Trustees and Staff

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.

He 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, 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.

  • Kyle Raffo 

Kyle comes from an entrepreneurial background having started founded businesses; bringing experience in the digital marketing, IT and health sectors to the Board of Trustees.

He’s actively involved in various charitable organisations throughout England; currently serving as President of the Rotary Club of Tamworth, Membership Committee Chairman for Rotary District 1060 and previously as a Community First Responder in the West Midlands.

Furthermore, Kyle has a strong commitment to improving mental health services in Birmingham and enjoys being able to contribute towards Birmingham Mind.

  • 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.

Our Staff

The management of the Charity is carried out by paid staff. Whilst their primary aim is to lead the Charity, they also work to improve wider mental services.

  • CEO – Helen Wadley

Helen has worked for Birmingham Mind since 1995 and has been CEO since 2005. Prior to this Helen worked with people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. She is also a trainer and volunteers for another charity in her spare time.

  • Director of Operations – John Bristow

John joined Birmingham Mind in August 2010 as the Director of Operations. He has over twenty five years experience of working in the voluntary mental health sector that has included work at both senior operational and strategic management levels. John continues to be actively involved in volunteer work supporting a local health and well-being initiative for carers living in Birmingham.

  • Director of Finance – Ruth Galvin

Ruth joined Birmingham Mind in November 2016. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years management and accounting experience at

senior and Board level, the majority gained in charities and other nor for profit organisations. Ruth enjoys playing and teaching music and volunteers as a Brownie Guide Leader in her spare time. 

  •   Director of Human Resources – Nicky Underwood

Nicky has overall responsibility for employee relations, staff development and Health and Safety. Nicky is CIPD qualified and has over 20 years’ generalist Human Resources experience which she has gained across the public, private and voluntary sectors.