”high quality art, high quality engagement” 

Nick Owen MBE,  CEO, The Mighty Creatives

” I’m interested in the thinking tools”

Valerie Moody, MBE, National Education Liaison Officer for Showman’s Guild of Great Britain

‘Thinking is helping me change my life’

Kristiana Groza
Kristiana Groza

I grew up in Coalville after living in Latvia up until the age of 8. I went to Broomleys school for a year then moved through to Castle Rock and King Edward VII. I struggled to cope with mainstream education and went through some difficult times. Eventually I found an alternative provision that supported my needs and I began volunteering through an Art Council funded project that Deana was involved in.
I have volunteered for the Hero Project since starting in Coalville. In the summer of 2017 I led the team working with the local nursery group and designed and delivered my own activities supporting other volunteers. My volunteering has led to opportunities to work in two local schools on a regular basis supporting a class and I have delivered creative workshops both in schools and with the public. I have had the opportunity to get understand the GO Mad Thinking Framework. This has helped me make decisions and choices. I have shared it with others and would like to be involved in the development of this area of the work of the Hero Project as I believe it has the potential to help other young people and adults.

”children and young people to really engage in ‘thinking’ activities”

Andy Gilbert
Andy Gilbert

Deana and Julia have taken the principles of the Go MAD framework and are in the process of developing new ways for children and young people to really engage in ‘thinking’ activities.
‘’having spent time with them both, I realise that they are both enthusiastic individuals with very different skill sets, that when added together, make a great team, focussed on making a difference’’

Andy Gilbert Developer of a widely acclaimed Solution Focused Thinking System used worldwide by major corporations and hundreds of thousands of people in over 40 countries. Over 15 years’ experience in studying peak performance and specifically how people think when they Make A Difference.
Author of over 20 books (including the bestselling “Go MAD – The Art of Making A Difference”, “Go MAD about Coaching” and over 200 audio/video programmes.
Over 500 conference and 2000 training events
20 years consulting and leadership training experience in over 30 countries. Winner of Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 in Leicestershire Business Awards


”captured the imagination of young and old”

Karan Sheffield

I have lived and worked in Coalville for 25yrs. I work at the Coalville Job Centre. I am very keen to support young people into work and empower them to create their future. I have an interest in local and family history and met Deana through history pages on Face Book! Our paths crossed again whilst Deana was supporting a young person and had attended the Job centre with her. Deana left the building, promptly came back in again as she ‘twigged’ where she had seen my face before! Introductions were made followed by an invite to come and see the work of The Hero Project and the Coalville Heroes. I have tremendous admiration for both Julia and Deana and their talent in keeping so many fantastic initiatives on track at the same time! I am a regular attendee at the Thursday evening sessions and have enjoyed Junk Drumming, helping with craft projects, assisting with development of a presentation to the Council/ local employers and promoting the project through Face Book and Twitter. The current WW1 local history project has really captured the imagination of young and old, both locally and further afield. It’s going to be fantastic! Coalville Heroes is fantastic!!


”inspire and feed the lives of local youngsters”

Wendy J
Wendy James

Julia and Deana are simultaneously able to research bigger pictures and perspectives to inspire and feed the lives of local youngsters whilst at the same time being practical and realistic and more than happy to roll their sleeves up at the coalface to deliver appropriate programme.
It would be a privilege to be able to support Julia and Deana’s vision in Coalville in a more concrete fashion by providing them with remodelled, rejuvenated or even new facilities to give youth projects the prospects and opportunities that youngsters need in life in the up and coming decades of social engagement, purpose, training, employment and creative expression

Wendy James A partner at Garber & James – an architectural practice internationally recognised as expert in the Museum sector. Wendy is the concept initiator of a national project – ‘My Primary School is at the Museum’ project alongside Kings College London and the Museums Association and the design manager for the major Tate Modern extension.

‘It is dynamic, innovative and ambitious’

Graham Black
Graham Black

I have known Deana for over ten years and have always admired her work – and that applies to the current Hero Project also. It is dynamic, innovative and ambitious, but also grounded in the experience of both Deana and her colleague Julia. What makes it particularly impressive is the extent to which it really is driven by young people, for young people and with young people. This is made possible the expertise Deana and Julia bring to it – and their confidence in the abilities of the young people involved.