Our Board of Trustees is responsible for setting Together’s overall policy and direction. The Board currently consists of 14 Trustees with expertise and experience in different aspects of our work, including health and social care, human resources and finance, as well as people with experience of using mental health services.
Trustees are appointed by the Board on the recommendation of the Nominations, Remuneration and Governance Committee. Once elected, Trustees serve for three years and may stand for two subsequent three-year terms. There are currently 14 trustees at Together.
Dr Carol Cole, Chair
Carol joined the board as Chair in October 2017 and is also the Chair of the Nominations, Remuneration and Governance Committee.
She has been involved in the leadership, design and delivery of strategic change throughout her career. Originally trained as a clinical psychologist in mental health, learning disability and community care, she was a change management consultant with the NHS and then head of health at the Office for Public Management, before establishing a successful consultancy practice in organisation and management development. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and at the King’s Fund as well as a senior associate of the National School of Government.
Carol brings extensive experience of strategy, systemic change and governance, applying psychology to enhance individual, team and organisational effectiveness. She has worked across the public and private sectors in Europe, North America and the Middle East, from the NHS to multinationals, smaller enterprises and UK charities.
Carol has held several board positions and is the vice chair at Central London Community NHS Trust. She also sits on the board of the RAF Museum and is a member of Council at the University of Roehampton. She was previously the senior independent director at Hounslow and Richmond Community NHS Trust, vice-chair of Deafness Research UK, a Trustee of Action on Hearing Loss, and vice chair of the Association of Business Psychologists. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society
John Banks, Deputy Chair & Treasurer
John is the Deputy Chair and Treasurer at Together, in addition to Chairing the Finance, Resources and Investment Committee.
He is a chartered management accountant and project manager who has worked with major financial corporations for over 25 years.
John specialises in management reporting, risk, and change governance. Since 2014, he has been the Finance lead on the Trustee Board of Mind BLMK. He is currently studying toward the ICSA Certificate in Health Service Governance.
Louise is a member of the Workforce Committee.
Louise is a chartered Management Accountant who has spent the last 11 years working in Human Resources, specifically Reward, in Financial Services.
In these roles she has led large Reward functions and supported businesses through a variety of significant complex change projects, alongside setting the reward strategy and delivering the BAU annual pay processes.
Prior to the move into Human Resources, Louise held a number of senior Finance roles in the UK and Australia, specialising in leading large complex projects.
This is Louise’s first Trustee position. She is passionate about mental wellbeing in the workplace and removing the stigma attached to discussing these issues.
Angus is Deputy Chair of the Finance, Resources and Investment Committee and is a member of the Quality and Safety Committee.
Angus has spent most of his working life involved with vulnerable people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. He is recognised as a respected senior leader in this field and currently holds the post of Mental Health Advisor and Head of Personality Disorder Strategy Implementation within the National Probation Service, London Division.
His expertise is on working at the interface of health and criminal justice. He has been instrumental in the development of a range of partnerships to support mentally vulnerable offenders and has written publications on the provision of service and management of offenders with mental health difficulties. He has received a prestigious Butler Trust award for excellence in mental health work with offenders.
Angus is a Fellow of the Probation Institute and a member of the London Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Strategic Management Board. He is acutely aware of the negative experiences of women and people from BAME communities in the criminal justice system and is committed to developing approaches and services to address this inequality.
Judy Clements OBE
Judy is Deputy Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Judy holds a BA (Hons) in Social Science and an LLB. She has over 30 years’ experience in the public and third sectors, mainly in Central Government at Senior Civil Service level. She has operated at national level in Chief Executive and Independent Adjudicator roles in the areas of criminal justice, taxation and higher education.
Judy retired at the end of 2017. Her last role was Ombudsman for Students in Higher Education. She has previously served as a Director for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), now the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Prior to that, Judy worked for the Home Office in HM Prison Service as Head of Diversity and Equality. She was a Member of the Home Secretary’s Stephen Lawrence Steering Group and chaired the Trust and Confidence Working Group.
Her current non-executive roles include: member of the British Board of Film Classification Appeals Panel; Governor for three independent faith schools, and Newbold College of Higher Education. Judy is a member of the Westminster Senior Women in Public Leadership forum.
JoAnne is Deputy Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee, a member of the Finance, Resources and Investment Committee, and Lead Trustee for Advocacy.
She is an experienced NHS manager and director and has worked in the health and care sector for over thirty-five years, originally as a nurse and midwife.
JoAnne’s career has mainly focused on the hospital environment, but she has worked closely with community services and social care and has first-hand experience of the benefits to service users of partnership working. Having worked in mainly operational roles in the NHS as a substantive employee, a change to interim NHS management consultant in 2008 has broadened her experience extensively – having worked on waiting list management and delivery, reconfiguration of services, the development and delivery of an End of Life Care Strategy, and preparation for a CQC inspection.
In her current role as Programme Director for Stroke Services, she is managing the programme for re-configuring stroke services for an NHS Trust as part of the network for Kent and Medway.
JoAnne is passionate about delivering high-quality care and believes a solid framework for governance and assurance is critical to ensure consistent, good quality services and evidence the same.
Deirdre is the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
She brings significant hands-on experience of financial strategy and management, from both the commercial and charity sector. Deirdre is the Chief Financial Officer of Guide Dogs and has worked in the charity sector since 2011, latterly as Chief Financial Officer for The Challenge – the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society. Prior to that she was Deputy Finance Director with the National Trust. She is also a foundation governor at a local primary school.
Deirdre’s career path started in the natural resources industry with BG Group and continued with BHP Billiton. During her career she developed and lead asset management, business development and finance – operating across international and multi-location environments. She has been extensively involved in developing, implementing and monitoring all aspects of governance and risk and assurance.
Ian Jones is a solicitor with a background as General Counsel and Company Secretary. He has held senior positions at BT and BP, as well as having worked as a Senior Editor at Thomson Reuters. His career has seen him involved and leading major legal work projects, including the BT sale and leaseback of its UK Property Portfolio in 2001. His background is in technology, property and supply chain management. He now teaches and writes about risk management, legal ethics and compliance.
Ian is a trustee with lived experience. He was diagnosed with depression and anxiety over a decade ago and has had first-hand experience as a recipient of mental health care and management. He writes and speaks regularly to people using his own experiences to lift the stigma around mental illness and promoting open discussion about how it should be managed in the workplace. He also emphasises that mental illness does not stop people from making contributions in the workplace or having a successful career.
Ian is also a trained Mental Health First Aider.
Vicky is an HR professional with 15 years’ experience, mostly recently working in a consultancy role supporting third sector organisations. She has experience at strategic level, working with Chief Executives and Senior Leaders to develop appropriate frameworks, strategies, policies and approaches to ensure both organisational success, and people focussed workplaces. Vicky regularly supports organisations to manage situations with employees who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
Vicky also volunteers for an organisation that provides in the moment support for those struggling with their mental health or who are at crisis point, and passionately believes that everyone deserves individual person centric support, regardless of what brought them to their struggles. Vicky has experienced first hand the impact of mental distress and the stigma that still remains and has gained valuable insight into what makes for a good mental health service. Her experiences mean that she brings empathy and understanding and a commitment to ensuring that individuals are in control of their journey and are encouraged to reach their potential and dreams through the challenges they face.
Sarah is a member of the Quality and Safety Committee. Sarah’s experience of trauma and anorexia during her adolescence had a formative impact, creating a drive and perspective that has enabled her to contribute to social change. Sarah reflects that some of her greatest qualities either contributed to or were as a result of her illness – for instance, her determination, empathy and self-awareness. Sarah passionately believes that service users have the assets to recover and lead their own care.
Sarah sees that she, and others like her, have experiences, insights, and perspectives that can’t be replicated. Through her personal and professional life, she has observed that services that are co-designed with users are more successful.
Sarah is a Manager at Peabody Community Foundation. In this role, she co-designs services with customers and puts resources in place to enable residents to design and deliver solutions to challenges they face.
Sarah is also a founding Trustee of Inspiring Teachers – a charity that delivers teacher training in 11 countries across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Each programme is co-designed with local teachers, to ensure it reflects the local context.
Donald is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Workforce Committee.
Donald has worked in the field of organisation behaviour and change for over four decades. Initially employed in local government and then Shell, for the last 30+ years he has worked as an independent organisation consultant across numerous sectors, including health and social care and energy (oil and gas).
With a focus on pragmatically fusing organisational psychology with business imperatives, Donald worked at various levels of organisational life: coaching individual leaders and senior executives, developing effective teams, advising on and facilitating major strategic change and transformation programmes, and integrating globally dispersed, joint-venture organisations.
As a result, he has been exposed to a diversity of organisations with different purposes, visions, cultures, values and competencies. Working with this diversity has enabled Donald to bring multiple perspectives, empathy, understanding, rigorous analysis and equal measures of challenge and support to any given situation.
Kathie Pearce holds a BSc in Housing and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
She has over 30 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, including several Director roles and six years as a Chief Executive of a small supported housing and care charity. She is currently Head of Housing and Support for Bournemouth YMCA. Kathie has also held a number of non-executive / trustee positions, including two years as Regional Chair and three years as a National Council member for the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Since her teenage years, Kathie has lived with a significant mental health condition – at times requiring inpatient and community treatment. It has affected every aspect of her life. Although this has often presented great challenges, Kathie believes this can also be seen as a gift – enabling a different perspective, and greater understanding and empathy towards the human condition.
Kathie is passionate about tackling social injustice and stigma around mental health, and ensuring the most vulnerable in society get the support they need. She is also a strong advocate for involving those with lived experience in service planning and delivery. Kathie is delighted to be part of the Board of Trustees at Together.
David is the Senior Independent Director, Chair of the Workforce Committee, Deputy Chair of the Nominations, Remuneration and Governance Committee, and Lead Trustee for Whistleblowing.
He is a senior HR professional with over 20 years’ HR experience and 10 years of operational business knowledge in Financial Services, Banking and Insurance and FMCG sectors. David holds a Masters in International Human Resource Management from Cranfield University.
Through his work in business and the community, David has experienced first-hand the impact of mental distress has on people. Mental distress frequently presents itself in the workplace and therefore David believes everyone has a responsibility to create a culture, at home or at work, where mental distress is openly discussed and supported; prevention is better than the cure.
David volunteers for a number of charities that focus on promoting the interests of children who are disadvantaged in any way – supporting a stable start in life can prevent some of the causes of mental distress that present later in life.
Dr. Ben Thomas
Ben is the Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee and the Lead Trustee for Safeguarding.
He is Professor of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at the School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, and is Expert Adviser for Mental Health and Patient Safety at NHS Improvement. He is a director and trustee for a number of charities. Ben has served on a number of ministerial reviews and advisory committees to governments including Malaysia, South Korea, Australia and China.
He chairs the Mental Health Independent Advisory Group for the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicides and Homicides and is a member of the UK Expert Mental Health Advisory Group. Ben is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and Honorary Senior Fellow at Kingston University and St George’s University of London.
Find out more
To find out more about our Trustees or how to become one, contact: