Our dedicated team explain what Tonic means to them
Meet the Team
Tonic Rider Coordinator
Jeordie’s role is to design, manage and review our programme of taught workshops, support groups and training courses for music professionals. He also liaises with other music organisations and represents Tonic Rider at industry events.
“Over the past decade, awareness of mental health in the music industry has grown significantly, but now is the time for action. I believe the Tonic Rider programme offers something for all music professionals to promote good mental health in the music industry.”
Alongside this, Jeordie is a PhD researcher of substance use amongst working musicians, and he has contributed to forthcoming publications within the field of mental health in the music industry. He is a graduate member (MBPsS) of the British Psychological Society with a MSc Research Methods, BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology, and CertHE Social Work. Outside of work, Jeordie is usually found wearing a band T-shirt at a gig or festival, or at a record store adding to his collection of over 2,000 albums.
“TONIC is a family, who share a passion for music and good mental health. There is the old adage about choosing a job you love, and that is certainly true for me, thanks to my amazing colleagues and the wider TONIC community.”
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Steph explored the themes of music, social justice and mental health in her fine art degree. This led her to a career as a social worker, working with adults with severe and enduring mental illness at an NHS Trust, and then later within a University Student Wellbeing Service.
Steph co-founded TONIC while working as a Care Coordinator in a Community Mental Health Team. Her clients frequently cited the importance of music in their recovery, but there was a lack of creative services and resources to refer clients onto. Frustrated by this, Steph and her colleague Lisa, inspired by the many festivals and gigs they attended, set out to create a music event that their clients could be involved with, and TONIC was born.
Despite having no prior experience of event management, Steph organised sell-out gigs at Portsmouth Pyramids, the iconic 100 Club, The Wedgewood Rooms, The Joiners and The Cellar. Money raised from these gigs paved the way to fund free music & art workshops, as well as funding EPs & LPs for musicians living with mental illness.
“TONIC is everything I love – music, art and incredible people. We have been blessed to meet and support the most inspirational people, and to have such a kind and supportive creative team. Tonic is not a job, it’s a way of life.”
Tonic Rider Training, Support and Safeguarding Lead
Jade is a classically trained mezzo-soprano singer from North Wales, who left behind opera arias to front Cardiff and Brighton based rock, punk and soul bands. After taking a short hiatus from her own music, Jade is now the vocalist of a London based jazz quartet.
Her main musical influences are Nina Simone, Jeff Buckley and Billie Holiday, but she loves the raw and honest attitude of John Lydon!
“Being at the heart of TONIC is wonderful as it means I get to see people develop both personally and creatively. Watching the confidence, friendship and abilities grow within the groups is an amazing thing to be a part of. I’m very proud of the vocal group, who all work so hard to develop their voices and confidence. Through positive risk-taking they are achieving what once seemed out of reach.”
Head of Fundraising Operations
Luke has been volunteering with TONIC for nearly 10 years, and at the end of June 2023 he became a full time member of the Team Tonic. Luke will be heading up all Fundraising Operations to ensure that TONIC continues to grow and help many more people as we do.
Luke has been a Music Promoter in Portsmouth for over 12 years, working with many acts from all over the world.
"Steph and the TONIC Family do amazing work for those who really need it. Mental Health is an issue that isn't going away and I am proud to play my part in helping, supporting and scaling TONIC so that we become the go to charity for mental health support within the music and other industries."
Billy has been creating artwork for TONIC for a number of years, and in 2020 became a full member of Team Tonic. He is involved in creative design and graphics across the whole Tonic family.
Billy has been DJing around Portsmouth and the South Coast for the past 30 years.
"TONIC is an inspiration to so many people, I am humbled to do what I can to help."
Events & Fundraising Coordinator / Music Facilitator
Jimmy has a deep love of music and has been a musician for nearly 30 years, playing in a number of local bands as a multi-instrumentalist. Jimmy is a fully-qualified youth worker with a BA Hons in Youth & Community Work and has run a number of music groups for young people across Portsmouth. He has also developed strong links in Portsmouth's creative community by organising local events. Jimmy hopes to combine these qualities to create fundraising opportunities for TONIC.
“I love the connection you get when playing music with other people. Music is primal and anyone can cut loose and join in, banging a drum or shaking a maraca, no matter what your ability. The joy listening and making music brings is amazing and it can really lift your mood. I love the way hearing a certain song can transport you back to poignant times of your life, whether happy or sad. Music is so powerful.”
Team Administrative Assistant
Resh has extensive knowledge in event and admin management, spanning over 12 years. Whilst working at the University of Portsmouth, she was tasked with managing and organising the first wellbeing annual event. This was the first time she came across mental health and wellbeing in a working capacity and quickly realised how broad the area is and that mental health is not always visible. The event was a success and thereafter she organised the event annually.
"Music and Art can bring people together in so many ways and aid one's recovery. I feel very lucky to be involved with Tonic and help support in making a difference."
Head of Tonic Rider Event Operations
Robbie joined TONIC in 2023 to oversee and develop the Tonic Rider programme, grow our music industry partnerships and its reach, as well as Project Manage and strategise the expansion of our event portfolio - increasing our platform and visibility within the industry to ultimately allow us to help more people who need our support.
He started his career over 20 years ago in A&R at Universal Island Records – before setting up his own Artist Management company and Independent Record Label.
Robbie then began a long chapter as a Tour Manager - eventually starting a tour production agency with a collective of touring personnel providing each other with a support network and guidance through the mental and physical challenges that are synonymous with ‘life on the road’.
“Throughout my life I have seen so many friends and colleagues struggle or lose their battle with mental health. The more we can normalise the topic, reduce the stigma and make support readily available and affordable - the easier it will become for people to ask for help and understand how to manage their mental health.
I am privileged to play my role in the amazing work that TONIC do to help all creators and lovers of music alike."
Never Mind The Stigma Programme Coordinator
For me, I was destined to work with TONIC but it had to be about timing. I got to know of TONIC about 5 years ago while I was in active addiction and loved what they stood for.
It wasn't until I began my recovery journey that the connection was really formed and I started doing some voluntary work. I sang in the Ska Choir which was a really pivotal moment for me. I went from somebody who needed drugs and alcohol to function to being sober and singing in front of people, first of all in rehearsals then in front of 100's at gigs.
The confidence that this gave me to drive forward with my life implementing the skills I learned to other areas of my life were totally transformative. The lack of judgement from others and myself to be fair was something very new to me. This carried on for a while but life showed up then my involvement with TONIC took a back seat.
When the opportunity for the Never Mind The Stigma Programme Coordinator came up, it sounded like it was the closest thing to a dream job as there could be. I've been one of those men at the end of the road, believing suicide is the only option I have left. I've felt hopeless and lost and it is now my purpose, or duty so to speak, to help others change their lives, help them with the tools to live a better life.