SPEAK Speakers

SPEAK is developing a group of passionate Speakers who can represent the organisation at festivals, schools, Universities and different groups around the country...

SPEAK gets asked to talk at a lot of places. As we are a grass roots organisation, with a network full of people with amazing vision and perspective we would love to give members of the network the opportunity to speak out on issues close to their hearts.

SPEAK Speakers are a group of passionate people who will be trained and equipped in the skills that they need to engage with audience on a wide range of justice issues and christian perspectives.We give regular training and support to SPEAK Speakers at our events Sound Check and Vocal Training.


What We Can Offer to Festivals and Events
SPEAK has historically been a key contributor to many key national and indeed international Christian events stretching to Holland, USA and UK major Christian events Greenbelt, Soul Survivor and Spring Harvest.. and internationally Urbana, What, Flavor Festival and others. If you are an event organiser, no matter how big or small the event (we like small events too, perhaps more, bless is more!) please consider booking a SPEAK Speaker, a Music Speaks artist or a workshop host to add an extra subversive bass line. We can either offer the main conventional talk, or a creative artistic sound bite to pepper your event with nourishment and some thought provoking material. There are also some alternative meditation/ prayer and worship facilitators if you want to connect with us on that front too.

`You can see the description of the SPEAKers below...


Andy Cope

Can speak on:
• Food sovereignty
• Pacifism and non violence
• Palestine
• Andy can also do some great 'cello tunes' and sound bites if you ask him nicely… but the talks are the main official bit.


Has been a key campaigns facilitator in the SPEAK Seeding Change campaign, and has done a grand job in 2012 and longer of serving and facilitating the SPEAK Campaigns Team. He also is now working as a teacher and an educater, and could get some important info across to your group in a speaking or workshop context in a professional yet still radical way. He says ‘I first became interested in protest whilst campaigning for justice in issues around Higher Education whilst a student at Berkeley (California) and York (UK). Since then I have also spent 3 months living in Nablus, West Bank’.


Helen Whitall

Can speak on:
• Climate change (scientific and/or Biblical perspective)
• Ecotheology
• Prayer
• ‘Holy imperfection’
• Animal / veggie theology
• Green lifestyle
• Biblical perspective on injustice
• Justice in the global food system
• The arms trade.


First got involved with SPEAK at university in 2001. She helped run a student SPEAK group at UEA Norwich, and upon graduating became a SPEAK Link, a volunteer role involving connecting other existing groups with SPEAK’s campaigns and spirituality. She spent a year as a Regional Support Worker from 2009-10, supporting SPEAK groups and Links across Wales and the South West, before becoming SPEAK’s Prayer Team Coordinator in 2010, and is now also Campaigns Officer for the climate change campaign.

Helen is a climate scientist by background, with degrees in environmental science, meteorology and climatology. Prior to working for SPEAK, she spent 4 years researching the West African climate at Reading University, before deciding to apply her climate knowledge to trying to bring about action on climate change. Helen became a Christian in 1999, when she first encountered Jesus and experienced life-changing healing. She has an ecumenical outlook on faith, having encountered God through and learnt valuable lessons from a range of different expressions of Christianity, and currently worships at both an evangelical church and a Quaker meeting in Exeter.

Helen is passionate about the environment, justice, prayer, integrity, hope in the Gospel, and music. She is a frequent contributor to the SPEAK blog, regularly speaks at SPEAK’s Sound Check and Vocal Training gatherings, and has done workshops, visits and talks elsewhere including contributing to a workshop by Louise Donkin at Spring Harvest 2014.


Joanna Frew

Can speak on:
• History/ colonial history and reparations
• Private property
• Caring for the poor.


Has been a key SPEAK person facilitating and serving in the SPEAK Network Support Team since 2001, so has lots of experience both with SPEAK and in group facilitation as she spent many years facilitating SPEAK's Flower Model participatory forum and was involved in organising the Big Dress. She left the Network Support Team in 2011 but has stayed connected to the SPEAK community facilitating radical actions and has also recently done a PhD and a Masters in history, private property and empire, so she has some very interesting and radical things to say on the matter.


Louise Donkin

Can speak on:
• Justice and the Banking system
• Poetry Art-ivism and social change
• 'Retro-active' - looking at historic contact of campaigns, SPEAK history and SPEAK stories, favourite activity is being asked for a story sharing evening- lovely- works well in a small group session for those wanting to get nostalgic, or even for older advocates in a house group, interested in how they can support SPEAK.
• Spiritual revolution and Kenarchy- moving to the periphery- though have to admit advisory group Roger Mitchell better on the kenarchy
• Un-conventional Nunsense- SPEAK monasticism and lifestyle mysticism outside institutions
• Poetry set with edutainment sound bites
• Alternative pioneering- for people who catalyst and set up things, or who want to for social justice, social entrepreneurs who don’t like the word ‘ entrepreneur.’ Talks through going through the challenge of setting things up and reflection on the SPEAK/Music Speaks journey, living the powerdox and the challenges or questions this throws up
• Alternative Animals- presenting the work of lifestyle support raising activists- especially of the donkey and the giraffe


Louise aka LouDonKey is a catalytic founder of SPEAK and Music Speaks, and continues to wreak havoc from within the chaosis. She is an active or indeed a retro-active agent of change… and well ..lets just say her talks usually generate a ReAction! She can do longer talks if you want to geek out and stretch your attention span (left to her own devices she can talk the hind leg off a donkey)!! However in all honesty you may instead want to book her from some more digestible sound bites;  with a few poems. As she also works the poetry sound systems and festival scenes you book her to a ‘poem talk’.. one poem, then a sound bite, another poem, then a sound bite.. looks like your getting the rhythmic gist….

Here is what another fellow poet said about her: (trying to suss which bits to include as lifted direct from stephs blog think maybe just yellow bits rather than whole thing):

‘...then you are in a squat in East London at midnight listening to her explain the South Sea Bubble and tackling the root causes of the financial crisis in rhyming couplets, You can find her performing in festivals, squats and demonstrations.  Her poetry may reference idealism but its also grounded in hard facts.. So  I asked her how.'

Poetry track record. Over the last 3 years Louise has done over 300 gigs including Glastonbury, Resonance FM, Sunrise Festival, Secret Garden Party, Manifest Festival, Big Chill, The Glade, Waveform Festival, Small World, Buddhafield, Urban Green Fair, Boom Town Fair,Lubfest, and internationally at Zagoa Festival Morocco, New York Poetry Café, and Gouda Holland, she has shared stages/performed at the same event as Kosheen, Groovrider, Fire Farm and Tempest.

Conference speaking track record-Louise does have experience as an international conference/ event speaker and alternative workshop host. She started off giving talks as a spiritual political conferences speaker giving the world a good talking to, initially in international Christian conferences and events, and then later at wider spiritual conferences. She as been invited to give talks in international student conferences in the USA Urbana, across Europe in European wide mission conferences including Tema (Netherlands), Spring Harvest, Greenbelt, Soul Survivor, building together and in the wider events and festivals including World Shift Media, Green Innovations. In more recent years Donkey has preferred to do smaller more focused workshops and to do more poetry and arts based work.


Would you like to join the ranks of this illustrious list?? Contact admin@speak.org.uk for more information!