Our Trustees

Our Trustees and Staff bring a rich mix of experience and expertise to the governance of Birmingham Mind.

Our Trustees

Through their work at Executive meetings, the Finance and General Purpose Committee and the Clinical Governance Committee our Trustees are responsible for ensuring that Birmingham Mind meets its stated aims and objectives.

  • Chair –  Rev Canon Frank Longbottom

Frank has worked for many years in mental health services as a hospital chaplain and therapist.

Frank has been a Mental Health Act Commissioner and is a member of the Mental Health Tribunal Service as well as a Peer Reviewer for Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.  He has been an Ofstead Inspector and school governor.

A long history in the voluntary sector has included working with Victim Support and Leonard Cheshire, as well as many years with Birmingham Mind. He is also a Rotarian, and passionate golfer.

  • Company Secretary & Treasurer – Brendan Geary

Brendan is an experienced Finance Director with a strong commercial background, and has a great experience of financial management at a senior level.

Previously Brendan has been the Treasurer and a Trustee of YMCA Birmingham which is Christian charity working for the welfare and development of young people, and he has also served as Finance Director for people with learning disabilities.

Voluntary roles in the past also include being Treasurer and a Trustee of a charity supporting older people, a charity for music education, and as a mentor with the Prince’s Trust to support young people.

  • Mark Shakespeare

Mark has been a Trustee for over 20 years and has previously worked as a Mental Health Advocate and in a Community Mental Health Team. Mark has used mental health services for over  30 years and is a passionate advocate for better services.

Mark enjoy walks, meeting friends for a coffee and watching films.

  • Professor Ann Davis

Ann is Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, at the University of Birmingham.

She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Ann trained as a psychiatric social worker and practiced as a social worker in residential, hospital and community settings. She is a member of Suresearch, a Midlands based network of mental health service users and survivors and their allies.

Ann is the Chair of Birmingham Mind’s Clinical Governance Committee and Health and Safety Committee and as a Trustee, Ann wrote A History of Birmingham Mind: Celebrating half a century of excellence in mental health provision.

  • Joe Piggott

Joe spends his working life in the fine paper industry and has considerable management experience at senior level. His voluntary roles have included experience with Pension Trustees, Paper Trade charities, Church committees, and Trade Associations, in a variety of roles. He has lived in the heart of the West Midlands for over 40 years, and has a keen interest in the welfare of the region and its residents.

  • Dr Ian McPherson

Dr Ian McPherson has held senior clinical, managerial and policy implementation roles in a variety of mental health organisations. These include being the Director of the National Mental Health Development Unit from 2009 – 2011 and a Director of the National Institute for Mental Health in England from 2002 – 2009. Prior to that he held positions as Director of Mental Health within the NHS. Ian is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist by professional background and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He was awarded the OBE for services to mental health in 2012.He currently works with a number of organisations across the statutory and voluntary sectors as a Non-Executive Director and Trustee

  • Sharon Willis

Sharon has over 25 Years experience working in the public sector. She was previously employed as a Review and Commissioning Officer with Birmingham City Council mainly supporting 3rd sector organisations in driving up the quality of support services delivered  to vulnerable people. This role presented Sharon with an opportunity to learn from both good and bad practice that she has identified and share this learning to others in the sector.

Since 2008, Sharon has been a Support District Manager overseeing support services for various different client groups. Sharon is proud to be a Birmingham Mind Trustee member as she always respected this organisation as being amongst the best in terms of service delivery and Birmingham Mind continues to be an inspiration to her and making any contribution towards its on-going success ins considered an honour.

  • Nigel Howl

Appointed Trustee  – October 2018

After graduating from Lancaster University, Nigel worked in the paper merchant industry based in Birmingham and London for the majority of his career, primarily involved in procurement and inventory management.

Nigel is now retired and enjoys golf, reading and football. Nigel is also a Trustee of the Smethwick Old Chapel Church and Secretary of The Harbourne Club.

  • Andrew Wylde

Appointed Trustee  – October 2020

Andrew has worked in the legal profession for over 30 years as a litigation specialist. He advises on all aspects of litigation both commercial and personal.

Andrew provides advice to Birmingham Mind on internal legal matters, alongside our appointed legal firm.

Andrew also enjoys cooking, watching films and playing golf.

  • Maureen Smojkis

Appointed Trustee  – October 2021

Maureen has been involved in mental health for many years and is honoured to be involved with Birmingham Mind as a Trustee. Maureen is a nurse by professional background, RN & RMN, and has worked clinically in both physical and mental health including as a counsellor in primary care.  As a Lecturer at the University of a Birmingham for over 20 years she was the University Stakeholder Governor in Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust for 10 years; Maureen now holds an Honorary Lecturer position. Maureen has a long- standing interest in the wellbeing and resilience of service users and staff in clinical practice and higher education; this is reflected in her research, teaching and training.

Maureen has carried out extensive Oral History research with the Polish community in Birmingham.  She was the Chair of the Midland Polish Community Association and made two successful Heritage Lottery Bids;  giving voice to the experiences of the first and second generation of Polish people who arrived in Birmingham through forced migration as a consequence of the Second World War.