How we’re run

Recovery Focus is overseen by a group Board made up of non executive and executive directors.

The purpose of our Board is to lead, direct, and monitor activities of the group partners so that our collective mission and objectives can be achieved, guided by our common set of values.

Individual partners continue to be charities in their own right with their own Board of trustees. For more information about these please visit individual partners’ websites.

Meet our Board

Non-executive directors

Helen Edwards - Chair


Helen is due to retire shortly as Deputy Permanent Secretary and Director General of Local Government and Public Services within the Department of Communities and Local Government, a role she has held since 2012. She is also trustee of the Lloyds Bank Foundation and a non executive director at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

Between 2008-2013 she was 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 (2002-2008) at the Home Office, including three years as chief executive of the National Offender Management Service. Before moving into central government, she was chief executive of Nacro (1997-2002) and before that worked for Save the Children. She began her career in local government.

Geoffrey Bland

Geoffrey is a public finance accountant (C.I.P.F.A.) by background, having worked latterly for the NHS as director of finance at the North Lakeland Healthcare NHS Trust between 1993 and 2001. Now retired, he has been trustee/treasurer of various local charities including Age UK – Carlisle and Eden (to 2010). He is a licensed lay minister (Reader) to the Anglican Diocese of Carlisle. He is also chair of Croftlands Trust.

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).

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.

David Brindle

David is a leading national journalist who has specialised in social policy and taken a particular interest in mental health, both policy and practice, and its representation in the media. He has been public services editor of Guardian Newspapers since 2004 and was a board member of Mental Health Media from 2006 to 2009. Current interests include being a visiting fellow at the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University.

Tansi Harper

Tansi’s career was in education.  She has been principal of a Leicestershire community college and a college for profoundly disabled young people. She has experience working in leadership roles within the third sector and as regional Consultant for HEFCE for the East Midlands and Northern Ireland.  In the later years of her career she also held positions on a variety of health boards.

Since retiring she has continued in those roles and is currently the lay member of Corby CCG responsible for patient and public engagement, taking a particular interest in learning disability and mental health. She is also chair of Northamptonshire Probation Trust and is currently chair of a 4 Probation Trust transformational change programme. She is a former member of the Board of the Probation Association. She is also chair of CAN.

Dr Michael Holland

Dr Michael Holland is consultant psychiatrist and associate medical director for revalidation and quality improvement and chief clinical information officer at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He has an MBA from London Business School and is a senior fellow at London School of Economics for the module on quality management in healthcare on the MSc in Health Economics, Policy and Management.

He was a quality improvement fellow at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and has worked for the safer care team at the NHS Institute where he worked on the programme to set up Leading Improvement in Patient safety for Mental Health and helped develop the material for implementation of SBARD in mental health.

Peter Molyneux

Peter has considerable experience leading organisations in the health, social care and housing sectors and has undertaken projects for a number of organisations including the Tenant Services Authority, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Health (in England). He is currently chair at SW London and St George’s Mental Health Trust and managing partner at Common Cause Consulting. He’s previously been chair of NHS Kensington and Chelsea and a director at Health and Housing.

He has wide experience of governance in the private, public and voluntary sectors. He 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.

He is a member of the Homes and Community Agency Advisory Group on Older People and Vulnerable Adults and an expert advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He is a member of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation Management at Henley Business School and a member of the advisory group for the Board Leadership Programme at the King’s Fund.

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.  Now retired, he has retained his links to the financial sector, serving as chair of trustees for the Banque Nationale de Paris plc. Pension Scheme.

Executive directors

Derek Caren - Group Chief Executive

Derek-Caren-chief-executiveDerek’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 two 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.

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 & Communities Agency and other regulators.

He 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.

Tracey Bell - Group Director of Performance, Quality and Innovation

Tim Anderson - Acting Group Director People & Organisation Development

Mary Wishart - Group Director of Business Development

Mary-Wishart-executive-director-of-business-developmentMary’s career over the last 16 years has been grounded in grant making and project management across the voluntary and arts sectors, starting out with the Big Lottery Fund (or National Lottery Charities Board as it was then) and holding 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 as assistant director of business development in 2013.