Trustees Week 2023: celebrating diversity of experience

November 2023

The theme is this year’s Trustees Week is 'many voices, working together, with purpose', recognising that diversity of experiences make a charity stronger. We’re introducing four of our more recent trustee hires and how they bring their different experiences, drivers and interests to their work

Fatima Boesdorfer

“I have witnessed an increase in mental health problems among my social circle, family and in the wider community, particularly in the last few years. I wanted to become a trustee at West Sussex Mind, because I wanted to use my skills and experience to make a difference and to help.

“I work for the NHS as a health analyst and I have many years of experience working in large public-sector organisations. I hope to use my career skills to support the Board at West Sussex Mind in continuing to successfully oversee and steer the charity.

"As a mother, children's mental health is of particular interest to me and I believe passionately that this is something that children should be taught about from a young age. It’s an honour to join West Sussex Mind and at a time when we as society can finally have more open discussions about mental health and with less prejudice and stigma."

Dominic Goodeve

“I have struggled with my own mental health for as long as I can remember. I have accessed numerous services over the years and have experienced many ups and downs along my journey towards mental health recovery.

"Though that journey is ongoing, I am proud to have found a career where my experiences are valued and are not a cause for stigma. I have worked in frontline mental health services and behind the scenes of the charity sector and am currently head of marketing, communications and engagement at Independent Lives, the disability charity.

“As someone with lived experience of poor mental health, I understand the importance of access to quality mental health support. Through my role as a trustee for West Sussex Mind, I hope to play an active role in promoting awareness and advocating for mental health services that are inclusive and accessible to all. It is a meaningful way for me to use my experiences to help others and contribute to a cause that is close to my heart.”

Tanya Marwaha

"My passion for mental health stems for my own lived experiences as a young person coming from an ethnic minority background and living with disabilities. Having been born and brought up in West Sussex, all the mental health support I have accessed has been local and includes West Sussex Mind. In March 2021, I founded a local youth mental health charity, called Championing Youth Minds, for young people to help other young people care for their mental well-being daily.

"Coming from a South Asian background means that I am able to bring my experience of navigating mental health in a community where it is heavily stigmatised due to religion and culture. Furthermore, as a young person living with disabilities, especially those that are non-visible, I can understand the lack of awareness within society about the strong connection between how our physical health impacts our mental health and vice-versa.

"I am particularly passionate about preventative mental health support, as I believe that if young people could be taught about mental health from a young age, they would be equipped with tools to care for their mental well-being and also be aware about how to access support when needed."

Samantha Taylor-Howell

“My passion for mental health and well-being comes from losing a close family member who was just 25 years old. I am deeply committed to using this experience to bring about positive change and want to raise awareness as much as I can, so being a trustee for West Sussex Mind is perfect for me.

"I work in HR, in employee engagement, and lead a network of colleagues who are dedicated to mental health, as well as being responsible for us delivering Mental Health First Aid support to over 5,000 staff. This means that I can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to ensure that West Sussex Mind continues to deliver the best possible service it can to our local community.

"I am particularly passionate about men's mental health – from losing a close family member and as a mother to a young son – as well as supporting primary age children to better understand mental health and receive support. I believe that there is a real opportunity here and I hope we start to see greater change and support for this age group soon.

Huge gratitude to all our trustees who give up their time and bring their wealth of expertise to help steer and oversee our charity.