“I’m very pleased to be part of Mary Frances Trust as I share its values and believe in the importance of involving the people we support in designing, developing and delivering our services.
Mental health issues can affect many of us and it is not always easy when you’re experiencing emotional distress to get the help and support you need. I’m continually impressed and inspired by the people I meet both working for and using the services of Mary Frances Trust, which increases my commitment to ensuring that our important work continues and grows.
I work as an independent facilitator and trainer, mostly in the public sector, and I am also a part-time Lecturer in Healthcare Leadership and Service Improvement at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. My background is in the health service, as a senior manager of learning and development services in an NHS Trust. I really enjoy working with people to find more effective and enriching ways of living and working together.
Outside of work, I enjoy off-road cycling, running, knitting and catching up with friends and family”.
“Throughout a long career working in the Financial Services industry, I have faced sometimes stressful challenges, and had to overcome anxieties, which have on occasions had a detrimental impact on my mental wellbeing.
I have also witnessed the often inconsistent and financially-constrained mental healthcare provision in this country, which can prolong the misery and suffering for people with mental health symptoms.
I was very impressed by the tremendously valuable services and support provided by Mary Frances Trust. I realised that by volunteering to the Trust my knowledge of finances, my enjoyment of working with people and my personal mental health experiences, I could play a small part in their great work and have the satisfaction of knowing that I would be helping to make a positive difference to the lives of others.
I am a season ticket holder at Harlequins, have an interest in classic cars and motorsport, enjoy meeting up with friends, going to the theatre and concerts, expanding my musical tastes and being with my wife and family.”
“While I was a local Councillor representing Leatherhead North on Mole Valley District Council, I met one of my constituents, who told me he was suffering depression. I visited him in hospital and as a result became determined to improve services in our area. I joined a small group, which of course included Mary and Frances, and we set up the Leatherhead Clubhouse, with the guidance and expertise of our first CEO, Ben Collins.
It was very exciting to see how the Clubhouse members grew and flourished with the support they received from staff and from each other. Some of them were able to move back into employment and all of them found new opportunities to exercise their talents.
Since then, the services people receive and the way they are treated by the statutory services have changed, mostly for the better, and, in turn, we have had to change the services we offer but we have stayed true to the core values behind what we do. For me, the priority is always that we treat the people we work with, with respect, and we enable them to make their own choices and decisions.
I am enormously proud of the Mary Frances Trust. Our staff have adapted to new circumstances with resourcefulness and skill. Our Board members have had to reinvent the Trust in a challenging financial climate, while never failing to be good humoured and positive at our regular meetings and in-between times. Long may the MFT flourish!”
“I am very pleased to have been elected as a Trustee of the Mary Frances Trust and hope that I can contribute to the valuable work done by the charity in supporting the mental wellbeing of local people.
I have lived in Surrey for over 30 years bringing up my family and working as a solicitor specialising in wills, probate, trusts, tax planning, powers of attorney and elderly client care.
Outside work, I sing with Ashtead Choral Society, belong to a book club and enjoy concerts and the theatre with friends and family”.
“I am pleased to be a Trustee of the Mary Frances Trust and hope that my experience can be of value to the Trust as it carries out its invaluable work supporting mental wellbeing in Surrey.
I retired from BP after 31 years at the end of 2013. While with BP I held several senior leadership positions in exploration and major projects as well as technical, commercial and corporate planning roles. During my time with BP, I worked and lived in the UK, USA, Colombia, Angola and the Middle East. Throughout my working life, I endured numerous periods of intense workload which, with the benefit of hindsight, I now understand impacted my mental wellbeing.
Now I am retired I can spend time with my family and friends and having spent what seemed like a lifetime indoors in an office or on an airplane, I aim to spend as much time outdoors as plausible. I enjoy cycling and walking, I volunteer with the National Trust undertaking woodland management and having brought my garden under control, I strive to keep it that way”.
“I was interested to be part of MFT as I wanted to join a charity local to myself that supported people.
Supporting people with mental health issues is incredibly important to me as it affects many other areas of life, something I have seen in my work with charities and that my husband has seen in his work as a paramedic, plus experiences in our own lives with friends and family. So many people are affected by mental health issues and whilst the stigma is starting to be broken down, it still exists. We’ve all seen with the pandemic that more people than ever are experiencing feelings of isolation and large amounts of stress and I believe that organisations like MFT are going to be more important than ever in supporting people.
I have worked in charities for over 15 years as a fundraiser and I am now a fundraising consultant for charities. I love being a fundraiser and am passionate about supporting smaller charities as they provide such important services, yet they can struggle to get the recognition and funding that they need.
To look after my own wellbeing, I try and exercise every day and enjoy a good walk or bike ride in the fresh air. I also meditate daily (I have meditated on and off for years but committed to daily practice since the first lockdown). Finally I love to bake – and of course eat the results at the end!"
“I am so pleased to be joining Mary Frances Trust as a Trustee because I know how fundamental these services are for people experiencing any mental or emotional issues. I am particularly interested in how MFT works with different partners within the system to ensure its sustainability and allow it to continue to provide these excellent mental health services to their service users.
I currently work for the Sussex Integrated Care System as Workforce Retention Lead; supporting NHS Trust providers and Local Authorities in initiatives that help retain their valuable staff. I have experience of managing acute mental health services in a variety of NHS Trusts across London and Sussex. Most recently, I managed a crisis and home treatment team and a group treatment service which provided me great experience in how mental health services rely so much on our third sector partners.
I am a qualified Occupational Therapist (OT) with over 15 years of work experience in the NHS. Outside of work, I supervise an OT from Uganda and enjoy learning how OT interventions are provided in different parts of the world.
I also enjoy running and am a regular at my local Park Run.”
"I’m thrilled to join the Mary Frances Trust in such a vital period for mental health services in our area. Throughout my adult life, I have learned about how people experience mental health issues, seek help, receive support and access services. Personally, I have experienced some periods of poor mental health and I’m familiar with some of the support and services available to people and how easy or difficult it can be to access these. I have also seen friends and family of all ages experience and manage different mental health conditions and navigate services. To me, it’s natural to build on this experience and commit my support to an organisation which works to ensure people receive the mental health support they need.
The majority of my professional experience has been in corporate communications, which includes campaigning, reputation and brand; public policy and regulatory engagement, media relations, sustainability and social impact, digital and social media and internal communications.
I live in the Mole Valley with my family. Outside of work, I try to run, walk and swim as often as possible in the Reigate and Dorking area; sometimes trying to find my dog which has run away."
"As the grandson of Mary Edwards, one of the founders of the Mary Frances Trust, it means a huge amount to me to be able to continue my late grandmothers legacy and be part of this incredible charity, helping provide vital mental health support across Surrey. Having been surrounded by friends and family who suffered profoundly with acute mental health my whole life, it has been a cause very close to my heart. The diverse range of services MFT provides throughout Surrey is truly inspiring, working across the spectrum of need, using innovative and forward thinking methods to make lasting impact and change. I know my Grandmother would be very proud to have seen how the service has evolved.
I have worked throughout my professional career in the 3rd sector, working primarily with vulnerable young people, using the Creative Arts and Media to enrich children’s lives, using the healing nature of expression to help build on people’s resilience and self esteem. In my current role for a West London Charity, I am the Creative Producer for a youth led production company, helping bridge the gap for diverse young people to access the Film and Media industry through practical training and paid commissions. Parallel to my work with young people, I am an award winning film-maker, with a broad portfolio of work.
In my spare time, I loved to watch films (my life kind of revolves around it), go for walks, attempt to cook whilst creating chaos in the kitchen to the bemusement of my partner and I am a big football fan. I am proud to say though, that my days are no longer ruined if Manchester United lose."
Patrons believe in your vision, mission and values, and motivate others to get involved, raise awareness of our campaigns and services.
Bernie is currently Surrey County Councillor for Epsom West and, in addition, an Epsom & Ewell Borough Councillor for Stamford Ward. She is also Chair of Surrey County Council’s Adults and Health Select Committee.
“I am delighted to be a Patron of MFT having seen for myself the wide ranging services they offer and the significant impact they have.
I have been passionate about improving awareness of mental health issues for years and fighting to reach a point where all individuals can access appropriate support in the right place, at the right time and above all obtaining early intervention.
My mission is to get those working in all aspects of this sector involved at the earliest stage, with all stakeholders and influencers who have direct or indirect impact on mental health and wellbeing, such as those in the relevant areas of Public Sector, Charities (across many areas), Education, Town Planning, Employment, Community Groups, and more. Ultimately, by getting mental health on the agenda at the earliest stage, we can improve support and be leads on seeking more informed and connected policies.”
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