The BrumYODO 

BrumYODO is a Community Interest Company managed by a board of local professionals who work together with a wider network of local, national and international individuals, community groups and organisations to develop our programmes of work. 

For details of the BrumYODO terms of reference and management arrangements please click here.

Alison Cox

Commitee member: Alison Cox

Ali lives in Warwick with her family and am passionate about normalising conversations around death and dying. She used to peep at it through her fingers, but experience has taught her that the more we talk openly about death, with care and sensitivity, the better we can support each other to live as much as to prepare ourselves for the inevitable.  Death conversation can be uplifting.

She has worked in the arts and museums sector for over thirty years, most recently at Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park as Head of Visitor Engagement, and before that at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Walsall Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.  Mostly this has involved organising exhibitions, learning, public and community engagement programmes for people of all ages. 

Twitter @AlisonFCox


Alison Cox

Commitee member: Debbie Kerslake

Originally from Liverpool, She has lived in Birmingham for nearly 40 years. After a career in social work she moved to the Voluntary Sector and worked for 18 years for the charity Cruse Bereavement Care. Since retiring as CEO 2 years ago, she  became a Co-op Member Pioneer and a Community Researcher with the University of Birmingham, focusing in particular on community bereavement support. She has continued to write articles for professional journals and give conference presentations and is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement.

There is such a taboo in talking about death and dying. She is part of Brum Yodo because she passionately believes in the need to take the fear away and give people opportunities to have open and honest conversations. These are such challenging times it is a privilege to join this amazing group and be involved in planning the path ahead.


Commitee member: Suzanne McArthur

Suzanne is an Occupational Therapist by profession, born and bred in Birmingham.  After 25 years of working in the NHS, she left the statutory sector to work for Marie Curie, where she developed a passion for promoting inclusivity and community development. 

She has previously worked at Birmingham Hospice as Head of Community Development and Partnerships, working alongside the diverse communities of the City to develop their capacity and resilience to support those in times of need. 

Suzanne is now self employed and thrives on developing innovative projects with local partners aimed at normalising conversations about dying, death and loss.


Commitee member: Emma Waterford


Emma lives in South Birmingham and is a creative practitioner and performer. She uses a combined arts practice integrating art, craft, theatre and horticulture, taking inspiration from the natural world and green space. She has created workshops for companies including the RSC, Southbank Centre and the Royal Albert Hall and has toured the UK and internationally as a performer. 

Emma is Co Artistic Director of Crows Nest Theatre Company, who believe difficult subjects are important to talk about. Their first show “Alma”, was a children’s show exploring the language of death and grief. Through BrumYODO she is keen these conversations going. 

Commitee member: Helen Tomblin

Helen lives in Stirchley, the new hub of cool in Birmingham! She believes things started to change when she set up a comedy club in the local pub. Other Independents followed suit and it is now the destination of many for a night out in Birmingham.

Previously General Manager for the charity behind Leicester Comedy Festival, and Comms & Marketing for Edward’s Trust family bereavement charity, she now works for ‘Caring Minds’ – the charity of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

With a background in The Arts and the Charity sector she is passionate about using The Arts as a vehicle to enable taboo or difficult conversations to happen, death and dying being one of those issues so she is pleased to be part of BrumYODO and bring those two aspects together.

Commitee member: Helen Hibbs

Helen was brought  up in the South East and after attending university in Nottingham moved to the Midlands area which she has made her home. She has lived and worked in Rugby, Coventry and Wolverhampton. She practiced as a GP in Wolverhampton for over 30 years and subsequently moved into an NHS management role as CEO of the organisation commissioning health care services for Wolverhampton also leading joined up working across the Black Country health and care organisations. Having retired from full time work Helen is now a trustee at Compton Care and has recently joined BRUM Yodo . Having spent a very busy working life she particularly enjoys having more time to spend  with family and friends, gardening and walking her very lively Springer Spaniel.

Some of the most fulfilling parts of a long career in health care were spent supporting people and their families at the end of life and Helen Is excited to be joining such a proactive group of people at BRUM Yodo who are working to enable and normalise conversations around death, dying  bereavement and grief.