About Us


Empath Action CIC is led by a dedicated team of creatives.

We are passionate about Wakefield and the Arts, and believe that through the Arts, and in particular storytelling and live performance, the people of Wakefield can be uplifted and empowered to tell their stories, and the story of our incredible region.


Steven has worked as a professional writer, artist and performer for over a decade. Empath Action is a development of his empathy-centred practice to help provide fellow artists a home while supporting the people of Wakefield in artistic exploration, connection, and collaboration. 

Joanne has a background as a research director with a particular focus on qualitative and shopper research, garnering an impressive 20-years experience as a freelancer in the highly competitive research industry.

Jo’s skills gives her invaluable insight into the ways in which we communicate, how building a community identity is a form of storytelling in itself, and the ways in which we can better listen to fulfil our community’s needs.  This is invaluable to Empath Action as it allows us to meet people in the community where they are and understand how our storytelling arts can best serve them to produce engaging, thoughtful and entertaining works that nurture and uplift.

Jo also has extensive facilitation and management skills, such as her experience as a school governor, her work with the acclaimed Stride theatre, and as a participant and manager at Truth Be Told poetry nights in Wakefield. She is a poet and writer who loves sharing her work and hearing others explore their own poetic voice.


Katie Greensmith is an actor for stage and screen, director and facilitator. She is part of the original group of actors with whom Empath began working in 2021 and has joined our board to be our Actors Advocate. Among other things, this role means she is the formalised voice for our Actors and ensures their voice is always heard in all creative and business discussions. 

Eve Tinsley is an actor for stage and screen and a facilitator who runs Hit Like a Girl Theatre. Empath and Hit Like a Girl collaborate frequently, for example on the widely praised production 97%, and Eve joins Empath’s board of Directors as a lead for the Female Voice, ensuring Empath will continue to make uplifting, engaging and hard-hitting theatre that centres female-identifying characters and voices. 

Helga Fox is an experienced historical researcher and qualified facilitator. Her years of experience in grassroots led research projects enable her to spot connections others might miss! Helga is also an excellent teacher of history research skills, particularly around looking in the archives, newspapers and other fascinating documents and sources. 

Helen Wilby specialises in research and educational upskilling. Her background as a teacher, as well as her time in the legal profession, mean she has both an eye for detail and an empathetic approach to helping people grow in confidence, learn new skills, and feel creatively fulfilled. 

Serving You!


At Empath Action we have three main areas of focus:

  1. Making Wakefield’s creative upskilling circular
  2. Promoting mental health and wellbeing
  3. Using creativity to promote pride, kindness, and compassion

Wakefield is so lucky to have so many incredible educational institutions like the Mechanics’ Theatre, Backstage Academy, CAPA College, the Theatre Royal, Wakefield College, and more. Year after year we are producing world class performers, writers and artists and sending them out into the world. But what if we didn’t have to?

One of the major strands to Empath Action CIC is keeping talent in Wakefield and bringing the world to us. We have incredible young artists already here looking for the chance to create new and exciting theatre, film, audio stories and more. So let’s help them do that!

Empath Action isn’t just for young creatives in this city though! There are so many people of all ages who have the desire to be creative but haven’t had the opportunity, whether because of financial constraints or other factors. By working with private and public funders, Empath Action CIC will break down these barriers to create workshops, creative coffee mornings, and cultural projects that give more people in Wakefield the chance to access the arts on their terms.

This touches on our overarching vision, and why creativity matters.

Studies show that storytelling can increase empathy. By giving people the chance to tell their stories and, critically, walk in other people’s shoes through creative exploration, we’ll promote self-reflection and mental wellbeing, which leads to people having more capacity for kindness.  In turn, this will create a more compassionate and caring place to live.

This is creative empathy in action. This is Empath Action CIC.

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