Affinity Health at Work was founded in 2006 by a multi-award winning team of Occupational Psychologists, Emma Donaldson-Feilder, Dr Joanna Yarker and Dr Rachel Lewis. We work with a wide network of experts and associates to enable us to resource each project with the right balance of expertise.
Rachel is passionate about promoting evidence based practice and does this by taking a rigorous approach that builds and gathers both academic research and practitioner expertise. Her research interest focuses on promoting psychological wellbeing at work, particularly for those working in critical and inherently stressful occupations. In 2020 she won the British Psychological Society award for excellence in research for her work to understand the psychological implications of business travel. Most recently she has been researching remote rotational workers and lone rail workers. She has contributed to the development of guidance materials used within organisations and provided by bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, ACAS and the Health and Safety Executive, written articles for both peer reviewed academic and trade publications, and co-authored and edited three books, one (written with Emma Donaldson-Feilder and Joanna Yarker) based on their research on ‘Management Competencies for Preventing and Reducing Stress at Work’, which was awarded ‘Practitioner book of the Year’ by the British Psychological Society. Alongside her role at Affinity Health at Work, Rachel Lewis is also (along with Jo) Director of the Professional Doctorate in Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London.
Jo is passionate about understanding what we can do to foster fulfilling, healthy and productive work, particularly under times of challenge such as when individuals are unwell or under pressure. More recently, Jo has been working on a number of projects that aim to understand the impact of workplace design on our health and wellbeing. Working with colleagues Rachel Lewis and Emma Donaldson-Feilder and a network of academics in leading UK Universities, her research has been sponsored by the HSE, CIPD, Mental Health Foundation, British Occupational Health Research Foundation and Cancer Research UK. This research has been translated into guides, toolkits and metrics that organisations can use to help organisations, managers, teams and individuals better manage their work. Her work has been published in academic and practitioner spaces. Alongside her role at Affinity Health at Work, Jo also works at Birkbeck, University of London where she leads the Professional Doctorate in Organizational Psychology. As well as her lecturing, research and consultancy work, Jo holds voluntary roles with the British Psychological Society.
Kate joined Affinity in 2015 and plays a key role in Affinity’s work with the Greater London Authority as Expert Delivery Partner for the London Healthy Workplace Award assisting in the running of the verification process and supporting organisations to achieve accreditation. Kate also oversees the Work, Health and Wellbeing Research Consortium. Her research interest focuses on interventions to improve workplace health and wellbeing and she has led a variety of projects including risk assessment projects for work stress and evaluations of interventions to improve work design, diet and exercise. In 2020 Kate completed her PhD which focused on weight stigma in the workplace. Alongside her role at Affinity Health at Work, Kate is also a research associate at Loughborough University working on the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot.
Emma aims to support the development of kinder, wiser workplaces, with more relational leadership and people management, and improved employee health and wellbeing. Her varied professional portfolio includes teaching relational mindfulness, coaching senior managers and executives, individual and group supervision for coaches, consultancy for organisations and teams, research, writing, speaking, and public policy. She is a member of the Health and Safety Executive Workplace Health Expert committee. In order to have the best possible evidence-base for her work, Emma is actively involved in research; at the same time, her consultancy and coaching with a range of organisations ensures that the research is of genuine practical use in real-world settings. Alongside her role at Affinity Health at Work, Emma is also Director of Affinity Coaching and Supervision and is particularly interested in applying relational mindfulness to support leadership development and coach development. She draws on 12 years’ previous experience working in international relations and communications.
Alison Dunn is a qualified and experienced mental health professional with an MSc in Psychological Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has substantial experience of developing and implementing programmes to improve and promote employee mental health as well as overall health and wellbeing within an organisational setting. She is an experienced trainer in mental health and has advised directors and senior managers on mental health and overall wellbeing. Alison has worked with Affinity Health at Work since January 2015, working with the GLA to support the delivery of the London Healthy Workplace Award through leading the verifier network and the verification process. She is keen to support organisations to develop an excellent approach to health and wellbeing and, in particular, the mental health of employees, through developing an approach aimed at minimising work related stress and providing a range of interventions to support employee mental health.
Jennifer studied Psychology at the University of Nottingham and initially embarked on a corporate career in Human Resources. She has extensive HR experience across both public and private sector organisations, including selection and assessment, talent management, leadership development, employee relations and change management. She holds the CIPD post graduate certificate and an MSc in Occupational and Business Psychology.
Jennifer is passionate about marrying the rigours of academic research with her operational HR expertise to deliver practical guidance and tools that really work for organisations, and make a genuine difference to the working lives of normal people. She recently managed a research and consultancy project which explored the impact that the physical vs psychosocial working environments can have on health and wellbeing. She also has a particular interest in individual differences and the role they play in one’s wellbeing at work.
Jennifer also volunteers as a Verifier for the London Healthy Workplace Award (previously Charter).