About DAA

Please click on one of the buttons below to learn more about the people behind Dorset Action.


Professor Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs was for many years director of the counselling and psychotherapy programme at the university of Leicester and is Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, UK. He is a Fellow of BACP and an accredited member of the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association.

Mrs Felicity Irwin

Felicity Irwin is a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset and has supported numerous charities over the past 40 years. These include the NSPCC, Dorset Mediation, Relate Marriage Guidance, and Cancer Relief Macmillan. She is Chairman of Care South, a not for profit charity with care homes across the South West.

Previously a Magistrate and Regional Executive for TVS she takes a keen interest in the Dorset community having also served as a Governor of Bournemouth University, Poole Grammar School and Dumpton School. A Public Relations practitioner, she also chaired the Wessex Branch of the institute of Directors.


Chair: Kate Howe

Kate Howe is a senior lecturer in social work. She has experience of working with children and carers as a child protection social worker as well as in adoption and fostering work. She now teaches on qualifying and post qualifying social work courses, with specialist interests in communication, conflict resolution, supervision and leadership.

Phil Blenkarn

Phil is the Honorary Treasurer of DAA. He is a tax consultant living in Swanage with his wife, Gill, sharing a large extended family. His other interests include golf, lead guitar in a travelling band, DIY and lazing around in the sun.

Ann Daniel

Ann is a founder member of DAA and is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She currently works for DAA as a volunteer supervisor and is also a Trustee. She is a qualified, registered social worker and has paid work in the field of social work education.

Terence Field

Terence has been a trustee with DAA since 2014. Formally an MD of an International SME. A business strategist with a history in Retail Operations, HR with various advisory and NED roles. He lives in Canford Cliffs with his wife Deborah and enjoys painting and walking by the sea.

Dr. Rosa Hubbard-Ford

Rosa is a DAA Trustee and an accredited BACP/UKRC individual, couple and family counsellor, psychotherapist, advanced clinical hypnotherapist, life coach and registered welfare officer. Rosa has practised for over 20 years and works in Bournemouth, Dorset, and Harley Street, London. Her doctorate from Middlesex University/Metanoia Institute London, focused on training religious leaders to help those who had been affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Gail Longhurst

Gail is a DAA volunteer counsellor and supervisor. She is an accredited member of the BACP. Gail’s experience includes working with survivors of domestic violence and honour crimes. Her other interests include dressage and learning to play the piano (very badly).

Zoe Blake

Zoe is an ex-service user and fundraiser for the Friends of DAA. Her other interests include long distance running, healthy nutrition with helping out at a local slimming club and striving towards new goals.

Liz Spreadbury

Liz is a DAA Trustee and also secretary to the Trustees. She is married with five children and six grandchildren. She is also a facilitator for one of the DAA facilitated support groups. She has been a member of the Samaritans for 26 years; an ex-magistrate and School governor at two local schools. She is a lay member of the Local Safeguarding Board and loves gardening, reading, music and watching wildlife.

Hilary Wright

Hilary is a volunteer counsellor with DAA and a Relate counsellor, family counsellor and trainer. She has worked on community development programs in East Africa including HIV/AIDS support projects and psycho social work with children and communities living in armed conflict situations. She enjoys learning about other cultures and also exploring the local countryside.

Therapeutic Services

DAA Service Director: Dr. Zoë Pool

Zoë is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, the DAA Service Director, and a clinical supervisor for DAA and in private practice. Her experience includes working with abuse survivors, post-traumatic stress, addictions and eating disorders. She previously worked as a performer, a performing arts teacher and facilitator in London. In her doctorate, she researched how creativity through therapeutic arts can facilitate and deepen connections with ourselves, with others and with something beyond ourselves.

Office Services

Treasurer: Denise Penny

Denise worked in a bank until she started a family. When she returned to work it was as a book keeper and she has since taken her AAT Technician exams.

Administrator: Tanith Changuion

Fundraiser: Juli Brown




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