Our people and governance
Every single person who is part of our incredible team plays a vital role in helping us deliver our mission: to lead the way to a better life for everyone severely affected by mental illness.
Our senior management team
Mark has worked at Rethink Mental Illness for over 30 years and became our Chief Executive in 2014. During his time with us, Mark has also held a number of public appointments in health, education and criminal justice. This includes serving as a member of the Mental Health Taskforce, and he is currently a Trustee of the Association of Mental Health Providers.
Caroline joined the Rethink Mental Illness in 1992 as an Information Officer. Since then, she has undertaken various roles, including working as an Employee Relations Specialist in our Human Resources department for 15 years. Caroline became our Company Secretary in 2014, taking over from Mark Winstanley.
Deputy Chief Executive
Brian is Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness. He is also Chief Executive of Mental Health UK, a coalition of four mental health charities across the UK. Brian represents Rethink Mental Illness on the Richmond Group, a collaboration of leading health and social care charities. He is also Co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and a member of the Lloyd’s of London Culture Advisory Group.
Director of Operations
Mark joined Rethink Mental Illness in 2016 as our Associate Director for Services in the south of England. In October 2018, he was appointed our Director of Operations, which involves leading on service delivery, quality and transformation, and business development.
Director of Strategy and Transformation
Kate joined Rethink Mental Illness in 2021. As well as playing a key role in guiding Rethink’s strategic direction and transformation, Kate is responsible for People and Organisation Development, Diversity and Inclusion, ICT, and Estates. Kate’s background is in health, charities, universities and policing.
Director of Finance
Tracey Simkins joined Rethink Mental Illness in August 2020 as Chief Financial Officer before becoming Director of Finance in April 2021. She is responsible for leading and developing the finance team, overseeing financial reporting, and information and systems development. ACCA qualified, Tracey has previously held roles in the charity and heritage sector.
Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Race Equality
Peter is an award-winning diversity, inclusion and race equality senior leader with significant experience gained from developing and implementing high-priority culture change strategies and programmes at the Home Office, the Met Police and now at Rethink Mental Illness which he joined in February this year. Before joining the charity, Peter supported Wendy Williams CBE on her Windrush Lessons Learned Review progress update report, published in March. Peter is a qualified Barrister, a former board-level Trustee, and a mentor with BT’s Accelerate Leadership Programme for its high potential senior managers and the Patchwork Foundation.
Director of Delivery
Deidre has over 15 years’ experience in the third sector after a former career in Law. She leads the delivery of Mental Health UK programmes including our flagship service, Mental Health & Money Advice, the first UK-wide service aimed at improving both financial and mental wellbeing. Deidre’s role also encompasses overseeing the development of innovative new services and solutions at scale. Prior to working directly in mental health, Deidre held various leadership positions where holistic support to local communities was a focal point. Most recently, as Chief Executive Officer of a Nottingham based charity. Deidre is also a trustee at a small grass root charity.
Associate Director of Campaigns and Communications
James is a senior campaigns and communications professional who has worked on some of the highest profile issues in the third sector. He joined Rethink Mental Illness in 2017 and is responsible for brand & design, campaigns, digital communications, internal communications, marketing, media and membership. James manages to crowbar references to West Ham United into most things, including this bio!
Associate Director of IT
Matt joined Rethink Mental Illness in September 2022, having working within the charity sector for over 9 years with a background in Third Sector Business Development as well as IT. Prior to his time at Rethink Mental Illness, Matt held a number of cross-functional roles in the mental health, homelessness, and social inclusion sector . Matt is responsible for leading and developing the IT department and the organisations strategy to innovate through technology.
Our trustee board brings together a diverse and rich range of people whose skills and experiences help shape our charity. Many of our trustees have been affected by mental illness, either having personal experience themselves or supporting a family member or friend. Our board also includes people with professional experience in mental health and public services.
Kathryn spent over 30 years as a senior civil servant at the Department of Health, where she led policy on child health, including CAMHS, public health, including wellbeing and adult mental health. Her achievements include securing initial funding for IAPT; championing Early Intervention in Psychosis; and overseeing the co-production of New Horizons, the first comprehensive mental health strategy following the 2004 Mental Health Act revision. She takes on chairing Rethink Mental Illness alongside her occasional work as an executive coach, and her burgeoning grandmother duties.
George has been a member of our Audit and Quality Assurance Committee since 2012 and joined our Board of Trustees in 2016 and became its Treasurer in 2017. In 2020 he was appointed Vice-chair, taking over from Shaun Johnson. Now retired, George is an accountant with over 30 years’ experience of internal audit and risk management, which was gained in senior management roles in retail banking and local government.
Aphra joined our Board of Trustees in February 2018 and in 2021 was appointed second Vice-chair. She is a carer of family members living with mental illness and has used mental health services for a number of years. She is particularly passionate about using the experiences of people affected by mental illness to develop services. Over the past 15 years, she has worked in various roles at NHS cancer services and the University of Warwick’s medical school.
John joined the Board of Trustees as a co-opted Trustee in 2018. A partner at the professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP, he specialises in financial services risk management and regulation and in helping regulators and businesses respond to an increasingly demanding regulatory environment. He was appointed the Charity’s Treasurer in December 2020.
Frances chairs our South East Regional Committee and is a member of our Lived Experience Advisory Board. She is passionate about changing social attitudes to mental illness, having several relatives who have experienced severe psychosis. Frances also coordinates the voluntary group Rethink Oxford Campaigners, and is involved with national and local organisations that champion the co-production of public policies and services.
Jeremy is a partner at international law firm Clifford Chance where he works on the development of infrastructure in Africa. He lost his wife to suicide in 2014 and since then he and his three children have been involved with raising awareness of issues surrounding mental illness and mental wellbeing. He is part of a team at Clifford Chance developing a strategy to create and implement "purpose and values" within the organisation. Jeremy joined the Board in 2020 and hopes to use his links with the city and professional service firms to increase the profile of Rethink within those quarters.
Edward Is a member of the Yorkshire and North East Regional Committee and became a trustee in 2021. He has a long interest in mental health and was Chief Executive of MindWise New Vision in Northern Ireland prior to relocating to the North East in 2018. Edward is committed to raising awareness of mental health and ensuring the provision of excellent services, this is underpinned by his personal experiences as the carer of a family member with severe and enduring mental illness.
Ian has worked in the NHS for over 15 years and has been redeployed to be the London Critical Care Programme Director through the COVID-19 outbreak. Substantively he is the Contract Delivery Director for Specialised Commissioning at NHS England (London), which involves overseeing high cost low volume treatments with all NHS trusts in the Capital. Ian has a particular interest in the treatment and prevention of HIV and reducing the stigma that surrounds the illness and is part of the Fast Track Cities Initiative Leadership Group for HIV in London. He also prioritises diversity in the workplace and is working to implement the Workforce Race Equality Standard within the NHS.
Garrick joined the Northwest Regional Committee in 2017 and the Board in 2020. He has a background in community development and is a former Youth and Community Worker. He has lived experience of mental illness and became a Time to Change champion in 2014. Since then, he has continued to work with the national Time to Change campaign to raise public awareness and tackle stigma and discrimination. In 2016 Garrick was elected NHS Public Governor for Rest of England and Wales at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. He is passionate about equality and social justice and all his professional and social life has fought for equality and inclusion. He has a good knowledge of black mental health issues and has worked with diverse groups including asylum seekers, refugees, young men, families and older people.
Christine is a member of the East Midlands Regional Committee. She approached Rethink in 2017 in order to set up a Carers Support Group in the East Northants Area, after becoming a carer to a relative with a severe and enduring mental illness. Christine has worked with the Carers Support Group and the East Midlands RC to raise awareness of Rethink Mental Illness and its work. Christine is a retired administrator and has spent time as a volunteer with organisations encountered whilst working and raising a family.
Mental health became a topic of interest to Jane when her son developed schizophrenia over 20 years ago. In July 2011, she joined our South West Regional Committee and was then appointed to our Board of Trustees in May 2016. Jane also works as a volunteer for Citizens Advice, which gives her an understanding of some of the common issues people with mental illness face, for example, problems accessing benefits, housing and finance.
Ros joined the London Regional Committee in 2019, and is a member of the Charity’s Lived Experience Communications and Marketing Advisory Panel. Her background is in media and public engagement, with a career in TV specialising in science and medical documentaries. Mental health work includes teaching Mental Health First Aid in the workplace, and crisis counselling with 24/7 text platform Shout. She is a committed advocate for positive change around mental health awareness, and for peer-led support and services.
Raj was appointed as a co-opted Trustee to the Board in May 2022, with specific experience in Strategic ICT. He has pursued a career in technology for over 35 years working in the public sector, private sector and at a technology start-up. He started his career as a software developer and has held a variety of roles ranging from hands-on coder to head of department. Most recently Raj was Chief Executive at Pirum Systems where he led the business through significant growth and expansion and remains as non-executive President.
"My involvement began with helping to recruit a member of staff but I am now a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Board. It's been really empowering" - ClaireGet involved Get involved
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Our wonderful volunteers support our work in many different ways – from backing our campaigns, to reviewing our expert information, to shaping our work as a regional committee member.
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We have a wide range of passionate and talented employees who do their utmost to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide people severely affected by mental illness with the support they need.
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