Touchstone’s trustees are volunteers who have overall responsibility for Touchstone’s work and strategic direction. They come from a variety of backgrounds and generously donate their time to the organisation.
I joined the Board in 2014 and have been a member of the Finance and Development Committee from the outset. I am from a commercial background in the packaging and printing industries but – poacher turned gamekeeper – I have also had my own environmental consultancy specialising in the life cycle impacts of product design.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of trusteeship of such a dynamic and value-based organisation which places service users at the heart of all its activities. I have also developed a commitment to good governance and have led three Board reviews of our performance in this area.
I am passionate about mental health issues, recognising from my own lived experience the effect of addiction on mental health and families. And I love my home town of Leeds and Touchstone’s pioneering work within our communities.
It is my privilege now to be Chair of an excellent and committed Board of Trustees. The work of Touchstone, our commitment to its service users, and the outstanding staff who deliver our services is something of which we can all be very proud.
I have been a registered social worker for many years working predominantly in Adults services in hospitals and in the community. I am currently working at the University of Bradford and with the Open University as a Practice Learning Tutor on their social work degree courses, organising and supporting student social workers on placements. In this capacity, I have organised successful student placements at Touchstone and greatly value their contribution to social work education.
In addition, I am member of the national NICE/SCIE Guidance Development group on Social Care services for Older People with multiple long-term conditions, published in 2015, and currently a member of the NICE Guidance Development group working on Social Work interventions for Adults with Complex Needs.
After becoming ill in the 90s and enforced retirement, I decided to give it back to those who have helped me. Thus, I have volunteered within many areas of the third sector for over 25 years, which provided me with wealth of knowledge within health, social care and the NHS.
As an Engineer, I feel I can greatly contribute to Touchstone’s Board of Trustees through problem solving. In addition, I am the Touchstone Service User and also Coproduction champion, and my real passion is to ensure research involves the patient and therefore becoming grounded and true.
In order to support my role within the Board of Trustees, I am a member of Yorkshire and Humber National Institute for Health Research and I Chair the Better Lives Board for Adults and Health. Finally, I believe that my lived experience means I can ensure Patient and Public Involvement is true and coproduction is co not faux.
Finally, I strongly believe that we must live and let live; therefore, I do and always will champion LGBT.
I am an Economics graduate of the University of Leeds and have worked as a financial investment manager for over 30 years. I am currently Head of the Leeds office at Brown Shipley, A Quintet Private Bank.
I joined Touchstone in 2009 and Chair the Finance and Business Development Committee and I bring skills in finance, private sector business, strategic planning and organisational development. In addition, I am also Treasurer of the local charity Yorkshire MESMAC and a trustee of the Leeds Art Fund. I advise various charities on investment and financial matters.
I am a professionally qualified accountant and an Associate Professor in Accounting and Finance division, at Leeds University Business School. I worked in a wide range of management accounting, financial accounting and tax roles in the higher education sector before moving into accounting education 10 years ago.
I have a passion for social justice and a deep interest in supporting all members of society with their mental health and wellness. Mental illness has affected numerous members of my family and I think that it is important, particularly as a black woman, to help de-stigmatise and humanise mental illness within our communities.
I have formal responsibilities to support my students’ health and well-bring and believe that the challenging, yet immensely rewarding work that is undertaken in my role as a Trustee of this fantastic charity also helps me to do carry out my duties in this role with empathy and understanding.
I have over 16 years of Compliance and Regulatory experience spent across the Financial Services, Manufacturing (medical devices) and Government sectors and over 11 years’ experience in blue chip financial services companies, which equips me to offer an exceptional mix of knowledge and experience.
The ability to transcend from different environments demonstrates that I can swiftly adapt, absorb information enabling sound judgements at a strategic level. I am proficient in working with the FDA/FCA/FOS/MOJ and other regulatory bodies covering many areas of compliance. What I bring to Touchstone is utilising my work experience, and knowledge in the business sectors, to support the charity with its strategy and ambitions and be there as a touchpoint for progress and direction.
As a Human Resources (HR) professional with degrees in psychology, my skills are not always relevant to most charities, so in 2014 I was delighted to see that Touchstone was looking for a Trustee with HR skills.
The main part of my role has been to provide support to the HR Department and to represent Touchstone on the Joint Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JNCC), although I have been involved in several other areas of the Board’s work as well. The JNCC is a forum to enable consultation between Touchstone and union representatives on matters related to staffing. Although I cannot claim personal credit, I am proud to be associated with an organisation which has won numerous awards for its employment practices: after all, effective staff who are positive about their work are much more likely to deliver first-rate support to Service Users and Touchstone has developed a wonderful reputation as both an employer and a service provider.
I have over ten years work experience in healthcare system and Touchstone will benefit from my great knowledge and expertise amassed through supporting different people to achieve positive individual outcomes. To achieve this, my resolve is based on building good relationships with individuals – putting them at the core of all my practice and the ability to establish robust community networks that foster equal opportunities to the disadvantaged members of the society.
My competencies have evolved since I was a member of a Yorkshire and Humberside housing provider’s Compliance and Scrutiny Committee where I enhanced my accounting skills, employed analytic, decision-making and conflict resolution skills. I am currently studying towards a Masters’ degree in Social Work because of my passion of supporting, empowering and making a difference in people’s lives through recognising every individual’s uniqueness.
Overall, I have developed sound interpersonal communication and leadership skills that put me in high regard when advocating and championing Touchstone’s values of inclusive service provision.
Katie is Portfolio Director and Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at Charlotte Sweeney Associates.
With over 16 years financial services experience, she is a change management expert having previously held business analyst and project management roles. She also has property experience. Katie is an experienced mentor and is particularly interested in workplace culture.
Katie is accredited as both PRINCE2 Practitioner and Change Management Practitioner. She has a Business Analysis diploma and is Lean Six Sigma yellow belt qualified.
In her spare time Katie helps run the Lean in Leeds network, enjoys the gym, travelling, live music and spending time with her partner Sarah and their Dalmatian Luna.
Katie joined Touchstone in 2017 and is both a Board member as well as Deputy Chair for the Finance and Business Development Committee. Katie is Touchstone’s Diversity Trustee Champion.
I consider the principal skill I bring to Touchstone is my passion and drive to change practice in mental health and social care. I may only just be starting my career in this position but my passion goes way back, and I am committed to shaping the future for best practice. I am excited to be working alongside Touchstone in a partnership that will create learning opportunities for all and from this I hope to grow my confidence and knowledge.