I am honoured to have been the Chief Executive of Light for the last two years. I am a mum of two and have worked for charities for many years, I am extremely passionate about the work that Light does and to be able to make a difference to families is incredibly rewarding. I am responsible for managing the day to day running of the charity, seeking and securing funding to enable us to continue the vital support we offer to the families of South Yorkshire, and working hard with the Light team to make sure the support we offer reaches all those who need it.
I retired from the NHS in 2015, where I was a health professional, working specifically with women suffering mental health problems who were pregnant and/or had just had a baby. I set up the Sheffield Perinatal Mental Health Service in 2001 and worked in the role of Clinical Service Manager to ensure that women in the Sheffield area who were suffering from mental illness around childbirth were supported. I myself suffered from postnatal depression following the births of each of my four children, all of whom are now grown up and I have three grandchildren so far! I have been committed to supporting Light from its inception. It is my ambition to improve the services and resources available to women who are suffering from mental health problems around childbirth and I am very happy to be working with Light who also shares this vision.
I am a working mother of 3 children. I have over 25 years experience working in the public sector and volunteered with the NHS at the Perinatal Mental Health Centre, which is where I met Jan Cubison. I have a degree in psychology and was working towards a clinical psychology doctorate. The pressures of work and running a family home meant that I never completed my piece of research that I started! I did however become very interested in mental illness around childbirth and realised that there was a need to support those women in Sheffield who were not severely ill enough or lucky enough to gain access to the NHS perinatal services. I enjoy being active in my community and served on other voluntary management committees at children’s After School Club and our local secondary school Parent Teacher Association.
I am a part-time primary school teacher and I have a little boy. Going through pre and post natal anxiety myself I felt I would be able to support Light to grow and develop in order for the charity to reach as many people as possible. I started volunteering for Light at one of the weekly support groups, and I am now one of the trustees which means I can support Light in a different way. I absolutely love being a part of something so special working with the team at Light Sheffield.
I am currently a full time mum to 2 children, aged 4 and 1. Until recently I worked in IT, in various roles including project finance officer where I gained many skills I can bring to Light as Treasurer.
I first heard about Light when I was referred to Perinatal Mental Health team suffering PND with my first child. I had struggled alone for 8 months after his birth without telling anyone because I was ashamed; I felt it was my fault, that I must be a bad mother. At times I even thought I’d have my baby taken from me if I sought help. Now with 2 children I can compare my two experiences and my PND was mild with my 2nd child. I put that down to the support I had. Support such as Light provides for families across Sheffield.
I want to raise awareness of PND and tackle the stigma that I felt. I want mums to feel safe and confident seeking support through Light.
I’m passionate about increasing awareness of and improving access to support for those who need help with their emotional and mental health. It is personal for me; I have observed first-hand the impact depression, anxiety and more have on people I care about. Light provides fantastic support to women and families across South Yorkshire but we’d like to do more. It is my mission to help diversify our income streams, increase awareness of the support Light provides and, in doing so, build sustainable relationships with businesses and others in Sheffield and beyond.
I have worked in marketing and communications for the last 20 years, in a range of senior positions. I currently run a marketing & communications consultancy based in Sheffield. I’m also a qualified athletics coach and an Executive in Residence at Sheffield Business School.