In memory of former Together trustee Mark Hardcastle

Mark Hardcastle headshotIn memory of Mark Hardcastle – a highly committed and valued former member of our Board of Trustees, who sadly died on Monday 21st October 2019 surrounded by his family. Our thoughts are with his wife, Barbara, and their two daughters at this time.

Mark joined the Board of Trustees at Together for Mental Wellbeing in 2014, stepping down in July 2019.  He was the Senior Independent Director, Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee, and Lead Trustee for Safeguarding.

During a long and dedicated career in mental health in the NHS, Mark held positions as a mental health nurse and a Nurse Consultant. He eventually took up an appointment as Clinical Director and Professional Head of Psychological Therapies at a Foundation Trust. He was also a qualified cognitive behavioural psychotherapist.

A passionate advocate of the need for high quality mental healthcare, Mark wrote articles during his professional life about the need to develop quality care services that were also cost effective. He brought his expertise to bear in his work as a trustee at Together, chairing the Quality & Safety Committee. On his resignation from the Board, Dr Carol Cole, Chair of the Board of Trustees, wrote:

Mark has been a stalwart of both the board and of the Quality & Safety Committee. We will miss his insight, scrutiny and passion.

Mark talked about his own experiences of mental distress and was well known for his beliefs that everyone had a fundamental right to a fulfilling life and that many people were hindered in achieving this due to mental ill health. He was a great exponent of Together’s values, encouraging organisations and services to work together to do all that they could to help overcome the obstacles that stopped people getting the help they needed, when they needed it.

Having known Mark from the time he joined Together, Linda Bryant, Chief Executive, reflected that:

Mark was a fabulous supporter of our work and approached his responsibilities as a trustee with dedication, true commitment and humour.  He was generous with his time and in offering his expertise and knowledge from his professional life for the benefit of the organisation and our service users.  He was also fully cognisant of the challenges and complexities of running a health charity in the current climate and the impact on the resilience of staff and volunteers. To that end, Mark was always ready to ask the ‘how are you’ questions, to listen and to offer support.

A regular visitor to one of Together’s projects near to his home, Mark was a keen supporter of the Sports Club run by the service. Daniel Ritson, Project Manager, described Mark as:

A lovely man and so down to earth – his enthusiasm has played a big part in driving us forward and supporting even more people; he will be sadly missed.