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Our trainers

Andy Black has been a Plain English Campaign trainer since 1996. He graduated with dual honours in Philosophy and English from Keele University. He was for many years Head of English at Altrincham Boys' Grammar School, and an experienced examiner at O-level, GCSE and A-level. He has run many courses for every kind of organisation, but particularly in the health sector. He has trained at many hospitals and NHS Trusts, and all the cancer collaboratives in the country. He wrote the Plain English Campaign "Guide to writing medical information", and the campaign's "Grammarcheck" course. He also delivers the Plain English Diploma course. And he played football for England UAU - once!

Terry Denman worked in the financial sector and in central government for several years, before taking a postgraduate degree at Cambridge. He then worked in local government for over ten years (mainly in social housing) and took the Plain English Campaign's diploma in 1991.

Terry has worked for the Plain English Campaign as a trainer for 18 years, and has trained staff in over 500 organisations throughout the country. He has wide experience of drafting and editing documents in the public sector and he is author of the grammar book 'How not to write'.

Ciaran Dodd graduated from Cambridge University in 1994 with a BA degree in Law. From 1994 to 1996 she worked as an English language instructor at Quingdao Institute in China. She spent the next 5 years working for Rolls-Royce plc in Derby as a corporate internal training consultant. Since 2002 she has been working as a freelance training consultant and teacher.

She joined Plain English Campaign in December 2005 and has delivered training for a wide variety of organisations both in the public and private sectors. Since leaving university in 1994, she has obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and a Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.

Lisa Brice has been with the Campaign since 1993. She joined our editing department from Longman Publishing, where she had been an editor on ELT text books, dictionaries and grammar manuals. As an editor at the Campaign, Lisa applied our standards and techniques to a vast range of documents, specialising in providing linguistic and grammar advice to clients. As one of our most experienced trainers, Lisa has presented the Campaign’s courses across our whole range of clients, from voluntary organisations and local authorities to Civil Service Departments and international blue-chip companies.

Thorfinn Johnston spent thirty-four years in the Civil Service, where much of his work involved writing. This included letters to the public, job specifications, advertising copy, promotional material and briefing papers. During his career he delivered various presentations and seminars, including job-hunting seminars for professional people.

After taking early retirement some years ago, Thorfinn trained to be a TEFL teacher (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and went to work in Paris, where he stayed for six years. He taught people working in French commerce and industry, at all levels of seniority, ability and knowledge of English.

Malcolm Lewis worked in local and central government as well as the Health Service before joining the Campaign as a trainer in 1999. He has a BA in philosophy from Nottingham University and an MA in writing from the University of Wales.

Malcolm is also an accomplished writer and arts journalist. He reviews music and films for two national magazines and is a published poetry and fiction writer. He specialises in plain English courses on layout and design and writing for websites.

Jeanette Mercer graduated in 1987 with a degree in Modern Language Studies, and then spent ten years in customer service roles in the insurance and travel industries. In 1997 she did a Masters in Translation at the University of Surrey and later did a Post Graduate Certificate in Education to become a qualified teacher.

Jeanette has been a trainer with Plain English Campaign for ten years. She finds that her business experience helps her understand the sort of problems modern writers face. She has trained people in all kinds of organisations – from large banks to charities, from central government departments to a prison.

John Wild is a science graduate who joined Plain English Campaign in 1995 after a career as a secondary school teacher. Before that, he worked in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, latterly as a quality assurance manager, where he was responsible, among other things, for drafting ISO 9000 quality assurance manuals (rarely, alas, in plain English). His work at Plain English Campaign includes involvement in most aspects of the company’s operations, including editing, training, desk top publishing and document design.

As the Campaign’s Publicity and Development Manager, he has given presentations and run plain English training courses throughout the UK, as well as in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, India, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the USA – and Wigan.

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