Our People

Board of Trustees

Linda Gabriel

Chair of the Board of Trustees

I am a retired solicitor, formerly Senior Partner in Thackray Williams Solicitors of Bromley. In my working life I enjoyed many years’ experience acting for the elderly, particularly people with dementia. I also had experience in acting in trust matters. Earlier in my career, I worked at the Charity Commission.

I have been a member of the Trustee body since 2006 and Chair since 2010. I have enjoyed attending and contributing at the Trustee meetings as well as visiting a number of our services this year to speak with staff and volunteers. I hope that my knowledge and experience of trust and charity law and my experience of trusteeship has been of benefit.

I am also Chair of Healthwatch Bromley, the independent champion for health and social care in Bromley and Lewisham.

Mike Ricketts

Vice Chair of the Board

I have lived in Bromley for over 30 years. I retired in 2006 after 5 years as director of Communications at the Government consumer watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).  My career has mainly been working on Government public relations in the civil service, starting in overseas development (having previously worked for Oxfam).

I then moved to the DHSS where I had particular involvement with mental health issues and social services.  From there I went on to the Department of Transport (running road safety and anti-drink/driving campaigns) and the Department for Trade and Industry as Director of News.  Before joining OFT, I undertook some special projects, including leading on the Government’s Millennium bug publicity programme and helping set up the public relations operations of the then new Greater London Authority.

Since retirement, I have become a Trustee of Bromley & Lewisham Mind and have been Vice Chair at Bromley & Lewisham Mind since 2009.  I joined the Bromley Youth Offending Team as a voluntary panelist.  I am also a trustee on the Board of Carers Bromley.

Peter Cardell

Treasurer

A Chartered Accountant with extensive finance and management experience at Director level in both the public sector and the commercial environment. My experience includes board level management of a major London NHS Mental Health Trust. I also have previous experience in the private sector also at Board level as Finance Director of a principal subsidiary of a major quoted international construction group.

I am currently Chair of the Mosaic Clubhouse, a Lambeth based charity supporting people with serious mental health conditions and joined the Bromley & Lewisham Mind Board as Treasurer in 2012.

Rebecca Jarvis

I started my career in the public sector at Essex County Council as one of the first graduate management trainees. I particularly enjoyed my work placements in Adult Social Care, and have since then worked on large scale transformational change projects and programmes in health and social care including learning disabilities in Essex and stroke and diabetes care in Lambeth and Southwark.

I worked for four years as a Strategic Commissioning Manager for Older People’s services in Bromley, working jointly across the Council and the Primary Care Trust (PCT). I was responsible for commissioning a range of services including some from Bromley MindCare.

I am currently the programme director for the dementia and alcohol clinical themes at the South London Health Innovation Network. We aim to speed up the implementation of best practice across south London. In these roles, I have developed a broad overview of the health and social care system, leadership skills, and the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders including clinicians, strategic leaders, patients, service-users and their carers.

I have a BA Hons degree in Combined Arts from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and a MA in International Relations and Development from the University of East Anglia. I also have a postgraduate diploma in management studies from the University of Greenwich. After leaving university I worked as a teacher of English and science in Japan and Zimbabwe for three years.

Stuart Robertson

I have lived in the Bromley area on and off since I was 13 years old.  I qualified as a Doctor in 1976 and became a GP in 1981.  I have been involved with mental health issues in Bromley since the mid-1990s when I was asked by the Primary Care Mental Health Facilitator to be part of a working group looking at developing mental health services in General Practice.

I was a member of Beckenham and Penge PCG which was active from 1999 to 2002 before the Bromley PCT was formed in 2002. I was lead for mental health during my time in the PCG.

Between 2004 and 2012, I was on the Bromley Local Medical Committee (LMC) and was Vice Chairman from 2006 until I stood down from LMC in 2012. During that time, I was involved actively with mental health issues and chaired bi-monthly liaison meetings between Oxleas and the LMC which helped to establish better working relationships between GPs and Oxleas.

In 2014, I retired from my practice, but continue to do locum work.  I am currently Bromley CCG Mental Health and Dementia Lead.  I am a Trustee at Bromley Y, a member of the Rotary Club at Langley Park, a Vice President at Bromley Rugby Club and a Medical Referee at Beckenham Crematorium.

Margaret Cunningham

Though well recovered now, I have had significant personal experience of mental illness myself, including two spells in hospital. Those episodes and my recovery from them have helped me understand and empathise with people who use Bromley & Lewisham Mind’s services. I became a Peer Support Volunteer six years ago based at the Beckenham Centre. I am involved with BMAG, the service users’ group, and am interested in listening to the feelings and views of as wide a range of users as possible.

I have a civil service background and retrained later as a social worker.  I became a Service User Trustee in 2010.  My particular interest is the continuing development of opportunities for involvement for everybody who uses our services.

John Witton

I have worked in the substance misuse and mental health field for nearly 40 years.  Initially, I worked at a national information centre on drug misuse, then in 1998 I started working as a researcher at the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in South London where I have remained.

I have been a Bromley & Lewisham Mind trustee for over eleven years and have been involved in committee work around monitoring the quality of its services. I enjoy being involved with Bromley & Lewisham Mind, with my trustee responsibilities drawing on my management and research experience, as well as my familiarity with mental health services.

Peter Edmundson

I’m a retired senior civil servant having worked for some 37 years in the Home Office developing and delivering policy, predominantly but not exclusively, in the area of policing, crime reduction and criminal law.

In recent years, I have helped develop custodial regimes for young offenders, worked to improve the effectiveness of crime and disorder partnerships, and held policy responsibility for a wide range of areas including such diverse matters as: policing powers; biometrics retention policy; police custodial healthcare; CCTV and ANPR policy; and the police complaints and misconduct system.

I have also been a member of the management board of the Criminal Records Bureau, sat on the Board of the Security Industry Authority, and sponsored the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the National Policing Improvement Agency.

I became a trustee of Bromley & Lewisham Mind and Carers Bromley in 2012, to make a contribution locally to two important charities.

Donald Burford

I have lived in Lewisham for over 25 years. I have spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry (Wellcome, GSK) and medicines department working as a Team Leader and Project Manager in a number of multidisciplinary teams in the research, development and manufacture of high profile. I also co-authored regulatory documents and led both inspections and approval of medicinal products in the UK and European communities.

I have recently been working in the educational sector as a personal tutor and mentor involved in raising attainment standards in schools and also a school governor and an exams officer.

I am currently the Chair of the Civil Leadership Group in Lewisham which has been involved in addressing the inequalities and underrepresentation of minority groups in the public and private sectors within the community through cross agency partnerships in areas of health, wellbeing and education.

I became a trustee at Bromley & Lewisham Mind as a result of over 15 years lived experience with mental health in the family and was attracted by the broad spectrum of services that the charity provides. I look forward to helping to continue the support of provisions to a wide and diverse demographic group and improving the overall mental health and wellbeing of the community.

Lydia Lee

I have been a resident of Bromley for over 40 years. My professional career was in the primary education sector of both Bromley and Croydon, latterly in senior management roles within schools.

Following retirement, I served as a School Governor for five years and am currently a volunteer in the King’s Health Trust. I have been in this role for over 6 years, principally as a hospital visitor under the guidance of the hospital Chaplains. I was also a primary carer for a number of years and have lived experience of mental health problems and the very early stages of dementia.

I look forward to being involved with Bromley & Lewisham Mind and hope to be able to share my skills, expertise and experience relevant to the role of Trustee.

Dr Alice Jones Bartoli

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Director of the Unit of School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and have a background in child and adolescent mental health. My work includes research on the development of antisocial behaviour, social and emotional processing in children with behavioural problems, development of empathy and emotion processing skills and school achievement and well-being.

I live and work in Lewisham and am keen to contribute to activities that will benefit mental health outcomes in the local area.

Katherine Palley

I have worked in a psychological therapies service within a NHS mental health trust delivering talking therapies such as CBT and person-centred, individually and in groups. I also have experience researching a variety of mental health issues and evaluated diagnostic tools, treatments and overall services both for the NHS and private companies.

After a recent career break, I am looking forward to starting my doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Psychology next year. Personally, I have struggled periodically with my own mental health and wellbeing. I also have close family with severe and complex mental health problems.

My interest in the charitable sector has previously led me to volunteering in more direct roles such as manning the support lines and in a buddying scheme. I hope very much to contribute positively to Bromley & Lewisham Mind as trustee.

Paula Morrison

I have worked in mental health for over 30 years. My career started with nurse training in Northern Ireland. This was followed by a clinical career in London in a range of hospital and community settings, including acute mental health services, family therapy, group therapy and leading on quality in mental health nursing practice. This clinical career was then followed by a national leadership role with the King’s Fund designing and developing evidence-based clinical practice for nurses as well as leading research on new clinical models.

I have also worked as the Head of Nursing and Clinical Effectiveness for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, with a particular interest in developing innovative approaches in mental health practice.

Most recently, I have had a strategic role in developing and leading population approaches in public health in Bromley, including the lead for strategic change in mental health, working with vulnerable populations, population inequalities and substance misuse.

I am a resident of the London Borough of Lewisham.

Senior Management Team

Ben Taylor

Chief Executive

Ben joined Bromley & Lewisham Mind in 2005, and was appointed Chief Executive in 2012.

Ben is a social worker by training, and has worked primarily in the charity sector, in particular managing mental health, dementia and substance misuse services.

From 2007-10, he was seconded part time to the National Social Inclusion Programme at the Department of Health as National Mental Health Day Services lead, where he developed guidance and support for commissioners and providers.

Ben’s areas of interest and expertise include business development, leadership and the role of the third sector, and he is passionate about the value of peer support.

Debbie Witherick

Head of Finance & Resources

Debbie joined Bromley & Lewisham Mind as the Head of Finance in 2010. Her role has since expanded to incorporate responsibility for Human Resources and Facilities.
Debbie is a chartered accountant, training with KPMG within their Public Sector Audit Department.

After 5 years with KPMG, she decided to specialise in the charity sector finance and worked for two different charities in financial control positions, before joining Bromley & Lewisham Mind.

Debbie’s aim in her role is to ensure that all our resources are used as effectively and efficiently as possible to enable the provision of excellent quality services in a cost effective way.

Dominic Parkinson

Head of Services

Dominic joined Bromley & Lewisham Mind in 2014, having spent more than 20 years working for the NHS, local authorities and the charity sector, with 17 years’ experience working in mental health services. This includes 24-hour Supported Housing through to community-based support to develop independence.