Our Board of Trustees
Mind BLMK is governed by a Board of Trustees who also act as company directors – this is because Mind BLMK is both a charity and a company.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that Mind BLMK operates legally, within its aims and objectives and in an ethical and sustainable manner. They set the direction and strategy for the organisation and oversee the Chief Executive to ensure that the goals set are achieved.
The Board works to the Charity Commission guidelines on good governance and maintains high standards across its work. Board members are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting and bring specific, specialist skills to the organisation.
Our current Trustees can be seen below.
Chair - Simon Clarke
Simon is the Chair of Mind BLMK’s board of trustees. He spent 25 years in investment banking in a wide variety of roles, encompassing corporate banking, aircraft financing, strategic development, performance management, M&A, and leveraged finance, including acting as Chief Operating Officer during the development of a business in Paris and then establishing and running a highly successful leveraged finance platform in New York.
In 2010, he joined Berendsen plc, then Europe’s leading B2B textile services business, as Director, Group Corporate Development, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. His role was to support the executive management team and the board to develop Berendsen’s business, particularly in the area of acquisitions and divestments, and to help in the execution of the strategic plan.
Since leaving Berendsen in 2015 Simon has been a management consultant, using his market knowledge and contacts to provide unique insights into the textile services and related markets in the UK, Europe and the US. Clients include market players, those considering investing in the sector together with leading global management consultancy firms looking for an informed viewpoint.
In his spare time Simon enjoys running, cinema and travel.
Helen Donovan was appointed as a Trustee in 2018. She is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked in NHS mental health services in Bedfordshire and Luton since emigrating from Australia to the UK in 2002. As a senior clinician, Helen has developed and led teams and services across NHS, private and third sector settings. She is also trained in quality improvement and has particular interests in pathway review and redesign, co-production with service users, and workforce wellbeing. Helen sits on the Workforce and Health & Safety Committees.
Drew is a culture, wellbeing, inclusion and communications specialist, having worked in HR and marketing functions in the financial services sector. Currently, Drew leads Santander’s Inclusion, Belonging and Wellbeing team, who work to make Santander a place all colleagues feel they belong and are supported to succeed.
Drew helped to launch and co-chaired Santander’s Mental Wellbeing Network, which raises awareness of support and equips people with the tools to develop positive mental wellbeing. In his spare time, Drew enjoys sport, following politics and listening to podcasts. He has also previously worked with Mind BLMK as a Mentor, Ambassador and Fundraiser.
Having spent the majority of her career in leadership roles within Operations for Teletrac Navman, Hannah is now a Continuous Improvement Leader. Hannah works as part of the senior leadership group to drive continuous improvement throughout the business from Strategy to Culture in all areas of the organisation from Operations, Sales, Finance, Marketing, etc. Having first-hand experience with Mental Health issues both personally, and in her family and close friendship circle, Hannah is hoping to be able to transfer her professional skills to support Mind BLMK, their employees, and the lives of those in her community.
Kevin was appointed Trustee in December 2022 and chairman of the Business Development and Finance Committee. Kevin has 30 years experience in senior finance roles in professional practice and public company finance, including healthcare businesses, serving as both Audit Partner and Chief Financial Officer. Kevin is Chairman of Marlowe plc, a leader in business-critical and regulatory assurance services, including occupational health. Kevin is a qualified accountant with a degree in modern languages, which has helped him work extensively overseas.
Lesley is a chartered occupational psychologist and Fellow of the Institute of Personnel & Development, having worked at HR Director level shaping strategy, implementing policy and managing change. With a keen interest in mindfulness-based coaching and positive psychology practices, she first became involved with MIND BLMK as a volunteer trainer supporting wellbeing initiatives for the Leighton Buzzard Centre. Lesley is a member of the Workforce and Health & Safety Committees.
Alex De Araujo
Alex came to the UK in 2001 as a volunteer worker at Camphill Communities in Milton Keynes on a gap year from his Engineering degree.
His drive, energy, and commitment to succeed helped him move forward in his career to become a Business Development Manager, with 20 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry. He currently works at Greene King where he oversees the operation of 14 Restaurants and 2 Hotels.
Having had first-hand experiences with Mental Health issues in his family, he has also become a Mental Health First Aider, to support more people.
As a Trustee at Mind BLMK he hopes to be able to offer his professional skills and life experiences to better the lives of many people locally that suffer and live with Mental Health issues.
Sara’s professional background was as a Clinical Psychologist. Over a 35 year NHS career she worked in various locations providing, developing and leading psychology services across a range of mental health services. Central to this was working with service users and colleagues to improve services so that they were forward looking and really took account of the experiences and views of people with mental health difficulties, as well as being informed by research evidence of what leads to good outcomes. Sara has also worked with the Care Quality Commission as a professional advisor on Mental Health Service inspections and with the Health and Care Professions Council as a panel member deciding on Fitness to Practice cases and Registration Appeals. Now retired, Sara enjoys volunteering as a Academy School Governor where she co-leads governor responsibilities for Safeguarding, Staff and Student Wellbeing, Disadvantaged Students and Looked After Children.