About Us

Kelly Brougham - Business & Operational Director

Hi I’m Kelly I’m one of the founders and Business & Operations Director at Active Families North East, which was created back in 2017.  Having previously managed a health and wellbeing team for a local authority and a health and being a fitness practitioner for over 20 years, I have experience of working across and within a range of different sectors and settings focusing on improving the lives of our golden generation. 

Starting at the age of 19 I first received my first qualifications in Exercise to Music and L3 Gym which led me on to be able to achieve lots of certifications including L2 Children’s Fitness, L3 Nutrition, L3 Pre/Post Natal, L3 Working with Older Adults and L3 GP Referral and Level 4 Diabetes and Weight management.  These all accompany my degree in Sport & Exercise Science. 

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Amy Swan - Creative Director

Hi I’m Amy and I’ve worked in fitness for over 5 years. Previously, I worked as a creative designer for 15 years working mostly in print and publishing. A love of fitness, being active and wanting a healthier lifestyle drove my passion and commitment to work with and help members of the community to do the same. I’m a fully qualified, experienced gym and group exercise instructor, personal trainer and swimming teacher, having taught a wide variety of classes across the community. Supplementary to this, I have studied to develop specialist training and qualifications in the fields of pre & post natal fitness and exercise for older adults. My belief is that, being active and taking part in exercise isn’t about how good, how fast or how strong you are, its about wanting to take part and enjoy feeling fitter and healthier. Exercising and being active together, and wanting to keep going is something I advocate and is therefore fundamental to the Active Families beliefs. In my spare time I enjoy running, swimming and going to the gym. I keep active with my family, understanding that being a time together is more productive, rewarding and enjoyable! 

Jo Buckley - Training & Development Director

Hi im Jo and I’ve been teaching group exercise classes for over 20 years now (although I don’t feel or act old enough to say that!) I am also a PGCE qualified lecturer and assessor and over the years I’ve had the privilege assisting many other people to qualify as Group Exercise Instructors and Personal Trainers. I teach a variety of classes including Body Pump, Zumba and, Clubbercise, Spinning and Aqua. I am also a swimming instructor for adults and children. Even after all these years I still love teaching and making a difference to people’s days. I am loving working for Active Families NE delivering both indoor and outdoor classes with our lovely adults and families. Exercise and laughter followed by tea and biscuits-  whats not to love! When I’m not teaching you will find me mostly in my wellies with Mutley, my gorgeous Labradoodle, by my side on long muddy walks through our local woods and fields!

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Ashleigh Thompson - Physical & Well-being Coordinator

Hi I’m Ashleigh and I’m one of the coordinators  for Active Families NE! I think it’s a rare thing to enjoy your job every single day but I’m pleased to say I genuinely do. We work with all ages and abilities and that is an amazing thing to be able to do. We aim to make people healthier and happier and I believe that myself and the rest of the team strive to do that to the best of our ability every day. From Buggy Bootcamp to Active Forever I think we have created programmes for every body. I first jumped into the fitness world in 2012 when I was physically dragged to a Zumba Fitness class by a friend. I had always been a dancer but the ability to drive had made me less active and I had put on a bit of weight. Long story short, I loved Zumba so much that 5 months later I trained and became and instructor. The rest is history. Since then I got myself licensed to teach a variety of classes, completed my Level 2 Exercise To Music qualification and together me and the girls created Active Families NE. This has allowed us to work with a wider range of ages and abilities and recently I completed my Level 3 Exercise with Older Adults qualification and currently in the middle of my Level 3 Pre/Post Natal qualification a

Lauren Ryce - Early Years Coordinator

Hi I’m Lauren and I’m the Early Years Coordinator I have been working for Active Families NE alongside Kelly, Ashleigh and Amy from the very start. I may be the short one but I’m definitely not the quiet one, I love to make people smile and laugh all day long which makes my job so easy. I found my passion for fitness when I was very young. I went through a hard time with eating disorders and anorexia before I found out the healthier way to train and have a healthy diet…so here I am happy, healthy and fit! I have my Level 2 ETM qualification, my Level 3 in designing exercise programmes for older adults and my level 3 in Childrens care, learning & development! I’m also trained in kids Fitness, Yoga, Boogie Bounce, Clubbercise, Hiitstep, kangoo & boxercise…so just a few things!
My job is an amazing job, I love the variety we bring everyone around us…from babies all the way up to adults over and above 60! We make people feel happy, healthier and brighter just by doing our jobs & it makes us feel the same way.


Rebecca Lee - Well Bean Machine Activator

Hi, I’m Rebecca, my previous background was in Law and Administration but after having my 2 sons and attending various toddler groups and sessions with my children, I realised my passion was with Community-based work. I started working with Active Families NE in March 2022 and having completed studies and practical courses, I am now over the moon to be a qualified as a Seated Exercise Instructor and a Children’s Yoga Teacher. 

My work with Active Families is really varied; I deliver The Well Bean Machine programme; which is a seated Exercise Class in parks or residential streets / communal areas, followed by a chat, cuppa and a biscuit; helping many who may be typically quite isolated feel a sense of togetherness. I also deliver exercise in Care Homes, having a dance with the residents and getting them good mood endorphins from exercise flowing! My work with early years and children has included assisting Toddler Groups, Ballet Tots as well as exercise and dance in a Nursery setting. I assist Holiday Camps where the activities programme we deliver is so varied from archery and gardening to crafts and baking to name but a few. My particular passion is Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness, which I deliver in Primary Schools. I love bringing a Yoga Story to life with imagination and characters throughout the poses, as well as teaching breathing and relaxation techniques.

I absolutely love the work we do at Active Families NE; connecting with people and delivering physical and social Activities is so rewarding.

Sam Candler - Active Tots & Well Bean Machine Coach

HI, I’m Sam and I first heard of Active Families when I was introduced to Buggy Bootcamp at Barnes Park. I’d recently became a new Mam and wanted to get back into fitness but as a first time Mam didn’t want to leave my bundle of joy. I quickly got to know all the girls who were so encouraging and started to participate in more classes. So, when Kelly mentioned that there was an opportunity for me to complete my level 2 exercise to music I jumped at the chance.

I passed my qualification in March 2021, as well as my Level 2 seated exercise course for older adults. As a new venture I am now looking into training to do Yoga with Children. I find it so inspiring that age is not a barrier and at 90 years old people still want to do exercise. This is the reason I love the work I do.

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Mo Hmida - Football & Kids Fitness Coach

 Hi I’m Mo,   I am an ex-professional footballer from Tunisia. Football has been my passion since I was a young boy. For 7 years I played for the Tunisian National Team and accomplished a lot during this time. Unfortunately, due to an injury I was forced to retire from this club and have since concentrated on coaching footballers of all ages and abilities. I have lived in the UK for the past 5 years working as a football coach and fitness instructor. In October 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic I opened the Score Mo Football Academy which has since become one of the leading coaching academies in Sunderland. I volunteer my time as the lead coach for Sunderland West End Ladies First Team who have this year been promoted to the North East Regional Women’s Premier League Division. I am currently studying for my FA Level 3 UEFA B Coaching Award which will be complete in the Spring of 2022. A great achievement in my coaching career. I am multilingual and can fluently coach in 6 languages including: English, Arabic, French, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. I have spent a lot of time studying over the last 5 years and am a qualified Fitness Instructor as well as completing the following courses: Emergency First Aid, Safeguarding Adults and Children, FIFA diploma in Football Medicine, Adapting Fitness Instruction to Adolescents Level 2.  I have had the pleasure of working with Active Families NE helping to provide Summer Schools this year and look forward to working along side them with their future events. 

Jack Desmond -Mission 2 Mobility Coach

Hi, I’m Jack and I’ve been involved with Sport and Exercise for as long as I can remember. I am a multi-sport athlete who has competed at County/ National levels in: Football, Rugby, Athletics, Cricket and Cross country.

When I was 14, I broke my femur whilst playing football and it was at this point, I started to pay close attention to the mental and physical rehabilitation involved with injuries and exercise. For me, I love the thrill of competing in sports and also the competitive element it provides. However, it is the mental element that I enjoy the most as being involved in exercise and sport is great for my mental health and helps keep me in the best physical condition I can be.

I am a qualified Level 5 Exercise for Health Specialist, Level 3 Personal Trainer and have got a Level 3 in Exercise Referral. I am currently studying my Level 4 in Strength & Conditioning. To add to this, I have qualifications in Level 2 Spinning, Boxercise and Circuit Training.

I have been working with Active Families for a few months now, delivering sessions over the summer months with for the School Holiday Camps. I am going to start delivering classes based around mobility, rehabilitation and functional exercise with the aim of improving the health of individuals whilst getting them to enjoy exercise. This is my biggest passion as I believe that exercise should be inclusive, and everyone can benefit in some way from my coaching.

Life is all about enjoying the moment and if I can help people with this, then I will be happy.

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