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Our trustees

The McPin Foundation Trustees govern all our activities including overseeing the work of the research, public involvement, communications and operations teams. Our Trustees are selected to bring a range of skills, experience and contacts to help deliver our stated aims. They share a dedication to improving mental health research. We are committed to having a minimum of 50% of the Board with direct experience of mental health problems through caring roles or managing their own mental health.  Vanessa Pinfold, one of the founding members of the McPin Foundation, stepped down as Chair of Trustees in 2013 to take up the role of establishing our staffed research unit. She reports to the McPin Foundation’s Independent Trustee Group (ITG) in her role as the McPin Foundation Research Director. The ITG is currently chaired by Amy Meadows.

Nick McNally (Chair)

Nick has been in leadership roles in clinical research and experimental medicine since 1999, first as Research & Development (R&D) Manager for the R&D Directorate at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), and more recently as the Director of Research Support at University College London, and Chief Operating Officer for the National Institute of Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre . Nick has extensive experience of research management and support including strategic planning, operations, research finances, research regulations and research communications and engagement. Nick has a PhD in the epidemiology of atopic eczema, carried out at the Departments of Geography and Dermatology at the University of Nottingham and Queen’s Medical Centre. He has published widely from his research and on R&D management and policy, including articles inThe LancetThe British Medical Journal and Social Science and Medicine.

Alison Brabban

Alison qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 1990 and now works for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust as the Clinical Lead for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service and as an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Durham University.  Over the years she has worked in a number of clinical settings and has developed a special interest in the application and implementation of psychological therapies for psychosis.   She was given a visiting senior lectureship at Harvard University Medical School in 2006 and was also awarded a scholarship to the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research in Philadelphia.   Alison now works as the National Advisor for Severe Mental Illness for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme within the Department of Health.  She is also on the group updating the NICE guideline for schizophrenia and psychosis.  She is currently involved in an Randomised Control Trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Psychosis for people who refuse antipsychotic medication.

Alison Brabban
Alison Brabban

Amy Meadows

Amy is an experienced communications consultant, providing research, stakeholder management and branding advice to a range of public sector and charity clients working on social and environmental issues. She spent over 14 years at London social change agency Forster before establishing her own agency, Meadows Communications, in 2012. She has worked with the Department of Health, local NHS Trusts and Time to Change to help raise public awareness and understanding of mental health problems and to tackle stigma and discrimination.  In 2009, following the death of her mother, she founded the Judi Meadows Memorial Fund to help save lives threatened by suicide.  She is a founding member of the Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities and is actively involved with the Samaritans led Call to Action for Suicide Prevention.

Amy Meadows
Amy Meadows

Chris Lodge

Chris Lodge is a service user researcher with the Spectrum Centre at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine. He worked for 6 years as an adult mental health support worker with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust (LCFT), developing socially inclusive projects in the community. He began doing research while working with LCFT, in conjunction with University of Central Lancashire, employing participatory action research methods to improve shared decision making, for which he was nominated for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Patient and Public Involvement’ prize at the 2018 North West Cast Research and Innovation Awards. He has lived with severe mental health issues since the 1990s. He is a trained Horticultural Therapist and practises on the Fylde Coast where he lives with his wife, two dogs and a large back garden. He is part way through a PhD at Lancaster University, where he contributes to the teaching, giving lectures on the lived experience of mental health issues and service users in mental health research.

Chris Lodge
Chris Lodge

Clair Chilvers

Much of Clair’s career has been spent at the Cancer Epidemiologist at Institute of Cancer Research London as the Professor of Epidemiology at Nottingham University. She joined the Research and Development Directorate at the Department of Health in 1999 with responsibility for the Mental Health Research and Development Portfolio and as Director of the Forensic Mental Health Research and Development Programme. Clair has previously held the positions of the chair at the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and then of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She co-founded in 2008 and currently Chair of the charity Mental Health Research UK. Her other former charity trusteeships include Barnwood Trust, Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales and the Centre for Mental Health. Clair is also a former a Member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the first chair of Southwell Cathedral Council.

 

Clair Chilvers
Clair Chilvers

Colby Benari

Colby Benari has over a decade of experience supporting biomedical researchers to find mentors, win funding and develop their careers. As Head of the Academic Careers Office, University College London, Colby is responsible for developing the careers of graduate students and postdoctoral biomedical researchers through innovative and impactful programmes. Throughout her career Colby has developed a passion for delivering immersive and experiential training activities – expertise that she brings to the McPin board. Mental health research is especially close to Colby’s heart because of her experiences supporting close friends and family with mental health conditions.

Colby Benari
Colby Benari

Emma Harding

Emma Harding is a clinical psychologist specialising in working with people experiencing psychosis in Southwark, for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). She completed her PsychD at the University of Surrey and now co-chair’s SLaM’s Psychology Service User Involvement Group (PSUIG). Emma has personal experience of psychosis and has published on this, on service user involvement in treatment guideline development and on stigma and discrimination. She was a media volunteer for Rethink, appearing in print and broadcast media to tackle discrimination and campaign for equality. Emma previously worked at South West London and St Georges’ Mental Health NHS Trust to support other people with lived experience of mental health problems into employment within the NHS.

Emma Harding
Emma Harding

Nathan Cope

Nathan supports digital health interventions in mental health in his role of Chief Of Staff at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Companies Europe. He is a trained management consultant, working previously for PA Consulting Group across a range of life science organisations. He has held national and international senior roles across the healthcare sector; in scientific research, consulting, the pharmaceutical sector and has worked extensively with the NHS in a research capacity. More recently, he has led a team to examine how mobile health, wearable and sensor technology could be used to assist clinicians and individuals with serious mental illness in their recovery. Nathan has been a strong advocate for promoting mental health awareness – he has served as a judge for the UK Positive Practice in Mental Health awards since 2016, he is a Mental Health First Aid England practitioner and has previously volunteered for SANE line. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge in molecular biology. 

Nathan Cope
Nathan Cope

Rose McCabe

Rose McCabe is Professor of Clinical Communication at City, University of London. Her research focuses on how meaning and shared understanding is negotiated between healthcare professionals and the people they treat. She records professional-patient encounters and uses conversation analysis to identify how meaning is socially produced.   She also works on translating these findings into novel interventions to improve communication and patient experience and outcomes in mental healthcare. Rose uses patient and public involvement approaches in her work, including involving young people in research on crisis support in A&E and self-harm. She joins McPin committed to mental health research for professional and personal reasons.

Rose McCabe
Rose McCabe