We have a small core team led by Dr Julie Repper, Director. The core team is supported by a diverse group of consultants, who between them bring rich experience and expertise gained through both professional and lived experience.
Most also work or have worked in the NHS in clinical, managerial and/or research roles. The wealth of experience we are able to call upon means we can match client needs with relevant expertise with ease.
Working nationally and internationally, modelling co-production throughout, the consultant group brings together diverse talents, yet we all share a common set of characteristics:
• we share values that are about making recovery and wellbeing a reality for all
• we work to the principles of co-production in all that we do, nurturing the strengths of every individual in whatever capacity they offer them
• we bring cutting edge experience that is developed through pushing the boundaries of innovation at the frontline of care, combining both evidence and practice in ways that really work
• we are part of a global network of recovery and wellbeing leaders and as such can facilitate unrivalled networking opportunities
• we demonstrate our ethos and culture in the way we work; our behaviour, our language and our interpersonal skills
Click on the image for information on each team member.
Julie RepperJulie is Director of ImROC. ImROC works in partnership with communities to develop systems, services and cultures that support recovery and wellbeing for all. Julie is also Recovery Lead at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust and joint editor of the Journal of Mental Health and Social Inclusion. Julie has extensive experience of working as a nurse, manager, researcher and lecturer in mental health services, she has also been a Trustee of various voluntary sector groups, sits on a number of National committees and uses mental health services herself. It is all of these experiences that drive her belief in the need to improve services and offer more Recovery focused support.
She strives to work across boundaries and with whole systems – including people who use services, health, social care and third sector providers, commissioners and academic institutions – to support collaborative approaches to facilitating Recovery.
Julie Repper, BA, RGN, RMN, MPhil, PhD
Rachel Perkins, BA, MPhil (Clinical Psychology), PhD, OBEUntil her retirement from the NHS in 2010, Rachel spent 30 years working in mental health services initially as a clinical psychologist, then Clinical Director and finally as Director of Quality Assurance and User Experience in South West London. During her career in the NHS she worked in a variety of services for adults (including older people), rehabilitation, secure forensic, assertive outreach, inpatient and community services. She was responsible for the development of recovery-focused practice across the Trust and pioneered the UK development of Individual Placement with Support evidence based supported employment. She established the first (award winning) UK programme to increase access to employment in mental health services for people living with mental health problems, and set up the first UK Recovery College. In 2010 she was awarded an OBE for services to Mental Health and voted Mind Champion of the Year.
Rachel is now senior consultant with the ImROC programme; Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Disability Advisory Committee; co-editor (with Julie Repper) of the journal ‘Mental Health and Social Inclusion’; a Non-Executive Director/Board Member of Health Employment Partnerships and the Recovery Focus Group, including chairing their ‘Working Together Committee’ and a member of the IPS Grow national expert advisory group.
For 25 years, Rachel has lived and worked with a long-term mental health condition and has used both inpatient and community mental health services. She has also held a range of positions in service user led and voluntary sector organisations including Vice Chair of MDF The Bipolar Organisations, Vice-Chair of Rethink and Chair of their Services and Resources Committee and Chair of the Women in Mental Health Network.
Rachel has written and spoken widely about recovery, social inclusion for people with mental health and related conditions and provided training and consultancy nationally and internationally.
Rachel Perkins, BA, MPhil (Clinical Psychology), PhD, OBE
Liz WalkerLiz is an ImROC consultant with a special interest in peer support. She has led the development of peer support role, employing peers and developed peer support training both within Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and externally. Recovery and coproduction are her passion. Workforce health and wellbeing initiatives are an important element of Liz’s work where she draws on her experience of being an Occupational Therapist to support employees (with and without a known mental health issue) to remain well at work, work to their full potential and receive effective support in times of need. She has a proven track record of delivering high quality innovative services and is known for her “can-do positive style” of leadership and management.
Jane RennisonJane was the Trust Lead for Recovery and Professional Lead for Occupational Therapy, in the mental health and specialty arm of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked in mental health across the statutory and voluntary sector for over 30 years. Jane is passionate about and has recently started a new Recovery Leadership role in Dubai.
We wish Jane all the best in her new role, and are delighted she will continue working with ImROC.
Dr Jed Boardman
Dr Jed Boardman is a Senior Policy Adviser at the Centre for Mental Health. Until April 2016 he was Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer in Social Psychiatry at South London and Maudsley Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry.
He was Chair of the General and Community Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is now lead for Social Inclusion at the Royal College of Psychiatrists where he advises on employment and welfare benefit matters. He chaired the Royal College of Psychiatrists Social Inclusion Scoping Group and in 2010 published a book on Social Inclusion and Mental Health.
He has published widely on Social and Community Psychiatry. His research interests include the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders, Psychological Disorders in General Practice, Evaluation of Psychiatric Services, Recovery and Employment. He undertakes work on mental disorders in Uganda.
Dr Jed Boardman
Dawn FlemingDawn is the Head of Operations for ImROC and has been supporting the programme since it began in 2010. Previously Dawn held a dual role as Contract Account Manager for NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network as well as ImROC Business Manager. As a qualified MSP Programme Manager and Prince2 Practitioner Dawn has experience of working on a number of national and regional mental health service improvement and policy implementation projects and programme, including in the London region where she worked for the London Development Centre (previously NIMHE). Dawn’s national work included the Review of the Care Programme Approach and National Mental Health Risk Management Programme (DH 2006-2008) and supporting the NIMHE Experts by Experience Programme. She has also worked for the London Offender Health Programme (Department of Health) as their Business Manager and graduated from Sussex University with a BA Hons in Psychology.
Sharon GilfoyleSharon’s career in mental health started over 28 years ago, initially as a Nursing Assistant and Mental Health Support Worker, then subsequently training as a Social Worker. She is also a qualified Practice Teacher and completed training in adult teaching. Sharon has spent many years developing and delivering mental health awareness training, recovery approaches and self-help groups and has a keen interest in complementary and creative approaches within mental health. Throughout her career, Sharon has also experienced her own psychiatric challenges and has used this to help others on their recovery journey. Sharon has been involved with ImROC since it commenced and is currently employed as the Recovery Manager for Cambridge and Peterborough Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust. In 2009, she worked closely with Recovery Innovations (USA) in developing the Trust’s Peer Employment Training and introducing Peer Workers to the Organisation. She then led the successful development of two local recovery colleges ‘Recovery College East’ and has more recently been asked to lead a new initiative developing a county wide recovery coaching team.
Miles is the Head of Recovery and Social Inclusion at South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. Since working within mental health he has established employment services to help people with mental health problems gain and retain employment which have been recognised as models of good practice.
More recently he has been working to implement recovery focused practice across the Trust. In a previous role Miles co-ordinated and evaluated a self-management training programme for people with bipolar disorder across London.
Miles has worked on mental health policy in the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Miles has worked in various mental health settings within the voluntary sector, a local authority and the NHS. He has also worked as a volunteer on a national mental health telephone helpline and as a co-ordinator for the welfare unit at the Glastonbury Music Festival.
Sara Meddings is psychology and psychological therapies consultant lead for recovery and wellbeing at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She has long been passionate about co-production, recovery and its potential to transform mental health practice.
She has over 20 years’ experience working with people with serious mental health challenges and their families. She co-led the development of Sussex Recovery College. She co-produced trainings in recovery and family inclusive practice; she developed an accredited family interventions course in partnership with Surrey University.
Sara manages her own recovery from ME / chronic fatigue and draws on her personal experiences regarding mental health and wellbeing in her work.
Emma is a Peer Support Development Worker at Nottingham NHS Foundation Trust. She works with staff teams, peer workers and people using services to share ideas about peer support working and continue to embed this approach across the trust. Prior to this, Emma worked as a Peer Support Worker for four years. In 2013 she also joined the Institute of Mental Health as one of the independent peer trainers for their peer support provision. In these roles Emma has co-produced and co-delivered training for staff and peers as well as providing supervision and support to students and peer workers.
Recovery means a huge amount to Emma as discovering hope, taking back control and recognising opportunity have transformed her personal journey. Emma uses her lived experience to inform her approach to peer support. She has both a lived and an academic understanding of the concept, having completed an MSc in Recovery and Social Inclusion in 2014. She is currently undertaking a PhD to further understand the concepts of lived experience, disclosure and peer support. Her working practice, and opportunities to study and publish papers, has enabled Emma to develop a theoretical and organisational understanding of peer support and recovery, alongside the personal meaning it holds for her.
Jane McGrathJane has worked as an account director at a leading public relations company; she has also worked as a film-maker and a lecturer in contemporary communications at University of the Arts, London. She became unwell in 2000 she dedicated herself to improving patient experience.
She has since achieved an MA with distinction in digital media arts and in 2011 she won a Millennium Award. In 2012, she received a Winston Churchill Travel Bursary to make a documentary in India about recovery from mental illness from a non-pharmaceutical perspective and in 2014 she became a CLAHRC fellow.
She is currently CEO of West London Collaborative, a London based CIC working to deliver coproduction and assets based community development using coproduction and disruptive innovation to solve complex problems in health and social care.
Waldo is a Senior Peer Recovery Trainer with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. He was introduced to the concept of co-production when he played an active part in co-producing CNWL’s Health and Wellbeing plans. He has completed an accredited Peer Support Training programme playing a key role in initiating the Trust’s Peer Support Worker programme. In 2012 he was instrumental in starting the third Recovery College in the UK at CNWL and continues to work on organisational transformation in the Trust. Bringing lived experience into the workforce.
With ImROC he has delivered presentations and training both nationally and internationally and co-facilitated the ImROC Recovery College Network. He is currently involved in doing peer reviews of Recovery Colleges across the UK. Helping to support them whilst looking at fidelity and outcomes. He is also involved in championing the promotion of peer support within the workforce.
Phil MorganPhil is the co-Lead for Dorset Wellbeing and Recovery Partnership, a partnership between Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust and the Dorset Mental Health Forum. Phil’s work involves establishing partnerships between professional expertise and lived experience expertise. Phil is committed to exploring how recovery principles can shape our learning about ourselves, others and the organisations that we work within.
Becky AldridgeBecky is Chief Executive of the Dorset Mental Health Forum, a peer run local charity which promotes wellbeing and recovery in Dorset. Becky has personal experience of mental health problems and leads a growing team of peers utilising their expertise and experience in coproduction alongside mental health professionals and others within Dorset. Integral to the Forum’s work is partnership working with the local NHS and statutory agencies ensuring that lived experience of mental health problems is at the heart of all service design and provision in Dorset. Becky is co-lead of the Dorset Wellbeing and Recovery Partnership. She joined the Forum in 2001 as an administrator and has been instrumental in the growth and development of a lived experience infrastructure in Dorset.
Geoff trained originally as a clinical psychologist. He has worked most of his career in the NHS as a practitioner, manager and researcher. Geoff retired in 2016 but continues to work as an independent consultant on specific areas of work.
Geoff has a particular interest in employment issues for people with mental health problems, both in mental health services and outside, and in the application of recovery principles in forensic services.
Anna CheethamDr Anna Cheetham is a Consultant Psychiatrist who has worked within psychiatry in the NHS for the past 17 years and for over a decade as a Consultant in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust where she was medical lead for Recovery within Adult Services.
Anna is passionate about patient involvement, collaboration and co-production in their care and the value of lived experience within healthcare settings. She has worked to promote the Recovery ethos within her input to Nottingham Recovery College, speaking at a number of National conferences and research into service user involvement within mental health studies.
Anna has a special interest in sharing ideas and dialogue around perceptions of risk in mental health. She is also keen to promote and develop ideas around the importance of communities, relationships and networks in the Recovery journeys of individuals. She has trained and has a diploma in Peer Supported Open Dialogue and additional accreditation as a Mentor in Peer Supported Open Dialogue.
Anna is currently working as a Community Psychiatrist in Adult Mental Health within Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Sarah is Operations Manager at the Dorset Mental Health Forum and Co-lead of the Wellbeing and Recovery partnership. With a background in education and commercial management Sarah has been integral in the development of Dorset’s Recovery Education Centre. Sarah’s role has also been to support the development of a “Lived experience infrastructure” developing tools to support people to utilise their lived experience and reflect on their work to support wellbeing and Recovery. Sarah, along with her colleagues from the Wellbeing and Recovery partnership has developed a sophisticated understanding of co-production and partnership working. They have been able to use this expertise to support and influence the partnership of lived experience and professional expertise across many levels of healthcare provision in Dorset.
Sue BartonSue is the recovery and innovation lead at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist and worked in this field 1997. Sue has worked in a variety of NHS quality improvement roles. She holds a master’s in health and social care leadership and has managed integrated mental health services at Assistant Director level. Sue’s passion is working together to make a difference to people’s lives. She is keen to use her knowledge and experience to help demonstrate the difference we make. She enjoys the challenge of partnership working and has overseen the opening of four recovery colleges.
Syena is the Recovery & Wellbeing College Manager at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She has managed a variety of services within adult mental health for over 25 years and is a qualified social worker.
Syena has been involved in the development of the CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College from the beginning and is passionate about co-production and recovery and social inclusion agendas, working towards the development of organisational cultures of inclusivity and equity of access and opportunities for all.
Syena has worked with other NHS Trusts in setting up Recovery Colleges, working with colleagues to support the implementation of recovery focused practice across organisations and relishes the opportunity to share her experience of managing a coproduced, forward thinking and innovative service. Syena is involved in offering consultancy and training to internal and external organisations and delivers presentations at events and conferences.
Sue is a senior peer recovery trainer at the Central and North West London NHS Recovery and Wellbeing College where she co-produces and co-facilitates training. Sue is also a peer worker coordinator for the ENRICH Research Project.
In her work, Sue draws from a range of personal and professional experiences, training and qualifications. Sue has personal experience of using secondary mental health services and also worked as a peer support worker on an acute in-patient psychiatric ward. Sue is a qualified teacher and chartered counselling psychologist and has completed a doctorate on self-harm. Sue believes that her personal experiences of mental health difficulties and recovery are as valuable as her professional qualifications and experience.
Andrew WhiteAndrew is a health coach for Lets Live Well in Rushcliffe, which is a social perscribing service, managed by ImRoc. The Service provides support for individuals living with physical, mental health conditions or are feeling isolated, sometimes it a combination of all three. The role involves supporting individuals, by exploring needs regarding wellbeing, and adopting a recovery focus approach to support local people to live happier and healthier lives.
Andrew on a personal level has lived experience of living, managing and embracing a mental health condition, and has utilised experience, reflection and support from others to benefit his wellbeing.
From 2009 Andrew has worked within Notts Healthcare. Initially as a volunteer on an acute ward, then as a Peer Support Trainee, and from 2012 as Peer Support Worker/HCA at Highbury working on PICU and Acute Wards
This has involved working with individuals in traditional peer practices such as recovery planning, problem solving, appropriate and effective disclosure which has facilitated genuine empathy and trust. However the diverse role has also providing peer support in all aspects of care in an acute environment. This has included serving diners, domestic duties, and observations, facilitating leaves, advocating, supporting individuals in reviews, challenging restrictive practice and also supporting carers.
Further this has included effective and validated peer support to individuals in MVA situations, and been a lead on no force first in an acute setting.
Andrew has also mentored and provided training to peer trainees within Notts Healthcare Trust, and provided support to a number of trusts re Peer development.
Facilitating recovery and supporting individual and their needs, whilst utilising peer values in all ward interactions has been at the centre of Andrew’s mantra since joining the trust.
Toni is an Occupational Therapist. She is employed as Trust Lead for Recovery & Peers at Solent NHS and is a Clinical Teaching Fellow in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Southampton. She co-led the development of Solent Recovery College with Further Education and Third Sector partners in 2013. Her current work focusses on exploring the impact of the Recovery Approach in Long Term Conditions, leading the OWLeS (Optimising Wellbeing & Lived Experience of Staff) project and supporting the use of coproduction. Woking across organisations her aim is to contribute to the improved experience and outcomes of people who access our services and those who support them.
Working life: Previous to my current roles as Link Worker for the Let’s Live Well in Rushcliffe social prescribing project and Consultant for ImROC, I was a Peer Trainer for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s in-house Peer Support Training.
Personal life work: Since completing the Peer Support Training myself in 2015, I’ve found that it has altered my whole life, not just my work life. I engage in peer support on a daily basis, with friends, family and sometimes even strangers! It sometimes feels as if I have “Peer Support Worker” written on my forehead, causing people to flock to me! But, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Personal beliefs about Peer Support: I strongly believe that, out of the 8 core principles of peer support, mutuality is, by far, the most powerful. It’s human instinct to naturally gravitate toward like-minded people, who have some kind of shared, common ground. In supporting someone with mental health difficulties, I feel the mutually of having lived experience, melts away invisible barriers and holds the key to unlocking fluidity of communication, a sense of trust and hope for the future. When I was unwell, I didn’t feel like I had anything in common with anyone. I was just a weirdo. Until having a PSW lifted the veil from my eyes and I suddenly saw the world in a different light. She held hope in the palm of her hand, which she passed to me through the power of lived experience. Now, I’m passionate about holding that hope for others and passing it on to them.
Personal interests: In my spare time, I enjoy martial arts and spending time with people I care for. I enjoy trying to find humour in the world, which can sometimes get me in trouble!
I strongly believe that all people, animals and the world are beautiful. Sometimes it just takes a little more effort to notice.
Favourite quotes: “It’s okay not to be okay. It’s how we deal with the ‘not okay’ times that matters”
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass….it’s about learning to dance in the rain”
Sandra, is currently Head of Patient and Carer Engagement with Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. Her involvement with ImROC began in 2013 when the Trust signed up to become a member. As an organisation NTW were going through a massive transformation and organisational change within their local community, mental health and learning disability services.
Sandra is a mental health clinician by background, having worked in the NHS mental health field for over 34 years. Her passion and drive is working collaboratively in partnership with service users, carers and staff to ensure that the voices of people who come into contact with mental health services are heard. ‘I strongly advocate for people taking personal responsibility for their own well-being and believe and recognise the importance of everyone being a leader in their recovery/discovery journey’.
Amongst the consultant group, we have expertise in:
• coaching and facilitation
• research and publication
• operationalisation of innovation
• Board-level strategic development
• cultural development
• leading transformational change
• quality improvement
• current experience of leading innovative mental health practice at the front line
• current experience of leading innovative mental health practice at the front line
• professional leadership (nursing, OT, Psychiatry, Psychology)
• clinical expertise in wide range of treatments and therapies