An inspiring emotional wellbeing coach for children in Yorkshire and beyond

Wish you could empower the young people in your life to uncover their innate strength and mental wellbeing?  To shape success on their own terms? I can help.

Mariella O'Brien

My Story

Hi! I’m Mariella – a mum of two and a mental wellbeing coach and facilitator. Born and raised in Bulgaria, I worked hard to succeed according to society’s expectations. After gaining a masters in International Business Relations, my government position saw me travelling the world negotiating international travel corridors. After I met my now husband, I moved to the UK. More studying and more jobs in financial services, IT project management and business change management followed. But I wasn’t fulfilled by what I was doing.

I decided to step off the corporate career ladder to be more present for my family and re-evaluate my goals. Through volunteering as a Rainbow Leader for the Girl Guides and being a ‘Big Sister’ for Girls Out Loud, I realised how much I loved working with children.

While retraining as a coach, I came across the ‘inside-out’ approach to understanding the mind and emotions. I applied this insight when running mental health workshops in primary schools. These windows of time in which children could talk about their thoughts and feelings were so empowering. I founded Mind Garden York to offer this sort of support in schools and after-school settings.

Why I love being an emotional wellbeing coach for children

Through my workshops and sessions, I get to share what I wish I’d known about mindsets and emotions as child and a teenager. My goal is to give children the tools they need to make the right life choices for who they really are.

Mind Garden York was set up after the first 2020 lockdown, and I run it alongside my private practice. It’s a Community Interest Company (CIC)  meaning it exists to benefit the community. Being a CIC means more types of funding is available.

Mind Garden York CIC Classroom wellbeing workshop
Mind Garden York CIC outdoor

Why Mind Garden?

Just like a garden, a young person’s emotional wellbeing needs to be nurtured.

I also love to garden! For me the garden is a place to savour a mindful moment, its a place to marvel at the miracles of nature and witness the intelligence of live in action. The benefits of being in nature to our wellbeing are scientifically proven and well documented.

I have a vision for a beautiful communal green space, a real-life Mind Garden, where I can engage children in sowing and growing as part of our wellbeing workshops. I know this will materialise one way or another in the future.

Mind Garden York CIC outdoor

Training and professional development


Corporate responsibility

Every year I volunteer or work at a reduced rate to help organisations close to my heart. My quota for this year is currently full. But funding partnerships may be available if you don’t have a budget? Please check out Services for more details and get in touch.

Proud to support:

TimePeace Community: connecting refugees and locals

Rondevlei Learning Centre, Sedgefield, South Africa

Would you or your company like to sponsor a programme?

Sponsoring Mind Garden York-led sessions is the perfect way to give back to your community.

Donate to help local children

As well as applying for grants, Mind Garden York also accepts donations. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

My aim is to access enough funding to allow Mind Garden York to offer its support free of charge to those who need it most.

Sponsoring Mind Garden York-led sessions is the perfect way to give back to your community.

Come and say hi on Social…