Our team

Jo Yarker;PhD, MSc, CPsychol

Jo Yarker;PhD, MSc, CPsychol

Managing Partner

Jo conducts pioneering research and leads on strategy development, risk management and training and development programmes. Together with Rachel, she provides leadership and direction for Affinity. She contributes to national guidance and publishes widely to share new knowledge, evidence and tools to promote and sustain health and wellbeing at work.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

Affinity Health at Work was born in 2006 with an aspiration to partner academic rigour with practical, real-world approaches to improve health and wellbeing at work. With our team at Affinity, our clients and our research partners, I strive to develop solutions that make a difference to peoples' working lives, which is what makes working in the wellbeing field rewarding for me.

My work is driven by three things:

First, everyone has a right to well-designed and well-managed work; work that is safe and allows people to thrive, where people are recognised for their contributions and supported by others when times are challenging. We are not there yet but whichever way you look at it – with a moral, legal or business lens - it makes good sense.

Second, evidence is at the core of all we do at Affinity – creating evidence and using evidence to guide solutions. There is so much noise in the field of workplace wellbeing that it can be hard to know what to do for the best. We look to the evidence to guide us on what works, and what doesn't in different situations, and our vibrant research programme means that we are creating and sharing new evidence for all, all of the time.

Third, no one can do it all on their own. Everyone needs to be supported at home and work to stay well and do their best work. This is why we look beyond the individual and take a whole-system approach to wellbeing – understanding the individual, the people they work with, and the organisational and national context in which they work.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Job Design, Psychosocial Risk Management, Sustainable Return to Work

How Jo maintains her Wellbeing

Never rely on one thing. I am always looking to add to my wellbeing toolkit – life is constantly changing, at home and at work – so what works today, might not work next week. Learning about new approaches, theories or techniques and developing new skills to add my wellbeing toolbox is important to help me look after myself and others.

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joyarker/
Dr Rachel Lewis;PhD, MSc, CPsychol

Dr Rachel Lewis;PhD, MSc, CPsychol

Managing Partner

Rachel provides the leadership and direction for Affinity, alongside Jo. Rachel is widely published in the field of health and wellbeing at work and has contributed to national guidance, and evidence-based tools and interventions. She also leads on strategy development, risk management and training and development programmes.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

The wellbeing field has come a long way from where it once was, particularly in response to the global climate in recent years, but we still have quite a long way to go before we see job design that is truly shaped to support and protect the wellbeing of its workforce.

Over my career I have seen, and continue to see, many wellbeing approaches taken within organisations that evidence suggests will have no meaningful impact. This has really solidified my stance that evidence-based practice should be at the forefront of my work, to ensure the quality and effectiveness of every wellbeing policy, intervention or guidance that I produce.

I have brought this principle of ensuring evidence-based practice with me to Affinity, and I am very proud of the company Jo and I have developed. Affinity works on this principle and it has become a core component of our work to ensure that any solution we recommend to organisations is sound, and that it has actual tangible benefits to the workforce.

We recognise that there cannot be evidence-based practice without the evidence itself, so Affinity strives to also produce pioneering research that expands the knowledge of our field whilst providing guidance for what best practice looks like. I am very proud of the contribution we have made to the evidence base and how it has allowed us to make a difference in the lives of employees across the globe. This is what continues to drive me.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Job Design, Psychosocial Risk Management, Resilience

How Rachel maintains her Wellbeing

I do see my mental health fluctuate, so I maintain my wellbeing by consistently 'checking in' with myself. This enables me to take action as soon as I see a change in my health and I can then employ a range of techniques to address this; which might involve reaching out to friends, family and colleagues, taking our dog for a long walk or adjusting my work and job design. Maintaining daily gratitude practice is also a real necessity for me.

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-lewis-48a1a011/
Claire Agate;MCIPD, MSc, PGDip, MBPsS

Claire Agate;MCIPD, MSc, PGDip, MBPsS

Consultant Psychologist

Claire works in research and consultancy capacities on a range of work wellbeing topics, including organisational risk assessment, training, facilitation, qualitative and quantitative research. Claire is also currently working towards her professional doctorate in Occupational Psychology.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

Having spent much of my career in generalist HR roles for large global organisations, I deeply understand the importance of good leadership and effective job design for the protection of employee health and wellbeing. As a result, I thrive when I partner with organisations and leaders for the achievement of organisational wellbeing aspirations, leveraging my passion for organisational psychology, evidence-based practice, and my unwavering curiosity about people in organisations.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Psychosocial Risk Assessment, Job Design, Leadership for the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.

How Claire maintains her Wellbeing

Two Things: Walking and talking. Putting the world to rights with a friend on a welly walk in the countryside, Bliss.

Making sure I get enough sleep. I completely agree with the phrase "an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after," so try to get an early night whenever I can.

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-agate-7a3a491a/
Clare Bowerman;MSc, MSc

Clare Bowerman;MSc, MSc

Consultant Psychologist

Clare works in research and consultancy capacities on a range of work wellbeing topics, including training, facilitation, qualitative and quantitative research. Clare is also currently working towards her professional doctorate in Occupational Psychology.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

I started my training as a psychologist following a career in health and research communications, which gave me a bird's eye perspective of organisational life that I wanted to deepen through an understanding of psychology at work. Having provided coaching and counselling support across a range of settings, I have witnessed how our work can deeply impact people's mental health and wellbeing, depleting us at its worst, enabling us to flourish at its best. I'm proud of Affinity's mission to support organisations to make work better for their people.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Organisational Resilience, Psychosocial Risk Assessment, Supporting Poor Mental Health at Work.

How Clare maintains her Wellbeing

I enjoy running, cycling, and most other types of exercise, all of which I do with little talent and lots of enthusiasm. My family make me laugh, especially at myself.

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/clare-bowerman-446529b/
Nathan Palmer;MSc, MBPsS

Nathan Palmer;MSc, MBPsS

Consultant Psychologist

Nathan supports a range of research projects – bringing together existing evidence and expert opinion to create new tools and more in-depth understanding of workplace wellbeing challenges.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

Having worked in leadership positions in major national charities, I developed a passion for supporting people to thrive at work and enabling individuals and teams to be successful. Wellbeing sits at the heart of this and so the opportunity to support organisations to implement evidence-based solutions at Affinity is a great way to share my passion for making work more healthy and positive.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Inclusion, Effective Management Practices, Supportive Teams

How Nathan maintains his Wellbeing

I love to learn new things, so I seek out opportunities to learn something new every day to keep me engaged, energised and motivated – whether it is big or small, it keeps me on track.

Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathan-palmer-54985540/
Toria Pagan;BSc Hons

Toria Pagan;BSc Hons

Office Manager

Toria manages our general office administration. She provides exec assistance and diary management, supports across project to co-ordinate our teams delivery and is the first point of call for team support from IT to contracts to social events.

Why do you work in the Wellbeing field?

Having worked for many years in TV production and then in early years education, I really value the impact that a supportive work environment and healthy approach to work-life balance makes. It is brilliant working behind the scenes at Affinity, helping coordinate the day to day office tasks so the team can really focus their efforts on sharing their knowledge, expertise and passion in making everyone's working life a happier and healthier place to be.

Wellbeing Areas of Particular Interest

Return to Work, Effective Management Strategies, Psychosocial Risk. Recognising signals and symptoms of declining mental health, and knowing what to do and when, I think is crucial for everyone to know in any walk of life.

How Toria maintains her Wellbeing

I live by the sea and find the waves & sea air an instant stress reliever. I workout to keep my fitness and headspace in check and really enjoy larking about with my family at any given opportunity. I can often be found in my kitchen belting out a power ballad or two to let off steam.