How we work

How to Thrive seeks to understand and respond to needs and provide integrated, evidence-based interventions that will make a real difference. The work required to not just survive, but thrive is hard – changing behaviour in a lasting way is not easy. It takes both grounded, practical experience of what works and the theoretical expertise to understand why.

At the core of what we do is:

  • Integrity - we aim to be honest and ethical and embrace equality and diversity in everything we do.
  • Getting it Right - we aim to get it right first time and continue to learn from our experiences.  All of our work is evaluated and, where possible, subject to academic scrutiny.
  • Innovation - we are always looking for ways to improve the services we offer and collaborate with external agencies, academic institutions and others working in the field.
  • Practicality - we take theory and research and create practical applications that are grounded in real life situations and tailored to meet needs.

Our programmes are based on well understood and validated psychological concepts and are supported by a team who have deep expertise in these techniques.  Working with us is intellectually challenging, personally demanding, practical, and very rewarding.


Building Emotional Resilience, Improving Wellbeing and Releasing Potential

We take our training very seriously. It has to be challenging, memorable, informative, personal and really enjoyable in order to have an impact. Each programme is carefully designed to ensure that there is enough time for theory, reflection and practise and combines individual, small group and large group work. We are very proud of our work and continuously evaluate how we are doing. But rather than take our word for it here are some verbatim quotes from participants.


“This course is by far the best I have ever attended. It has real applications within my own life and will be invaluable for our students”

“The programme has been extremely helpful to me. It has changed my life as throughout the training I have been able to come out of myself more and more. It has built my confidence”

“The training was impressive. It was built carefully and produced a well put together whole concept. It provided a new way of ‘seeing’ things”

“The facilitators went out of their way to ensure we had the best learning experience”

“The curriculum was interesting. The learning out loud was a new aspect for me and a challenge. This was good fun once I got into it”

“The training was excellent especially reflecting on why I behave in a certain way in professional, personal and family contexts”

“The structure of the day was well planned and I particularly liked working in break-out groups and then in a smaller group. The trainers all seemed to have a thorough understanding of the programme and were very clear in presenting to us, both in the main hall and my break-out group. Loved the energy breaks!”

“All aspects of the training were useful. Going into the breakout groups was especially useful as we were in smaller groups and initially I was apprehensive but it helped immensely to watch and listen as to how others would work”

The Team
How to Thrive was founded by Lucy Bailey and Emma Judge in 2009 as a not-for-profit trading entity hosted within Hertfordshire County Council.  We work closely with a number of partners, including Local Authorities, Public Health, the London School of Economics, PSHE Association and the University of Pennsylvania to bring strategic and practical interventions to promote emotional resilience. Our work extends across and beyond the UK.

Lucy Bailey worked in the private sector leading a customer service team in a large computer company before moving into the public sector. After a break from paid work to bring up her children she joined Hertfordshire County Council in 1999, starting as a Youth Worker. Lucy currently directs the Healthy Minds project. She has a BSc in Social Policy and Criminology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and is working towards a MSc in Practice Based Research. Lucy has substantial experience of responding to Government legislation and changing priorities, project management, developing new children’s services, workforce reform and integrated partnership working. Lucy has been instrumental to embedding the PRP into the curriculum in schools and services across the UK.

Emma Judge is a Psychologist with a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and extensive experience of leadership and adult development.  She is a Lead Trainer for the University of Pennsylvania on the Penn Resilience Programme and works across the public, educational and private sectors in leadership development, the implementation of well-being strategies and curriculum design.   She has been involved in the UK implementation of the PRP since 2006 when it all began and has been instrumental in the strategic implementation of both the PRP and the Healthy Minds project.  Emma speaks and teaches on the subject of positive psychology, well-being and emotional resilience and is also working towards a PhD in Organisational Health and Well Being at Lancaster University.

How to Thrive has a large team of highly qualified specialists in Positive Psychology, leadership, workforce development, change management and education.  The team have been carefully selected and trained in order to provide a unique and diverse blend of experience, knowledge and styles to deliver vibrant, rigorous interventions. 

If you would like to find out how to join the team, please contact us for a Briefing Pack.

The Advisory Board
The Advisory Board provide advice and challenge to steer the developments of How to Thrive.  We are very grateful for their expertise and commitment to the work that we do.

The members of the board are:

  • John Wood Chief Executive Officer – Hertfordshire County Council (Chair)
  • Lord Richard Layard Programme Director of Wellbeing – London School of Economics
  • Dr Martin Seligman Director of the Positive Psychology Centre – University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Felicia Huppert Professor of Psychology – University of Cambridge
  • Professor Philip A Woods Chair in Educational Policy, Democracy and Leadership of the School of Education – University of Hertfordshire
  • Andrew Simmons Deputy Director for Children’s Services Education – Hertfordshire County Council
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