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Ultimately the Board is responsible for the governance of Mikeysline – ensuring that it is effectively and properly run and is meeting its overall purposes as set our in our governing document. Each member, or trustee of the Board, holds joint responsibility for working together effectively, ensuring that the decisions taken are in the best interest of the charity.
The chair of our Board is Donna Smith.
After many years working at senior management level in the public sector, I now run my own business and I am passionate about making a difference for all sorts of people both in my work environment and out. Having experienced suicide for the first time in my early teens through my best friend’s Dad, I understood early on that suicide can affect anyone. Having also had previous personal experience of how powerful peer support can be, I have huge respect for what Mikeysline does and feel that the charities services are badly needed, particularly in the Highlands which continues to have high suicide rates compared with the rest of the UK. During my career, I have developed broad skills and understanding in areas such as people management, IT, corporate governance, financial planning, performance management and business improvement. Being on the board of Mikeysline allows me to use these skills to contribute to a cause that I feel is vitally important to our community and the people in it.
I am a Chartered Accountant and Tax advisor and advise many businesses in the Highlands on all aspects of their business, finance and tax functions at both a corporate and share holder level. At work and on a personal level I am passionate about helping young people manage their lives and careers and recognise the challenges that mental health issues can bring in both the workplace and at a personal level. I was a supporter of the Mikeysline ethos for a couple of years before agreeing to become a Trustee and believe the service offering is key to assisting people throughout the Highlands cope with the pressures of everyday life.
I’ve worked in mental health for over 20 years, both in the NHS and the charity sector. My background is a mix of experiences in nursing, psychology, medical anthropology and psychoanalytic thinking. I've worked with children, teenagers and adults, in a range of different settings, from counselling helplines, in-patient units, rehabilitation homes, community projects, poetry groups, children’s wards, schools and youth offending. Over the last 12 years, I've been involved in both the executive side of running a charity, alongside working clinically at the Brent Centre for Young People, in London, an accessible psychotherapy service for teenagers. I'm currently working in clinical research, studying adolescent suicidality, and the process of psychotherapy with teenagers. I enjoy the creativity and connection to community that happens in charities, the feeling of being on the ground and responding to real needs. Mikeysline holds a particularly special place in the local community here, and I hope I can make a useful contribution.
I have been privileged to be a trustee of Mikeysline since 2016. During that time I have had the opportunity to meet and work with members of staff, volunteers, fundraisers and trustees and continue to be impressed by the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm for the part that each play in supporting Mikeysline.
Although I live in Southampton I have close family ties to Inverness and keep up to date with life in the Highlands through local press, social media and regular visits. Mental health affects us all either directly or indirectly and I understand the impact that this and suicide can have on each of us. With a career in HR and Recruitment I use these skills to help with staff HR and payroll. I am also Secretary to the Board of Trustees.
As much as I hate the word, I am by definition an entrepreneur in the hospitality, travel and leisure sectors. I have built my business up over almost 2 decades, and during this time I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands of incredible people from all walks of life.
My motivation to get involved with Mikeysline was down to just how many of our own team struggle with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. We are not big enough to address the everything ourselves, so the opportunity to be involved with a local organisation which not only provided support for people in similar situations, but also championed mental health awareness among the wider public was too good to turn down.
While Mikeysline remains a small, hands-on organisation with the needs of its users at the very heart of what they do, I hope that my commercial experience can be drawn upon when required to add value to an already incredible organisation.