Core Team

YVONNE FARQUHARSON | Founder & Managing Director

Yvonne is a seasoned multi award-winning social entrepreneur who specialises in developing creative programmes to improve healthcare and transform lives.

Since 2008 Yvonne has been designing, developing and delivering arts and health programmes in NHS Trusts and primary care centres. After studying at Lancaster University and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, she held a variety of roles for the BBC and ITV. She then spent several years as Performing Arts Manager for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, the largest NHS Charity in the UK, before founding Breathe Arts Health Research in 2012.

Yvonne has gained international recognition for her work in the arts and health sector, and received a number of awards and award nominations for her work across the healthcare and social enterprise sectors. In addition, she has led Breathe to win multiple national awards and gain recognition as a service provider to our National Health Service. She has co-authored papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals and frequently speaks at health, arts and social enterprise conferences and events globally.

She has successfully built partnerships with other arts organisations such as Shakespeare’s Globe, The National Theatre, and City of London Sinfonia and is immensely proud of the scale of performing arts and health interventions Breathe delivers each year alongside its partners.

DR DAISY FANCOURT | Research Director

Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing a PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL. Her research focuses on the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response, the use of the arts within clinical settings, and the psychosocial impact of cultural engagement at an individual and public health level.

As well as leading the research programme at Breathe, she is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Performance Science, a partnership of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. Her research has won over a dozen awards including a Young Investigator Scholarship from the American Psychosomatic Society (2015), the Ruth Bowden Scholarship for academic excellence in a doctorate in the field of medicine from the British Federation of Women Graduates (2015) and silver prize in the Hektoen International Medical Humanities Competition (2013).

Alongside her research, she has worked in the NHS for a number of years, including managing the arts and clinical innovations programme at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The NHS programmes she established have been recognised with a commendation for arts-in-health excellence from the Royal Society for Public Health (2014) and an NHS Innovation Challenge Award (2015). She is also passionate about public engagement in science, and her research has featured in over 100 national and international newspapers as well as a number of television and radio broadcasts including BBC Breakfast and the One Show.

HANNAH DYE | Head of Programmes

Hannah has over ten years’ experience working within the performing arts sector. She has designed and produced a variety of programmes through roles at King’s College London, Candoco Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells and China Plate Theatre including international projects through British Council. Alongside her part-time role at Breathe, Hannah is a freelance arts Producer currently working with English National Ballet.

Hannah holds an MA in Creative and Cultural Management from Chester University and BA in Dance, Drama & Theatre Studies from Liverpool University.

ROSEY SUTTON | Head of Therapy

Rosey is an occupational therapist who specialised in paediatrics in 2011. Her extensive experience has included roles across the South East and London within the community, hospital setting as well as two special schools for children with complex physical and medical needs. Rosey’s specific interests are neurological conditions, the upper limb, assistive technology and postural management.

Rosey is passionate about supporting children and young people to fulfil their potential and to live happy and healthy lives. She believes in providing therapy in a fun and relaxed environment so that it engages young people and gives them the opportunities to explore, experience, learn and solve problems at their own pace.

Rosey holds a PG Diploma in Occupational Therapy, a PG certificate in Sensory Integration and a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science. Outside of Occupational Therapy, Rosey is a keen musician playing the oboe and cor anglais in both chamber and larger ensembles.

Lydia Hayes | Head of Development

Lydia joined Breathe in March 2020 to take on the new role of Head of Development, leading on and delivering all fundraising activities for the organisation. Lydia has over ten years’ experience in fundraising and development for the arts and health sectors, whilst at Cardboard Citizens, The Big House and The Anna Freud Centre, amongst others. She is passionate about supporting organisations to survive and thrive financially and boosting organisational resilience.

Lydia holds a BA in Arts Management from London South Bank University and took part in the 9th cohort of the Clore Leadership’s Emerging Leaders programme.

TIM OSBORN | Project Manager

Tim combines nearly three decades of experience in the health and disability world with his lifelong interest in the arts in his role as Breathe’s Project Manager for Performing Arts.

Before joining Breathe in 2013, he worked extensively for organisations supporting people with long-term conditions, life-limiting illnesses and physical and emotional difficulties – both in the NHS and the charity sector. Beyond the day job, he has a particular passion for puppetry as an art form, writes creatively, loves samba and makes stop-motion animation clips.

Natalie Craven | Project Manager

Natalie joined Breathe in January 2020 as Project Manager of the participatory and live programmes delivered across Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS including Breathe Harmony, NHS staff choir, Breathe Dance for strength and balance and Breathe Sing for lung health.
Natalie has worked in arts and health for 7 years and has held roles at Imperial Health Charity, Frimley Park Hospital, and most recently at the Royal College of Physicians as Public Programmes Officer.

Natalie writes about contemporary art and has curated exhibitions about art, health and science, and the history of medicine at Watt’s Gallery, Royal College of Physicians Museum, CASS Gallery, Jerwood Space, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Frimley Park Hospital’s end of life care garden.

Outside Breathe, Natalie is a public engagement consultant at Matt’s Gallery working on the Wellcome-funded animation film project ‘A Different Kind of Different’ which examines the physical and psychological trauma of breast cancer. Natalie also plays violin in the London Doctors’ Orchestra and is part of Central London Lacrosse.

Natalie has an MA in Curating from London Metropolitan University in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery and an undergraduate in Fine Art from the University of Plymouth.

Georgia Heighway | Communications and Engagement Coordinator

Georgia enjoyed performing arts from a young age, and as an original member of Shoreditch Youth Dance Company (SYD), collaborated with numerous artists to perform in platforms and festivals internationally. It was here she discovered her love for the arts, and the positive impacts of participating in creative activities.

After graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Georgia joined VERVE Postgraduate Dance Performance Company, touring works throughout the UK and Europe. Following this, Georgia worked with Dance Umbrella across Marketing and Administration, influencing the digital strategies and fuelling her passion in promoting the arts to wider communities.

Georgia joined Breathe Arts Health Research in 2019 to develop the digital and communications activity. In addition, Georgia is a freelance Dance Artist with extensive practical experience in arts engagement work. She regularly teaches across a range of community and educational settings, and is an Associate Artist with English National Ballet’s Engagement programme.

ANNEGRET MÄRTEN | Freelance Operations Support

Annegret moved from her native Germany to work in the UK’s rich and varied arts sector before joining Breathe in 2013 as an administrator. She has worked in various performing arts contexts as a dramaturg, assistant director and producer, and on arts journalism projects for companies including BBC Radio, The Stage and Theatertreffen Berlin.

Annegret also writes and reviews theatre for Exeunt Magazine and other publications. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is currently funding her under the London Arts & Humanities Partnership to research monsters and language as part of the joint PhD programme between King’s College London and Humboldt University in Berlin.

MARJAN ALEXANDER | Book Keeper

Numbers wizard Marjan has a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Economics. For many years she worked in the City as a sales trader and joined the Breathe team as bookkeeper in 2013.