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Our Story and Vision

Ruth Stephens:
CEO and founder

Having been involved in church leadership, and with over 10 years experience in children’s ministry, I have become increasingly aware that our ministries need to be more accessible to those who have had complicated backgrounds. In our churches and Christian ministries, people are serving tirelessly to support others and often it is hard to engage people who have experienced a lot of trauma, particularly if that trauma was early in life. I believe that those who support people who have experienced such adversity, need to be better equipped by receiving guidance and training to become trauma informed.


After a career as an Occupational Therapist (OT) working with many adopted and fostered children, I am passionate about equipping others to be a support to those who have experienced such traumatic circumstances.

I hold an MSc in Attachment studies and during these studies I gained valuable tools with which to understand and support those who have relational trauma.


My happy place is enjoying coffee out with friends!

Lindsay Hassall:

After many years working in various settings with people who have experienced social deprivation, I see the real need of those who work in these settings to become trauma informed. I have worked as part of a chaplaincy team within a prison, a community facility for people with addiction issues and as a warden in a house for those with additional needs.  


I am an ordained minister but currently my day job is working in accounts. Today, I am an active director in several family businesses.


My happy place is walking in the Peak District

Laura Ryder:

With a background in financial management, I have more than twenty years of experience working within the charity and public sector. I have held various senior leadership positions, and more recently, work with a variety of not for profit organisations providing strategic business planning, coaching and interim director support through my own consultancy, SSCBM. I am passionate about supporting Charity CEOs and Senior Teams with the pipes and plumbing of organisations, helping the purpose, plan, process and people of their organisation to thrive from the inside out.


My best self care tip would be to break down a problem or overwhelming situation into much smaller steps. Often times, we want to problem solve to the end solution, but we can't see the way ahead clearly enough. Mountains are conquered one step at a time, and often when we go gently with ourselves and with others, we too can make small steps in the direction we want to go…. 


My happy place is skiing!

Philly Udy
Assistant to Ruth Stephens

With twenty years experience working in the charities and churches, I am passionate about seeing not for profit organisations improve their systems to better care for the vulnerable. I particularly love supporting a visionary leader looking to expand and improve the running of their project... I love a good spreadsheet and flow chart!


The work​ of Join the Dots is close to my heart having walked through my own story of trauma recovery, so I'm thrilled to be part of the team to help raise trauma awareness and provide support to others walking a similar path.

My happy place is being at home in the Yorkshire Dales, working on my latte art or watching tennis!

Josie Holt:

I am a passionate volunteer and advocate of JTD who loves to see lives transformed by God's healing power. I hope to see more and more people informed and educated on the effects of trauma and learn how not to re-traumatise survivors.

With 23 years experience as a secondary school teacher mostly of students with SEMH and SEND, additionally I have been involved in a wealth of youth, community work and supporting adoptive parents.


My happy place is: curled up reading a book!

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