laughology's trainers and consultants have a wide range of skills and qualifications covering all aspects of individual and organisational needs (even when they were eight)!

Below we have listed some of the talents and skills of our team. Please contact any of us to chat further about what we do, we would love to hear from you.

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Sarah grew up in Bolton and went to school with funny men Peter Kay and Paddy McGuiness.

Psst! - did you know?

Sarah grew up in Bolton and went to school with funny men Peter Kay and Paddy McGuiness. Sarah and Peter remained friends for a few years after school and she stars anonymously in his first book as the woman who crashed the car on the garage forecourt where he worked. She only found this out when a close friend phoned her howling with laughter as she recalled the event.

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    My best friend Jo. She’s better than any abs workout.
  • What would your superpower be?

    Flying
  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    You’ve changed my world for the better.
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    Sitting obliviously with my left breast out at my first Police Christmas party. Nobody told me until we were back on parade a few days later. My sergeant asked me if I’d dropped any boobies recently? The whole shift broke down with laughter! Luckily it was before smartphones.
  • What's your mantra?

    Go for it and work out how along the way!

Sarah started her professional life as an officer in Greater Manchester Police Force. It was here that she was first rewarded for her love and passion for making a difference. Sarah received a Chief Constable’s Commendation from the late Michael Todd for her dedication, determination and commitment. And she got a financial bonus to boot (which was unheard of).

Since then she’s had a varied career working within health and wellness, retail and financial services, leading and managing numerous training initiatives.

Sarah has extensive experience of designing and delivering management and talent programmes that are challenging and fun.

She is passionate about people and believes everybody has great potential within them.

Outside of work, Sarah loves a challenge and has completed The Three Peaks, The Great North Run and The Dirty Weekend (the largest assault course in Europe, not a swinger’s getaway in Scarborough).

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Sarah Helms

Sarah Helm 

Sarah’s childhood highlights include training and performing as a figure skater and having a (brief) role as a photo story model in My Guy magazine.

Psst! - did you know?

Sarah’s childhood highlights include training and performing as a figure skater and having a (brief) role as a photo story model in My Guy magazine.

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    My dog, Manny. He makes the funniest sounds (and smells) at the most appropriate and inappropriate times.

  • What would your superpower be?

    To be height adjustable. This would come in very handy at concerts or for getting comfy in an airplane seat. 

  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    That I look like Pamela Anderson pre-surgery. 

  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    Commenting on a friend's Facebook status of 'The house feels so empty' with the response ‘Why, have you been burgled?’.  I later found out her dog had died. To say I was embarrassed and mortified does not even come close.  Luckily, we have a similar sense of humour and she said it was the only thing that made her laugh that day.

  • What's your mantra?

    Think before you comment on social media.

Sarah’s career began in Finance. After just one year, she realised that this had been a mistake. On the plus side, she discovered that the human resources department offered a stimulating variety of work and could give her the opportunity to focus on people; one of her favourite pastimes. 

After re-training and gaining a post-graduate degree in human resources, Sarah got a job as a human resources generalist, gaining experience in employment law, recruitment, payroll and, best of all, the opportunity to develop and coach people to maximise their true potential. She chose to specialise in the design, delivery and full implementation of high-impact, practical and relevant training courses and one-to-one coaching. 

With extensive experience in learning and development across pharmaceutical, telecoms, childcare nurseries and fast-moving consumer goods, Sarah is objective, empathetic and understands the needs of others and learning styles. She embraces projects with passion and thrives on developing creative ways to enable people to learn, enjoy, develop and become fully effective in their role.

Nick Harding, Laughology's very own award-winning journalist and author, and Laughologist Dave Keeling, have a good old natter.

Read all about it!

DAVE KEELING

What is your background?

I trained for three years as a classical actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, the same drama school that Benedict Cumberbatch attended. After I left, I realised very quickly that I wasn’t going to be acting full-time and even when I did get work it wasn’t very well paid. So, in my early twenties, I started to plan what else I could do. I didn’t want to work in a bar or wait tables like most jobbing actors. A friend asked me to do some work in schools for him. It wasn’t an area that I had thought about but in a very short space of time I learned loads and started to realise that with my performance skills and knowledge, I could put across information in an interesting way.

Did you have an interest in psychology before you started working with Laughology?

As an actor, I had always been fascinated by behaviour and relationships because that’s what acting is. I had a degree of intuitive emotional intelligence. I would watch people and study how they behaved. That developed into an interest in psychology. I wanted to learn more about people and their foibles and behaviours.

How did you get involved with Laughology?

I was presenting at a conference. I was doing the morning and Laughology CEO, Stephanie Davies, was doing the afternoon. She saw what I was doing and liked it. We talked and I became involved from there.

What makes Laughology different?

The real test for me is authenticity. Very few people who go out and talk to audiences practice what they preach. A lot say stuff, but they don’t do it.
The Laughology team have a broad range of learning and development skills to back up their specialisms, what would you say your strengths are?
I am great at being a catalyst in a room. I’m good at being deployed to create a buzz and an atmosphere. I can shift a room. Being a facilitator allows me to engage with people and be playful.

How are your skills best used?

I’d say that 60 to 70 percent of the time, you turn up to an event and people have had a long day of very dull keynotes. That’s the challenge I enjoy. You never know what you are going to get and it is my job to make sure those people leave that room feeling better than they did when they went in. The trick is to create an environment where people feel happy, and then hit them with some stuff that they’ve not thought about before. And that’s what Laughology does perfectly.

At Laughology, we have spent the last ten years campaigning for happiness and resilience in schools and workplaces to be recognised as an important development tool - do you think views are changing?

People are living longer and working longer. They no longer retire at 65 and businesses have started to realise that they have to keep people happy and healthier for longer so they can continue to be productive. There is also much more awareness of mental health issues. In education, primary schools have always been on board, and now Secondary Schools are getting there too. They are realising that although kids are leaving school qualified, they are not necessarily employable because they are missing the other stuff, which is what we talk about at Laughology; empathy, relationships, confidence, self-awareness and the ability to express thoughts and ideas. With all that’s happening in the world, people are having to get good at coping with change. And that feeds into everything we do in Laughology.

If you were Queen for a day, what would you do to make the world happier?

Simple. I’d ban homework. Nobody likes it. And I’d only employ people in schools who genuinely enjoy and like the company of young people.

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Ed Elgood biog

Ed Elgood

Ed loves to instil passion and enthusiasm in children's minds as well as ensuring all sessions are filled with fun and humour and that children end their day with Laughology feeling confident and brilliant!

Psst! - did you know?

Ed can recite every British monarch in order since William the Conqueror. He is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese just in case you fancied flying him out to South America for any reason!

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    Family Guy!
  • What would your superpower be?

    Telepathy. It would be great to know what people really think but don't say. Also, on a more practical level, a photographic memory would be great for learning lines!
  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    I do (on my wedding day!)
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    On a DofE walk, I wasn't watching where I was walking as I was reading the map and ended up falling after stepping in a pothole and using my face to cushion the fall - ended up in A&E!
  • What's your mantra?

    Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

Ed first appeared on a stage at the age of 4 and hasn't looked back since. He tried to dabble in other interests including doing Spanish and Portuguese at university, but the stage was always calling to him.

Added to this is his great joy at working with young people. This has taken shape in various guises over the years from working as a TA in both mainstream and SEND schools to running holiday clubs in Greece; from teaching English in a Chilean secondary school to running medieval workshops at historic sites.

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David Hodgson Biog

DAVID HODGSON

David has written eight books including the bestselling The Buzz and The Little Book of Inspirational Teaching Activities

Psst! - did you know?

David has written eight books including the bestselling The Buzz and The Little Book of Inspirational Teaching Activities.


Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    Overhearing conversations on public transport. Recently a man was telling a friend he'd been bitten by a dog on the South Downs which ripped a testicle. He decided against a tetanus jab as he'd heard dog's saliva contains a natural antibiotic.
  • What would your superpower be?

    Help everyone cut through the BS to reveal the real magic everywhere.
  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    A teacher from a dangerous part of Pakistan had introduced some of my ideas to her students and came to a conference a year later to give me a present, a lucky elephant, from the students who now had so much fun as they learned.
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    After purchasing what I thought was sun screen lotion on a field-trip to Spain,via an equally awkward and elaborate mime, I was soon on the beach generously covering my face, shoulders and torso until a passing Spanish speaker saw the bottle and loudly proclaimed it was boot polish cream. The embarrassment lapsed but my red face didn't.
  • What's your mantra?

    Listen, listen, listen then talk

David is our Ant and or Dec lookalike. He's also from the North-East of England where the mindset is all about community and being stronger together.

This idea permeates the training courses he delivers across the world. He helps individuals, leaders and organisations to be the best they can be. He uses humour, warmth and the best bits from psychology and neuroscience to nudge everyone in the right direction for them.

He has developed successful personal development courses, websites and workshops for private and public sector organisations. The personality quiz he developed for the charity icould.com has reached over 50,000 teenagers.

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Nick Harding

Nick Harding

Nick once spent a week in Africa rescuing mangy dogs with Mark Owen from Take That

Psst! - did you know?

Nick once spent a week in Africa rescuing mangy dogs with Mark Owen from Take That

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    Kim Jong-un
  • What would your superpower be?

    Correct grammar usage init!
  • What is the nicest thing anyone ever said to you ?

    OK, but not in my hair
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    Male pattern baldness... thanks dad!
  • What's you mantra?

    I could and I might

Nick handles press and PR for Laughology and is an award-winning journalist, author and consultant with over 20 years experience in the media. He has worked in senior positions in national newspapers and magazines and also consults for some of the UK’s top PR agencies.

He is a regular contributor to the national press generating and supplying news and features to a range of publications including The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mirror and The Sun. He has written several Sunday Times bestsellers, secured publishing deals and developed PR strategies for a range of individuals and organisations.

He has interviewed some of the nation’s best-known personalities and has contacts across the newspaper, magazine, broadcast and publishing industries. Nick’s understanding and experience of how the media works and how to communicate effectively within it is unique.

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Laura Drury

Laura Drury

During a quiet patch in her career, Laura made a bit of money on the side baking carrot cakes, brownies and French toast cupcakes (yes, they are a thing) for her local pub.

Psst! - did you know?

Eating is Laura’s first love, but baking comes a close second. Not only does she enjoy the process, but she can rest easy in the knowledge that, if all else fails, there will always be cake.

During a quiet patch in her career, Laura made a bit of money on the side baking carrot cakes, brownies and French toast cupcakes (yes, they are a thing) for her local pub.


Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    I see humour everywhere, laugh easily (mostly at myself), and sometimes wonder whether I’m in my own fly-on-the-wall version of the Truman Show. I’m constantly looking for hidden cameras…
  • What would your superpower be?

    Infecting cruel people with kindness.
  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    During an education workshop I facilitated before I had children, a little girl asked me whether I had any of my own. When I replied that I didn’t, she told me I would make a lovely mummy.
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    Being picked out of a studio audience by Joan Rivers for my childhood nickname ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’. This was made more embarrassing when I realised that I’d misread the pre-show form which asked the audience for their ‘romantic’ nicknames. Unfortunately there were definitely cameras filming.
  • What's your mantra?

    You’re never fully dressed without a smile.

Laura began her professional career as a performer and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Her passion lay in theatre; particularly Shakespeare, comedy and farce. She always felt she had great comic... wait for it... timing!

She started delivering communication skills programmes as a ‘side-line’ but rapidly became interested in the psychology behind the work, and trained as a coach. She became passionate about helping others believe in themselves and achieve their goals. Laura is determined to help as many people as possible experience what positive psychology can do for them.

Over the past eleven years, Laura has created, delivered and facilitated various training programmes at all levels within the public and private sectors. Some of her more recent clients include; EE, SSP, the CIPD, the Civil Service, Global and Exterion Media. She specialises in communication, impact, influence, coaching and leadership.

Laura has also worked in education with the English Pocket Opera Company; devising opera workshops for children from ages 3 to 11. She has delivered physical education sessions based on mathematics for Key Stage 1 and facilitated programmes to raise financial awareness for teenagers.
Described by her husband as vertically challenged (or just small), Laura is as spirited and determined as she is short. She is also warm, intuitive and has the ability to create an instant rapport with those she works with, using humour to help them push boundaries and go outside their comfort zones.

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Barry the cat

Barry the cat

Most Bengal cats have type A blood according to a study held in the UK

Psst! - did you know?

Most Bengal cats have type A blood according to a study held in the UK

Vital Stats

  • Who or what makes you laugh until it hurts?

    Dogs on leads.
  • What would your superpower be?

    The ability to use a human toilet.
  • What's the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?

    If you take your claws out of my leg I will give you some more sardines
  • What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

    I don't talk about that.
  • What's your mantra?

    Will work for squid.

Barry is the Laughology Bengal cat. He suffers from attention deficit disorder and enjoys breaking things and eating flies. He is not particularly clever but makes up for this with oodles of neurosis and psychosis.

He is sometimes allowed in the garden but can’t be trusted to play nicely with the other animals. His skills include scratching, biting, climbing things and sleeping. He is custodian of the Laughology foam stress busters and guards them jealously. He is also the subject of the bestselling memoir A Tale of Kitties (the best book ever written about cats not named Bob) and has appeared many times in the national press. In 2017 he entered the cat equivalent of Crufts and came last out of over 200 competitors. He does not like to talk about this and frankly embarrassed everyone.

He is working on his anger issues and, like most cats, remains coldly detached. If Laughology died in a locked room with him, he would eat our face within a week.

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