Our management and senior leadership team oversee the individual services and the running of the organisation as a whole.
Prior to joining the LSLCS team I was the CEO at The Market Place Leeds which is a young persons emotional well-being and mental health service. In this role I worked closely with LSLCS on a number of projects over the years and really valued the ethos and approach of the organisation. When I became aware the CEO role was being advertised I was very excited at having the opportunity to apply for this role and was absolutely ecstatic when I was successful in being appointed.
I enjoy and really value visiting our different services and spending time with the staff and visitors and always wish I had much more time to do this. Securing contracts and funding or establishing new work and partnerships is also really rewarding as that provides security for the staff team and the work of the organisation. Championing our survivor-led ethos and person centred way of working is also a great part of the job as I honestly haven’t found anywhere that does this better than us and can truly say they are trauma informed.
I love animals and my garden so I spend lots of time pottering in my garden with my dogs and cats. I try really hard to grow vegetables but this is a work in progress if I am honest. I also love spending time with my family especially my grandson. When things feel stressful or overwhelming I like to put my earphones in and music on and go for a walk, doesn’t matter what the weather is doing. Just losing myself in my music and the fresh air feels really important to me.
I oversee the delivery of our adult services including Dial House, Dial House @Touchstone, Leeds OASIS, Group work and the Deaf Services, as well as being involved in some of our partnerships, working with Leeds Mind and Touchstone.
My journey to LSLCS began eight years ago when I started working as a volunteer. Since the ’80s and the closure of many of the old Victorian mental institutions and the advent of “care in the community” I have always been interested in the shortcomings and successes of how mental health services have been delivered. At the time I joined LSLCS, I was also involved in post-graduate studies in psychotherapy.
I’m a philosophy graduate and always been interested in Continental Philosophy, which fed my passion for phenomenology and existentialism, and the therapeutic approaches which they gave rise to. In practice, this means putting lived experience and interpersonal relationships at the heart of therapeutic work and the development of services. This is what I love and value about working at LSLCS – we put lived experience at the heart of everything we do and we have faith in the primacy and power of relationship as the basis for supporting others to find their way through their own difficulties. The best part of my job is being able to see the influence that our way of working can have on the lives of those people and communities that we serve and who entrust us with their care. I spend most my time outside of work enjoying the company of my family and friends.
I was born in Coventry in 1972, but moved up to Leeds to attend university and have never gone back (why would you leave the best county?). After university, I worked in financial services for nearly 20 years, mainly in accountancy, auditing, compliance and risk roles. I joined LSLCS in April 2012 as the Finance and Monitoring worker, two days a week back then, and have moved up through the organisation during the growth that we have experienced to work full time (and then some), moving from Finance & Resources Manager to my current post in April 2023.
The best part of the job is being able to be myself in my role and working with a fabulous team (and I’ve not been paid to say that!). Out of work, I’m kept busy as a Parish Councillor for Boston Spa, and treasurer and membership secretary for Boston Spa Tennis Club. I even manage to find time to play the occasional game of tennis. I’m married to Lucy, who has two boys, and we have two labradors who keep us very entertained and active. Walking the dogs is also the best way I’ve found to manage my well-being. Although I love everything about Yorkshire, I’m still an avid fan of Coventry City football team though this doesn’t always have as positive an outcome for my well-being.
I’m Carol I am the Adult Services Manager, managing Dial House and Dial House @Touchstone. I have had various roles throughout my time within LSLCS. I started as a volunteer in Dial House in 2005 then got a temporary post, going on to gain a permanent crisis support worker post. I then became a senior for Dial House @Touchstone, before applying for the manager’s post, and finally I am now the Adult Services Manager, managing both these services that I am very passionate about.
What I love about this organisation is that it is a survivor-led service, which meant a lot to me having my own struggles in the past and there being limited organisations out there offering the type of emotional support that we do. Working in a service that uses the person-centred approach was also an added bonus for me as I have learnt so much just from being in this environment and from my colleagues. I love exercising, walking outdoors, listening and dancing to music and I love meeting new people and also spending time with my family.
I’m Aimee and I manage the Connect, Teen Connect and Wakefield Crisis Line services at LSLCS. My role is really varied but I mainly try my best to keep things ticking over and working well for our callers, as well as supporting the wonderful team of staff who work on those services. I came to LSLCS from a background of Advocacy work, where I really saw the need for the services that LSLCS offer.
My favourite thing about working at LSLCS is the genuine care and passion that everyone has for their work. My favourite bit of my job is reviewing the feedback that we receive from our callers, as I feel very lucky to be able to hear about the positive work that we are doing, as well as learning about the improvements that we can make and being able to act on these.
When I’m not working, you’ll usually find me at the side of a rugby pitch, either supporting the Rhinos or my son’s local team. Swimming, reading, cooking and most recently trampolining are all hobbies for me too. In terms of my own well-being, I have a little checklist of “basic needs” that I try to tick off every day, to remind myself to meet them. Most of them are really simple and some of them are a bit silly, but it’s good to have the reminder of what usually works for me in terms of taking care of myself.
I’m Simon and I am the Children and Young People’s Service Manager, responsible for managing Safe Zone and Night OWLS. I started off as volunteer on Connect when I was training to become a psychotherapist. I wanted to give back once I qualified and successfully secured a role as a Bank Crisis Support Worker at Dial House @Touchstone. What I like about my role is the variety of work, as well as to play my part in developing our services to best support children and young people, seeing the positive changes we are making in their lives and my own personal development in the process.
My interests outside of LSLCS include reading, cooking, walking, going to the theatre and cinema, listening to live music, and socialising with close friends and family. My Christian faith plays a big part in managing my well-being, having a good support network inside and outside of LSLCS who provide the space for me to share and to work through issues and celebrate my successes.
I’m Sue, I am profoundly Deaf and I am the manager of the LSLCS Deaf Services, responsible for developing our service to the Deaf community. I first became involved with LSLCS several years ago when, in conjunction with previous CEO Fiona Venner, we extended the organisation’s provision to try to make the service accessible to Deaf people by setting up a specialist team staffed by Deaf BSL users. I served as a trustee for some years until retiring in 2017.
I have worked in Deafness and mental health since moving back to Leeds from Kent in 1998. I am passionate about making sure that Deaf people have access to services and that services are provided in a way that meets linguistic and cultural needs of this very overlooked section of our community.
Outside of work I am an avid reader mostly of murder mysteries etc, and during lockdown I became interested in keeping tropical fish. I now have four tanks containing Siamese fighters, angel fish and a variety of other beautiful colourful fish.
I’m Becki and I’m the service manager for OASIS. I gravitated towards working in mental health services following the loss of my brother. After supporting someone to access services, my family and I felt that there was a gap in the provision. Seeing the job advert for OASIS and the ethos that the service works to, it immediately resonated with what we felt was missing from the mental health support options. I didn’t hesitate to apply and secured the role as deputy manager, later becoming service manager. The best part of my role is developing strong relationships with our NHS partners – ensuring those accessing the service receive effective support and reading feedback which suggests people’s faith in mental health support is returning.
Away from work, I enjoy life being a mum and partner. I have a cat, dog and two rabbits, which keep me very busy. When not looking after children and animals, I enjoy knitting, crochet, calligraphy, crafting and playing video games, particularly the Sims and Final Fantasy. I find these activities support my well-being by allowing me to immerse myself in them and not think about anything else. I have found that walking the dog also forces me to take some time out from my busy life and explore new places.