Former chair Sally retires

May 2021

We are bidding a fond farewell to our former chair and current vice-chair Sally Lefroy who is retiring after nine years on the Board.

Through that time she has seen the charity grow substantially and she has remained passionate about providing quality support for people with mental health needs.

Current chair Sue Hawker said: "Sally's passion and commitment to improving mental health and the services on offer to support people on this journey has been at the forefront of all that she has done.

"She is the ultimate professional and our services have grown considerably, with Sally at the forefront of that growth. This has included West Sussex Mind establishing a service in Chanctonbury."

Sally said: "Living in Steyning, I was very conscious of the challenges faced by people living in rural communities in accessing mental health services."

She also spotted the difficulties faced by parents with young children and was instrumental in setting up our parental mental health service.

Other opportunities to grow arose and Sally was at the forefront of the successful merger with Shoreham District Mental Health Association (the Corner House).

Sue said: "Sally's involvement in this merger and the previous merger between Worthing Mind and Chichester Mind resulted in a few changes in name for our charity and it was only right that Sally lead the recent move to our current name, West Sussex Mind, in 2018. Although this sounds like a simple change there is a process to be followed and good governance dictates how these changes are realised.

Sally achieved this with charm, perseverance, patience and a touch of steely determination. This really describes Sally - someone who works very hard because it is the right thing to do and it is the right thing to do because it changes people’s lives for the better

Chair Sue Hawker

As well as being responsible for the organisation's governance, she has always been happy to represent West Sussex Mind at a variety of events.

Sally has given speeches, including at the Worthing Mayor's Variety Show in 2019, attended many functions and supported fundraising activities. On one occasion, she arrived at a social club in West Wittering at a supporter's event, stepped into a deep puddle in her evening dress and shoes, getting soaked and, ever committed, continued to stand with wet feet to give her speech and thank the fundraiser.

Sally joined as a co-opted member of Worthing Mind Executive Committee in 1992 and helped support the development of the organisation in its early days.

After her retirement from her job, she worked in a voluntary capacity as a trustee for several organisations. She joined Worthing and Arun Mind in 2012 and continued as a trustee of West Sussex Mind, becoming the Chair of the Board in 2016. In 2020, she stepped back into the vice-chair role.

Prior to that, during her working life, Sally was a qualified social worker and senior manager in Children and Adult Services for West Sussex County Council and two London boroughs. She also worked closely with NHS statutory services to improve and develop mental health services.

Sally added: "I'm particularly happy that we've been able to develop our young people's services and our support for families which are extremely important, especially at this time.

"I'm also very proud of our innovative service in GP surgeries. Having mental health workers based in the GP practices has meant we are seeing people earlier than we would have done, often preventing mental health deteriorating further."

Sue added: "We will all miss Sally very much and she is a hard act to follow. I am so pleased that she is remaining a Member and supporter of West Sussex Mind, the charity to which she has devoted so much time, energy and passion over the past nine years."