Our team

We are the core team of the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, that keeps the show on the road. Together, we develop strategy, deliver courses and training, and conduct research.

Clara Strauss

Clara Strauss

Clara is Co-Lead (Research) for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She is a consultant clinical psychologist, mindfulness teacher and clinical researcher. In her research, Clara is particularly interested in developing and evaluating new forms of mindfulness-based intervention (MBI), especially for those people who may not be willing or able to access MBCT. Along with other members of her research team, Clara has been evaluating MBIs for people experiencing depression, for people distressed by hearing voices and for people experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This research has also included research with NHS staff, university students and the wider population.

Robert Marx

Robert Marx

Robert is Co-Lead (Training) for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. He is a consultant clinical psychologist and has been involved in running mindfulness groups for staff and patients since 2006. He also trains and supervises others doing mindfulness work. He is interested in relational mindfulness and in adaptations of Mindfulness-based Interventions using compassion practices.

Lara Alvarez Torres

Portrait photo of volunteer Lara Alvarez Torres

Lara is a volunteer with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She is also a second year psychology student studying with The Open University.

Lara has a background in teaching and linguistics, and runs a language school in Hastings. Mindfulness and meditation have helped Lara with anxiety, and she now practices daily along with yoga.

Indi Angel

Photo of Indi Angel

Indi values mindfulness and the holistic recovery model for chronic health challenges. Indi is adapting mindfulness interventions to support both colleagues and service users who aren’t able to do the eight-week courses. As a former peer trainer, she brings a diverse range of skills as well as lived experience to her work. Indi uses her experience to help improve the Trust’s services: Quality Improvement, Clinical Governance, Suicide Prevention and the Sussex Mindfulness Centre.

Zoe Baty

Zoe Baty

Zoe provides administrative support for the many and varied courses and events offered by the SMC, including the mindfulness masterclasses and the Trust staff 8-week mindfulness groups. She has a background in journalism and events, and is currently studying for an MSc in Psychology through the Open University. A long-time yoga devotee, Zoe is also a recent convert to mindfulness practice and is undertaking the 8-week Trust staff mindfulness course.

Anna-Maria Frastali 

Anna-Maria is the Psychology Graduate Volunteer at Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She has completed a MSc degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex where she received the Commitment to Upskilling award for volunteering and working in mental health while studying. Before switching careers, she worked in arts marketing.

Anna-Maria practices mindfulness daily and creates artwork inspired by mindfulness teachings and experiences. She is interested in mindfulness interventions in mental health and wrote her MSc dissertation on the relational and emotional experiences of adults who meditate and have had adverse childhood experiences.

Fergal Jones

Fergal Jones

Fergal is the convenor for the teacher training programmes for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and adapted mindfulness-based interventions. 

He is a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist who completed mindfulness teacher training at the University of Bangor. He currently works part time in Health in Mind, the primary care well-being service that serves East Sussex. He uses mindfulness in his clinical work, supervises other mindfulness teachers and is involved with a number of research projects concerning mindfulness-based interventions.

Faylee Kirk

Portrait of Faylee Kirk

Faylee is a Sussex Mindfulness Centre volunteer, providing support in communications. She is currently a second year psychology student studying at the University of Sussex. 

Her passion for mindfulness continues into her personal life where she regularly practices meditation and slow living. In the future she would like to become a trained mindfulness teacher. Alongside her mindfulness practices, she is beginning to get into yoga. 

Niki Larsen-Johnson

Niki Larson

Niki is the Administration Manager for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She has worked for the NHS in various roles for over 25 years, and for the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for 15 years. She has a background in retail management. Niki provides managerial and administrative support to the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, supporting the smooth running of our courses, as well as overseeing the day to day work of the admin team.

Niki enjoys walking her rescue dog on the South Downs, and also follows Formula One attending races around the world.  

Rhianon Potter

Portrait photo of intern Rhianon Potter

Rhianon is one of the undergraduate placement students working at Sussex Mindfulness Centre as part of her BSc in Psychology at the University of Sussex.

Her support is mostly within the research and development department of the Centre, helping evaluate the effectiveness of the mindfulness courses that we provide to staff and service users. She also leads on the Centre’s X (formerly Twitter) account. Her knowledge of mindfulness stems from using tools from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (such as mindfulness journaling) to cope with anxiety and from taking part in an eight-week MBCT course for Sussex Partnership staff.

Julia Powell

Julia Powell

Julia supports the Sussex Mindfulness Centre with communications, and teaches mindfulness. She has a long track record leading communications and campaigns strategy in the international development, human rights and social justice sectors.

In this role for Sussex Mindfulness Centre, Julia marries her keen interest in mindfulness as a BAMBA registered mindfulness teacher, with her passion for strategic communications.

Hannah Scannell

Picture of Hannah Scannell

Hannah is one of the undergraduate placement students working at Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She is in the midst of completing her Criminology and Psychology BSc Degree at the University of Southampton.

She primarily supports the research department of the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, helping to evaluate group outcomes. She also provides support in communications by taking a lead on LinkedIn. She draws on her knowledge of mindfulness having completed one of our eight-week courses.

Zoe Simon

Portrait of team member Zoe Simon

Zoe is part of the administrative team at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. Zoe provides support for the MBCT in NHS Talking Therapies teacher training programme, and all the mindfulness masterclasses which run throughout the year.

Zoe joined the NHS in 2019 as a personal assistant, and is currently on a 12-month secondment with the Centre. With a background in travel, retail and holistic health, Zoe has worked in a broad range of roles including secretarial and admin, customer service, communications, events, process improvement and development.

Kate Webb

Kate Webb

Kate is the Project Manager at Sussex Mindfulness Centre responsible for operations and business development. She comes from a long career in the Third Sector, developing and managing community mental health projects and where she completed the eight-week MBSR course in 2009 and has practiced ever since. She is particularly interested in how Mindfulness Based Interventions can help create positive workplace cultures through focusing on wellbeing and looks forward to helping external organisations create bespoke programmes for their workforces. She is also a devotee of mindful sea swimming.