Mindfulness at Work


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Breathworks CIC Board of Directors

Mindfulness Expert Vidyamala Burch - Founding Director - Breathworks

Vidyamala Burch, Co-Founder and Chair of the Board

Vidyamala co-founded Breathworks CIC in 2004 and is now recognised as an international leader in Mindfulness-based Pain Management. She has written three books including the best-selling ‘Mindfulness for Health’ (co-authored with Danny Penman). This was awarded First Prize in Popular Medicine in the British Medical Association Books Awards.

In 2018 Vidyamala was awarded an honorary membership to the British Pain Association. This was for her extraordinary contribution to the field of pain management with the development of Mindfulness-based Pain Management (MBPM).


Visit Vidyamala's Website

Mindfulness expert Sona Fricker - Breathworks mindfulnessSona Fricker, Co- Founder and Executive Director

Sona has practised and taught mindfulness, meditation and related disciplines around the world for over forty years.

He was involved in the establishment and running of several meditation centres, including founding a public centre in Stockholm, Sweden, and working as Director of a retreat centre in the UK, where he spent much of his time leading and attending intensive retreats.

He has led retreats and Buddhist training programmes in the UK, Germany, Holland, Sweden, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Olly Church, Non-Executive Business Director

Olly spent nine years as an officer in the British Army, followed by three years as an intelligence officer. After moving on from the public sector following a period of poor mental health, Olly then spent a number of years as an Operations Director and Programme Manager in the private sector before co-founding The Eleos Partnership in 2019.

Over the last twenty years, Olly has used his experiences of leadership in challenging situations to understand and nurture resilience in himself and his colleagues. Naturally accident-prone, a career as a missionary, soldier, intelligence officer and coach have offered plenty of opportunities to test the concept to the full, resulting in a deep appreciation of the benefits of mental fitness.

His biggest challenge to date has been a self-determined recovery from physical and psychological injuries sustained whilst fighting in Afghanistan. Seeking to understand and enhance his recovery, Olly has qualified as an emotional coach, Mental Health First Aid instructor and mental resilience training instructor in a bid to share the insights learned during difficult times.

Olly is driven to help individuals and organisations to achieve their potential by contributing to inspirational, purpose-driven leadership and organisational cultures rejuvenated by embracing the opportunities offered by cultivating mental fitness.

Gillian Roche-Saunders, Non-Executive Business Directors

Gillian brings her extensive business experience to the board as we focus on the strategy and growth of our workplace meditation programme. Through her work supporting businesses and her own entrepreneurial journey, Gillian developed a keen interest in the factors that help people be at their best in the workplace in a sustainable way.  She shares our vision that meditation brings huge benefits to team members, leaders and employers in terms of resilience, stress management and mental fitness.  

Gillian founded and grew an award-winning regulatory consultancy at city law firm Bates Wells, and in 2019 spun the business into Adempi Associates. Adempi provides financial services firms with direct access to senior compliance expertise.  Gillian is a director of the EIS Association, a mentor to entrepreneurs for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and supports a number of incubators focused on financial services and social enterprise.

Robert Jones, Non-Executive Finance Director

Robert brings extensive experience of scaling organisations, having been Managing Director of Windhorse Trading for 23 years. At its peak Windhorse Trading was turning over £12 million per annum and was listed as one of the Independent's UK top 100 fastest growing companies several years running.

Robert also has extensive experience of managing a charitable enterprise with a trading company, which is a similar structure to the Breathworks Group, therefore offering invaluable advice as we grow the impact of Breathworks.