• Gail Curry
  • I am the original director of Happy Planet, having started the business in 2014. I have always considered myself 'creative' in the widest possible sense and been a keen fan of the 'creative arts' both has a spectator and activist. My previous careers in Social Work and photography as well as an enquiring mind and a love of travel have served me in seeing and experiencing many different views of the world we live in. It is this broad base that I believe has fed my life long creativity and helped me to maintain myself through my own mental health difficulties with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, all of which now informs what I create and helps me to show others how to aid their own well being as well as their own creative journey through facilitating workshops.

    I enjoy working with natural materials, mainly wool, wood and paper, but not exclusively, as found objects often find there way into my work somewhere. I enjoy writing poetry and spurred on by the lovely people poetry has introduced me to I hope to publish my first volume later this year, with the prospect of a biographical book now started.

    When I'm not working I love flying kites and listening to classical music .......sometimes together.

  • Elaine Cusack
  • I’ve been a Director of Happy Planet since February 2016. Soon after meeting Happy Planet’s Gail Curry in 2014, we decided to channel our shared love of poetry into Poetry with Friends. This poetry-appreciation-with-a-difference group goes from strength to strength and continues to attract new members.

    I have a lifelong love of poetry and I’ve been writing and performing my own work since I was at school. My first pamphlet Bed and Breakfast with Lydia Lunch was published in 1986 when I was 16 years old. Since then my poems have won numerous awards and appeared in various collections as well as on national TV and radio.

    I’ve spent the past 30 years exploring my creativity through journalism, writing and performing in various bands and collaborating with artists. I currently live in Whitley Bay where I have my fingers in several creative pies.

    I run writing workshops for Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC as well as for my arts organisation, The Next Page. Visit for more information. The Next Page also runs The North Tyneside Writers’ Circle and regular literary event, Pure Fiction.

    Between 2014 and 2017 I co-organised the regular poetry and music event Free as a Bard with Peter “IRON Press” Mortimer in Whitley Bay’s volunteer-run cinema, The Jam Jar.

    I blog at

  • Elaine Maughan
  • I am Elaine Maughan and I am the least artistic director of Happy Planet Creative Arts. I escaped my corporate career almost three years ago to follow my dreams of setting up my own holistic therapy practice, and met Gail at a local networking event shortly afterwards. We bonded over a shared love of yarn and the rest, as they say, is history. I live with my family in Whitley Bay and run Elemental Changes in the heart of the town, where I offer Reiki, Tarot and Meditation sessions, teach Reiki and Tarot and host regular workshops and retreats. In my spare time I knit, make jewellery, and write about all things spiritual and holistic.

  • Geoff Smith
  • I became involved with Happy Planet in its first year, having just moved to Whitley and was looking to get out, socialise and be creative. I knew this would help my mental wellbeing, having had long-term mental health issues. I joined the Thursday and later the Tuesday, Poetry with Friends groups. Later I started to attend the Arts with Friends and Gail helped me feel valued and that what I produced was good even though my self-critical voice was ever present.

    The whole ethos and purpose of Happy Planet is to empower people to develop their potential and improve their wellbeing. I really value and support these and other similar aims. So when I was invited to become a Happy Planet Director, just before its 3rd anniversary, I was honoured to accept.

    For work (in my well periods) I am an IT consultant and run my own business called GPSIT

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