Neil Thompson has extensive experience of working with people and their problems. For many years this was exclusively in a social work context, but for some years now Neil has been applying his expertise to human relations problems in the workplace – an approach sometimes referred to as ‘occupational social work’ – click here for more information about Neil’s philosophy and approach

Neil’s writings have established him as a leading thinker in social work and related disciplines. He is well respected for his ability to explain complex ideas in an accessible way without oversimplifying them. His writings are also consistently praised for linking theory to practice and, in so doing, bringing the theory to life. Largely because of his writings and their extensive influence, Neil is much in demand as a trainer, consultant and international conference speaker.

Neil has over 200 publications to his name, including best-selling textbooks, papers in learned journals and training and open learning materials. Details of his books can be found here. He has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals and was the founding editor of the British Journal of Occupational Learning. He has also served as the editor of the US-based international journal,Illness, Crisis & Loss. He is also the editor-in-chief of the humansolutions website.

Neil is a member or Fellow of various professional organisations – click here for more information and links to those organisations.

Neil has qualifications in social work, training and development, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, and management (MBA) as well as a first-class honours degree in social sciences, a doctorate (PhD) and a higher doctorate (DLitt). The higher doctorate was awarded in recognition of his major contribution to developing our understanding of welfare and well-being. In 2011 he was presented with a lifetime achivement award by BASW Cymru (the Wales branch of the British Association of Social Workers). In 2014 he was awarded the Dr. Robert Fulton Award for excellence in the field of Death, Dying and Bereavement by the Center for Death Education and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


Following a successful career as a social worker, manager, training officer and lecturer, Neil was appointed Professor of Applied Social Studies at Staffordshire University in December 1995. By 1997 he had left the university to set up his own business, offering training, consultancy and expert witness services, while continuing his work as an author and editor.

In 2000, Avenue Consulting Ltd was established, with its publishing wing: Learning Curve Publishing. In 2009, Learning Curve Publishing evolved into Avenue Media Solutions, offering the following range of services:

  • specialist online bookshops
  • sales of learning resources for people professionals (training manuals, DVDs and so on)
  • writing support services to make your documents as professional as possible
  • proofreading, copyediting and desktop publishing services.
  • The company also publishes the free e-zine, THE humansolutions BULLETIN under Neil’s editorship.

Neil and his colleagues within the company offer a range of services to the ‘people professions’ – that is the helping professions plus managers, leaders and human resources professionals in organisations concerned with making the workplace a fair and humane place where people are treated with dignity, protected from abuse and discrimination and helped to achieve their potential.

More about Neil’s roles within Avenue Consulting Ltd:

The Educator

The Adviser (including mediation and expert witness services)

The Writer

Neil comments: The more I got involved in running my own business, the more I realised that the knowledge, skills and values of social work are also applicable to dealing with many of the problems encountered in the workplace (stress, conflict, discrimination, communication breakdowns and so on). I therefore developed an interest in what is referred to as ‘occupational social work’ and began to explore the development of workplace well-being. The problems social workers encounter in families and in the community are remarkably similar to those commonly found in the workplace.

Areas covered include:

Managing diversity

  • preventing problems with discrimination
  • promoting fair play
  • maximising potential
  • becoming an employer of choice

Managing people

  • stress management
  • dealing with bullying and harassment
  • promoting leadership
  • promoting optimal learning

Managing conflict

  • resolving conflicts and tensions
  • mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • handling aggression and preventing violence
  • promoting partnership and teamwork

Managing emotions

  • responding to loss and grief
  • dealing with trauma and its aftermath
  • promoting emotional intelligence
  • promoting spiritual intelligence

All four of these areas are underpinned by a passion for helping people learn and thereby helping them to maximise their potential.