About

The art of communication is the language of leadership

About

At Hood & Woolf we help you have effective conversations and productive relationships with the people who matter most to your success. We work with leaders and teams to help you deliver your organisational goals, speak with a consistent voice, listen well, manage issues, reduce risk and get results.

Founded by Steph Hood in 2014, Hood & Woolf is built on high-quality expertise, responsiveness, energy, integrity, a wealth of experience, and commitment to giving you the very best advice and support. Our team has grown rapidly to include some of the UK’s leading communications experts, enabling us to bring the right level of experience, knowledge and expertise to any project.

We often work on the most complex and challenging projects organisations face. Projects that involve multiple stakeholders to deliver change, or that need to be managed correctly to avoid bringing unnecessary risk and attention to an organisation.

We work with organisations from a wide range of sectors, and always welcome new challenges.

If you have an upcoming project or are concerned about an issue, do get in touch to talk it through. Please email info@hoodwoolf.co.uk or give us a call.

The team

Our talented team bring huge amounts of insight, knowledge, skills and experience. Our people are what make us stand out from the crowd.

From a wide variety of backgrounds and with different specialist skills, we always create a bespoke team that’s just right for any project or challenge. Meaning you benefit from the very best expertise no matter what.

Our team has expertise and significant experience in:

  • board level advice and counsel
  • strategic communications and engagement
  • media relations
  • issues and crisis management
  • public affairs
  • pre-consultation engagement and statutory consultation
  • internal communications and staff engagement
  • external communications
  • stakeholder relations
  • digital and traditional content development
  • social media
  • event, meeting and conference planning and delivery
  • brand and campaign development
  • copywriting
  • project managing design and print.

With director-level leadership and involvement in all our projects, we are known as effective problem-solvers, and for our integrity and objective viewpoint. We make sure our plans have the depth and scope needed to deliver results and handle any challenge.


Our team

Steph Hood
Director

Let me tell you about myself

Steph has advised and supported boards, government ministers, policymakers and senior management teams with effective and strategic engagement and communications for over 25 years in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. At a national, regional and local level she has established, developed and led high performing, award-winning teams. Working with and across different organisations she has led and delivered communications and engagement and public consultations for a number of high-profile service change/reconfiguration projects across the country, and at national level in Whitehall. Steph developed significant experience and expertise in this area. Most recently this has included public service changes in London, Kent and Medway, and Dorset, working with local authorities, the voluntary and community sector and the NHS. She has worked extensively with boards and executive teams to manage change in and across policymaking, as well as supporting and advising on day-to-day reputational issues and crisis management. Steph has also led a number of high-profile national programmes to develop communications and engagement expertise and delivery.

Steph’s strengths include strategy and planning; board level communications counsel and advice; message and narrative development; stakeholder engagement; internal communications and engagement with staff; media relations; political and public affairs; public involvement and consultation.

Steph is a Visiting Research Fellow and member of the teaching faculty at the Centre for Health Communications Research at New Bucks University; a contributing author on communications and change management to the Future PRoof series; and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and of The Consultation Institute.

Steph Hood Director
Ben Hood
Ben Hood
Director

Ben Hood

Let me tell you about myself

Ben’s career has spanned engineering and management roles in the IT and telecommunications sector where he worked for GPT, Nortel, Energis, and Cable and Wireless.  With post-graduate qualifications in programme management he has also delivered programme and project management support for third sector organisations.

At Hood & Woolf Ben is a director within the strategic management team and is responsible for leading the back-office functions that keep the wheels turning and enable our consultants to focus on delivering first class support to our clients.

Ben Hood Director
Nichola Jones
Client Director

Let me tell you about myself

Nichola is a strategic communications professional with over 20 years’ experience in the public sector. She understands the public sector and its political context and uses this knowledge to help her clients deliver change efficiently and effectively.

She has successfully developed and implemented many integrated communications and engagement strategies and launched a variety of products, services and campaigns for local, regional and national organisations to achieve change, regularly advising boards, executive teams and government ministers. She has worked extensively on change programmes and also has significant expertise in stakeholder engagement and pre and post application consultation. She has worked on major infrastructure programmes for hospitals, universities and developers; working successfully with planners, stakeholders and local communities to achieve planning consent and to support construction. Most recently this has included public service change programmes in Manchester and Yorkshire and major infrastructure programmes in Hampshire and Northampton.

Nichola is adept at crisis and issues management and has successfully worked on a range of high profile and challenging programmes.

She is outcome focused, clear thinking and strategic in her approach. Nichola successfully creates talking points around complex issues and has a proven track record and achieves results. With an engaging style Nichola works well with a range of people at all levels in organisations.

Nichola is the vice-chair of a large secondary school and a trustee of an education charity.

Nichola Jones Client Director
Linda Judge
Linda Judge
Business Manager

Linda Judge

Let me tell you about myself

Linda is a seasoned business manager having successfully led business delivery functions in both private and public sector organisations for more than 18 years. She delivers sound business processes to effectively support organisations and is an experienced programme manager. Linda develops positive working relationships with colleagues and clients and has a passion for high-quality customer service delivery.

She is outcome focused with excellent communication and sound analytical and problem-solving skills. Linda is a qualified project manager in Prince 2 methodology and has delivered numerous successful projects in both the public and private sector, on time and within budget. She has an eye for detail and fully researches and considers interdependencies and change management processes aiming to reduce project risks and issues and enable successful project delivery.

Linda also leads on the logistical management of events including sourcing and booking of suitable venues delivering value for money; preparing and finalising speaker material; sourcing and arranging audio visual support; providing collateral for delegates and preparing the venues for the event. She works collaboratively with both internal and external colleagues to deliver a professional and streamlined approach to event delivery.

Linda Judge Business Manager
Robin Banerji
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Robin began his career as a newspaper journalist, then as a BBC television researcher and presenter on BBC local radio. He has a degree in photography, film and video production and has used his skills as a multi-media journalist, photographer and videographer throughout his career to create compelling brand narratives and multi-media content – blogs, podcasts, videos, photo-blogs and social media content – that really engage key audiences. In an ever-changing media landscape, Robin has kept his skills up to date, and today advises a wide range of clients on social media marketing techniques and developing organisational narratives and content planning for highly shareable, immersive content that works on a variety of platforms.

Robin was the first Director of Communications for the Business Growth Fund, responsible for every element of their start-up branding, stakeholder communications and marketing. He worked with a wide range of partner organisations in the process, including the Confederation of British Industry, British Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, and many regional chambers of commerce. He was involved in setting up the Business Growth Fund’s Midlands office in Birmingham, working with the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham City Council in advance of the launch. Robin also sat on the board of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce so has an excellent understanding of the needs of businesses.

Robin Banerji Associate
Olivia Lacey
Olivia Lacey
Associate

Olivia Lacey

Let me tell you about myself

Olivia is an experienced communications and engagement professional whose career has centred on providing high quality, timely and trusted advice to colleagues at all levels: building effective working relationships; developing and delivering solutions to problems; and using strategic communications and engagement to garner support for organisational objectives. With experience across the private and public sector, Olivia has a deep understanding of the political and regulatory landscape and the challenges that organisations face at both national and local level.

Developing effective strategies and translating them into tactical delivery has been a recurrent theme throughout Olivia’s career. She has led in-house and external PR resources for high profile rail businesses Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express; worked at the cutting edge of the patient safety agenda at the UK’s National Patient Safety Agency; within the inspection and regulatory arena at the Audit Commission; provided consultancy and evaluation services to a diverse range of clients; and as Associate Director of Communications for NHS England in London.

 

Olivia Lacey Associate
Martine Large
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Martine has over 30 years’ experience as a communications specialist. She began her career in local newspaper journalism, before moving into media and communications work in the public and not-for-profit sector. Her skills include media relations and PR; copywriting; internal communications; crisis management; strategic planning; public and stakeholder engagement; and corporate identity.

Martine has successfully worked on a wide range of communications and engagement projects, ensuring organisations get their messages to often diverse communities. She managed the communications for a politically-charged housing transfer campaign for Tower Hamlets council, where a significant proportion of the residents did not have English as their first language. She oversaw controversial service changes working in the engagement team for South East Coast Strategic Health Authority and has run the media relations function for organisations such as the Peabody Trust. She has extensive experience as a copywriter, producing newsletters, annual reviews, leaflets, articles, websites and adverts for a diverse range of clients.

Martine Large Associate
Jude Mackenzie
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Jude is a communications professional with 30 years’ experience of giving strategic and practical advice to boards and senior teams to help manage reputations and external relationships. Her work settings include 10 Downing Street, the NHS, global and national charities, regulators, government departments, public bodies and businesses.

She specialises in reputation management, senior level counsel, stakeholder relations and large-scale change.

Jude is a voluntary adviser to the board of the charity Mind, a trustee of her local church, and chair of South East London Scottish Association and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Jude Mackenzie Associate
Amy Meadows
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Amy has extensive experience of devising and leading national and local behaviour change programmes. During her career she has led a wide variety of communications and marketing projects including social marketing scoping and implementation projects for the NHS and local authorities, brand positioning reviews and campaign development for charities, and communications planning and partnership brokering for private companies. She has extensive experience of leading audience insights research and facilitating workshops with a broad range of participants that have included chief executives, boards of trustees, employees and vulnerable groups.

Amy has worked extensively with the NHS and its partners, giving advice to board and governing body members, and direction and support to the engagement and communications function. Her previous work with Hood & Woolf supporting NHS reconfiguration programmes include Dorset’s Clinical Services Review; Oxfordshire’s Transformation Programme and the review of acute services in Mid and South Essex.  She is currently supporting the Taskforce for Lung Health, a group of patients, healthcare professionals, the voluntary sector and professional associations, to ensure the implementation of the Taskforce’s five-year plan for transforming lung care. She is experienced in building and facilitating a consistent narrative across staff, stakeholder, patient and public audiences. Her past projects range from small-scale low-budget programmes to £1million national projects.

Amy is a Trustee of the McPin Foundation, a mental health service-user research charity and Founder of the Judi Meadows Memorial Fund, a suicide prevention charity.

Amy Meadows Associate
Dushana Pinfield
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Dushana has over 18 years’ experience of event management. She has worked in the public and private sectors organising high-profile meetings and conferences for 20 to over 1000 delegates. She has organised annual conferences for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Centre for Public Scrutiny as well as a wider range of events for the Greater London Authority, Euromoney Business Meetings, the Home Office, and Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Dushana is a self-motivated and versatile communications, events and marketing professional who is passionate about engaging stakeholders to raise the profile and establish the brand of an organisation. Having worked in the private and public sectors, she knows the importance of understanding your audience and knowing the best channel to engage them. She is very comfortable working in a busy and deadline orientated environment. Creative and driven she works well as part of a team.

Dushana Pinfield Associate
Lucy Readings
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Lucy began her career in the public relations team at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust in south west London before joining NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. At NICE Lucy delivered a wide range of communications functions, including press and media relations, corporate communications, and events and marketing. She spent four years heading up the external communications function. Lucy has been working as a communications consultant for the past nine years, for both national and local NHS clients, including trusts, clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and national improvement bodies.  Most recently with Hood & Woolf Lucy has been supporting the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (of NHS and local authorities) in Kent and Medway with strategic communications and engagement advice and support.  As one of the team leading the recent formal public consultation for a review of urgent stroke services across Kent and Medway, Lucy has worked with the Joint Committee representing ten separate clinical commissioning groups in Kent, Medway, East Sussex and South East London, the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and a myriad of partners and stakeholders.

Lucy’s key skills include developing and implementing communications strategies, crisis and issues management, providing strategic counsel to senior staff, proactive and reactive media handling and excellent editing and writing skills.

Lucy Readings Associate
Penny Turner
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Penny is a senior strategic communications specialist with over 20 years’ experience across the public and private sector. She has significant experience in managing the development and delivery of both proactive and reactive integrated communications strategies to support organisational and whole-system priorities, and has advised government ministers, senior policy makers and senior leadership teams on a wide range of communications challenges and issues.

Penny has a particularly in-depth understanding of health policy development, the complexities of the wider health system and the political context and uses this knowledge to develop effective and targeted communications solutions. She is always strategic in her approach and skilled and comfortable at working at all levels across different organisations to achieve the best outcomes at all times. Most recently Penny has worked with Hood & Woolf supporting a major NHS reconfiguration programme in the South West.

Penny Turner Associate
Emma Wallace
Associate

Let me tell you about myself

Emma has over 20 years of experience in PR, stakeholder communications and event organisation across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She is highly experienced in stakeholder management and communications, including with professional associations, clinicians and doctors, having previously worked on high profile Department of Health and Home Office campaigns relating to binge drinking, teenage pregnancy and other social issues. She has also delivered campaigns for a wide range of voluntary organisations including RSPB, WRAP and the British Wind Energy Association.

Emma has delivered media campaigns for a variety of organisations including The Encephalitis Society, Scleroderma & Reynaud’s UK, betty for schools, and Recycle for London. She successfully secured coverage across a wide range of national and regional outlets including Good Morning Britain, ITV London News, The Mirror, The Sun, Daily Mail and The Times.

Emma Wallace Associate
Dan Wood
Dan Wood
Associate

Dan Wood

Let me tell you about myself

Dan is a strategic communications consultant with over 20 years’ experience across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. After working in marketing with City law firms and public affairs for a charity, Dan held senior roles in government communications, advising ministers and officials and leading the design and delivery of communications programmes to support high profile policy areas.

Dan has particular expertise in NHS communications. He has held senior roles both nationally and regionally, headed the NHS brand management team and supported the national network of NHS communicators.

In recent years, Dan has worked with a wide range of organisations as a consultant. Projects have included providing strategic counsel to senior teams; leading communications and engagement for complex, contentious, multi-organisation service change programmes; conducting communications and brand reviews; reputation management; and mentoring.

Dan Wood Associate