Mike Ellsmore (Chair of Trustees and Finance Manager)
Mike was, until he retired in 2014, Director of Finance and Resources for the London Borough of Bexley, having worked in local government finance for over 40 years. He is a qualified accountant. Since retiring, Mike has been appointed as independent chair of the Local Pension Boards at the London Boroughs of Croydon and Southwark.
Mike also chairs the Board of Trustees at Faversham Pools and is a non executive Director of Bexleyco, a Council backed house builder.
Rosie Eaglen is a practising artist and musician. Rosie was formally the Principal of the Learning and Enterprise College Bexley, which is the main provider of adult and community learning in the borough. Rosie held several positions in the College including art tutor, curriculum manager and Strategic Manager for Curriculum and Quality.
Prior to joining the College, Rosie as a mature student undertook a BA (Hons) Degree in Art and Design (Fine Art) at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. Rosie also holds a Master’s in Education from Goldsmiths.
Rosie has a strong affiliation with Bexley, having previously lived in the borough raising her family. Rosie has a strong interest in mental health having both personal and professional experience of supporting people with mental health issues.
George is an experienced equality, diversity and inclusion practitioner currently working in the higher education sector. George is currently the interim Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at a University in London and has experience of supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusion, anti-racism and disability and neurodiversity inclusion. In George’s career she has worked closely with universities to improve wellbeing and mental health support for staff and students as well as improving policies, processes and procedures to be more equitable and inclusive. George has a strong interest in mental health having both personal and professional experience of supporting people with mental health issues and has previously qualified as a Mental Health First Aider.
George believes in access to mental health support for everyone and ensuring that spaces are inclusive of people from different backgrounds and lived experience. Diversity and inclusion are about recognising, respecting and celebrating each other’s differences and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.
Sally lives in Ramsgate on the Kent coast with her husband. She has a degree in English Literature, then trained as a lawyer as a mature student. She came top of her year and was awarded a first-class honours degree in law. She worked as a lawyer on the Isle of Wight, specialising in clinical negligence and family matters. She sat on the local hospital ethics committee, reviewing applications for medical research involving patients.
Sally has direct experience of the psychiatric system. Whilst a patient in Hampshire and Cambridge from the late 1990s through to 2007 she was active in the budding service user movement and sat as Service User rep on the Board of the local mental health trust which gave her a useful insight into the way hospitals are managed.
Sally has written two books on her experiences of mental health care in the UK, one of which almost got published by a major publisher until legal worries about Big Pharma intervened.
Since moving to Kent, Sally has developed her lifelong interest in art. She is a print maker and collagist; her work has been exhibited in several local galleries and she has sold a gratifying number of pieces. She is passionate about the role of creating art as a way of healing during mental distress and is sad at the collapse of funding for art therapy.
When not making art, Sally reads avidly and spends time with her three granddaughters and one cat.
Fiona is an experienced management graduate currently working as a consultant writing bids for funding for local charities and delivering training to community organisations.
In her previous role as Deputy Principal of an adult education college, she worked closely with local organisations and community groups to improve the lives of individuals by offering support to access education and training. She has both safeguarding and health and safety expertise as well as experience of supporting people through difficult and challenging situations. She has an interest in supporting mental health and is trained as a Mental Health First Aider.
Rashikkha Ra Iyer
Rashikkha is a multidisciplinary professional specialising in the fields of mental health, addictions/substance misuse, education and acupuncture.. An avid reader, Rashikkha is an artist, who believes in expressions through colours. As a mental health professional she firmly believes art as one of the most effective therapeutic medium be it drawing, painting or performing arts like music, dance and drama.
Rashikkha is also passionate about climate and environment activism and an advocate for sustainability. She believes in her self coined slogan nature for us and we for nature.
Rashikkha holds double Masters, one in Counselling and Psychotherapy from India and the other in Addiction Studies from King’s College, London. She has also done courses in Child Psychology, different courses in Forensics, painting among others. Rashikkha currently works for the NHS. She is into writing, has penned 4 books and runs a regular column in an Indian newspaper.
Guy’s relevant mental health arts experience is threefold; as a community artist, contemporary artist and senior educationalist.
He is a trained Community Artist who has worked as a consultant for large community arts companies and with Centrepieces as a Community Arts Project Leader since the group’s inception in 1999.
He is a trained sculptor and designer who has exhibited and curated in many regional arts centres, national museums and international shows. His personal projects deal with issues of well-being and emotional distress and have been reviewed nationally and international in books, broadsheets and radio.
Guy is a trained teacher and worked in various senior capacities in schools and colleges specialising in SEMH (Social Emotional and Mental Health) work.
Britta von Zweigbergk
Britta started as an Art Therapist at Bexley Hospital, and stayed there until 1996 when the department closed with the gradual demise and demolition of the hospital. During the 1970s, she worked closely with the artist Cynthia Pell. In 1987, she became Head Art Therapist and continued to develop the Art Therapy service for Bexley and Greenwich culminating in a move into the community in the 1990s and the formation of an outpatient service covering both areas.
Britta was closely involved with exhibitions of Cynthia Pell’s work and the publication of a book to accompany the showing of her work. In 2004, she co-authored a book on the History of Bexley Hospital ‘The Village on the Heath’ with Michael Armstrong.
Britta retired from Oxleas in 2004 and worked as a locum Art Therapist for Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust for a number of years. She also did some consultancy work with disturbed adolescents in a local residential home.
Jenny Watson (Vice Chair of Trustees)
Jenny held a number of senior Local Authority roles in Social Housing and Education for the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Bexley. She is an experienced project manager and administrator, and had contact with a wide range of different organisations and people during her professional career. She has been a Governor at local primary schools since 2015.
Jenny has a personal interest in how mental health issues can affect individuals’ day to day lives and their relationships with family and friends.