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Find out about the team behind The Other Island

Meet the team helping people to find their voices. The project is being delivered by a group of talented people, who don’t just use their skills to tell someone’s story – they aim to teach those skills, so that others can tell their stories for themselves.


Project Lead

Following a career in finance and writing, Cat became involved in campaigning and working in environmental and social justice. She has organised and set up various community projects, and is a former Douglas Town Councillor. Cat has written 17 books on financeand governance, and also wrote/curated an environmental column in the local press for several years. She is now a director of Positive.News magazine, a support worker at Graih’s night shelter and a newly-qualified facilitator for support groups for people dealing with addictions.


Journalist, media trainer and lecturer

Veronique Mistiaen is an award-winning journalist, who has worked as an editor, foreign correspondent and reporter over the past 25 years in the UK, US and internationally. She covers human rights, social and humanitarian issues, global development and the environment – telling stories of survival, resistance, environmental activism and economic empowerment.

Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph Magazine, Newsweek, The Economist, BBC, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Le Monde, among many other media outlets.

She also runs training in constructive journalism, journalism skills for marginalised communities and reporting diversity in areas of ethnic and religious tensions. She is bilingual English-French.

She tweets as @VeroMistiaen and writes The Right Human blog therighthuman.blogspot.com. Here is a small sample of her work: www.clippings.me/veroniquemistiaen

Veronique Mistiaen


Poet, artist and writing workshop facilitator

Janet Lees is a freelance writer, workshop facilitator, poet and artist. With the support of the Isle of Man Arts Council, she has been hosting creative writing for wellbeing sessions in the Island’s communities since 2014. Janet rediscovered her love of poetry and art as part of her journey of recovery from addiction.

Having taken a degree in creative arts in her late teens, she went back to university in her late 40s to do an MA in creative writing. She then went on to train in writing for wellbeing. Her first book, ‘House of water’, a collection of her poems and art photographs, was published in May this year, with the support of Culture Vannin.


Videographer, Photographer

Jack Bridson leads The Other Island sessions on video, and is also documenting the project’s progress ‎on film. As a videographer, he’s received Arts Council support for equipment to help develop his craft; he is also a photographer and YouTuber.

Jack ‎has battled mental health challenges in the past, including with drugs and alcohol, and has shared some of these experiences on his YouTube channel in order to raise awareness and help others dealing with similar issues; the subject of mental health is one he’s championed regularly.
Jack is currently studying ‎psychology, and is an accomplished free running athlete with 10 years experience, in addition to being a skilled circus performer and street performer.



Marianne McCourt is an experienced professional photographer and Life Coach. Her main focus is on capturing images of people. Her work is notable for its sensitivity, evocativeness and beauty. Marianne’s natural empathy and ability to build strong relationships with her subjects also informs her practice as a life-coach, in which she focuses on empowering and inspiring people to optimise their lives. As she says herself, “I want my life to be an example of what is possible.”


UX, UI & web

Born and raised in Leeds in the UK , after working as a graphic designer Julie studied Computing at GLOSCAT and has been a BAFTA member since 2000. Experience is varied and includes UX/UI and leading digital experience and identity design engagements for web and emerging technologies, motion and print. Clients include Microgaming, BBC  Pensioners Association, AXA Wealth International, Isle of Man Film, HSBC, and more.

Julie has had a testing time the last few years and understands all about depression and difficult personal circumstances so is delighted to help with the Other Island project which is very close to her heart.

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