Meet the Team

Tracy Sheppard, Manager & Mediator

Tracy Sheppard, Manager & Mediator

Hi, I’m Tracy, Founder of TalkFIRST. 

I have always been passionate about supporting family life through improved communication and the understanding of each other to help resolve and prevent conflict. 

I facilitate family mediation and work to help build better relationships. I am accredited with The Family Mediation Council; member of The College of Mediators.

I have 2 grown up children, and spend what little spare time I have walking, running and reading.

David Coghlin, BBR Project Co-ordinator

I  have  been a mediator with TalkFirst for the last 5 years and as such have gained some great experience in helping people resolve some difficult issues. 

The Building Better Relationships project is based on some of these mediation skills as well as drawing from the Solihull approach. I’m enjoying being given the challenge of developing this new service and working with volunteers to see if we can actually make a difference.

I really enjoy the variety of work that comes through our door a TalkFIRST and I find that there is always something else to learn to help people through what can be a difficult situation

David Coghlin, Mediator
Sholem Saltzman, Volunteer Mediator

Sholem Saltzman, Volunteer Mediator

I’m Sholem (Sha-Lum), I joined TalkFIRST as a mediator in January 2019 and have worked in a variety of settings as a Head Teacher and with vulnerable adults as Director of a Mental Health Hostel. 

I am presently a Mental Health Act Manager sitting regularly on Managers Hearings, covering several health areas. I am a member of the College of Mediators and registered with the Family Mediation Council. I also work in the Orthodox Jewish Community as a Community Rabbinical Co-Ordinator and, a specialist mediator helping Jewish couples with the arrangements of the Jewish GET (Religious Divorce).

Martine Delaney, Trustee (Chair)

I am a Chartered Legal Executive and an accredited civil and commercial mediator.  After 20 years of representing clients in dispute I considered that encouraging my clients to seek a solution and be part of that process might reach a better outcome than a court decision.

As part of the mediation process disputing parties can drive a resolution that best suits them.  At the end of the day no one knows better than the parties in dispute what will work best for them and people are more inclined to work with a plan they have been a part of.  That applies at work and at home.  A happy and healthy home life is a vital foundation for all of us.

Martine Delaney, Trustee
Dean Owens-Cooper, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dean Owens-Cooper, Trustee

Hi, I’m Dean, I am a qualified health and social care senior practitioner with over 2 decades of experiences in statutory (NHS & Local authorities) work and the same in the charity sector.

I have a passion for helping others. In my day job I am a Manager working in homelessness services and very much enjoy the work I do. In my spare I like to go on holiday; mainly city breaks, Barcelona and Germany being mine and my Husbands favourite places. I’m Manchester born and bred. I really enjoy swimming and that helps me keep healthy and well.

Emma Klieve, Trustee

I joined the board as a Trustee in February 2020 after working within the legal industry for several years.

I am currently working as a Private Client Paralegal with a view to commencing my training contract in September 2021. I graduated with a 2:1 degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Liverpool in 2013 and completed the LPC LLM in 2018 at the University of Law, Chester, with a distinction, studying an elective in Family Law and Practice.

Family is the cornerstone for many and the importance of healthy relationships is well established. Due to my background, I know that mediation can help repair those relationships and allow the parties to move forward. My experience allows me to bring a different perspective to the board. 

Joe Shaw Trustee

Joe Shaw, Trustee

Hi, I’m Joe 🙂 

I wanted to become involved with the charity as I am very passionate about improving outcomes for other people, especially young people who have faced challenges, and saw a great opportunity to grow my own skillset too!

Although I’m still at the beginning of my career, I do have a lot of experience in a few areas, for example day to day I work for a Local Authority as a finance officer, and I am studying towards becoming an accountant alongside working as a young people’s participation officer for another charity, and I volunteer where I can to support children’s services. 

In my spare time I like to go to the gym and keep myself relatively fit and healthy as well as a bit of PC gaming, or watching about anything tech or finance related. 

I love a good chat and a coffee too!

Christine Boydell, Administrator

I have been a part-time administrator at TalkFIRST since January 2018, and also work as a secretary within the NHS.  I have lots of administrative experience within children’s services and I have some previous administrator experience with local charities.

I am very practical and methodical and try my best to organise the team!

I have two children, two stepchildren (all grown up) and a grandson.  I live with my partner, younger daughter and our two cats (who would benefit from mediation every now and again!) 

Christine Boydell, Administrator

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