Inspiring different thinking, for better decisions
John Isitt, Founding Director
John has more than 24 years experience of working in the insight and co-creation industry, helping public sector, third sector and commercial organisations better meet their business priorities through a clearer understanding of what drives their customers and constituents.
Prior to Partners in Creation, John founded the successful behaviour change agency Resonant and led on a number of award winning programmes for NHS and public service organisations, ranging from mental health, alcohol consumption, diabetes and urgent care service usage.
After starting his career working with people with HIV at The Globe Centre, John went on to develop the British Lung Foundation’s national support network. At Diabetes UK he led the charity’s publishing team, before becoming editor in chief for web portal Well-aware.
John is a trustee of Action Cerebral Palsy and Healthwatch Lambeth, where he was the inaugural chair. He is an honorary research fellow at University College London’s Human Behaviour Research Centre, a Fellow of the RSA and a long term member of the Guild of Health Writers.
Gary Nolan, Founding Director
Gary has over 20 years experience of providing clients with marketing and strategic advice. In that time, he has worked with the media industry, global businesses, local government, charities and public sector clients.
As one of the founding directors of Partners in Creation, Gary takes a lead on the operations of the business as well as co-leading methodology design, qual research and analysis.
Previously Gary was Managing Director of health behaviour change agency, Resonant, for eight years, during which he led developed the organisation into an award-winning agency working with health and social sector clients throughout the country.
Gary has led high-profile projects for the NHS on HIV awareness, cancer screening and long term conditions. He also led BMA-award-winning national campaigns for Cancer Research UK supporting cancer screening programmes, and encouraging behaviour change around type 2 diabetes.
Earlier in his career Gary worked in marketing for international clients during the pioneering stage of the web including early transactional sites for American Express followed by a stint setting up an e-government business unit for the London borough of Southwark. As a digital consultant Gary led on a number of projects for e-government services in London.
In addition to his work at Partners, Gary is founder of RealLife Photography, a social enterprise providing a unique platform for students of photography to gain industry experience and exhibit their work to a public audience through competitions and gallery exhibitions.
Kat Slater, Senior Research Associate
Kat began her career as a Qualitative researcher in 2005, working at some of the leading research agencies in the UK across the commercial and social sector. Previously an Associate Director at the Behavioural Architects, she has led multi-national and award-winning insight and behaviour change projects for organisations including the BBC, Virgin, Home Office and Unilever.
She was part of the user led design team for the BBC iPlayer, worked with the RNLI to develop their behaviour change ‘Respect The Water’ campaign and more recently, with Partners in Creation, has co-designed and facilitated game-changing collaboration processes with the NHS and their service users.
Kat’s combination of qualitative research expertise and practical understanding of the behavioural sciences puts her in a unique place for understanding people and working with them to promote sustainable behaviour change.
In addition to her work at Partners, Kat works with a community based mental health organisation called Talk for Health, both as a peer group facilitator and as a marketing consultant.
Heather Barker, Senior Research Associate
Working across the private, public and voluntary sectors, Heather’s focus is on change and its impact on individuals. Her work is built on understanding issues and working with people and teams to co-create solutions that are right for them and their organisations.
After beginning her working life in an oil industry multinational, Heather set up a successful brokering company. She then worked as an interim manager; trouble-shooting for a wide range of organisations, which has involved her in everything from humanitarian aid in East Africa to inner-city regeneration in London.
Heather's expertise with vulnerable groups, including people with specific care needs, has taught he that: “the most important thing is to ensure that everyone has a voice.”
During her career, Heather has been a trustee and volunteer with many NGOs, including the Samaritans and Action for Children in Conflict.She is currently chair of MAC-UK, an organisation that takes mental health services for young people into the community.
Gareth Davies, Programme Manager
Award-winning project manager Gareth Davies has 25-years’ experience of running public health programmes. Much of his work has focused on tackling health inequalities by using people’s lived experience as a catalyst to change.
At Partners in Creation Gareth uses his experience to manage all aspects of our Action Based Co-creation (ABC) workshops, making sure they run on time and to budget. He liaises with our clients and ensures that the members of the public we recruit are the right fit for each target audience –
and that everyone taking part in a workshop knows what to expect.
A key thing Gareth has learnt from his work is that members of public “really care about the public services they access. They do not take them for granted and really want to do as much as they can to make them work for their family and friends.”
When he’s not project managing Gareth can be found pursuing his interest in mid-century architecture, from the Art Deco to the Brutalist, and is often to be seen visiting the likes of the Hoover Building or Trellick Tower.
Elizabeth Thompson, Editorial and Content Consultant
Copywriter and content editor, Elizabeth Thompson specialises in the health, social care, housing and local government sectors.
Elizabeth has more than 20 years’ experience in communications roles in councils, charities and health bodies. She’s led media relations teams, developed campaigns, created website content and managed award-winning publications.
She has worked with Partners in Creation and Resonant for the past four years, developing content around mental health, cancer screening, alcohol and sexual health as well as writing website news stories and Partners’ monthly newsletter.
“Personally and professionally, I’m interested in the big health issues that affect people’s lives. What I love about working on Partners’ projects is the chance to dig deep into what people really think about those issues and use that insight in my writing. The Tower Hamlets project is a good example. What could be more current than the pressure on primary care, but how often do ordinary patients get a hand in reshaping those services?”
“Working with Gary, John and the team was a very positive experience. From the word go, we were reassured that we that we had come to people who wanted to understand our problems, and had the expertise and professional approach we were looking for to actually give us the solution we needed.”
Hugh Johnston, Associate Director Psychological Services, South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust