wide variety of roles. She has a background in health and wellbeing with a BA(Hon) Personal and Organisational Development. Joyce is also a qualified coach and is keenly interested in how people and organisations learn and develop. She manages a UK wide advisor service for Parkinson’s UK. Alongside this she also delivers ASIST training for trainers. Originally from the Netherlands Joyce is fluent in English, Dutch and German.

Alan Briscoe

Trainer & Adviser
About Alan

Alan is a senior manager and executive coach. He is the Operations Manager for OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, with responsibility for business and human resources management, financial systems, and supporting governance. Alan has been an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer since 2006, and is an ASIST international coach working to support new ASIST trainers With over 17 years’ experience in the third sector, Alan worked with the Welsh Government on suicide and self harm prevention and advised the National Suicide and Self-harm Action Group on the development of a national suicide and self-harm prevention action plan which he co-authored. As Training & Consultancy Manager for Mind Cymru he led on the development of the Positive Choices Programme, a five year initiative to roll out ASIST across Wales, and managed the MHFA Wales programme.