Meet the Board

Nicola Swales – Founder, Director and Board Chair

I wear many hats! I am a mum, foster mum, youth worker, children’s services manager in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, User Voice Participation Lead, Specialist Bereavement Support Lead and Wellbeing Advanced Practitioner (WRAP).

I created the Shine Bright service in a direct response to the increased level of emotional and mental wellbeing support needs across our communities, since the pandemic.

Service are struggling to meet the needs of our communities and I believe the WRAP approach can help Leeds to manage life, challenges and crisis in a safer way. Children, young people and families are the experts of themselves and it is our responsibility to work with them to create the best support for them and their peers that is possible! Participation runs through the heart of everything I create. We are stringer together!

Read more about me in the ‘Meet the Founder’ section in Our Story.

Marcia Marczynski – Director and Treasurer of the Board

I have been working in finance and accountancy roles for 15 years and now have a successful family run accountancy practice since 1993.

I am passionate about supporting not for profit community companies to make a real impact upon their communities. Shine Bright can help many children, young people and families at their most vulnerable times.

Rachel Dukes – Director and Secretary of the Board

I work in public health within Leeds City Council.  My work is dedicated to reducing the barriers and inequalities the people of Leeds face in relation to their health and wellbeing.  This starts with intervening before things escalate; addressing the root causes of the problems they face – many of these things are termed ‘wider determinants of health.’ 
The number of children and young people experiencing challenges in their mental wellbeing has been increasingly exponentially for many years; not helped by the Covid pandemic.  Feeling safe, supported and able to talk about your feelings is important for us all and the social networks we are all part of, play a huge role in how we feel. Shine Bright provides an evidenced-based, structured, peer led, and asset-based approach to identifying and addressing common mental health concerns experienced by children and young people in Leeds. 
I hope that Shine Bright will be able to expand it’s provision and be able to support many more children and young people across Leeds (and also get the provision embedded onto relevant pathways used by mainstream services such as schools, the youth service, CAMHS, as well as primary and secondary care.     
Jaymain Parkes – Advisory Board Member

I am a Person-centred therapist and the Wellbeing Manager in a Secondary School. Through my lived and professional experience, I have seen how important it is to have good quality mental health support for our children & young people.

I hope that the work of Shine Bright will be supported so that more young people can access this fun and engaging approach to mental health.
Nicholas Smith – Advisory Board Member

I am am the founder and director of a fantastic Peer Support and Wellbeing service in Keighley alongside my partner Emma.

I’m a board member of Shine Bright for a couple of reasons.

First is that I know Nicola from my consultancy work with Barnardos to provide WRAPs for young people. I worked with her on several courses and found her energy, sense of humour & immense passion for young people totally inspiring.

This brings me on to the second reason I’m “on board” with Shine Bright. I used to be a young person desperate for a friendly person to treat me like a human.
I suffered with severe neglect and abuse as a child. I didn’t feel safe or loved and I grew up thinking I didn’t belong and was worthless. I battled with poor mental health for many years until I found out about WRAP & Peer Support.

I am determined to help young people to not feel alone and realise their potential.
Chris Swales – Vice Chair Board Member

Retired Senior Manager in Barclays Bank Community Affairs department and involvement in local community issues through the Meanwood Valley Partnership.

Children’s good mental health is so important. Shine Bright has the potential to positively affect the health and well-being of huge numbers of children.
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