Our Counselling Team

Cambridge Lifeskills team of amazing professional Counsellors & Play Therapist for young people

Sarah Thomas
Hinemoa Reihana
Natalie Gibbons
Tracey Crouchman 
Carolyn Murray
Georga Bentley
Bess Davey
Olivia Stead

Manager - Clinical Leader
Sandy Wesford

Counselling young people in Cambridge

Cambridge Lifeskills has been providing a free counselling service to the 13 public schools in the Cambridge district since 1992.

Our expert counsellors work with tamariki and rangatahi in the 5 - 15 years age group with family frequently included in the work we do with the children. This counselling service is an integral part of the support network available to children attending Cambridge public schools. Being local enables whānau with students in different schools to be seen and counselled in their familiar school environment. It also allows for easy access to support for the referred students & whānau.

We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on the generosity and support of our Cambridge community as well as working tirelessly to raise funds to provide these services.

If you are able to contribute to the cost of these services, this will pay it forward for the next child. Let's join hands to change all children's futures.

Counsellors usually work with the students in their schools, so that they don't need to travel during the school day.

Our Patron - Sarah Ulmer

As a mum of two young girls and a Cambridge resident, I am really proud to be the Patron of Cambridge Life Skills.

I think that the free counselling service Cambridge Lifeskills provides to our young people is just fantastic – having a place where our young ones can have access to help BEFORE the problems become too big is such an incredible asset to our town and its future.

Cambridge is such a fortunate town – with amazing facilities, people and a positive community. But not everyone is lucky enough to grow up carefree.

Having Cambridge Lifeskills help our children and young people achieve their full potential – in the classroom and out in the big wide world I think is not just so valuable to our children and families, but is helping the future of Cambridge stay safe, vibrant and prosperous.

Keep up the great work you guys!!

Sarah Ulmer
Cambridge Lifeskills Patron

Our Board Members for 2024

Cambridge Lifeskills is governed by a Board - all volunteers in the Cambridge Community.

Board members attend monthly meetings, contribute constructive input into those meetings and support funding and profile initiatives, helping grow Cambridge Lifeskills. Below are our current Board


  • John Bullick - Board Chair

  • Sandy Wesford - Agency Manager - Clinical Leader

  • Sarah Ulmer - Patron

  • Sherry Herkes - Cambridge Real Estate - Foundation Sponsor

  • Larissa Gamble - Treasurer (Chartered Accountant)

  • Marilynn Jones - Retired Principal

  • Tina-Maree Thatcher - Principal Karapiro School

  • Steff McNamara - Secretary

John Bullick, Cambridge Lifeskills

John Bullick


John has been a Cambridge Lifeskills Board member since 1997. He has seen many changes as the organisation has adapted to the changing needs of the Cambridge community. John is also an active member of Rotary Cambridge. Formally a local primary school Principal, he is still working in schools around the Waikato. John’s wife Sue also works in the education field. They have 3 adult children, and 3 grandchildren.

Sandy Wesford, Cambridge Lifeskills

Sandy Wesford


Sandy has been employed by Cambridge Lifeskills since 1997 and has been a Board member since 2004. Sandy began her work with Cambridge Lifeskills as a counsellor then after 10 years moved into her current role as Manager/Clinical Leader. Sandy lives in Te Miro with husband Adrian and their 2 sons.

Sherry Herkes, Cambridge Lifeskills

Sherry Herkes


Sherry joined us in 2015 and is a principal at Cambridge Real Estate.  Cambridge Real Estate is the Foundation Sponsor of Cambridge Lifeskills.  Sherry and her husband moved to Cambridge when she took up the position of Manager at the Cambridge BNZ.  She resigned from the banking business in 2006 and started a new adventure with the Real Estate profession.  Sherry has 2 adult children and she and husband Tim have 5 grandchildren between them.

Steff McNamara, Cambridge Lifeskills

Steff McNamara


Steff is a former primary school teacher, and currently employed as Receptionist at Accounted 4, she is passionate about the youth of our town. Steff taught for three years as the sole teacher in an Alternative Learning Programme set up in Cambridge to allow young people who had been put out of school a second chance to get themselves back on track and reintegrated back into the school system. Steff has three grown up sons and three grandsons.

Marilynn Jones

Marilynn came on board in 2014 and is passionate about the work of Cambridge Lifeskills. A retired school Principal, she is still actively involved with children as a relief teacher.  Marilynn too has adult children and some cherished grandies.  

Tina-Maree Thatcher - Cambridge Lifeskills

Tina–Maree Thatcher

Tina-Maree has been a board member for Cambridge Lifeskills since 2016 as a school principal representative. Tina-Maree has been involved in education in the Cambridge region for approximately 17 years. She is passionate about child advocacy, child mental health and wellbeing, education law and social justice in education. She highly values the role that Cambridge Lifeskills has in removing barriers to learning and ensuring equitable outcomes for our students.  Tina-Maree has 3 adult children and is Principal at Karāpiro School.

Larissa Gamble

Larissa joined the Cambridge Lifeskills team in June 2022 as Treasurer.
Larissa, her husband Shaun and two young children moved to Cambridge in 2020 after spending most of her time growing up in Matamata. Their children attend a local primary school.
Larissa, who works as a Chartered Accountant at Accounted4 Ltd, is passionate about the support that Cambridge Lifeskills is able provide to the young children of Cambridge.

Tribute - Jack Reid

One of our active Board members, Jack Reid, sadly passed away in June 2019. Jack was a former Principal of Goodwood School, having served in that role for over 30 years. Jack was always a huge advocate of the work of Cambridge Lifeskills as a school Principal, and once he retired in 2015, his invaluable skills were a real asset to the Board. He is remembered for his passion to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families.

Positive Early Intervention

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