Self Care Summit for EAs and PAs




This new one day event is a first of its kind for the UK Business Support Profession. 

What do we mean by Self Care? Self Care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health.  It encompasses anything you can do to be good to yourself.  Never has there been a more important time to look at this area for Executive and Personal Assistants. 

Amidst ever increasing demands placed on Business Support Professionals, many of us have become aware of the need and importance of trying to preserve our own physical and mental wellbeing, both at work and in our personal lives.

A 2018 study from the Mental Health Foundation (this study on stress was the largest known in the UK) showed that in the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. Further results indicated that 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed and 61% reporting feeling anxious.  

The day is designed to assist Business Support Professionals in their quest for better self care and the opportunity to explore issues around mental health, coping mechanisms, support structures and frameworks to support you in leading a happier and healthier life. 

Our Self Care Summit is suitable for every grade of our membership, regardless of qualifications and academia. 

Why Attend? 

  • Learn how to develop and maintain a self care routine that works for you 
  • Practical tools and resources to help you readdress the balance 
  • Learn skills to improve moods and coping strategies 
  • Enhanced self-esteem 
  • Greater clarity on your purpose 
  • Address behavioural, personal and/or professional barriers 
  • Learn how to practice mindfulness and incorporating this into your daily life
  • The confidence to make inspired wellbeing choices going forward 
  • Expert speakers from the different facets of the wellbeing and nutrition sector

Ticket prices include the following:

*Please note the Box of Happiness and Spice Kit are given out on arrival at the event. Pre-selection of both will be required.


08.30-09.00     Registration Open – Networking & Refreshments

09.00-09.15     Welcomes & Summit Open

                        Victoria Darragh, Founder of EPAA

09.15-10.00     Mastering Happiness & Success – One Day at a Time

                        Mo Seetubtim, CEO of The Happiness Planner

10.00-10.30     Mindfulness Session

Mauricio De Jong Oliveira, EPAA Board Member & Mindfulness Coach

Join EPAA Board Member and Mindfulness Coach Mauricio De Jong Oliveira for a session learning about all about mindfulness and then putting this into real life practice.

Mindfulness is quoted as ‘a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique’.  It is known to have many benefits including the improvement of well being, physical and mental health. 

Are you too much on your phone or on the computer? Are you a shopaholic? Are you indulging yourself too much on the weekends with drinks and food?

This session will assist you to learn more about how mindfulness can be a way out of unwanted behaviours.

10.30-11.00     BREAK

11.00-11.45     Returning from Burnout – A Modern Lifestyle Story & the JoyFind S.U.P.E.R.C.H.A.R.G.E Method 

Jacqueline Labib, Founder of JoyFind

In the summer of 2018 Jacqueline Labib had a near-death experience instigated by stress, leaving her needing to make drastic changes to her lifestyle.

Experiencing a full range of stress-related issues from insomnia to adrenal fatigue, panic attacks to organ failure in the space of a few weeks, she understood what many of her life coaching clients were going through – on speed!

After checking out of hospital and using natural and holistic techniques from her toolbox as a practising life coach to transform her health and presence of mind, she took it upon herself to find a ‘modern lifestyle antidote’.

In this intimate session she shares her intense personal experiences, what she learned along the way and what truly helped her recover and revitalise her mind, life and story.

Ask a life coach your burning questions about wellness, emotion management and learn the JoyFind S.U.P.E.R.C.H.A.R.G.E technique to boost your confidence, balance and enthusiasm for life.

Ex-EA Jacqueline Labib is a Life & Wellness Coach and founder of the JoyFind movement helping modern professionals learn how to change their mental & physical reality from dissatisfied & tired to vibrant & powerful so they can be healthy, happy, centred & have the oomph to discover & follow through on big life goals.

JoyFind’s biggest mission is to help people find their joy in life by igniting their inner fire, reimagining their life purpose & providing ways to reach their most adventurous life, with fun company along the journey.

11.45-12.45     Food for Thought & Wellbeing Panel

Hear from UK leading experts on their top tips/hints/recent trend’s and overall advice on enhancing and encouraging healthy living through food and nutrition.  It is said that nutritional and emotional balance is the pathway to a healthy, fulfilling life. So how do we achieve this in a society that is more educated but infinitely more time poor than ever before?

All business owners, we will also take this opportunity to take a look at how they balance their working lives with family and social lives and ask the question can we indeed have it all?

  • Hari Ghotra, Celebrity Indian Chef

12.45-13.45     LUNCH

13.45-14.45     FLIP it – Humour as a Thinking Skill by Laughology

Laura Drury, Laughology

In this ground-breaking keynote, delegates will discover that humour is a cognitive skill that is learnt and can be enhanced and utilised

Our expert presenters will reveal how to apply Laughology techniques for developing positive thinking and behaviours to increase mental agility and emotional intelligence. This keynote reveals how to turn the bad into good and look at the world in a different way.

AIM – Learning how to apply Laughology’s cognitive techniques and develop a positive psychology toolkit for greater emotional agility and wellbeing using the unique Laughology F.L.I.P. This keynote will provide a strategic model for building resilient individuals and teams for looking at challenges in a solution focused way. Using a researched and developed cognitive approach based on our understanding of how humour is formed, Laughology’s FLIP technique encourages more positive thinking and helps us feel better and make better decisions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to apply Laughology techniques for developing positive thinking and behaviours

  • To increase delegates knowledge of tool for mental agility and emotional intelligence using the FLIP

  • thinking tool.

  • To further understand how to use humour as a thinking skill for gaining perspective

  • To understand individual triggers for stress and anxiety and how to combat them

  • To know how to positively focus mental energy and think in a proactive wa


  • To gain practical and cognitive techniques for feeling in control, happy and well

  • For delegates to have emotional awareness by understand cognitive and behavioural model

  • To be able to use FLIP as a coaching model and to gain perspective when challenged

  • To understand individual triggers for stress and anxiety and how to combat them

  • To know how to positively focus mental energy and think in a proactive wayHear from UK Business Support Professionals on their very real experiences with mental health, wellbeing, anxiety and how they are shaping UK workforces with wellbeing initiatives being part of their roles.

14.45-15.30     Executive & Personal Assistant Panel

Hear from UK Business Support Professionals on their very real experiences with mental health, wellbeing, anxiety and how they are managing huge workloads in these increasingly busy times. We will also hear how they are helping to shape workforces across the UK, with wellbeing initiatives increasingly being given to EAs and PAs to champion and promote across UK businesses.

  • Caroline Connolly – NatWest Markets

  • Anita Fogarty – British Sugar

  • Julia Robertson-Avenell – Essex PA Network

  • Paula Harding – Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

15.30-15.50     BREAK

15.50-16.30     Resilience for Better Results 

Anel Martin, Founder of Upgrade yourself Training

Resilience is “1. the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. 2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”  (Definition Merriam-Webster)

But I like the plain definition more; it is “bounce-back-ability”. This is the ability to deal with and recover from stress, disappointment and change. These factors affect all of us and our ability to deal with these issues are essential for our success. Resilience is definitely not being immune to stress but indicates better coping methods and excellent strategies to overcome what happens to you in life. Because ultimately it is not what happens but how you choose to respond and the story that you tell yourself. It is either a crisis or an adventure.

In this session we will cover:

  1. How to find and use a reset button
  2. Dealing with the fear of the unknown or sudden change
  3. What lifestyle choices affect and influence stress, fatigue and resilience
  4. How your inner dialogue affects your ability to cope and how to change it
  5. Reframing
  6. The importance of self-care and rest as a survival strategy

16.30-17.30     In Conversation with…Frank Bruno MBE

Frank Bruno is an English former professional boxer who was known for his good punch power and whose career highlight was winning the WBC heavyweight championship in 1995 against Oliver McCall at Wembley Stadium.

In 2003 Frank was diagnosed as having Bipolar disorder.  His well-documented illness put Frank in the public eye and he used this media attention to help with the stigma attached to mental health and to help raise the standards of care given to those suffering with mental health issues. Frank supports many charities for mental health both financially and with his time.

Recently, Frank has set up The Frank Bruno Foundation, which aims to provide structured non-contact boxing sessions to build self-esteem, confidence and the encouragement to succeed for those experiencing or recovering from mental ill-health.

Published in October 2017, Frank’s book ‘Let Me Be Frank’ is a very tough, honest and straight from the heart narrative that will leave audiences and readers inspired and moved.

“In boxing you can see your opponent. But my illness strikes from the shadows. And it is impossible to defend yourself from a punch you can’t see. Winning this battle has been the toughest fight of my life. Now i am ready to tell you how i did it.”

Join EPAA’s Founder Victoria Darragh as she interviews one of the UK’s most influential and honest boxing professionals.

17.30-17.35     Charity Prize Draw and Summit Close

Frank Bruno MBE

Laura Drury

Laura is a trainer, facilitator and coach who has recently joined Laughology. She has worked in this capacity within the public and private sector, from Amex and EE to the CIPD and the NHS, across all organisation levels. She also creates and delivers training programmes focusing on areas such as communication, impact and influence, coaching, leadership and authenticity.

She began her professional career as a performer having trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Whilst not a bad singer, dancing took a bit more effort and her passion lay in theatre; particularly Shakespeare and, unsurprisingly, comedy and farce.

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

She has also worked in ‘Theatre in Education’ with the English Pocket Opera Company. They visited schools in and around Greater London devising opera workshops with children from 3 to 11 to perform in a professional setting. At the other end of the spectrum 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) she is as spirited and determined as she is short and loves nothing more than baking away life’s stresses. …the results need to be tasted to be believed!

Hari Ghotra

Hari Ghotra is a chef and author who now runs the biggest digital Indian food platform in the UK.

From the website, which is full of delicious recipes, videos and facts that will demystify the secrets of Indian cooking, to the app, where Hari delivers live cook-alongs weekly, you can create, share and enjoy fabulous Indian food in your home.

She trained as a chef at The Tamarind Collection of Restaurants, which includes the Michelin-starred Tamarind of Mayfair and has recently launched a new bar for the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai highlighting her amazing dishes.

Her love for cooking began at home where she learnt the art of traditional Indian cookery techniques and age-old family recipes from her Mum. With frequent trips back to northern India, Hari experienced the vibrant culture and culinary specialities of the region.

Hari started to run cookery classes, supper clubs and even pop-up restaurants. Today, Hari shares all of these recipes and cookery tips on her platforms to help you create delicious Indian food.

A scientist by trade, Hari completed a degree in biology and then went into marketing, but her real passion was sharing the Indian food she made. Six years ago her husband took matters into his own hands by making her Christmas gift a Mac and a pack of business cards, all made out ready for Hari to launch herself as a mobile Indian cookery teacher.

Mo Seetubtim
The Happiness Planner
Mauricio De Jong Oliveira
Mindfulness Coach

Mauricio de Jong Oliveira is an Associate at CDC Group, within The Africa List team, although his tenure at CDC started as the EA to the CEO’s Office.

Amongst many of his achievements Mauricio supported the transition from Diana Noble to Nick O’Donohoe in 2017. His strengths lie in relationship management as well as travel and events management.

Prior to joining CDC, M was the PA to the European General Manager at Revlon and has also worked at the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition, Mauricio is a Non-Executive Director for EPAA and is also a qualified Mindfulness Coach.

Jacqueline Labib

Since 2012 I have been on my journey as a coach, speaker, idea-generator and dream-reacher, and I know it will be a lifelong one.

JoyFind is about opening up people’s worlds and helping them to impact their worlds, too.

This means inspiring and helping people to break through their barriers and do what they love in every area of their life, so they in turn not only give permission to those around them, but are inspired to make the world dance, in their own way.

I bring my humour, playfulness, to-the-heart-of-the-matter attitude and genuine compassion to one-to-one coaching, to Joyfinding weekend and day-long group workshops, to management and employees in companies whose people could do with a helping hand, and to training and mentoring new coaches with Noble Manhattan Coaching, the international coach training organisation.

I work with some of the most creative and motivated companies and individuals in the fields of branding, public relations, sales, the dramatic arts, experiential hotels, art and design, mental and physical wellbeing and entrepreneurialism, through to children in schools, hospitals and with teens.

I am a member and Accredited Senior Coach with the International Institute of Coaching & Mentoring and make it my business to immerse myself in some of the wisest and most mysterious cultures in the world to bring back their wisdom.

Anel Martin
Upgrade Yourself Training

Anel is a multi-award winning former personal assistant with 15 years experience in the profession. She has been training assistants since 2009 and became a full time facilitator two years ago as demand for her programmes grew.

As a former assistant she can delve deep into the issues facing assistants and provide hands on and practical training interventions. She is well known for her fresh and dynamic approach and her ability to help assistants understand the changing landscape of business and what will be required from them to stay relevant in the future. She held both CAP-OM and CMOP certifications and has a Business Management Diploma and studied Drama which makes her uniquely positioned to work with clients on body language, voice, confidence and presentation skills.

She has worked with groups as large as 300 from 24 different countries and truly has a global view of the profession, working as far afield as New Zealand, several countries in Africa, Europe and the US. Anel has also worked with high profile companies across the globe for in-house training interventions and performance coaching. As a qualified Results Based Coach she is passionate about helping her clients create better lives and careers. She specializes in goal setting, building confidence and time management.

Anel is a published author and her book is entitled The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand

Julia Robertson-Avenell FEPAA
Essex PA Network

Julia is a career orientated Business Support Professional with over 25 years’ experience at providing an Executive service to management and directors. She is a decisive manager, with proven success at managing projects, initiative strong business alliances and identifying areas for growth.

Julia has a huge passion for learning and development and is the Co-Founder of The Essex PA Network, which is a voluntary group helping to upskill the PA/EA and admin staff of Essex.

Paula Harding FEPAA
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Paula is an Executive Assistant at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) supporting Professor Phil Padfield, Dean of Education and Senior Management Team.

Paula is a member of the PA Hub, Executive and Personal Assistants Association and the Institute of Administrative Management and is an active member of business networking groups in Merseyside.

An ambassador of the EA/PA profession Paula is keen for EAs and PAs to discuss roles, to share knowledge and to network with business professionals to build business acumen and credibility.

Caroline Connolly
NatWest Markets




An early bird rate is in place until 31st January 2019.  Payment plans are available for EPAA members only. Please contact the EPAA Office for further details (payment plans must be completed by end of August 2019). 

Please note we reserve the right to cancel and refuse admittance whereby full payment has not been received. Group rates are quoted as four places for the cost of three.

EPAA Member Early Bird Rate

£189.00 Payment plans available

Non Member Early Bird Rate


EPAA Member Early Bird Group rate

£567.00 Payment plans available

Non Member Early Bird Group rate

Post Early Bird Rates (from 1st February 2019)    
EPAA Member rate £230.00 Payment plans available
Non Member rate £310.00  
EPAA Member group rate £690.00 Payment plans available
Non Member group rate £930.00  


Please complete the short form below and preferences for invoicing. A member of the team will come back to you as soon as possible.


CILIP – The Library & Information Association – 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE

CILIP is close to a number of underground stations: Goodge Street (Northern Line), Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern Lines), Warren Street (Victoria and Northern Lines), Russell Square (Piccadilly Line), and Euston Square (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines).  Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras main line stations are all within easy reach. 

Earn 10 EPAA CPD credits for your attendance at this summit.

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