Dr Gemma Houldey

Facilitating & holding spaces for healing & emboldening change-makers


I'm Gemma Houldey. I work with humanitarians and change-makers who want to be courageous in standing up against oppression in ways that deepen compassion, connection and collective care.

If you are a humanitarian, charity worker or change-maker I am here to help you feel more purposeful and more confident in living by your values without burning out.

Whatever your professional role, I can support you to be a leader and catalyst in creating more inclusive and caring work environments that are dedicated to ending cultures of oppression and inequality. It starts with you, and how you show up for yourself.

We live in a time of increasing pressures and expectations in the workplace, and growing polarisation in our societies. If you are engaged in humanitarian work, or social change activism, you are likely to feel this even more. This alone is leading to increasing cases of burnout.

I can support you to adopt practices and routines that bring you back to wholeness and connection, overcome separation and 'othering', and help you to embody the change you want to see.


Through my book circle & retreats, I work with individuals who wish to feel more rooted in their purpose, more confident in expressing what they stand for, and more able to navigate these tumultuous times from a place of strength, hope and compassion.

Through trainings and consultancies I support organisations to build more resilient workforces in ways that 'walk the talk' on principles of inclusion, equity and collective care.

I firmly believe that we cannot cultivate genuine wellbeing and resilience in our workplaces without addressing both the systemic causes of burnout, and the personal and collective responsibilities in preventing it.

Together, we can create regenerative cultures in the work environment that allow everyone - including you - to thrive, feel seen and feel supported.

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The Vulnerable Humanitarian - About the Book

2021-09-29 14.25.29


My book, The Vulnerable Humanitarian, is inspired by my own experience of burnout and recovery, and by the stories of others who have made self- and collective care a core value that guides all their social change efforts.

The Vulnerable Humanitarian is a mixture of things: a memoir, a self-help book, a treatise on what needs to change in the humanitarian - and, more broadly - the charity and social impact sector, and how we go about transforming our work environments.

It contains guideposts, practices and techniques for you to try out in your quest for culture change, and greater self- and collective care in your social change efforts.

What People Say:

"This book belongs to the library of every humanitarian. This is not just because they will find it interesting but because it is a book most of us have been long waiting for.

Gemma manages to masterfully bring together two seemingly incompatible worlds. First, she forces readers to expose themselves to the many painful truths about our sector. She then goes on to share concrete advice on how we can actually transform it into a space that is more inclusive, safer and that puts care at the very centre of it, not only for the communities we work with but for our humanitarian colleagues as well."

Serap Altinisik, Head of Office, Plan International EU Office

Book Circle

Would you like to explore the findings and recommendations of The Vulnerable Humanitarian in a community of practice, along with me the author?

Come and join my book circle!


Featured Blog Posts

No Belonging without Vulnerability

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