Zebra People

Nicola Barkla – background in community based relational ways of working, peer support, participatory decision making and co-creating exploratory conversation spaces. Focus on organisational administration.


Niqui Bond – is Project Manager of our ‘Plymouth Cancer Champions Project’, launched at the start of 2024. She’s been working in a primary school in Plymouth for 22 years, 18 as a teacher then 4 as an Assistant Head, and she brings this experience, and the many skills she’s gained from working with children and families, to the Cancer Champions role. The 3-year Cancer Champions project is a programme of action research, testing an asset-based community development (ABCD) approach to addressing evidenced health inequalities, i.e. that the entire cancer journey – from pre-diagnosis through to post-treatment – tends to be significantly worse for people living in low income communities.

Vicky Brooks – With 16 years’ experience working in drug and alcohol services with people who have experienced profound and complex trauma, Vicky initially worked within the criminal justice system, then for the past 10 years in the child protection and safeguarding arena working with parents. Vicky spent 3 years working across the peninsula with the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC), a fundamentally trauma-informed approach to supporting families through care proceedings. Vicky’s background is in delivering training and facilitating group work and she has been delivering training specifically on trauma informed approaches since 2020. Vicky is a facilitator & programme designer in Zebra’s trauma-informed programmes.

Debbie Freeman – comes with 25 years+ experience of work in the area of people facing multiple disadvantage. Her work within the community, voluntary and statutory sectors ranges from support work to service design and implementation, through to strategy and commissioning, e.g. in substance use, housing and homelessness. Debbie is interested in culture change within organisations, shifting power to communities, and alternative conceptions of ‘mental health’. Debbie leads Zebra’s community & youth work in Plymouth.

Gemma Gowan – has worked in various community based roles in Plymouth since 2005, including leading public health projects, working with substance use and social prescribing. She approaches her work with a trauma-informed lens and draws from asset- and strength-based approaches. Gemma co-ordinates Zebra’s youth work and is one of our youth workers.

Marc Gardiner– co-founder of Zebra, came with experience from multifarious roles in social care and community work. Leads on our trauma-informed and solution-focused practice work and involved in all elements of Zebra’s offer.


Alex Gude
– Alex has a varied background in psychology, social work and research, and has worked in various roles in statutory, VCSE (voluntary / community / social enterprise sectors) and academic organisations. She has a keen interest in qualitative, participatory approaches to research and evaluation, aimed at designing better services by people, for people, with a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing. Alex is working on Zebra’s community projects.

Katy Stevenson– Katy Stevenson is a GP in training at Knowle House Surgery and an Academic Clinical Fellow with the University of Plymouth Community and Primary Care Research Group. She has joined Zebra as an embedded researcher on the Cancer Champions project to co-design, co-deliver and co-evaluate how an asset-based community development approach can address cancer care inequities.

Jamie Tucker-Last – has worked in the people services sector for 20+ years, and has a history of working within substance use service delivery and research, probation services, homelessness and community safety systems. His practice is grounded in operational delivery. Interests include the individual’s journey and experiences of multiple disadvantage, the fundamental importance of partnerships working, appropriate management and ownership of risk, and the well-being of teams. Jamie’s focus in Zebra is on external supervision and running workshops on ‘Skills for Helping’.