Who we are

We are a team of communications professionals with decades of experience working for companies who look to involve people in their business activities

Our Team

We only employ emotionally intelligent people as we believe this is the core competency of all stakeholder engagement and community relations practitioners. We have a team that is made up of experts in their fields so, as well as stakeholder engagement specialists, have spent years putting together a first-rate team of copy-writers, media specialists, campaigners, event managers and data analysts – among others. The full EQ team is shown below.

James Garland

Managing Director

A former Director at Green Issues, Partner at Instinctif and Managing Director of Westbourne Communications, James has over 20 years’ communications experience. With a background that includes media relations and public affairs, he now specialises in stakeholder relations and community engagement.

James has worked with some of the UK’s biggest companies in sectors including housing, energy, infrastructure and new technology. He co-founded EQ Communications in June 2017 to work with clients who genuinely seek to build trusted relationships with their stakeholders.

james@eqcommunications.co.uk

Lucy James

Managing Director

Lucy is a former Partner at Westbourne Communications, where she built up a stakeholder and community engagement practice to complement the company’s public affairs work. Prior to that she worked for counter-terrorism thinktank Quilliam, where she advised the Government on deradicalisation.

Lucy specialises in working in the development, transport, infrastructure and energy sectors, planning and implementing engagement strategies to foster dialogue between stakeholders and businesses.

She set up EQ Communications because she passionately believes that companies make better decisions when they involve the people who matter most to their business.

lucy@eqcommunications.co.uk

Nick Carthew

Account Director

After being elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Richmond, Nick moved into working full time in politics. In a 25 + year career he held a variety of roles heading up communications, leading policy teams, writing manifestos and advising the then Deputy Prime Minister.

For the past five years, Nick has specialised in helping to develop media and engagement strategies for clients seeking to communicate more effectively with their stakeholders.

nick@eqcommunications.co.uk

Vincent Luxmoore

Account Manager

Before moving into stakeholder engagement, Vince trained as a teacher. He has a background in statistics and data analysis. He uses these skills to produce detailed reports based on consultation feedback to inform our clients’ business activities.

Vince specialises in using online platforms and social media to build dialogue between communities and businesses. He also provides support to the EQ team to ensure the smooth delivery of all consultation and engagement events.

vincent@eqcommunications.co.uk

Hannah Wynne

Account Director

Hannah is a specialist in community and stakeholder engagement. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge on consultation best practice and knows what is required to deliver robust, meaningful engagement within the climate of legal scrutiny, well-armed local campaigns and judicial reviews.

Hannah has broad experience from both the public and private sectors, on both major planning projects and significant policy changes. She has worked on many projects that are of major national or regional importance but ignite an intense local reaction.

hannah@eqcommunications.co.uk

Charlie Gilmartin

Account Manager

Charlie has a wide array of experience of working with stakeholders at a corporate and community level, spending three years at London Communications Agency, and specialised in the delivery of communications plans across major development schemes and complex infrastructure projects in Greater London and the South East.

Charlie also has a background in political research and producing conferences for the public sector, working alongside senior civil servants and ministers to curate several events ranging from criminal justice management to workforce upskilling.

charlie@eqcommunications.co.uk

Lara Haworth

Account Manager

Lara is a writer, artist and researcher. Her writing has been published in numerous books and magazines and her art installations have toured the world, including exhibitions in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and the States.

Lara specialises in facilitating stakeholder workshops, analysing feedback and producing reports structured and written in a way that fosters understanding of often highly complex, technical subjects.

lara@eqcommunications.co.uk

Alice Jenkins

Account Director

Alice has worked across a wide range of industries supporting them with their engagement and public affairs strategies; with many of the UK’s largest housebuilders, government departments, infrastructure providers and charities. She specialises in supporting clients to build, shape and implement engagement strategies.

She is adept in helping clients communicate more effectively with their stakeholders. Having begun her career working across government with MPs and ministers and with over a decades experience in local government, Alice has gained a unique hands on experience as to how decisions are made at all levels.

alice@eqcommunications.co.uk

Hally Ingram

Account Director

Hally specialises in the field of dialogue and engagement, giving people a voice on issues that matter to society. Her work includes facilitating group discussions on complex and sensitive topics including health, heritage, transport and ecosystem management.

She was formerly External Affairs Advisor on Iran for Shell. To add depth to her work in dialogue and engagement, Hally obtained an MSC in Psychology (distinction) at Birkbeck, University of London, where she researched early signs of autism in toddlers.

hally@eqcommunications.co.uk

Jessica Topham

Account Director

Jess is a dedicated stakeholder and community relations practitioner, with over 15 years’ experience working both in the UK and overseas for specialist agencies.

She specialises in using innovative online engagement tool, Engagement HQ, to proactively involve communities in her clients’ projects, fostering ongoing dialogue.

She has worked across a range of sectors including retail and commercial development as well as tidal and solar energy, where she has with a proven track record of building trusted relationships with stakeholders and communities.

jess@eqcommunications.co.uk

Dan Large

Account Director

Dan is a successful campaign strategist with an established track record of delivering high profile campaigns at the top of the political agenda.

He specialises in identifying strategic opportunities and threats to organisational reputations and influencing outcomes in government. Examples of his work include the Campaign for High Speed Rail, Freedom to Marry (same-sex marriage) and marginal seat general election campaigns.

Dan previously worked in the Conservative Party’s Campaign Headquarters on regional campaigning, in Parliament managing business for then Home Secretary Theresa May, and advising Children & Families Minister Edward Timpson.

dan@eqcommunications.co.uk

Cyra Parkes

Account Manager

Cyra has worked in engagement and public relations for over sixteen years, focusing on the property, retail, education and renewable energy sectors.

She has extensive experience of devising and implementing programmes of public and stakeholder engagement, building trusted relationships with stakeholders and communities.

She is also a highly adept campaigner; skills she uses to nurture and mobilise genuine local support for clients’ development proposals.

cyra@eqcommunications.co.uk

Chris Brown

Account Director

Chris has over 15 years’ experience in stakeholder and community engagement, public relations and political liaison across a wide range of sectors, so is able to develop and implement complex engagement strategies to support client’s objectives. He enjoys facilitating stakeholder discussions on often technical and complex issues.

He has been actively involved in local politics for over 20 years and is a district councilor in Norfolk and was a Parliamentary candidate in 2017 and 2019. Chris is a Chartered PR Practitioner with a CIPR Diploma in PR and is committed to a professional, ethical approach to public relations. He also has an MBA from Bristol Business School.

chris@eqcommunications.co.uk

Hefina Everard

Junior Account Executive

Hefina joined the team after graduating in History from Royal Holloway University of London.  Prior to joining EQ, Hefina worked in events, organising festivals, exhibitions, conferences and science fairs, where she was responsible for event design, logistics, publicity and social media management.

Hefina assists the team by providing administrative and logistical support to ensure the smooth running of EQs events including stakeholder workshops and public exhibitions.

hefina@eqcommunications.co.uk

Aceil Haddad

Account Manager

Aceil is an experienced stakeholder engagement and local public affairs practitioner who has worked with many of the UK’s largest housebuilders and property companies. With an academic background in Urban Studies and Geography, coupled with practical experience in the field and a keen interest in current affairs, she brings huge depth of knowledge to the team.

She is also an experienced political campaigner and uses these skills to build support for clients’ development proposals through an inclusive approach to stakeholder and community relations.

aceil@eqcommunications.co.uk

Michelle Thurgood

Account Manager

Michelle is a highly experienced communications professional as well as being a current serving councillor in Tamworth, where she is also cabinet member for Housing.

She previously headed up community and stakeholder engagement for Tarmac, promoting strategic land sites through the planning process.

She also has a good deal of experience in aviation, rail and infrastructure, having previously worked for Birmingham Airport, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and HS2 Ltd.

michelle@eqcommunications.co.uk

Nuala Ginty

Account Manager

Nuala is an expert communications, media relations, content, and digital marketing
professional with 17 years’ experience gained in agencies and brands across the arts, music, event and festival, higher education, architecture, local authority, and youth sectors. A tactical planner with a keen eye for news and the ability to work with diverse stakeholders at the most senior levels, she excels at human approach comms.

Her clients have included: Future Brixton for Lambeth Council, Croydon Council’s Brick By Brick, Vauxhall One’s cultural programme Be in Vauxhall, Brixton Soup Kitchen, TEDx Brixton and Red Bull.

Ellie Mendez Sayer

Account Manager

Ellie is a highly experienced social research consultant working with various organisations to help them design, deliver and communicate research. She has gained over 10 years valuable experience in managing, designing and carrying out both quantitative and qualitative research projects, many of which have focused on policy and practice in the public sector.

She has a specific interest in producing innovative analytical research and intelligent policy and practice recommendations, presented in an accessible and engaging manner.

ellie@eqcommunications.co.uk

Anthony Catt

Account Manager

Anthony works within the fields of enterprise education, investment and public speaking. Based in London and working extensively across Africa and East Asia with public and private sector organisations he has built a specialty in program and projects facilitation.

Alongside his work at EQ Communications he the co-founder of Enterprise Academy a specialised training company for entrepreneurs and is currently the Investor in Residence for Google for Startups, UK

anthony@eqcommunications.co.uk

Roz Hutchings

Account Manager

Roz is a media relations specialist with a background in news editing and broadcast. You may have heard her reading the news on Jack FM, co-hosting the breakfast show on The Breeze or presenting her own news show on Original 106.5.

She has also been a secondary school Performing Arts teacher. Prior to joining EQ, Roz was Head of Community Engagement at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Bristol, where she ensured local people were given a voice in the redevelopment of the ground.

roz@eqcommunications.co.uk

Sofia Wiecko

Finance Manager

Sofia joined EQ Communications in 2017 to oversee all of the financial and administrative operations, working collaboratively with clients and suppliers.

Sofia has over 15 years’ experience in financial accounting. Prior to joining EQ, Sofia held finance roles at 2 private equity funds, where she specialised in Financial Conduct Authority compliance. Believing in giving back to the community, Sofia is active in a number of local charities.

sofia@eqcommunications.co.uk

Abby Watson

Account Executive

After completing a translation and editing traineeship at the European Parliament, Abby worked as an editor at a leading educational publisher. She now provides freelance editorial services for a range of clients, from international organisations to the Department for Education.

Abby is involved in writing and proofreading the documents that EQ produces, in addition to scribing at many of our events.

abby@eqcommunications.co.uk

Matt Valentine

Account Executive

Matt is a professional translator, editor and proofreader, specialising in communications and marketing texts. He also has experience of working at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

He works within the scribe team at EQ, ensuring that stakeholder comments are captured during our workshops and helping to write up workshop summaries in a clear and concise manner.

matt@eqcommunications.co.uk

Mike Downey

Account Executive

Mike is a professional translator and writer, working from French, Russian and Spanish into English. Before joining EQ in 2017, Mike worked in-house for agencies serving clients in the medical, energy and legal sectors.

His role at EQ is to ensure that the views and recommendations of stakeholders are captured and that workshop discussions are constructive as well as productive, in addition to producing key feedback summaries.

mike@eqcommunications.co.uk

Sara Collinge

Account Executive

Sara is a professional editor, proof reader and translator. She has edited several academic books for a science and humanities publisher and translates from French and Russian into English in areas such as events and marketing. Her work also takes her abroad occasionally, where she translates for an international organisation.

Sara’s role at EQ is to proof our copy to ensure it is crisp, consistent and error-free.  She also scribes at our stakeholder engagement workshops with a view to taking down valuable feedback from stakeholders.

sara@eqcommunications.co.uk

Richard Ford

Account Manager

Richard is a highly adept retail and property communications specialist. He previously oversaw community engagement on behalf of McDonalds, where his work to involve residents in local decision making resulted in the company securing planning permission for over 50 sites across the UK.

Richard is also a sitting councillor on Tamworth Council where he plays an active role on matters relating to planning and development.

richard@eqcommunications.co.uk

Ben Thrush

Account Manager

Ben is a writer, editor and designer with over 15 years’ experience. After returning to the UK from Japan he began his career in publishing at advertising industry bible Campaign Magazine. In 2011, he launched his own publication: Inapub magazine, the leading monthly title for publicans.

At EQ, Ben’s role is to provide support in the production of our client’s stakeholder participation and consultation reports, placing an emphasis on ensuring all the materials we produce are presented in a clear, concise and accessible way.

ben@eqcommunications.co.uk

There is a difference between working together and working in the same office

Daniel Goleman

A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other

Simon Sinek

Work with us

We are looking for likeminded people to work alongside us. We want to meet passionate communications professionals who are self-motivated and emotionally intelligent. If that sounds like you, please get in touch.