The LWDW Training Team


The LWDW Training Team

Office Team

Hermione headshot 3 June 2022 - Smaller Square

Dr. Hermione Elliott, Director & Lead Trainer

Hermione has a background in nursing, midwifery, counselling, palliative care and training and is the founder of Living Well, Dying Well. She has worked internationally and lived in Japan for four years, where her book Gan No Serufu Hiringu, a self-help guide for people with cancer, was published. She is passionate about care of the whole person – physical, emotional and spiritual – and about upholding dignity and self-determination at every stage of life.  She pioneered the End of Life Training in the UK.

Nikki Photo

Nikki Newman,  Head of Operations and Finance

Nikki has a wealth of experience of financial, project and business planning management.  Starting her career in analytical science and secondary education, Nikki is inspired to use her knowledge and experience to support LWDW achieve it's goal of creating and empowering compassionate, caring communities.

Cathy Ota

Cathy Ota,  Head of Learning

Cathy has a background in education research, teacher training and professional development across the UK, Europe and Canada.  Her research, work and writing has focused on relational intelligence and was the editor of The International Journal of Children’s Spirituality for 20 years.  Cathy spent 5 years working with a charity in Gujarat, India creating and implementing teacher training programmes and establishing an Indian based teacher training team.  She is passionate about holistic education and supporting the growth and relationships of individuals and communities.

Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll,  Course & Events Co-Ordinator

Emily’s experience is in project and change management, systems and process creation and strategic business planning within the Education sector. After studying an English and History degree, Emily started work project managing funding for small businesses. From there, she has worked for an awarding body and an international training provider delivering professional qualifications. Emily is keen to use her skills to support the LWDW team and End of Life Doula community.

Trainer Team


Anna Ledgard, Certified Foundation and Diploma Trainer

Anna is an independent educationalist, producer and professional development leader. Having started out as a secondary school teacher she has 30 years experience as a producer of creative arts collaborative projects in schools and NHS hospitals, most recently in intensive care or end of life settings.  Anna trained  with LWDW as a EOL doula in 2010 and now teaches on the LWDW courses. See

Ninon van der Kroft

Ninon van de Kroft, Certified Foundation and Diploma Trainer

Ninon is an End of Life Doula and death educationist. Trained as a social worker with over 30 years' experience, she worked at St Christopher's Hospice in London, assisting patients and loved ones. She works in the community as a companion to the dying, breathing life into conversations about death, empowering people to explore their fears and beliefs. Ninon is an experienced facilitator, teaching nationally and internationally about how we navigate intimacy at end of life.


Awi Frances, Certified Foundation Trainer

Awi has a background in teaching, Forest School Leading and Training. Other life experiences as a carer, massage therapist and doing psychotherapy training have contributed to her understanding and holding of people and their families at end of life.  She trained as an EOL Doula with LWDW in 2014 and is now an EOL Doula in Totnes in Devon, also developing Death and Dying community events. She sings with a Threshold Choir.


Katrina Taee, Certified Foundation Trainer

Katrina has a background in nursing.  Later in life, she trained as a Psychosynthesis Counsellor and became a volunteer counsellor at Thames Hospice alongside running a private practice for 17 years.  She has always been particularly interested in grief and end of life work.  She is the author of Surviving The Tsunami of Grief, her first book.

Deborah Kelly

Dr Deborah Kelly, Certified FoundationTrainer & Learner Support

Deborah is an Arts Psychotherapist and teacher. She has worked in palliative and end of life care as a nurse, shiatsu practitioner and psychotherapist for the past 20 years. She established and facilitates two palliative care projects, working with nature, myth and the rhythm of the seasons and believes passionately that death and dying are part of our communal lives. She is also a professional celebrant.

Course Assistants

Philomena Corrigan 2

Philomena Corrigan

Philomena retired as a Nurse Consultant/Senior Lecturer in 2012 before hearing about ‘Doulas for the Dying’ and comments that it sounded ‘right up her street’.  Since completion of her LWDW Training she has co-facilitated Death Cafés alongside her role as a telephone bereavement volunteer with Marie Curie, and one of their Helper volunteers, supporting clients with a life-limiting illnesses. She is also a volunteer for Central London Samaritans and is a co-trainer for new Samaritans volunteers.  Philomena is delighted to ‘return to the source’ in the LWDW Training room to contribute to the learning of others.

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Elaine Cobbold

LWDW are providing a vital service, opening up conversations around death and dying and moving those conversations into the mainstream. It is an honour and a privilege to be involved with those at the end of their lives and I have stood in that space on both a personal and professional level.  Undertaking training with LWDW as a Doula and a trainer allows me to be part of a very progressive approach to Death & Dying, one that I truly believe allows us all to live richer lives.

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Nicci del Rio

Nicci’s background has involved many varied paths and today she facilitate meditation groups in both the charity and private sectors alongside volunteering for Shout; an online crisis text line.  Her journey has had the transition of death as a constant companion, experiencing the beauty, the magic, the wonder as well as the sadness and rawness of grief which accompanies each and every death.  Nicci’s experience of the LWDW Training was an experience she said she will never forget; being transformational. She is inspired to emulate those from whom she learnt and look forwards to helping create a space where others can similarly explore and deepen their understanding and awareness of how to lovingly care and support someone, their family and their community into the greatest mystery we all one day will take.

Mariana García

Mariana Garcia

Mariana has been a trained psychologist since 2007 and has experience in clinical psychology, research, teaching, and psychosocial projects. In 2012 she completed a Masters in community psychology and started working with vulnerable communities. However, since the death of her father in 2015, she dedicated herself to deepening her knowledge about death and dying, while donating her time and skills to different charities and hospices. This path led her to find her passion and so she became an end of life doula.  Visit to find more about her and what she does.

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Alice Jackson

Alice describes herself a lay person with a special feeling for being with the dying, who wants to support friends, families or colleagues. She has a background of over 14 years experience in pastoral care and currently works in communications developing content for brands and not-for-profits. Alice finds people utterly compelling which inspires my work as a trainer. She displays a person centred approach to all her work providing an accepting, empathetic environment for each individual to describe their experiences, thoughts and feelings to understand who they are, the life they have lived and their choices for the future.


Nett Furley

Nett Furley - Portfolio Assessor

Nett was in one of the first LWDW training cohorts and has been an end of life doula since 2011. Her passion is supporting people at the end of their life, and in grief through storytelling, funerals and memorials.  As well as supporting individuals who are approaching the end of their lives and the people important to them, she uses her doula’ing experience to influence NHS policies and guidelines by sitting on national NICE clinical, service delivery and quality standard committees on end of life and the national audit for care at end of life (NACEL).  Her career has involved senior roles in NHS and not for profit organisations e.g., Director of Primary Care, CEO of a carer’s charity, a community regeneration charity and a community environmental charity and Assessment Lead at the Audit Commission. She is a trained nurse and has been a funeral director.  Her current roles include: LWDW Assessor of diploma portfolios; Director of End of Life Doula UK; Humanist Funeral, Memorial, Vow Renewal and Wedding Celebrant; Health and Care Consultant for not for profit and statutory organisations; Mentor, Coach and Trainer; Steward at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Sarah Wardell

Sarah Wardell - Progression Assignment Assessor

Sarah is an End of Life Doula with a background in social work, including five years as a palliative care social worker in a local hospice, and is currently working as a practice educator for student and newly qualified social workers.  Additionally, Sarah is trained in Adlerian Therapy and works in private practice as a counsellor in the Marches (  Sarah has always held an interest in supporting and walking alongside people nearing the end of their lives or those who have been bereaved.

EOL Doula UK Liaison


Aly Dickinson

Aly Dickinson trained with Living Well Dying Well, practises as an End of Life Doula and has been involved in the facilitation of our courses. She was instrumental in setting up End of Life Doula UK, the membership association for Doulas and those who have trained with Living Well Dying Well.  Aly is the link person between the two organisations and manages our Facebook and Twitter accounts. She lives in Devon, accompanied by 3 cats and 30 patio plant pots!



Sue Robinson

Sue's professional work was in charge of community-based nursing in several areas of London. She was inspired to complement this experience by completing the LWDW Doula training and then assisting in the development of LWDW Trainers' Training programme. She organises, with others, an annual community-led festival on death and dying - "Pushing up Daisies" - and is passionate about End of Life care.


Michael van der Matten

Michael, a Dutchman, worked 15 years with the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace, managing joint projects with NASA.  Moving to the UK in 1979 he joined an instrumentation company developing contracts worldwide.  He has been Director and Trustee of several UK charities, built hotels, and developed a school in Borneo.  He is married to Halimah and they have 5 children.


Osanna Wilder

Osanna has varied past work experience in Public Relations, marketing, management and training. Osanna is a qualified psychotherapist and coach and loves to explore creativity through writing and painting. Committed to living life to the full as she ages, Osanna works with individuals and groups to enable them to do the same – live well!

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