Breakfast with Boots: Health & Wellbeing in Your Own Two Hands
Episode 15 - Prioritising mental health & wellbeing | Breakfast with Boots & Mel Cunningham

Episode 15 - Prioritising mental health & wellbeing | Breakfast with Boots & Mel Cunningham

October 9, 2020

For the final interview of my 10-part series, we decided to switch things up and turn the interview spotlight on Becca Boots. Becca is the host of Breakfast with Boots and the founder of Siendo, a company invested in promoting positive health and wellbeing. 

During this podcast, we talk about everything; from the need for greater investment in mental health to the importance of taking a proactive stance towards your own wellbeing. 

Among many nuggets of gold, Becca explains that long-gone is the day when people used to see mental health and physical health as separate entities. Our mental health and physical health are in one constant feedback loop and it doesn't just make sense for people to prioritise their mental health, but it makes financial sense for business to prioritise it as well. 

Actual figures for discussed statistics are: 
* 91 million working days lost in the UK due to Mental Health, £30 billion cost each year. These figures do not include those that self-report incorrectly, or those who are off work due to physical health conditions that may be a result of mental ill health. 
* Then, the aggregate UK cost of presenteeism (reduced on-the-job productivity) associated with mental health problems is estimated at £21.2 billion in 2016/17. An increase of 40% on the corresponding figure for 2006, which was calculated at £15.1 billion.
* 18,000 inpatient adult Mental Health beds in England & Wales, and just 2,000 inpatient beds for young people. 

Campaign Mentioned:

* Sign the petition to make Mental Health First Aid a legal obligation within companies:


So, who is Becca Boots?
Until recently, Becca worked within the corporate banking world as a Business Manager, but her love of people, human behaviour and personal development led her to re-train as a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor, Yoga Teacher, Personal Development Coach and Public Speaker.

Over the last decade it has become abundantly clear to Becca that prevention and early intervention is the cornerstone for a mentally and physically healthy society. All Siendo's services, therefore, come from a place of exactly that; giving people the confidence and knowledge they need to support their own wellbeing, at every stage of their lives.

Find more about Becca:

Episode 14 - Lessons from life on duty | Breakfast with Boots & John Sutherland

Episode 14 - Lessons from life on duty | Breakfast with Boots & John Sutherland

September 10, 2020

For the 9th of my 10-part series, I am thrilled to be joined by John Sutherland. John has had an extraordinary career where he served as an officer in the metropolitan police for over 25 years, rising in the ranks to Chief Superintendent before leaving on medical grounds in 2018. Now as a writer and public speaker, he shares his incredible stories and experience.

During this podcast, we talk about everything; from the need for long-term societal solutions to domestic violence, to the compound impact of repeated exposure to extreme trauma within the police force.

Among many nuggets of gold, John explains that because of the way we live, we are always asking for faster reforms, for faster solutions but, actually, we need to be thinking longer term. We discuss how the intergenerational effect of abuse, poverty and maltreatment has culminated over years and years of repeated behaviours being passed through generations and as a result - short term, easy solutions are not the answer.

A fascinating podcast from the man who has so many lessons to share from a life on duty.


So, who is John Sutherland?

John Sutherland is a father of three, who lives with his wife and children in south London. John served as an officer in the Metropolitan Police for over 25 years, rising in the ranks to Chief Superintendent before leaving on medical grounds in 2018.  

Since leaving the police force, John has focused primarily on speaking and writing about policing issues. You can learn more on his blog, listed below. On top of his writing and TV / radio appearances, John has also authored two captivating books; ‘Blue: A Memoir’ and 'Crossing the Line: Lessons from a Life on Duty'. John's first book, Blue, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It tells the stories of his policing life and of his slow recovery from the serious nervous breakdown that led to his early retirement from the police force.

As if that isn't enough - John is a sought-after public speaker whose TEDx Talk 'Every contact leaves a trace' has had nearly 23,000 views.


Find more about John

Books Authored: 'Blue' & 'Crossing the Line'



TEDx Talk: Every contact leaves a trace | John Sutherland | TEDxLondon

Episode 13 - The union of mind & body for health & happiness | Breakfast with Boots & Julian Daizan Skinner

Episode 13 - The union of mind & body for health & happiness | Breakfast with Boots & Julian Daizan Skinner

August 27, 2020

For the 8th of my 10-part series, I am joined by Julian Daizan Skinner, the founder of Zenways. Daizan has lived an extraordinary life; after deciding to become a full time Monastic Zen in 1989, he subsequently spent 20 years of his life living in monasteries and temples, learning from the great teachers of Zen Buddhism.


Prepare to be zenned out by his relaxing tones as he talks about his journey and his life-long mission to find eternal truth. You will learn about our ability to heal ourselves, when - rather than turning away from pain - we turn towards it, without an agenda or desire to fix.


Among many nuggets of gold, Daizan discusses the importance of learning to let go; "When we learn to let go, we are able to let come. As we let go, something new arises."


A podcast you do not want to miss.


So, who is Julian Daizan Skinner?

Julian Daizan Skinner is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Roshi or Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition of zen. Over twenty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a scientist in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold his house, gave all the money away and entered a zen monastery.


Over many years of strict training, in Japan and the west, Daizan Roshi received Dharma Transmission and permission to teach in both the Rinzai and Soto lineages of Zen. He has also undergone training as an enlightenment intensive master with Lawrence Noyes, leading student of the creator of enlightenment intensives, Charles Berner. Daizan Roshi received inka from Shinzan Miyamae Roshi of Gyokuryuji, with whom he continues to study (see below).


Upon returning from Japan in 2007, Daizan Roshi went on walking pilgrimage up the centre of the island of Britain from the south tip of the Isle of Wight to the north tip of Scotland, living solely on alms food. He met many of his students from different parts of the UK during this time. Daizan Roshi currently offers sanzen (‘interviews’ or training encounters with his students) at Yugagyo Dojo (Zen Yoga) in London as well as using Skype for remote students. Together with his students, he has established, “Yugagyo Dojo”, a Zen training place in London. Daizan Roshi was teaching at The Buddhist Society, the oldest non-sectarian Buddhist Society in Europe, until his retirement from the post in December 2011.


His Zen study incorporated yoga practice. He has also studied yoga in Europe, America and Asia. He brings this wide range of yoga experience to sharing a practice that combines physical challenge with mental and spiritual development. He is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level and is registered with the Independent Yoga Network as a Yoga Elder with more than 5000 hours of successful teaching experience. Daizan trains yoga teachers to find an expression that is authentically their own and will bring them success when they teach. His knowledge and training in Zen gives him the background to guide you on your spiritual journey.


Find more about Daizan & Zenways



Facebook - Daizan:

Facebook - Zenways:


LinkedIn - Daizan:

Episode 12 - Supporting your employees through COVID-19 | Breakfast with Boots & Meg Fenney

Episode 12 - Supporting your employees through COVID-19 | Breakfast with Boots & Meg Fenney

August 14, 2020

For the 7th of my 10-part series, I am joined by the wonderful Meg Fenney, the founder and CEO of HRDownload. Meg, who has a wealth of experience in HR, shares how businesses can support their employees during this time of huge change and uncertainty. Among many nuggets of gold, Meg talks about the importance of being able to communicate openly with your staff in a way that not only offers reassurance, but also encourages them to get on board with the company's goals and vision - a skill that is often a lost art in today's business world.

So, who is Meg Fenny?

Meg Fenney, founder and CEO of HRDownload, has over 17 years' experience in HR. She is a fun-loving mum and wife and gains her work energy from helping leaders do what they didn't realise they were capable of doing. Meg has a natural flair for creating people strategies that develop strong, profitable growth for her clients and puts her dynamic and progressive stance at the heart of HRDownload's approach. 

Throughout her career, she has worked for numerous blue-chip companies, including Shell, Air Products, MAG, Elior, HM Prison Service and The Christie Hospital Trust, NHS. Meg's experience across this broad range of sectors gives her a unique perspective and invaluable commercial awareness.

In 2019, Meg founded HRDownload with a real passion making high-end people solutions at affordable prices. This fits in with her belief that everyone should enjoy their work. 

Valuing people is a powerful way of improving motivation and creating positive people experiences; this combination enables freedom to do great work and drive organisational profits. Alignment of your people strategy to both your business strategy and values is a vital ingredient in achieving this, so taking the time to understand what you do is the foundation of the approach. HRDownload gets to know your business both personally and statistically, generating a data-based strategy that yields real results. To enhance the stickiness of the work done, technology is used helping further develop leadership capabilities within your organisation.

Get in touch and see what she could do for you - Meg would love to hear from you


Find more about Meg & HR Download:




LinkedIn - Meg Fenney:

LinkedIn - HRDownload:

Episode 10 - Overcoming adverse childhood experiences | Breakfast with Boots & Beverley Webb

Episode 10 - Overcoming adverse childhood experiences | Breakfast with Boots & Beverley Webb

June 26, 2020

For the 5th of my 10-part series, I am joined by Beverley Webb, wellness coach and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) expert who shares with us the power of acknowledging our traumatic experiences and the important steps we must take in order to aid recovery. Among many nuggets of gold, Beverley also talks about the importance of being truly heard and what you can do to support a colleague, friend or relative who shares a traumatic experience with you. 

Who is Beverley Webb?
“Giving a voice to Survivors of childhood trauma and abuse" and enabling difficult conversations, using the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scoring is something Beverley is incredibly passionate about; to Educate, Enable and Empower.

Recognising experiences of childhood trauma and abuse, both through personal development, a recovery programme and study, has enabled Beverley to acknowledge her own resilience, strength and vulnerability, as well as the importance of self care to heal and overcome.

Beverley's mission is to ensure that everyone is able to access information and we stop the silence, which only exacerbates the shame, guilt and stigma for victims/survivors of abuse and enable voices to be heard. Beverley believes that raising awareness of the long-term effects and outcomes of childhood trauma into Adulthood also provides proactive prevention of abuse for the children of today.

Find out more about Beverley:
YouTube - Beverley Webb StepForward to Have a Voice:

Episode 08 - Keeping mentally and physically fit during lockdown | Breakfast with Boots & Ali Bell

Episode 08 - Keeping mentally and physically fit during lockdown | Breakfast with Boots & Ali Bell

May 21, 2020

For the 3rd of my 10-part series, I am joined by Ali Bell, a qualified Boxercise, HIIT and Circuits Instructor who, amongst many things, shares with us the importance of taking care of your physical health during lockdown. We discuss the connection between physical and mental health and the power of just moving, in a way that makes you feel good. 

Who is Ali Bell?

Ali's passion for Boxercise and keeping fit emanates from her; it is clear to see that she loves changing how people feel about exercise.  As a personal trainer for 12 years, Ali has found that Boxercise is an amazing way to de-stress and get fit.  In July 2019, Ali became a licensed Boxercise instructor and ever since has been running classes in her local area for adults, and is also branching out to deliver Boxercise in-house for local businesses.

Due to the incredible physical and mental benefits associated with Boxercise, Ali has now expanded her work into schools with a new initiative for kids holiday workout sessions and workshops. Taking care of our wellbeing and keeping fit is essential for all of us, no matter how old we are.

In Ali's classes, you will receive clear instructions on both your stance and punch technique, with all the necessary equipment provided for you.  Classes can be simply boxing, drills or circuits – she has found that variety is key to keep everybody interested, alongside the banging tunes. 

One of Ali's feel-good factors with teaching is being able to watch an individual’s reaction to Boxercise as they realise they can hit, hard if they would like to, not hurting anyone.  The stress drains away as a smile lights up their face. 

As if this wasn't enough, Ali also provides Virtual Support to SMEs (admin, marketing etc)... taking care of all the important backstage bits, allowing you to focus on your business. Ali loves to cycle, travel and spend time with her family and friends and adores walking her chocolate Labrador, Cleo! 

Find out more about Ali:

Ali’s Boxercise Thame on Facebook: @AlisBoxerciseThame

Watch Ali bust out some moves here: 

Or alternatively, if you have any queries, Ali would love to hear from you. Contact her on:

Episode 07 - Creating lasting change for future generations | Breakfast with Boots & Sam Moinet

Episode 07 - Creating lasting change for future generations | Breakfast with Boots & Sam Moinet

May 7, 2020

For the 2nd of my 10-part series, I am joined by Sam Moinet from Student Breakthrough who, amongst many things, shares with us the importance of providing both an emotional and academic education to young people through using simple and effective coaching tools and strategies to help students believe in themselves. It is a podcast you do not want to miss!! So many nuggets of gold coming your way!


Who is Sam Moinet?

Sam is a speaker, student life coach, teacher and founder of Student Breakthrough.


Having been a teacher for half a decade, Sam witnessed many challenges that young people face; such as anxiety, low motivation and students who under performed. Sam found there simply wasn’t the right type of emotional support for students or enough time to help them reach their full potential. 


Sam founded Student Breakthrough which uses revolutionary coaching methods to provide young people with the tools, vision and techniques to succeed in all areas of their lives. In 2019 Student Breakthrough helped over 400 students across the world to become happy, successful and confident. 


Sam now provides training for inspirational teachers to deliver the 3B Programme of Boost, Believe and Breakthrough in order to bring coaching to more students and help more young people worldwide.


Sam’s aim is to revolutionise emotional support for young people and create lasting change for future generations.


Books mentioned:

13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do: Raising Self-Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Life of Happiness, Meaning, and Success - Amy Morin


Find out more about Sam:





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