Julie Blackmore
CEO
I have worked within the voluntary sector for over 15 years, initially within youth provision before moving to a management position within a Charity infrastructure support organisation providing funding support, project management, volunteer support and community development. I joined Maidstone & Mid Kent Mind in 2014, and in this time the organisation has undergone a major refurbishment, grow in size, extended services both geographically and in age range, diversified services, yet throughout has remained focused in delivering our core objective of supporting people with mental health problems. I am proud to be part of a staff team that have embraced the changes MMK Mind have undertaken in recent years in moving mental health services into a new, positive direction and look forward in continuing to support people at Maidstone and Mid Kent for many years to come.
James Walker
Projects Manager
Having spent a large part of my career in national and local government roles I decided to join the voluntary and community sector six years ago whilst looking for the job satisfaction of helping people. I previously worked for a CVS organisation and have skills in community and project development, funding and service evaluation. I joined Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind in March as a new challenge to help be part of the on-going development of a growing and exciting charity.
Heidi Bunting
Team Leader
I have worked at MMK Mind for over 7 years and am passionate about supporting the development of person centred, recovery focussed services for people experiencing mental health problems, and believe that with a holistic approach to mental health every individual has the potential to manage their wellbeing. I am proud to be part of the team at MMK Mind who strive to aid people on their journey to better wellbeing.
Deborah Hope
Finance Officer
I’ve been working in finance for over 15 years and have experience working within a charity. I have recently gone back to college to update my skills and qualifications where I will be able to bring my new found knowledge back to Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind and make sure the Finances are well maintained and easily understood.
Ron Reeder
Lead Counsellor
I enjoy my varied work within Mind, and get real job satisfaction from helping vulnerable adults whether it’s a one-one role or group work. I put people at the top of my priorities, build solid working relationships through a non-judgmental, person-centred approach, and strive to support others whenever possible making time for them when they need it.
Nikki Brooker
Youth Wellbeing Worker
I have over fifteen years’ experience in the youth sector supporting young people to have a voice, being a founder of the UK Youth Parliament and My NT (Australia). My own diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder led me to want to work within the field of mental health. I have been working at MMK Mind since April 2015, over this period my role has changed and my confidence grown. I have been instrumental in establishing the youth services that we now run. My passion for young people and mental health has enabled me to develop innovative courses and projects that support young people to develop themselves whilst overcoming the emotional and mental health difficulties that they face. I have recently had my role change to Youth Team Leader which I am thoroughly enjoying.
Ashlea Clarke
Trainer
My name is Ashlea Clarke and I have worked at Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind for over three years. I am the Trainer and deliver various training sessions to schools, colleges and businesses. These include Mental Health Awareness, the Nationally recognised Mental Health First Aid (Youth and Adult versions), Parental Resilience and Coping With Life. My role helps to educate people about Mental Health and if they complete the Mental Health First Aid course they become certified Mental Health First Aiders in their workplaces. The training sessions also aim to combat the stigma that is sometimes attached to Mental Health. I enjoy the varied nature of my job and the opportunity to meet new people whilst expanding their knowledge and perceptions of mental health. Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind is constantly evolving to provide support to people and I am proud to be part of this proactive team.
Yvonne Irvin
Wellbeing Worker
I joined MMK Mind in October 2014, and am very much enjoying my position as Wellbeing Project Worker. My career background has involved working with and supporting children, mainly teenagers, that are in care. I am inspired by all the new projects already underway at MMK Mind and those being created that support mental health and improved wellbeing from many angles.
Sam Curran
Wellbeing Worker
Throughout my years as a student I developed an interest in mental health which lead me to become a Psychology graduate. Since then, I have been eager to get involved in Mental Health care with the hope of becoming a clinical psychologist. With Mind being a reputable mental health organisation, I was attracted to its support for service users. After being a keen volunteer for the charity, I became a Wellbeing Worker and I am glad to be part of an excellent team, as well as being part of new projects that will help this charity to grow and develop.
Kim Harris
Receptionist / Admin
I’m Kim, and I’ve worked at Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind since 2014 – handling reception duties and administration duties for the charity. I started out as an apprentice, with a passion for learning more to with administration and how it works within a business, and that is how I arrived at Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind. I really enjoy my role here, and I take a great sense of pride from all the responsibilities that fall upon me. Many people find data admin to be a boring job, but I love the level of behind the scenes work it allows me to do. I enjoy being the person responsible for keeping everything ticking along. I also enjoy my reception role – it’s nice to be that first point of contact for people as they come in through the door. It can be very stressful at times as you never know what you are going to get day-by-day, but it is also incredibly rewarding to be the first point of call for people looking for help from MMK Mind. I love my job, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Josie Ledger
Wellbeing Worker
I first joined MMK Mind in September 2016 as a student who was looking to gain experience in the mental health sector. During my placement, I developed my skills and my confidence, allowing me to deliver a range of groups and courses. These courses allowed me to develop a keen interest in working with a mental health organisation such as Mind, as I was inspired by the person-centred approach which Mind took. In addition to my time at MMK Mind I have had experience in a variety of areas within the mental health sector. This has included (But is not limited to) assisting social workers whom are working with hoarders, helping facilitate art courses at a day centre and volunteering at mental health organisations across the Medway area. I was then lucky enough to join MMK Mind team as a Wellbeing Worker, were I deliver a wide variety of wellbeing services. This includes the Hope Café on Friday evenings, the coping with depression/anxiety courses, youth work and support work at RBLI.
Nicole Griffiths
Community Development Worker
My name is Nicole and graduated from the University of Chester in 2017 with a degree in English Language. I have just joined the team at Maidstone & Mid-Kent Mind as a Community Development Worker. I have previously worked as an EFL Teacher and as a Welfare Officer for a summer camp based in the UK. I was responsible for the health and wellbeing for all the students that visited us over the 6-week period of the summer school. As well as this, I regularly volunteer for GirlGuiding, assisting with two Brownie Units in the local area. From my position at MMK Mind, I hope to increase my sense of pride in knowing that I am helping my local community by developing the services which are available. As well as this, I hope to broaden my skills and knowledge with the mental health sector and services provided.
Thomas Fishenden
Marketing Apprentice
I have had a passion for Media since my days at Secondary School when I studied a BTEC in Digital Media, and that led me to a Level 3 Creative Media College course where I studied film, audio, print and web (amongst other things) and developed a enjoyment of the creative sector. After working with Mind on a prior project, I was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship by them and proceeded to join the team.
Kelly Lee
Wellbeing Worker
I have volunteered with Maidstone & Mid Kent Mind for the past few years after beginning as a service user and then as a fundraiser, I am now a mental wellbeing worker for Them. I'm very passionate about raising awareness of mental health. Primarily I currently work with children in schools to deliver the courses we provide but look to expand my knowledge and experience which I've found MMK allow me to do. I always aim to be pro active and find that I'm able to contribute to different projects within the team. This role has also allowed me to integrate my passion of martial arts to sessions that I currently do and for future projects, incorporating how exercise is a great tool for mental health.
Suzanne Middleton
Wellbeing Worker
I have worked for MMK Mind since May 2017 as a Wellbeing Worker, having volunteered since January 2017. In my previous life I worked mainly in Financial Services, occupying a variety of jobs over a 30 year period, latterly as a Team Leader in Insurance. I first contacted MMK Mind to ask for support for teachers in schools and young people in the area in which I live after I lost my eldest Son to suicide in November 2016. After fundraising for mental health charities I wanted to delve deeper into the issues surrounding young people and mental health. The more I researched the more I was determined to do my bit. So far I have completed Adult Mental Health First Aid training and now lead support and social groups for adults. I have also started attending school training sessions which is really interesting and hope to be more involved in these aspects as I continue working here. I am also a fully trained Crisis Counsellor for a Crisis Text Service and am starting an OU degree in October, starting with Health and Social Care.
Xenia West
Wellbeing Worker
I have worked within primary care mental health services now for almost 3 years, I first joined the Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind team as a volunteer for the Ashford wellbeing café back in 2016, and came to work for MMK Mind full time in September 2017 as a wellbeing worker. I have a particularly varied role within the team and work on a number of our projects including (but not limited to!) our police control room project, Ashford early help project and youth course delivery, adult training delivery and managing the Ashford wellbeing café. I have also recently qualified as a youth mental health first aid instructor and I am looking forward to going out delivering this training in the near future.