Our Board

Recovery Focus is governed by a Board of Directors that includes Executive and Non Executive Directors.

Our Board has a wealth of experience from local and national government, a variety of public and private sector organisations, as well as leading influencers in the fields of mental health and substance use. They work with the Group Leadership Team to create our vision and key strategies to help drive forward and deliver our objectives and improve lives.

Non Executive Directors

  • 1. HELEN EDWARDS CB, CBE, CHAIR

    Helen was appointed as Recovery Focus Chair in 2016.

    She has held a number of high level roles in central government including Deputy Permanent Secretary and Director General of Local Government and Public Services in the Department of Communities and Local Government. Helen also worked in the Ministry of Justice as Director General Criminal Justice Policy and Director General Justice Policy, before becoming Acting Permanent Secretary.

    This followed six years at the Home Office, including three years as Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service. Before moving into central government, Helen was Chief Executive of NACRO, the crime reduction charity. She started her career in local government.

    Helen is a Trustee of the Lloyds Bank Foundation and a Non-Executive Director at the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She also sits on the Boards of Peabody Housing Trust and Social Finance.

  • 2. DAVID BRINDLE, VICE-CHAIR

    David is a leading national journalist who specialises in social policy and takes a particular interest in mental health, both policy and practice, and its representation in the media.

    He is currently Public Services Editor of The Guardian and is a regular speaker and conference chair and facilitator.

    David has held a number of non-executive roles in the housing and charity sectors, most recently Chair of social change organisation, the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi).

     

     

     

  • 3. GEOFFREY BLAND

    Geoffrey is a Public Finance Accountant (CIPFA) by background and was most recently Director of Finance at the North Lakeland Healthcare NHS Trust between 1993 and 2001.

    Now retired, he has been a Trustee/Treasurer of various local charities including Age UK, Carlisle and Eden. Geoffrey is a licensed Lay Minister (Reader) to the Anglican Diocese of Carlisle.

     

     

     

     

     

  • 4. ALBERT FLETCHER

    Albert was employed by Birmingham City Council for 38 years before taking early retirement. His roles at the council included inspecting allotments, managing parks and golf courses, personnel, employee relations and ward support.

    Albert was also appointed as a Justice of the Peace and continues to sit as a Magistrate having completed 34 years. Albert became a trade union representative and was the Lead Official in Birmingham City Council, attending the G8 summit.

    Since he retired, Albert has served as a Governor at four NHS hospitals and a Guardian at Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House. Albert has been the Chair of Aquarius since 2016.

     

  • 5. TANSI HARPER

    Tansi has spent her career in education and has been Principal of two Colleges.

    She finished her career working for the Higher Education Funding Council for England as Regional Consultant. Recently she became a trustee of an Academy Trust and Chair of Governors of a local secondary school.

    Tansi was previously Chair of the Northamptonshire Sustainable Transformation Partnership and is now Chair of the Collaborative Stakeholder Forum, ensuring robust engagement happens with the stakeholders and public as services are transformed. She has chaired a substance misuse charity, CAN, which was absorbed into Aquarius.

    For a number of years she also chaired the Northamptonshire Probation Trust before bringing four Probation Trusts together in the region.

    Tansi has been a Non Executive Director of Health Boards for over 20 years and is currently on the Board of Corby Clinical Commissioning Group representing the patients and public.

  • 6. PETER MOLYNEUX

    Peter is a specialist in integrating housing and health and providing asset-based solutions for vulnerable people and disadvantaged communities. He is a special advisor to Boards on their governance, effectiveness and reputation management.

    Peter is currently Chair at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He was previously Chair of SW London and St George’s Mental Health Trust, Chair of NHS Kensington and Chelsea and Audit Committee Chair at NHS Southwark.

    He is member of the Steering Group for Thrive LDN and a Visiting Fellow at the John Madejski Centre for Reputation at Henley Business School (University of Reading). He is a member of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health.

    Peter has been Chair of Strutton Housing Association, a Board Member of Hexagon Housing Association, a Statutory Appointee on the Board of Novas Scarman, Vice-Chair of the Housing Association’s Charitable Trust and a Trustee of Westway Development Trust.

  • 7. RACHEL PERKINS OBE

    Rachel spent 30 years working in NHS mental health services, initially as a clinical psychologist, latterly as a Clinical Director and Director of Quality Assurance and User Experience.

    For over 25 years she has lived and worked with a long term mental health condition. Rachel now works as a freelance consultant and trainer. Her varied portfolio includes Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Disability Advisory Committee, co-editor of the journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion and Senior Consultant with the National Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC) programme, which helps health and social care organisations to better support people’s recovery.

    Rachel pioneered the development of Recovery Colleges and evidence based supported employment in the UK (including the employment of people living with mental ill health in mental health services), and led an independent review for Government (‘Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition’ Cm 7742, 2009).

  • 8. ALAN POWELL

    After an early career in teaching, Alan changed course to spend most of his working life in the City of London, initially in stockbroking and then in international banking.

    Following retirement he retained his links to the financial sector by continuing to serve as Chair of Trustees for the Banque Nationale de Paris plc Pension Scheme.

     

     

     

     

     

  • 9. JON ROYLE

    Jon has worked in the substance use sector for 25 years as a volunteer, researcher, therapist and manager.

    He is currently the Chief Executive of Bridge Project which works with individuals, families, partners and communities in Bradford to improve people’s lives in a sustainable way. Previously, Jon was an Area Director for Addiction Dependency Solutions, a regional substance misuse charity.

    He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UK Faces and Voices of Recovery Charity (Home of the UK Recovery Walk) and has contributed to national policy development through membership of various groups, including the Department of Health Expert Group on Addictions to Medicines.

     

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

  • 1. DEREK CAREN, GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE

    Derek’s career started in frontline social work within community based mental health teams and in clinical teams on acute admissions and rehabilitation wards of NHS hospitals.

    As part of the ‘Care in the Community’ drive in the 1980s, he was heavily involved in the re-provision of outdated psychiatric hospitals into new community based alternatives, working with housing associations, local authorities, health authorities, service users and their relatives.

    For the last 15 years he has held senior positions in large national organisations, providing diverse services to a range of people from women fleeing domestic violence and children leaving the care sector to ex-forces personnel.

     

  • 2. RAJ LAKHANI, GROUP DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

    Raj plays a leading role in shaping and delivering our corporate strategy, ensuring effective and robust financial processes to support the business and to comply with the requirements of the Homes and Communities Agency and other regulators.

    Raj is a member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. He has spent his career in core financial accounting roles and was formerly Finance Director at Stonham Housing Association.

     

     

     

     

  • 3. MARY WISHART, GROUP DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

    Mary’s career has been grounded in grant making and project management across the voluntary and arts sectors.

    She started out at the Big Lottery Fund (previously the National Lottery Charities Board) and held a variety of roles at national organisations including Awards for All and Arts Council England before moving to more specialised business development at Solent Mind in 2008.

    Mary headed up business development, marketing and fundraising at MCCH, a pan-disability organisation operating across London and the south east, before joining Richmond Fellowship.

     

     

  • 4. TIM ANDERSON, GROUP DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE AND ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Tim is responsible for leading on people issues to enable Recovery Focus to deliver on its Group Strategy. This includes ensuring we recruit and retain skilled employees to deliver services across the Group as well as facilitating effective people management to a workforce of over 1,200 employees.

    Prior to joining Richmond Fellowship, Tim’s extensive career in human resources had been in the public sector, primarily within local government, in a number of London boroughs. He has had responsibility for people strategy, recruitment, reward, shared services, talent management and employee relations.

    Much of this work related to tackling people challenges in the context of financial pressures and increasing citizen expectations in the public sector.

  • 5. TRACEY BELL, GROUP DIRECTOR OF PERFORMANCE, QUALITY AND INNOVATION

    Before joining Recovery Focus, Tracey’s career was predominantly in services that tackle the causes and effects of homelessness. She has also worked in substance misuse treatment services.

    Tracey started out in a practitioner role, working as a resettlement worker for young street homeless people in central London and as a support worker within drug and alcohol services, before taking on senior management positions.

    Tracey was Director of Operations for a national substance misuse charity before spending 10 years working for Shelter, where she headed up the North Operations, overseeing a portfolio of housing advice and support services across the North and Midlands.

    Tracey is also a board member for Connect Housing Association in West Yorkshire.

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