As an ex-Primary School Headteacher, Helen has had a lifelong passion to help young people in the North East of England aspire and improve their life chances. In 2009, in her role with Newcastle City Council (School Improvement Adviser for Leadership and Workforce Development), she organised the regional North East Conference ‘Bounce Back Be Happy’ with the Positive Psychology Team at Northumbria University, Newcastle and Jane Anderson, Gateshead Council. For this event, she wrote her first book, 'Bounce Back Be Happy'.

Shortly after this, Helen was fortunate to organise a British Council Study Trip to Melbourne to research optimism and resilience in schools and community projects in Melbourne for 10 aspiring Headteachers. The group were inspired by the work they saw at the ‘Foundation for Youth Community Project: ‘are you Making A Difference?’ as well as the values driven 'Character Education' programme in schools. At the private school, Geelong Grammar, pupils studied Positive Psychology and the Headteacher had an aspiration for every child to become a future global leader.

ruMAD2? (are you Making A Difference too?)

Inspired to help children in the North East, she then organised a collaboration of twelve NE local authorities to fund a project with the North East Regional Training and Development Agency (TDA), to help develop aspirations of children in 1500 schools through School Workforce training and development.

Helen became interested in the use of specific language and coaching questioning. Helen used these skills to embed 'empowerment' into teaching and learning pedagogy . With Elaine Drainville, Sunderland University Media Department, the ruMAD2? (are you Making A Difference too?’) training artefacts (map, film and website) were created.  

Like the Headteacher at Geelong Grammar, we wanted to see if we could help teachers in the North East promote good self-esteem, self-efficacy, social and psychological capital in pupils into every day lessons, not just in Citizenship lessons.

Within the context of learning, Helen uses specialist research and expertise from three themes:-

a) Coaching leadership

b) Positive psychology

c) Language and Behaviour Profiling/NLP specialism

The materials were very well received at the 2009 TDA launch in Durham (92% excellent) and the 'ruMAD2?' project has influenced the practice of many educators in the North East and beyond (primary, secondary and university lecturers in Sunderland and Newcastle) . Once assimilated, it becomes part of every day teaching and life!


With specialist qualifications in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), LAB Profile Trainer (Language and Behaviour Profiling), ILM Executive Leadership coaching, psychology, there's lots of ways Helen can be able to help the successes of your work, project or family.

Engaging Reluctant Learners for 'Outstanding Teaching and Learning' Workshops: -
Helen has trained numerous schools in the North East in how to improve Ofsted 'Teaching and Learning' Grades by 'engaging reluctant learners' using 'making a difference' pedagogy in everyday lessons.

French Horn
As a teenager, Helen played with Northern Junior Philharmonic Orchestra (1977-79), as well as Cleveland and Durham County Youth Orchestras. After auditioning for National Youth Orchestra, she decided not to follow a musical career, but one in education instead. Her passion for music has been a life thread playing for the RSC in Newcastle Theatre Royal and playing with Orchestra North East (for over twenty five years (formerly Durham Sinfonia) and North East Regional choral societies and amateur dramatics. She likes to raise the profile of women in instrumental music, and occasionally gathers North East French Horn players for fun musical gatherings, 'Belles Up' .

Helen plays trumpet with three all- female jazz, blues, New Orleans and Latin 5 piece bands called I-Sister, Dusty Divas and Break Out Brass.
Break Out Brass is an exciting fresh newly created women's UK music collective, playing across the country, London, Birmingham. Summer 2018 gigs have included Manchester Jazz Festival, Durham Jazz Festival and Durham International Brass Festival.
Helen works with members of I-Sister to create and perform songs for the Alberta's Dream and other exciting new musicals.

Left to right: Maria Robinson, David Milner, Helen Walker and Chris Senior at Orchestra North East - see

I Sister: Left to Right Penny Callow (Bass), Lisa Delarny (Guitar/Vocals), Helen Walker (Trumpet), Andrea C. Ellis (Vocals) and Jerry Drake (Drums).
Listen on Soundcloud: and

Left to Right: 8 of the 24 in the collective- Jenny Ackroyd, Chrissie Perrin, Katy Trigger, Helen Walker, Rosie Smithers,  Emma Johnson, Katy Scott and Felicity Evans.  More at

See also Welcome, Films, Musicals, Skilled and About.

Suitable for School CPD -Support Staff, Teachers, Heads, also Parents, Grandparents, WI, Women's Groups, U3A, After School Clubs or discussion groups.

Contact 0775 172 3806 to discuss talks, workshops and events.  

Privacy Notice for 'Helen Walker' website- What is this guide for? 

Helen Walker is self-employed, however, it is important to comply with data protection and privacy laws, so good housekeeping is in place, below:-

Read the Data Protection and Retention Policy here.

Whenever we need to collect any of your data, we will let you at that point why we need to do so and what it will be used for, but this guide provides a useful overview of all of those situations and provides more detail on how we keep your data secure and up to date, how long we might hold it for, and what your rights are in relation to it.

Helen Walker is committed to protecting your personal data and will use any personal or sensitive data we collect from you in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Who’s responsible for data the group collects?

Helen Walker is a Data Controller under the GDPR. She is the Data Protection Officer and can be contacted at

What data do we collect and what do we use it for?

Helen Walker collects data from individuals to help us plan, organise and run the day-to-day operations of the group (e.g. co-ordinating rehearsals or collecting subscription payments) and to promote and market the group’s activities (e.g. marketing mailing lists and photography/video capture).

Members: for administering membership

When you join Helen's email/ membership scheme, we may need to collect some of the following information on you:

This data will be used by committee members to manage your membership to organise and run our activities.

If you give us your consent to do so, we may also use your contact details to send you marketing/promotional communications from the group.

Any marketing/promotional communication we send you will include a clear option to withdraw your consent (e.g. to ‘opt out’ of future emails) and you can also withdraw consent at any point by contacting the Data Protection Officer, the Secretary.

Event attendees: for processing and managing tickets for events

If our events were to be ticketed, we would need to collect data on the person booking (name and email) in order to allow you access to the event and to send you a confirmation of your reservation/purchase. This data will only be used for administering your access to the event/s for which you have booked and will not be used to send you marketing/promotional messages from the group unless you have also provided your consent to receive these (see below).

  •   Name

  •   Email address

  •   Phone number

  •   Address

  •   Emergency contact details

  •   Medical information

  •   Gift Aid Declarations

  •   Age/gender

  •   Criminal records/DBS checks

  •   Bank details

  •   Photos/video footage

Employees and contractors: for administration and legal/regulatory purposes

We may need (for administration or for legal/regulatory reasons) to collect personal or sensitive data on employees or contractors of the group. Where this is the case, we will explain what this is for at the point of collection.

Mailing list subscribers: for marketing and promotion

We offer everybody the opportunity to sign up (consent) to receive marketing and promotional information on the group’s activities (e.g. emails about forthcoming events).

When you sign-up to our marketing mailing list we will ask for your name and email, and will use this data to send you information about our events and activities (e.g. forthcoming performances, social events and fundraising events). We may also ask for your preferred topics and communication methods. These allow us to tailor the information we provide to suit your preferences.

We will only send you information that is related to the group (e.g. we will not use your data to send you marketing messages from 3rd parties).

Anything we send you will include a clear option to withdraw your consent (e.g. to ‘opt out’ of future emails) and you can also do so at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer, the Secretary.

Do we share your data with anyone else?

If (and only if) you give consent, we may pass your details to related third parties so they can contact you about their activities.

We sometimes use third party services to process your data (e.g. Google Dive). We will always make sure any third parties we use are reputable, secure, and process your data in accordance with your rights under GDPR.

Are there special measures for children’s data?

We do not knowingly collect or store any personal data about children under the age of 13.

How can you update your data?

You can contact the Secretary at any time to update or correct the data we hold on you.

How long we will hold your data?

Helen's  data retention policy is to review all data held on individuals at least every two years and remove data where we no longer have a legitimate reason to keep it.

Where you have withdrawn your consent for us to use your data for a particular purpose (e.g. unsubscribed from a mailing list) we may retain some of your data for up to two years in order to preserve a record of your consent having been withdrawn.

What rights do you have?

Under the GDPR, you have the following rights over your data and its use:

  •   The right to be informed about what data we are collecting on you and how we will use it

  •   The right of access - you can ask to see the data we hold on you

  •   The right to rectification - you can ask that we update or correct your data

  •   The right to object - you can ask that we stop using your data for a particular purpose

  •   The right to erasure - you can ask us to delete the data we hold on you

  •   The right to restrict processing - you can ask that we temporarily stop using your data while

    the reason for its use or its accuracy are investigated

  •   Though unlikely to apply to the data we hold and process on you, you also have rights related

    to portability and automated decision making (including profiling)
    All requests related to your rights should be made to the Data Protection Officer at We will respond within one month.
    You can find out more about your rights on the Information Commission’s Office website

    What will we do if anything changes?

    If we make changes to our privacy statements or processes we will post the changes here. Where the changes are significant, we may also choose to email individuals affected with the new details. Where required by law, will we ask for your consent to continue processing your data after these changes are made.

Data Protection Policy Helen Walker.pdf