SOFEA SESSIONS is a podcast focused on inspiring people through the sharing lived experience of mental health and wellbeing; aiming to re-shape the environment with innovative ideas and approaches. Delivered to you by SOFEA charity, SOFEA SESSIONS is a platform that empowers people to talk, to reduce stigma, help people relate to the episodes and feel less alone in their issues, in the hope that listeners and guest speakers can deepen the connections to themselves and their communities.

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Friday Oct 13, 2023

In today’s episode our Social Prescriber Link Worker Selina has come on to talk about what Social Prescribing is, why we feel it’s needed in the community and how people can access the support.
At SOFEA, we work with the Didcot PCN and also in partnership with Age UK to support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs, thereby enabling them to take greater control of their health and wellbeing.
For more information about Social Prescribing please go to our website , speak to your GP or email us at 
Please don't forget to leave feedback, like share or subscribe! 

Friday Jul 28, 2023

We are coming into our 10th year at SOFEA, so we invited our CEO Richard to reflect on lessons learnt over the last 9 years; focusing on how we can evolve and grow in the ever-changing society we live in; whilst benefiting the people in our communities. 
Richard talks about the importance of working towards reducing inequalities and how our 3-year strategy is going to help us achieve that. 
If you are passionate about making positive community change and want to find out more about what SOFEA's exciting plans are for the new few years, this is the episode for you.

Wednesday Jul 05, 2023

Today's episode is with Beth Francis, the Quality Improvement and Operations Manager at Response. Beth's professional background is in the care system, predominantly working in a children's home. In this episode Beth talks us though some of the challenges professionals and young people face and the importance of forming consistent, honest and solid relationships with 'children we care for' (also known as 'looked after children'). Beth also talks about how working with 'children we care for' influenced her behaviours and beliefs, stating that "behaviour is communication, these young people are not 'naughty' or 'bad', they are trying to get a deep need met and this is often the only way they know how". 
A huge thank you to Beth for coming on to share her experiences and give valuable insight into a professional's perspective of the care system.
For more information about SOFEA visit out website here or email 
Response Organisation
For advice on how to support 'children we care for' go to the NSPCC website.

Friday May 12, 2023

Trigger Warning: This episode goes into detail of physical and domestic abuse and may be distressing for some listeners. If you are affected by anything you hear today, the organisations listed below have been recommended by Kerry for those who need support or advice.
Today's episode is with Kerry, a survivor of domestic abuse who bravely shares her story in the hope of raising awareness of the signs, ensuring victims are aware of available support, as well as offering guidance to friends and family on how they can help people who are experiencing domestic abuse. In this emotional and brave episode, Kerry talks about the events that took place in the abusive relationship she was in, and how the support of her family and friends helped her into a process of recovery and healing.
Victim Support   
Women's Aid 
Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services (ODAS) a2dominion  (Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire)
Educational videos on domestic abuse referenced in the episode:
Special thanks to Kerry for this truly moving, vulnerable and inspirational conversation. 
Email us at

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

The SOFEA SESSIONS podcast brings you a brand new feature: SOFEA SESSIONS SHORTHAND episodes. 
These mini-episodes will be addressing key questions that SOFEA often get asked, that highlight the way we work and why it works for many people in the community. These episodes aim to tackle challenging and innovative questions, to inspire others and enable out-of-the box thinking that may challenge harmful stereotypes or processes in our society. 
In today's episode Marley Simpson, one of our one-to-one mentors at SOFEA addresses the question: 'What is SOFEA's model of behavioural change and why does it work?'. Marley talks through the power of listening to a young person, approaching 'challenging' behaviour with curiosity and compassion instead of punishment and judgement, and gives us an insight into the way he and his colleagues work with young people to enable them to have happier healthier and more meaningful lives. 
To find out more about what we do at SOFEA visit our website. 
Please do leave comments if you wish to give us feedback or email us at

Thursday Mar 02, 2023

Trigger warning - this podcast episode references the following themes: Youth violence, knife crime, racism, suicidal ideation, abuse, grooming and exploitation. 
Ryan Goodenough is an advocate for young people and men’s mental health. Using lived experience mixed with professional experience Ryan works as a Senior Youth Worker at Didcot TRAIN and in 2022 founded HisMind, a mental health network for men. In this episode Ryan explains his perspectives on the link between youth violence, identity and mental health.
Based on lived experience, Ryan also talks about how gaps in young people’s needs may increase the risk of exploitation and involvement in crime. Passionate about re-shaping negative and harmful assumptions about young people, Ryan talks about the impact of sensationalism, racism and the media, and finally the importance of listening to young people and working alongside them.

Friday Feb 03, 2023

Trigger warning: this episode references depression and conversations around adoption. If you are affected by anything you hear in this episode, the organisations below are able to offer support.
Today's episode features SOFEA's lovely Director of Learning and Development, Ruth, who shares her story of Adopting three children. Ruth shares her experiences of going from a family of two, to five, including the highs and lows they experienced throughout this process. Ruth also talks about her unique position of being both the parent and a teacher of adopted children and uses her knowledge from teaching and past experiences to better support parents of adopted children. Through reflecting on what she has learnt, Ruth talks about what she would have done differently to manage her own expectations and emotions throughout her journey. 
Adoption Focus Oxford - 01865 822339
Adoption UK - 0300 666 0006
Oxfordshire Mind - 01865 247788
Samaritans - 116 123
To contact SOFEA email or visit our website
We welcome feedback on the podcast, please email us or leave feedback in the comments box.

Friday Jan 06, 2023

Today's episode is with Sundus, one of our Education Mentors at SOFEA who shares her experiences of Racism in school. She talks about the impact racist comments and actions had on her behaviour, school attainment, mental health and wider family dynamics. Sundus also reflects on how being at SOFEA has changed her life, helped her to regulate her emotions and empowered her to help other young people to develop and grow.
Disclaimer and trigger warning: this episode is based on personal lived experience and references abbreviated examples of discriminatory language used towards Sundus in her life.
If you are concerned about racism, need to report a hate crime, or need someone to talk to, contact STOP HATE UK:
24/7 line: 07799 903 929 / Mon-Fri line: 0300 123 2220
To contact us please email or visit our website 

Thursday Dec 01, 2022

This episode is with our wonderful Taraji, SOFEA's No Limits Programme Manager, experienced life coach, super-mum and all round inspiration! This episode covers everything from struggling with depression, becoming a new mum, balancing parenting with self-care and connecting back to your true-self! An authentic and moving episode that everyone should listen to, regardless of if you are a parent or not. 
Trigger warning: references of depression and suicide. 
If you are effected by anything you hear in this episode, the organisations listed below can offer support:
Samartians: call 116 123
Young Minds: text YM to 85258
National Suicide Prevention UK: call 0800 689 5652
For more information about SOFEA visit or email us at 

Friday Oct 28, 2022

Today’s guest is Max who talks about his lived experience of Autism, challenges stereotypes and talks about the importance of representation of Autism in the media. Max is a student at SOFEA and wanted to open up about his experiences in the hope he may help other's with their own feelings of being Autistic, but also to raise awareness to the 'neurotypical' community and ask what they can do to help support Autistic people more.
If you are affected by anything you hear in today's podcast here are some organisations that may be able to offer support:
Autism Family Support Oxfordshire
Autism Oxford
National Autistic Society
SOFEA also supports lots of people with Autism and other types of neurodivergence, and has many programmes that may be suitable. To find out more about how we could help visit our website here.



At SOFEA we believe in using story telling and the sharing of lived experience as a therapeutic tool. The SOFEA SESSIONS episodes will cover a range of areas such as understanding anxiety, 'all things Trans' and other LGBTQ+ areas, dealing with shame and trauma, sports and wellbeing and lots more. 

Our aim is to support our listeners to not feel alone in the barriers that mental health challenges may create and enable our listeners to make deeper emotional connections to themselves. 


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