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, Mediator
Hey, My name’s David but you can call me Dave. I’m a Mediator who completed my foundation training in family mediation in 2017. I have been gaining valuable experience since then through the work we do at TalkFIRST. I am accredited with The Family Mediation Council; member of The College of Mediators since 2018.
I have worked with children and young people in education and social services in various roles for 15 years prior to mediating. I really enjoy the variety of work that comes through our door at TalkFIRST and I find that there is always something else to learn to help people through what can be a difficult situation.
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).
Dean Owens-Cooper, Chair of the Board of Trustees
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.
Martine Delaney, Trustee
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.
Sarah Alldred, Trustee
I’m Sarah Alldred, a new Trustee at TalkFIRST. I wanted to become involved with this wonderfully ambitious charity due to my strong belief that mediation and conflict resolution processes are essential in maturely addressing conflict and unbalanced power relations that occur in all aspects of everyday life. TalkFIRST is also located in my brilliant hometown of Wigan, where I lived for my first 18 years.
My background is in peace research, doing a Masters and PhD in post conflict reconciliation processes, working at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation with victims of political conflict, and for the past 10 years I’ve been working at the Co-operative College in Manchester with co-operatives as tools for social change in international development.
Steve Powell, Trustee
I am an accountant and business adviser with over 30 years experience. I am a relatively new Trustee to the charity, but I have known Dave and Tracy for many years. I wanted to do something to use the skills that I have developed in my day job to support a charity and where better than TalkFIRST? I am really enjoying my time as a trustee and I love the work that the team do – it really is a wonderful organisation!
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!)