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Meet the Healthy Schools Team

Joanne Howling

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator

I joined the team after spending 20 + years as a Primary Teacher and working on other projects linked to children and young people, I thought it would be great to take on another adventure which would enable me to work with so many schools across both the primary and secondary sector.

My favourite part about being the Healthy Schools Co-Ordinator is finding out about the fantastic work that is being undertaken by the schools on the Healthy Schools accreditation pathway.  I continue to be impressed by the range and impact of the measures that have been implemented to support the children to become more active, resilient and to make healthier choices. Despite the constant challenges and the volume of work involved in Education, it is a complete joy to witness the enthusiasm and positivity which so many staff members have for striving to improve the life chances for all in their care.

Having the opportunity to visit and work directly with schools to deliver the primary prevention part of Catch Your Breath (the smoking and vaping prevention programme) is certainly a highlight of my role; the responses and feedback from the children are always insightful and provide the inspiration to keep moving forward.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A farmer as I always liked to be outdoors; climbing trees, making dens and growing things. My ambition was to follow in the footsteps of my Dad until he managed to convince me there could be other opportunities out there…!

What are some points of interest about you?

Whilst standing in a check in queue in the early 2000s at Ibiza airport, I failed to realise that I was standing next to Will Young, the closest I have ever been to meeting a “celebrity!”

Paige Furnell

Healthy Schools Officer – Communications Lead

I am Paige, I am a Healthy Schools Officer, my role in the team is networking and communicating to build partnerships. I joined the team from the Healthy You, Stop Smoking service in November 2021 to develop the Smoking and Vaping Prevention and Awareness program now known as Catch Your Breath. I communicate with services, schools, and professionals to provide support for young people’s health and wellbeing. I enjoy creating, designing, and editing (jiggery pokery) for our materials used here at Healthy Schools. Canva and PowerPoint are my best friends.

My favourite part of being a Healthy Schools Officer is working and supporting a diverse group of people.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a Midwife or a Pathologist. I always wanted to help people however I was always unsure how to make this happen. Working with the Healthy Schools team opened up an avenue for me which was unexpected however I enjoy working in education and making a difference to the youth of today.

What are some points of interest about you?

I like to travel, try out different foods, learn the history of the country, and go to festivals/raves 😊 This year I have been to 3 new countries and will be going to Thailand in December. I cannot wait to see the elephants (my favourite animal).

Glenda Oliver

Healthy Schools Officer – Primary School Co-Ordinator

I am a Healthy Schools officer.  I co-ordinate the delivery of the primary smoking and vaping workshop. I was in another public health role before this position but before this, I worked at Hinchingbrooke Hospital as a Registered Dental Nurse.  I enjoy helping people and am a strong believer that education is the key to success in whatever you do in life.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A nurse and helping people become well again.  I have always worked within the health profession.

What are some points of interest about you?

I love travelling and have been to many countries around the world. I enjoy understanding different cultures.

I went in a dune buggy in the desert, climbed mountains in Scotland, and swam with dolphins and turtles in the Caribbean Sea.

  • I am from Scotland.
  • I love walking my Spaniel called Amber.
  • I have 3 children.
  • I love the seaside, mountains, and valleys.

Jess Foster

Healthy Schools Officer – Secondary School Co-Ordinator


I am a Healthy Schools Officer, specifically co-ordinating for secondary schools. I joined the Healthy Schools team in October 2022 having previously been a primary teaching assistant for 7 years, I have now worked with children from year 1 all the way up to year 11.

I love delivering into schools, hearing what children have to say and how they feel about things; they never say the same thing twice and can always surprise you! It is also very rewarding to feel as though we are having an impact when delivering content about vaping and smoking, it is such important information for young people to have now.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I wanted to be a vet! I love animals and would love to work with them.

What are some points of interest about you?

I have hand fed an orangutan, sealions and mandrills when I was a zookeeper for the day at Colchester Zoo, which I absolutely loved! I also love all things related to driving, and have been rally driving and off-roading several times, its lots of fun!


Rachel Strong

Healthy Schools Officer/ NCMP Delivery Team Assistant

Hi, I am Rachel, and have been working for Everyone Health/Healthy You since September 2022.

I work 3 days in the NCMP team and 1 day as a Healthy Schools Officer. I was originally delivering the Alive N Kicking programme on a Thursday but when that contract finished in July, I moved over to the Healthy Schools team on the ‘Catch Your Breath’ programme. I am very new to it all but enjoy networking and learning the ropes. My colleagues are super friendly and great mentors.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to work with children so trained as an NNEB and have been a Nanny, Nursery Nurse, Playgroup leader, hospital playworker, Maternity Nurse, Swimming Teacher, and a Mum to four children. My last jobs were in Primary Schools as a TA and an ELSA.

What are some points of interest about you?

I did lots of travelling before starting a family and look forward to doing more with my husband, now our children are adults.

I am a loyal friend, laugh a great deal, love caring for people and my family, walk a lot, enjoy being a parent and my party trick is saying the Alphabet backward in 3.9 seconds!

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