Oxfordshire Mind Board
An introduction to our Board of Trustees, who govern the charity.
Trustees play an important role in charities. Staff members and volunteers handle the day-to-day running of the charity, whereas trustees focus on the overall strategy and goals of a charity, and ensure that it is run sustainably.
Oxfordshire Mind have four different sub-committees which support the Board, scrutinising different areas of work to add another layer of insight.
Meet our Board:
Dr Alan Cohen was a GP principal for 20 years in Mitcham, South London until 2004. From 2005, he was senior primary care advisor to CSIP, the National Primary Care lead for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, and Honorary Associate Director of Primary Care at the Department of Health.
He was a Senior Fellow at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, for 13 years up until Nov 2009. He also worked as a Medical Director for a CCG.
He worked from 2011 until 2015 as Director of Primary Care at the West London Mental Health Trust, providing physical health care services to those at Broadmoor Hospital.
He retired from clinical practice in July 2015 but continues to teach undergraduate medical students at Salzburg Medical School, ski and publish the occasional article.
He was elected Chair in 2023.
Nick has been a director of Social Services and Adult Services in the past in county councils, unitary authorities and in an outer London borough. He has also worked in the NHS managing hospital and community mental health services in London, and as a non-executive director in the NHS.
He has carried out several enquires into deaths and serious incidents in both health and social care services. He has also chaired both Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards as an independent person.
He first became a trustee in 1999.
Nick has been involved in mental health as a social worker, a policy advisor and senior manager in Oxfordshire County Council for many years. When he retired, he did some voluntary work for Oxfordshire Mind and became a trustee in December 2012.
His professional life started in 1973 after he completed his social work training at Sussex University. He moved to Oxford with his wife, and began work as a generic social worker. A brief historical note may be useful here: the Seebohm report was published in 1968 which recommended that local authorities should develop generic social service provision, that is social workers would be specialist but be able to cover all needs and client groups. This model finally met its end when children’s social care became the responsibility of education authorities. Personally, Nick found it difficult to deal with an adoption application in the morning and the support packages for older people in the afternoon, with child protection and mental health work hovering in the background.
Nick began his own journey to a more focused workload with continuing his interest in mental health issues and child protection and specifically on mental health work when he moved to work in the Psychiatric Liaison Service for the John Radcliffe Hospital. He was involved in assessing and working with people who had self-harmed and a range of mental health needs that arise in a general hospital setting. Nick then moved to head up the social work services for Littlemore hospital where he managed the team of social workers and worked in the rehabilitation service with people with enduring mental health needs.
Nick’s next step was into further management and policy work in social services. He led on the use of the Mental health Specific Grant, and it was this that gave him the opportunity to work with Oxfordshire Mind and Jane Hope on the development of services, and in particular the development of The Mill and funding the Mind guide to services. Nick’s responsibilities broadened, he led on the implementation of Care in the Community, commissioning and contracting for social care services and joint work with the NHS.
Nick says: ‘Being a trustee for Oxfordshire Mind has always been a great source of pride and satisfaction and being Chair for 5 years an enormous privilege. I am continuing as a trustee, and am chair of the Finance Subcommittee.’
Nick became a trustee in 2012 and was Chair from 2018 – 2023.
Amy is UK Communications Director at Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform with more than million users in the UK and 400 million users globally.
Her experience lies in campaigning and supporting people to leverage digital technology to tell their stories and create change. Amy has worked on a number of health and social care campaigns, with a particular focus on mental health campaigns such as to improve student mental health support and for mental health first aiders.
Lucy is currently Head of HR at YASA Ltd. Prior to that she was Head of People at Animal Dynamics and before that HR Manager in the University of Oxford. She spent five years in the charity sector at Oxfam GB in the Humanitarian HR team, overseeing volunteers in the team as well as providing support to international humanitarian programmes.
Lucy is Chair of the HR sub-committee and provides advice on policies and people practices as well as ensuring alignment with strategic priorities. She became a trustee in 2018.
Taffy works as a Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Oxford Children’s Hospital. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a master’s degree in Endocrinology, and she is currently studying for a Master’s in Business Administration with Oxford Brookes University. Her areas of clinical interest are in supporting children, young people and families navigate long-term medical illness. She leads the Oxfordshire endocrine transition service, and she is currently the lead physician for paediatric diabetes in Oxfordshire. Taffy is a strong advocate for encouraging workplace wellbeing, and she is a Freedom to Speak Guardian for her hospital Trust.
In her spare time Taffy enjoys travelling, running, walking, and baking.
Laura is the founder of her own HR consultancy practice, Open HR, and a Chartered HR professional with two decades of experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Laura’s HR career has involved working both nationally and internationally, most recently with Oxfam International as an HR Business Partner.
Laura centres social causes at the core of her work and offers HR consultancy support exclusively to the not-for-profit sector. Laura is driven by strong ethics and a passion for better mental health for all.
Laura is a newly appointed Trustee who was appointed during the summer of 2022. She is a member of the HR sub-committee, providing advice and support on strategic HR priorities for Oxfordshire Mind.
Andrew runs a commercial property investment company. Previously he was also involved in the Asset Management of a portfolio of healthcare properties owned by a property fund.
Since being appointed as a Board Trustee at Oxfordshire Mind, he now attends the Board meetings and also sits on the finance sub-committee.
Andrew is very pleased to be involved with an organisation that delivers real social benefits to the local community.
Diane started her NHS career working in a GP Practice and has since held a range of senior roles in Commissioning functions, Primary care national negotiating team, a Strategic Health Authority, Department of Health and Local Authorities. She is an experienced health and social care senior manager and Board Director.
Diane is dedicated to Oxfordshire having been the Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) setting up the Joint Commissioning function with Oxfordshire County Council Director of Adult Services and representing the CCG in local partnerships. As the CCG moved to become Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire Integrated Commissioning Board Diane was involved in planning the new arrangements and ensured safe handover of services.
Prior to this Diane worked independently running her own company as an NHS/Social care change consultant and interim Director. Assignments included devising strategy and priorities in areas of deprivation in Islington and leading a public consultation in South London. She was responsible for the establishment of Bromley Healthcare, a new Social Enterprise transferring all community services from the local Primary Care Trust (PCT). Diane was Chief Executive of a PCT in Berkshire for many years whilst also leading the commissioning function for the three PCTs in the area. She lives in Reading in Berkshire and is very keen to support Mind services developing in this area.
Want to become a trustee?
If you’re interested in becoming a trustee of Oxfordshire Mind, please download the candidate information pack. Applications under our current trustee recruitment round should be submitted by 6th November, 2023.