NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.

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NSUN Trustees

All NSUN Trustees are active in the mental health world and service user/survivor movement. They are the people who serve on our governing body. They have the responsibility of directing our affairs, ensuring it is a well-run organisation and is working for the benefit of the people for which it was set up.

A message from the Board

So why join the Board of NSUN?

Because of its track record of over a decade of involvement and activism with integrity. We are proud that NSUN is entirely run and led by people with lived experience of mental distress. All of us know what it’s like to be on the receiving end. As board members we want to continue to shape NSUN so it speaks truth to power without being seduced by it, always staying true to our membership and the grassroots.

Our mission and passion is to capture and convey the lived experience of our members: the good and the bad, the tragic and the comic, the browbeaten and the bolshie; to reflect mental health service users, to celebrate our diversity, our glory and all our misery, and not merely to ensure that we are heard, but that we are respected and able to shape our own futures and services.

Together with our members, we are creating an organisation that is composed and credible but not compromised, with a solidity of purpose and a level of competence that means we can’t be blithely dismissed. Now, more than ever, NSUN and its member voices are needed. The gap between political platitudes about mental health and the realities lived by those with mental health difficulties has never been larger.

Through the diversity of our board and the individual skills, experience and background we are taking NSUN through to its next decade. We will become a louder voice speaking out against austerity and challenging government and mental health care providers to drive services towards a better future. From cuts to health and social care budgets, to "reforms" to housing benefit, to the injustices of the Work Capability Assessment regime, to the imposition of workfare, to the political use of harmful and stigmatising language, what we're seeing is an assault upon the most vulnerable members of society and upon those services that support them.

It is time for service users and survivors to start leading the agenda, rather than responding to it. 

NSUN Board of Trustees:

Alisdair Cameron

Alisdair Cameron has variously been an academic historian, a lawyer and a user of mental health services, in between stretches of generalised community activism. His day job is as team leader at Launchpad, the mental health service user involvement project for Newcastle upon Tyne, and he is also co-chair of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Service User & Carer network, and has been a leading light in the establishment of a North East region-wide MH user and carer body, NEt. He is also Chair of Newcastle and Gateshead Arts Studio (NAGAS), Vice-Chair of MHNE, a Governor of the NTW NHS Foundation Trust, and a board member of NSUN, the National Survivor User Network for mental health. In spare moments he shuffles all of the letters from the aforementioned acronyms and sees what they can spell out.

Sarah Carr: Co - Vice Chair

Dr Sarah Carr is an independent mental health and social care consultant and researcher. She also works as an Associate Professor of Mental Health Research at Middlesex University. She previously worked for the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) as a Senior Research Analyst, where she led on a five-year Department of Health funded improvement programme on personalisation and person-centred practice. She has worked in research, information and service development roles at the National Institute for Social Work, Oxleas NHS Trust and the Centre for Mental Health. Sarah is a member of the Care Quality Commission Adult Social Care Co-production Group and is on the editorial board of Disability and Society. She is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the School for Social Policy, Birmingham University, Visiting Fellow at the School of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Sarah currently chairs the Service User and Carer Advisory Group for Think Ahead. In 2012 Sarah co-edited the book ‘Social Care, Service Users and User Involvement’ with Professor Peter Beresford of Brunel University. Sarah has particular interest in service user and patient involvement, personalisation and person-centred practice and equality and diversity and uses her lived experience of mental distress and service use in her work.

Eleni Chambers

Eleni has worked in health and social care since 1989, in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. She is a long term user of mental health services and more recently of adult social care, and has particular interests in concurrent mental and physical health conditions, self-management, personalisation and research. Eleni is currently involved in a variety of organisations, including Shaping Our Lives, her local Healthwatch and several patient forums. She has worked in service user involvement for some years in both service delivery and research settings, and is keen on user-led research and co-production.

Henderson Goring

Henderson E.Goring is a second generation Afro-Caribbean, who fortunately is still attending the University of Life. From the early 2000's he worked for the now defunct Milton Keynes survivors and users network (MKSUN). There he worked as an advocate. At a MIND Counselling centre he worked as a welcomer to the clients and receptionist. This lead on to him completing a course in Islamic Counselling. Henderson has had experience of the "revolving door syndrome" in between various jobs sucheck as; financial consultant, research assistant, double-glazing sales and PR work. In his leisure time he enjoys World Music with a penchant for Brazilian and of course Jazz! He also writes poetry and has been putting together an art installation.

Dominic Makuvachuma

Dominic Makuvachuma is a Zimbabwean mental health survivor currently working for Mind as Engagament Manager. He has had a longstanding relationship with NSUN since his days as project development manager of the Catch-A-Fiya Network. He has worked as the Service User Involvement deputy Director at Together, the people participation lead in City & Hackney, for the East London Mental Health Foundation Trust and he has also worked as national programme lead with the Afiya Trust and the Social Perspectives Network (SPN). For leisure he enjoys performing arts, music and sport, and aspires to make this part of his work wherever possible.

Stephanie McKinley: Co-chair

Stephanie McKinley is passionate about involvement and individuals being seen beyond a diagnosis. Stephanie was a Board member for SUTRA (Service User Training and Research Association) for five years before moving on to work in the statutory sector. She worked for the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for 10 years as a service user trainer and manager, designing and leading the Changing Minds programme across 20 boroughs of London. She was also a founder member of SUITE (Service Users in Training and Education) and has worked as a freelance trainer and facilitator for a range of  statutory and voluntary sector organisations. Stephanie has managed the Time to Change Community Leadership programme for the last four years developing and supporting people with lived experience to become leaders in their own community.

Julia Smith

Julia Smith is a member of the Pennine Service User and Carer Involvement Forum and has a wealth of experience as a service user trainer, facilitator and campaigner, working with diverse communities. She is a volunteer for Rochdale Mind, delivering WRAP training and facilitating a peer support group. Julia is a member of the Rochdale Borough Users Forum (RBUF) and has worked closely with service providers and the NHS developing policy and products.

Mark Wood: Treasurer

Mark Wood is a service user from Birmingham. Before mental illness necessitated ceasing paid employment, Mark worked for many years in management roles within children's social services and trained as a social worker. Alongside the paid employment, Mark was an active trade unionist with Unison, the public service trade union, holding positions at local, regional and national levels. Having used the services of Sandwell Mind since 2005 and helping to represent the views of service users to the organisation, Mark was invited to join their Board of Trustees in 2012. The organisation has since changed name to Kaleidoscope Plus Group. In 2015, Mark was elected as a public Governor of the Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust

Find out more about becoming a trustee of a charity and read the Essential Trustee: What you need to know guidance.

 

Daisy Abraham


Daisy has experienced Mental Health inequalities since the age of 21.  Despite the early onset of 'Psychosis,' she completed her Law Degree, graduating in 2006. She now considers herself a ‘Recovery Champion’ in formation.

Daisy is a published academic in Mental Health, through her involvement in the early phases of the Severn and Wye Recovery College establishment. She works as an 'Expert by Experience' in 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust, where she is currently most involved in their ‘Time to Change’ pilot workshops.

These are training staff within the NHS Trust not to discriminate or stigmatise against their Service Users. Daisy further sits on the Public Health and Social Welfare, Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Steering Group in Gloucestershire. This position connects to her being a panel member for Revolving Doors Agency, a London-based Charity which works towards protecting vulnerable people, from the Criminal Justice System.


Daisy is a Rainbow Seichim Reiki Master. She practices Energy Healing outside of work. Daisy is initiated as a Deshei [nun] in Japanese Shingon Buddhism, which she also continues to practice. Her passion is helping people to be 'compassion in action' through our unique lifetimes, which she considers to be Journeys of Love.