Meet the Team

Meet the people that make the Walk & Talk cogs turn and work tirelessly to bring these events to everyone that needs them.

Rachael Hollwey

Rachael Hollwey

I never know how to keep an “about me” section short. My life has been, and continues to be, one of many battles, adventures and quite an endurance test. But it has made me who I am today and given me the passion I have to help others to show them what strength they have inside. If I am honest, if I could change what I’ve been through I would, so I am now dedicated to prevent anyone else to suffer to such an extent, or want anyone to ever feel alone.

I recovered from Anorexia Nervosa and found my way out of a deep depression after 10 years of fighting and spending 5 years in hospital. I was a part of a scientific study, tried to end my life, and lost friends to their battles. But despite this, I volunteered in Ghana, worked a summer in France, travelled to many countries and have experienced so much joy that I didn’t think was possible for me.

Though now suffering from a rare disease that my Anorexia covered, I live a fulfilled life as a private and self-employed Pilates Instructor, founding this charity and writing my book “At War With My Mind”. The support I have around me is what keeps me going and is vital for anyone, and that is what we create at Walk and Talk.

My shout out to the world is to never give up and that anything is possible!

Patrick Hollwey

I have spent over 25 years devoting much of my spare time to the charitable sector, initially on the board of some children’s hospices, helping to raise funds to build two new hospices in London and then also as co-founder of Tennis For Free in the UK, providing free mass participation sports sessions for those that need it most, working with deprived communities and those suffering from mental health, the aim being to improve peoples lives through building strong communities in a healthy environment.

Being a parent to Rachael and living through 10 years of her mental battles, alongside working with Children suffering from life limiting illnesses made me realise how much these new schemes are needed to help both those that are struggling and those caring for someone.

None of this could be done without the support and encouragement from my wife Chris who has devoted so much of her working life to helping others, it’s a team effort and shows what can be done with the support of those around you.

Having spent 30 years in the fashion industry, I then changed my working life to what it is today. The reward of seeing people get back their confidence and self esteem right in front of your eyes is what drives me to keep giving back, I now get my inspiration from Rachael and devote as much of my time as possible to building stronger communities.

Patrick & Chris Hollwey

Malcolm Portelli

As a teenager, Malcolm suffered from Anorexia Nervosa but was lucky enough to have the support structure and help he needed to recover. As an adult, he founded the Eating Disorders Support Malta organisation with the aim to assist all those people affected by eating disorders.

He now is married with a beautiful daughter and works in the IT and Information Security industry, making him the right board member to take care of all things tech.

He hopes that his experiences and expertise can help Walk & Talk thrive and become the platform for mental health awareness that everyone needs.

David Bartolo

I’ve always been an active person, constantly seeking new ways to stay in motion and revelling in the great outdoors. However, life took an unexpected turn during my formative years when a tragic loss in the family left me deeply shaken. This traumatic experience, coupled with bullying and abuse from various individuals around me at the time, plunged me into the depths of depression. It was a challenging journey, one that I carried with me throughout my university years.

In the aftermath of these hardships, I found myself struggling to secure a job in my chosen field, battling self-doubt, and wrestling with plummeting self-esteem. But within the shadows of adversity, I unearthed a newfound passion for fitness and weight training. These activities became more than just physical pursuits; they played a pivotal role in rebuilding my self-confidence.

I embarked on a journey of self-reinvention, expanding my horizons, and reigniting my intellectual curiosity across various fields of study. A few years ago, a powerful urge to make a difference in the lives of individuals grappling with mental health issues and confidence struggles led me to join the Walk and Talk volunteer organization. This opportunity allowed me to channel my own experiences into a force for good, providing support and guidance to those in need.Through my experiences, I’ve come to understand that adversity can be a stepping stone to personal growth, and my mission is to help others find their own path to healing and self-assurance. It’s a pleasure to be part of the Walk and Talk team and contribute to our collective mission of making a positive impact on people’s lives.

David Bartolo Profile Picture

Kirsten O’Neill