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Who we are

Illuminate has over ten years of experience of using coaching and facilitation techniques to overcome mental ill health.  Their expertise is specifically in helping people to make positive and sustainable changes in their lives.  Their approach is to create a level playing field where coaching is available to people regardless of their personal circumstances.  They are passionate about challenging the stigma of talking about and addressing mental health.


The team are warm, welcoming, deliberately informal and non-judgmental.  This is balanced with a very high degree of expertise and professionalism.

Sam Greenley and Maria Varallo


   Our Team


Sam Greenley

Sam Greenley - Co-founder

Sam has 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors in business management, and 12 years in mental health coaching.

She is a Maths graduate with a Level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management (2003), and holds Diplomas in Practitioner Coaching (2007) and NLP (2008). 

Maria Varallo

Maria Varallo - Co-founder

Maria has over 20 years of experience in training, mentoring, mental health and coaching. She is qualified with post-graduate degrees in Social Work (1998) and Personal and Business Coaching ( 2006). Her particular specialism is mental health minus jargon and the stigma.


Richard Stephens

Richard Stephens - Trainer and speaker

Richard specialises in mental health awareness training for businesses. His background is in bioscience and he now concentrates on sharing his knowledge and experience in the mental health field. He joined Illuminate after working as a mentor to students at the University of Cambridge.  Richard is a Human Biology graduate (1988) and holds a Ph.D. in Child Health (1997). 


Anna Gilchrist

Anna Gilchrist - Coordinator

Anna's background is managing the award-winning Dawn Project at Cambridge  Women's Resource Centre. She is a graduate of our very first Confidence for Change course in 2008, she went onto to become a trustee for Illuminate. Anna is now the coordinator for the Illuminate Community Group, pop over here to find out more.


Jeremy Gulvin

Jeremy Gulvin - Associate Trainer Mental Health First Aid 

Jeremy has a twenty-six year professional background in retail with a core focus on Business Development, Leadership and People. He founded his business Synergy Coaching Consultancy in 2016 and is an experienced trainer delivering Mental Health First Aid England licensed courses throughout the UK. 

Philippa Sjoberg

Philippa Sjoberg - Volunteer

Philippa has been a supporter of Illuminate since she attended Confidence for Change. She delivers talks on the Emergency First Aid Kit on our courses. Philippa runs her own not-for-profit dog training business, providing training assistance to all regardless of their income. She has recruited one of our beneficiaries as a volunteer/trainee.




Katrina Copping

Katrina Copping - Chairperson

Katrina has worked with the community and voluntary sector for over 15 years, in a wide range of roles including community development, managing projects, managing grant schemes and fundraising. She brings extensive experience to her role as chairperson. She is also a Full (MinstF) Member of the Institute of Fundraising. 

Pam Scott

Pam Scott - Secretary

Pam has worked in social housing, charities and NHS. She is currently working at Addenbrookes Hospital. Pam is based in Cambridge and likes to help Illuminate whenever possible. 

John Clark

John Clark - Trustee

John's background is the Royal Navy and recruitment when he retired he worked with young people in the areas of advice, guidance, homelessness and independent living. John currently runs his own business as a coach, NLP practitioner, freedom therapist and clinical hypnotherapist.

Katrina Copping

Christine Montgomery - Trustee

Christine was a registered mental health nurse for twenty years, she went onto complete a degree in Social Work and worked with children and families experiencing complex issues. Christine is also a practice educator and taught on health and social care programs.



Contact us

Please contact us if you would like to arrange a meeting, or want more information about our services.



T: 01223 520124

M: Maria 0797 4952724  

M: Sam 07841 187285


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