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Professor Rebecca Crane (Bangor University, Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice)

Professor Mark Williams (Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford University)

Dr Ken Lunn (Executive Director of The Mindfulness Network)

Dr Phil Startin ( 

Sue Tibbles (

Professor Willem Kuyken (Ritblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science, University Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford)

Imani Nia Sorhaindo, Programme Manager at Mindfulness Network for People of Colour (MNPC)

Melissa James (Singer, Artist, Speaker, and Creator of Big Sing & Mental Health Initiative SING4SANE)

Louise Haynes (qualified Mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBLC, .B) and an IT professional with a background based within the education sector, and PhD Research Student specialising in Mindfulness Contemplation and Digital Technology)

Lucy Woods (MA in teaching mindfulness, MBSR & MBCL teacher, speaker and podcaster)

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Mindfulness in a Changing World


Professor Rebecca Crane and Dr Ken Lunn will offer a perspective on the way mindfulness research, education and training is developing, in particular in response to the multiple intersecting challenges we are living in, including social disruption, inequality, lack of inclusion and diversity, and climate and biodiversity breakdown. Mindfulness based approaches have become widespread, with significant scientific evidence of their effectiveness in health and education, but they have much more to offer. They will explore, in conversation, how mindfulness can have a much wider impact, and how Bangor University and The Mindfulness Network are rising to that challenge.


Rebecca Crane is professor at Bangor University in the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice where she has played a leading role since it was founded in 2001. She is a trustee of The Mindfulness Network, and is conference chair for the International Conference on Mindfulness 2024.


Ken Lunn is Executive Director of The Mindfulness Network. He also teaches mindfulness in Wakefield and is conference director for the International Conference on Mindfulness 2024. He completed an MA in Mindfulness Based Approaches at Bangor University in 2016.



Nobody ever said it would be easy! My journey with Mindfulness

Sue Tibbles 

I have multiple sclerosis. I am a mindfulness practitioner and teacher and I

am also a MS Nurse Specialist. As part of my Overcoming MS programme

that I follow I was introduced to mindfulness, which is part of the programme

in 2013. I was a complete novice and had never even heard of mindfulness. I

am going to talk about my journey with mindfulness from those first steps in

2013 to the present day where I have just completed a Masters degree in

Mindfulness. Mindfulness for me now is a way of life, it is a journey, there is

no destination. It is a way of being in the world. It takes commitment,

dedication, and most of all practice. This is not easy, whoever said it would

be, but the rewards are phenomenal. Throughout my journey I had noticed

how people say it is hard to maintain a practice and this observation is what

drove my Masters degree study. I will share my journey and the results of my

study and I hope it will be of use in spreading the love, compassion and

benefits that living a mindful life can give us.


Phil Startin, the mindfulness facilitator at Overcoming MS, will invite the audience to join him in a short mindfulness meditation practice. The short practice will be a chance to take a short break from the busy-ness of the festival, and come together in simple awareness.


Mindfulness - Creating More Space for Social Cohesion and Change


Imani Nia Sorhaindo (also known as Auraum Benneurt), Programme Manager at Mindfulness Network for People of Colour (MNPC) will be sharing a cultural perspective on how Mindfulness principles and practice can personally and collectively move us beyond feelings of cultural or racial separation, disunity and fear, to more productive mind, body and spiritual presence, creating space for compassion, social cohesion and change. Imani will be pulling from examples of ancient African Mindfulness teachings as an Ausarian priestess, which can be applied in today's world to assist in our search for peace, unity, and justice for all.

Mindfulness for Life

One of the reasons mindfulness is becoming mainstream is because it can help us live well in the contemporary world. It is an antidote to busyness and distractedness, however compelling these can be. Many mindfulness practices have been used by people for thousands of years. The science of mindfulness is coming of age. This confluence of ancient and modern is what can give it depth and realism. Mindfulness can be masculine and feminine, it can move in and retreat, it is being strong and vulnerable, ordinary and profound, eminently practical and potentially transformative. Mindfulness skills have extraordinary potential to help us respond to some of the challenges we’re facing in the contemporary world. It can help us understand how we react and behave. It can help us respond with greater wisdom and compassion. 

This presentation will briefly overview the translational story to date of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). This will include the key milestones over >20 years of definition, theory, innovations in research methods, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and implementation. Most importantly, we have learned that MBCT provides a cost-effective approach to helping people to prevent depression and that both can be integrated into mainstream mental health services. But we have also seen a growing evidence base suggesting that MBCT can promote mental health and well-being in the wider population and potentially across the lifespan. How can this work best evolve to meet its full potential? How can we unlock all that we have learned to use these psychological approaches as a vehicle to create a world without the devastating effects of depression, where we enjoy mental health and well-being and are resourced to meet the challenges of the next 50 years? When I say “we,” I mean all of us as individuals, but also as communities and as wider humanity. But for this potential to be realized we need it to be taught and learned well, with solid foundational values and in close dialogue with rigorous science.


Willem Kuyken is the Ritblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His work has focused on depression across the translational pathway from theory, through treatment and implementation. In particular, his research examines how cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based programs can prevent depression, promote mental health and enhance well-being across the lifespan. Dr. Kuyken has published more than 150 journal articles. He was named by Web of Science as in the top 1% of the most cited scientists in the world in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Together with Christina Feldman, he wrote Mindfulness – Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, published in 2019. A new book for the general population, provisionally entitled Mindfulness for Life is due to be published presently, also with Guilford Press.

Mind, Body & Song

Mind, Body & Song is the creation of Singer, Songwriter, Artist and Performer, Melissa James. Starting in March 2021 during lockdown, Melissa sought to create connection with others, bringing people together online – aiding our collective healing and wellbeing in challenging times. 


Melissa is also the creator of SING4SANE – a Big Sing and mental health initiative. Having recorded her song “Live Again” for her second record “Stripped Back”, the acoustic recording of this song became the calling she needed to seek help for herself, which in turn would lead her to help others. Inviting members of the public to sing backing vocals alongside her at Caffe Nero in Heathrow, this “pop-up” event in 2016 led to Melissa extending another invitation to members of the public to join her at RAK Studios in London, recording “Live Again” as a charity single with all sale proceeds going to the mental health charity, SANE.


Joining this year’s Manchester Mindfulness Festival, in this session Melissa extends an invitation to participants to engage in mindful singing practices or to receive Melissa’s voice as she sings.  Melissa will speak of her journey of using her voice and songs as part of her own path of learning how to bring balance to her mind, body and emotional health and she will share how this has led her to facilitate sessions in which she guides others to do the same. / Live Again:


Mindfulness and its Support in the Online Arena

Learn more about how your mindfulness practice supports you in the online arena. How mindfulness and the awareness and insight it brings can serve as a tool to stop us going down the ubiquitous rabbit holes presented to us online. Louise is a qualified Mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBLC, .B) and an IT professional, with a background based within the education sector. It was during her time working within education that Louise noted there was an imbalance within the digital lives of staff and students alike. With this in mind, Louise has spent the past seven years deepening her passion for mindfulness and its links to technology through her studies at the University of Aberdeen. First completing an MSc looking at the online habits of those with a mindfulness practice, research that uncovered those with a mindfulness practice do show healthier online behaviours. Louise is currently in the last year of her PhD, looking in more detail at the practices those with a mindfulness-

based practice bring to the online arena.

Exploring the Business of Teaching Mindfulness: Navigating Challenges, Ethics, and Sustainable Success

In this thought-provoking talk, Lucy Woods explores the challenges and considerations of establishing a career as a mindfulness teacher while maintaining integrity, ethical standards, and the essence of mindfulness itself. The discussion revolves around the question of whether it is possible to build a profitable business in the field of mindfulness without compromising its fundamental principles. Lucy will discuss the hurdles faced by mindfulness teachers in their journey of setting up their own business.


From navigating the saturated market to establishing credibility and finding a target audience, the path to success can be demanding. Additionally, the low cost of mindfulness courses presents its own challenges, as it often undervalues the expertise and effort required to teach mindfulness effectively.


As the popularity of mindfulness grows, so does the influx of underqualified teachers or individuals mislabelling their offerings as mindfulness. Lucy discusses the potential impact of these factors and the responsibility we bear as mindfulness teachers to uphold the integrity of the practice. Throughout the talk, Lucy contemplates the possibility of striking a balance between profitability and the true essence of teaching mindfulness. Can we create a sustainable business without compromising the true intention of mindfulness teaching?

Lucy has a master’s in teaching mindfulness from Bangor University’s Centre for
Mindfulness Research and Practice and has been teaching full-time for
five years. Inspired by personal experiences with anxiety and a succession of life
challenges, Lucy embarked on a transformative personal mindfulness
journey. After two decades as a corporate training manager, she qualified
to teach Mindfulness in 2018. As the founder of Presence of Mind, Lucy offers a wide range of services, including courses, workshops, and retreats tailored to the needs of individuals seeking relief from anxiety, stress, pain, and low
mood. With a particular focus on cancer support, she provides valuable
mindfulness teaching to those navigating challenging times. Lucy also hosts a popular podcast called "It's Not That Deep," where she engages in thought-provoking conversations with a psychotherapist, exploring the challenges of being human and supporting mental well-being. Lucy has been featured in publications such as Bella Magazine, Take a Break Magazine, and Natural Health Magazine.

Deeper Mindfulness: Exploring Feeling Tone, Frame by Frame


Oxford Professor Mark Williams will give a talk based on his latest book, Deeper Mindfulness, co-authored with Dr Danny Penman. 


From the book description: 

Use the hidden foundations of mindfulness to rediscover calm and reclaim your life in our chaotic world...

There are moments in life that decide your fate. They ripple into the future and dictate how you experience the world in the moments that follow; either positive and uplifting, dark and chaotic, or flat and dull.

What if you could recognise these moments before they seized control of your life? What if you could use them to set sail for a better future? What if all moments, big and small, could be harnessed this way?

In Deeper Mindfulness, Prof Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman reunite to present a new eight-week guided meditation programme that takes mindfulness to the next level. Deeper Mindfulness reveals how the latest advances in neuroscience, combined with millennia-old wisdom, can be used to transform your life. These discoveries open the doors to a deeper layer of mindfulness known as the 'feeling tone'. This sets the 'background colour' that tinges your entire experience of life. It is also the tipping point from which you can reclaim your life in an increasingly stressful and chaotic world.

Proven effective at treating anxiety, stress, and depression, the practices in Deeper Mindfulness offer a new and more fruitful direction for both novice and experienced meditators. It also allows the rest of us to approach life with renewed strength, vigour, and equanimity. 


Publisher: Piatkus / Little, Brown Book Group


Professor Mark Williams is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at Oxford University. He co-developed mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), is co-author of the international bestsellers The Mindful Way Through Depression and Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, and author of Cry of Pain: Understanding Suicide and the Suicidal Mind.

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Event Support Team

An event like this requires many helping hands, and we are very grateful for the support from our volunteers. If you'd like to be a part of the team and help out on

the day, we'd love to hear from you. 

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