Mind in Somerset is governed by a non-executive board which oversees the direction and strategy of the charity. Board members serve on an unpaid, voluntary basis.
The current board has diverse experience and skills which includes mental health, finance, IT, management and a range of other disciplines. More than half of the members of our board have lived experience of poor mental health.
However, we recognise that neither the Board nor our senior managers have a monopoly of wisdom of mental health matters. So, we are keen to have all our stakeholders participating in goal setting — sometimes simply with feedback, sometimes with a stake in the decision. In this way we hope that our staff and volunteers our funders and our service users will feel engaged and involved — that their voice matters.
Geoff Pateman, Chairperson
Having studied economics at Loughborough University, Geoff went on to serve in various Finance Manager roles at HBS and Mouchel. He became a trustee and Treasurer of MindTWS in 2013 and is delighted to be chair of the new charity. Geoff’s other interests include gardening and steam railways.
Dr John Cox
John worked in the National Health Service as a GP for 30 years. He also worked as a Clinical Assistant in Psychiatry and as part of the Adult Family Therapy team for 25 years. Latterly he was approved under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act to help in assessments. He still does some work for a computer company Patient.info. John became a Non-Executive Director at South Somerset Mind in 2014 and a trustee from 2017. He has been a Champion for Mental Health with the Somerset PCG/PCO/CCG and is still a keen advocate of whole-person care. His personal interests include music, gardening, sport and his local community.
Sarah has worked in the hospitality and tourism sector and then later in facilities management for 20 years. Sarah has been an active volunteer in local organisations since 2011, with a priority for delivering accessibility and inclusion. I have a specialist interest in special education, additional needs, neurodiversity and creating abilities through person centred services in housing, care, educational and health. Sarah volunteers alongside being a parent carer, and she understands the pressures of being a carer and reaching out for support to enable friends and family to feel valued in all areas of their life. Her personal interests are all areas of family life, including glamping and enjoying local food and drink outlets
Dr Chris Norris
After hospital experience in psychiatry, Chris became a GP in Shepton Mallet and retired in 2012. He maintains a professional interest in mental health through sessional work for the Tribunal service as a medical member on Social Security appeal boards. He became a trustee in 2017 and is looking forward to the exciting times ahead following the merger.
Frances Geatches, Company Secretary
Frances worked in the National Health Service mainly as a midwife and midwifery tutor. After early retirement, she trained as a psychotherapist. She became a volunteer at South Somerset Mind in 2008 and was a trustee from 2010. She says she is delighted to now be a trustee on the Board of Mind in Somerset and looks forward to new developments in the services for the support of mental health throughout the county.
Richard Maw, Treasurer
A resident of Porlock since 2018 and joined MIS in 2020 having moved from Buckinghamshire, a job in the City of London and as Treasurer and Trustee of Emmaus. Originally from Clitheroe in Lancashire with a BSc in Maths, an MBA from Oxford and chartered accountancy. I have worked in several sectors in Pharmaceuticals/Pharmacy, Construction and Insurance for both commercial and mutual companies as well as over five years in Italy, and shorter periods in the USA, the Netherlands and Baghdad in Iraq, during one of the many wars there! My passions are economic fairness and sustainability and… trees; with running, hockey and sport generally close behind.
Nigel is retired having spent 44 years working for IT suppliers. Starting with International Computers his roles have spanned consultancy, project management, sales and marketing in the UK and continental Europe. He has experience at all levels from board to technical, understanding business needs and developing IT solutions. He has a broad understanding of business processes in the private and public sectors and has run the UK operations for continental suppliers.
Holly moved to Taunton in 2021 and works in secondary education. She is passionate about the role of schools in young people’s wellbeing and in the wider community. She is a strong advocate of the benefits of education both inside and outside of the classroom. Having spent over 10 years volunteering as a Guide Leader, she strongly believes in the positive impact of youth groups and a safe space. She is experienced with supporting teenagers with a wide range of mental health issues and is a trained Mental Health First Aider. Her personal interests include long-distance walking, cooking and writing.