Who We Are

CEDAR is made up of a team of volunteers, instructors, advisors and supporters who believe it is important to get the communication we have around death, dying and bereavement right. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment can harm lives; but saying the right thing at the right time can make a world of positive difference. Our team is growing. Here are some of the people involved in our projects:

The CEDAR Team


Judith Wester

Judith Wester
PhD, Director, Instructor and Founder of CEDAR

Dr Wester is a thanatologist and academic who has committed herself to transferring contemporary research on death, dying and bereavement into language everyone can understand. She has taught at college, university and community levels, believing everyone from young to old can benefit from death education. Her vast experience includes working with home-care hospice, children’s hospital, and developing Death Studies programmes in higher education. She also trained and worked as an HIV hot-line crisis counsellor. As a trustee and vice chair for a mental health charity, she became certified in suicide prevention in 2010. She is currently on the steering committee of LGBT SAND (Safe Ageing—No Discrimination), which addresses the needs of vulnerable elderly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at end of life. Dr Wester’s enthusiasm for empowering people through education can be contagious. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


Stephen Jacobs

Stephen Jacobs
PhD, Sr Lecturer/Researcher and Co-Director of CEDAR

Dr Jacobs has been involved in educational curriculum development for over fifteen years with a focus on communication, cultural studies and religious tolerance. As a Senior Lecturer in Media, Religion & Culture, he holds the position of Chair of the Ethics Committee in Communications at the University of Wolverhampton. His knowledge in the area of ethics brings a valuable resource to the work of CEDAR. Dr Jacobs has created our ethics policy and guidelines, which informs our research and instruction.


Roy Broad

Roy Broad
PhD, Founder Network Marketing Ltd and CEDAR Business Advisor

Dr Broad holds a PhD in Marketing from the University of Wolverhampton and is the founder of Network Marketing LTD. He provided the initial advice on how to set up CEDAR and establish our business plan. He also steers CEDAR toward effective communications and was the lead behind the idea of the ‘Life Lessons’ project. His contributions have been invaluable to our success. Dr Broad is also a volunteer fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society and is a Dementia Friends Champion.


George Chryssides

George Chryssides
PhD, Lecturer, Researcher and CEDAR Educational Advisor

As a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Dr Chryssides brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the CEDAR Advisory Board. He is an internationally published scholar in religious studies and was made an Honorary Life Member of the British Association for the Study of Religion in 2008. Having developed and taught Death Studies programmes at the university level, he is particularly familiar with the best ways to deliver this topic in intriguing and engaging ways, as well as promoting tolerance and acceptance of varied belief systems.


Joyce Dyde

Joyce Dyde
Administration and Health & Wellbeing Advisor to CEDAR

Joyce Dyde is a founding member of CEDAR Education CIC and has been important to developing the accessibility of our website. She has also developed our communications resources that allow us to keep a wide variety of tasks on track. Joyce recently moved from Shropshire to the Isle of Sheppey. Her diverse career ranges from Administration to Clinical. While she is working in London, Joyce will carry on her support for CEDAR through administration work, advising on website content and advising on our educational programmes and development.  She is currently our ambassador ‘South’ of the border.


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Richard Parkes
CEO, Shropshire Youth Association

Richard has a plethora of work experience running and managing youth projects on the county-wide level for almost 20 years. He has worked with both the Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Councils to develop infrastructure support to voluntary youth clubs, and carries these skills over to the management of SYA. We are very fortunate to have his skills and input regarding our Life Lessons Death Education programmes for young people.


Kathryn Walker

Kathryn Walker
Social Anthropologist, BA Hons, PG Dip Psych, MA

As a Social Anthropologist, Kathryn observes, analyses and records human diversity, behaviours, and beliefs found in different societies and cultures. Kathryn’s academic background in Fine Art as well as Psychology informs her research, leading to explorations into environmental and socio-cultural factors that relate to human experience and interaction in diverse communities. Kathryn is currently a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member of the British Sociological Association. With CEDAR CIC Kathryn is researching and collecting data through participant observation and report writing.


Margaret Wilkins

Margaret Wilkins
Author, Editor and CEDAR Advisor & Volunteer

Margaret Wilkins started out as a classicist and has had a varied career, including some years as a community worker and as a volunteer with the Samaritans. She is now a freelance writer and editor who is looking forward to putting this experience to work as part of the team helping to produce CEDAR’s educational material and online text. She is also a dedicated volunteer for CEDAR, helping with our events and activities in the community.


Mark Gibson

Mark Gibson

Founder of the award-winning company ImageMatch, Mark now runs Asset Management Social Enterprise CIC, which he helped to establish. His long career in IT with Sony helped him gain a lot of experience in dealing with large businesses such as PC World. Mark is also involved with a specialist disability social enterprise, as well as the local VCSA Forums of Interest; including Social Enterprise, Training Providers and the Criminal Justice Forum. He addition, he finds time to be the Chair of his local residents association and sits on the panel of a fostering agency. His many other involvements at both community and business levels are exceptional and award winning. CEDAR is very fortunate to have him as an invaluable advisor.

CEDAR EDUCATION CIC
CEDAR  Education  is  dedicated  to  teaching everyone  how  to  understand,  accept  and  respond to  death,  dying  and  loss  in  healthy  and appropriate  ways  with  clients,  patients,  students, and  in  personal  relationships.
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