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Meet The Team

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Simon Dymond

Simon Dymond is Professor of Psychology and Behaviour Analysis at Swansea University, and Director of the Centre for Military Gambling Research (MILGAM) and the Gambling Research, Education and Treatment (GREAT) Network, Wales.
Simon received his undergraduate and PhD degrees from University College Cork, Ireland. He is co-director of the Experimental Psychopathology Lab at Swansea where his group conducts neuro-behavioural research on gambling behaviour, fear and avoidance learning, treatment of gambling disorder, clinical behaviour analysis and relational frame theory, and on the social/epidemiological analysis of gambling related harm in vulnerable populations. He is currently Director of the Gambling Research, Education and Treatment (GREAT) Network Wales and has received funding from the International Centre for Responsible Gaming, GambleAware, Forces in Mind Trust, and Health & Care Research Wales. in his spare time he enjoys eating and running. 

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Matt Fossey 

Matt Fossey is a Professor of Public Services Research at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). He has a background in social work, national health policy and service delivery. He is particularly interested in demonstrating research impact.
In 2015 Matt founded the Veterans and Families Institute at ARU, and has grown the Institutes status and reputation, including the 2022 launch of the Centre for Military Women’s Research. With 15 staff, over 120 publications and £7 million in research income, the VFI is recognised as an international leader for social research with the military, veterans and their families. 
Matt is co-chair of the NATO military sexual violence research panel, and an advisor to the MOD, NHS, Office for Students and Cabinet Office. He was also a member of the international ministerial working group considering wellbeing in the military and veteran’s communities. Matt is currently working with US colleagues to develop a NATO research group on human participation in research.
Matt has recently led a team to win over £11 million in Research England funding to set up a new Centre for Equalities in Uniformed Public Services. He is also a co-Investigator on a £5 million NIHR Public Health grant researching the social determinants of health across greater Essex. 

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Dana Dekel 

Dana is a Researcher in the Swansea University School of Psychology. Her research interests include common mental health disorders, suicide and self-harm, and gambling related harms with a focus on veterans’ mental health. She holds a BSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice and an MSc in Business Management. She has extensive experience in mixed methods and qualitative research design, and ongoing engagement with vulnerable populations on context to mental health issues. Before coming to her current role, she was part of the university’s School of Medicine where she played a focal role in delivering outcomes on externally funded projects in collaboration with the UKRI, Welsh Government, Mental Health Foundation, and the World Health Organization. She was PI on a bid awarded by Kooth on suicide prevention strategies. Dana has a military background, having served in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) as a non-commissioned officer for emergency call-up and mobilization of reserves. 

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Adanma Ekenna

Adanma Ekenna is a research assistant at Swansea University and plays the role of a quantitative data manager in the Veterans’ Habit study at the School of Psychology. Here, she seeks to contribute to improving access to support for veterans struggling with harmful gambling.
She has a medical degree and a master’s in public health as well as concluding a master’s in health care management at Swansea University. She is a member of the West African College of Physicians (Community Health) and Health Systems Global. Her interest in health systems strengthening has led to her role as a PI on the Alliance for African Partnership-Michigan State University grant which explored using implementation research to improve routine immunisation data quality in Nigeria. 
As a mixed method researcher, Adanma has worked on the African Health Observatory Platform on health systems and platforms (AHOP), Exploring institutionalized processes and decision-making for health systems and community response to COVID-19 in Nigeria (CATALYSE), Implementation Research to strengthen data and information systems for immunisation coverage and equity (IR Accelerator) as a researcher with the Health Policy Research Group, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. She enjoys dancing, listening to music, writing songs and fiction in her spare time.

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Hilary Engward

Dr Hilary Engward is an Associate Professor of Applied Social Science
Deputy Director of the Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI) at Anglia Ruskin University. 
Hilary co - leads this research in the VFI. She is an experienced applied social science researcher across public services. Specific to the military and veteran field, Hilary leads research, in collaboration with Blesma, how veteran families adapt to living with chronic health conditions.  Hilary writes widely on veteran health and wellbeing and the nature and scope of a duty to care for veterans and has informed awareness of veteran and their families in the primary, secondary and third sector support contexts. Her writing additionally encompasses health professional development and education and practice, research methodological papers. Alongside, Hilary enjoys travelling, and when at home, is often found reading buried under a couple of Corgi dogs

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Chris Kay

Chris is a Senior Research Fellow in Anglia Ruskin University and part of The Veterans & Families Institute for Military Social Research
From 2014 to 2023 Chris researched the Battle Back recovery support programmes for veterans and wounded, injured and sick service personnel. This longitudinal study evidenced the lasting impact the courses had in the lives of the participants.
He is particularly interested in studying how Veteran’s behaviours impact on their families and the people closest to them.

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Lauren Godier-McBard

Dr Lauren Godier-McBard, DPhil, PGCert, MSc, BSc (Hons) is an Associate Professor of Women & Equalities at Anglia Ruskin University and Co-Director of the Centre for Military Women’s Research. She has DPhil in Psychiatry from the University of Oxford. 
Lauren is a mixed methods researcher with a background in psychiatric research, and currently has funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research and the Office for Veterans Affairs for her research with military women. Lauren’s main research interests include the needs and experiences of women during and after military service, and interpersonal/sexual violence in the military context. Within the current project, Lauren is a co-investigator providing advice and expertise on the qualitative phase of the project, particularly in relation to the impact of gambling on military women and families.

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Vicki Bailey

Vicki is a Veterans Clinical Nurse Specialist who is part of NSFT Veteran Services. She has completed her Dip Mental Health Nursing in 2012 and completed her MSc in Global Military Health and Family Studies in 2019. She has also completed her Mary Seacole NHS Leadership training in 2022. Vicki has worked with veterans for many years and has extensive knowledge of supporting the veteran community. She previously set up the NHS Veterans TILS/CTS services in the Southeast of England -2017-2021 and went on to set up and be team leader for the HIS NHS service in 2022 for East of England. She is passionate about supporting the veteran community to ensure they receive the correct support and guidance they require. 

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Diane Palmer

Diane is the NHS Director of Specialist Services (Veterans, occupational trauma, TRIM, Trauma Informed Care & staff Physiotherapy). She has spent 30 years working in Health and Social Care and is a Qualified Nurse, Social Worker, Advanced Psychotherapist and CBT Therapist. Diane was recently proudly awarded the British Journal of Nursing ‘National Nurse of the Year 2022’.  
With a BSc Hons Degree in Health and Social Care and Diploma’s in Forensic Psychology, Criminology ,Sports Psychology and PTSD Management. Diane is also a certified couple counsellor and trained in Anger Management, SBFT, CPT, TF-CBT and TRiM. Diane spent 10 years in Learning Disability nursing before moving to Mental Health and has a special interest in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  Diane is a compassionate leader, who is committed to co-production and collaboration

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Andy Reid

Andy, MBE, is a study ambassador. In October 2009, Corporal Andy Reid stepped on a Taliban improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Injured so badly that it was thought he would not survive, he defied the odds to the extent that, within a month, he was able to meet up with members of his patrol again. Since then, as a triple amputee, he has gone on to carry out many arduous challenges to raise money and give back to the associations that helped him and his family through difficult times. To assist him in his endeavours, Andy and his friend John Tabern (now CEO) set up the Standing Tall Foundation in March of 2020, perhaps the worst time in modern history to do so. With little in the way of resources and funding they set about assisting people on an individual basis. Now the Standing Tall Foundation has progressed to offering structured programmes of help from its STF Hub on Borough Rd in St Helens, whilst still maintaining its ability to intervene on a personal and individual level.
Andy is an accomplished speaker, having spoken at numerous corporate engagements. His incredible story is one that has a lasting effect on all who hear him speak, his testimonials are evidence of this.

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Sean Gartland

Sean is the project manager to Leon House/AnonyMind. He has a varied project and management history in the field of addictions and mental health within CQC rehabilitation residency and registered clinics. With over 14 years’ experience overseeing the day-to-day operations, health & safety, governance and adhering to CQC’s fundamental standards. 
One of his previous roles included 7 years working in a Specialised Therapeutic Community for substance use disorder, where he qualified to become a CQC Registered Manager. Sean holds a Level 5 Advanced Diploma in adult Health and Social Care and other significant qualifications relating to. 
Sean has a person-centred approach and can actively engage with a range of highly vulnerable service users. He has significant experience in various fields of social care, and highly knowledgeable around Gambling disorder, Substance Misuse, Mental Health, Behavioural Change, along with recognising and working alongside Social Care needs (Physical Disability and Learning Disability), Homelessness/Housing Issues, Trauma, engagement in Criminal Justice services and other complex needs. Sean works in a solution focused manner, helping to achieve goals and aims at the heart of a service user’s desire for recovery and lifelong change.

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