Julie Blackmore
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 Featherstone
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.
Ashlea Clarke
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.
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, where 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
I joined the team in September 2018 after having been a Welfare Officer and EFL teacher at several summer schools. Through these roles, I learnt how vital it is for adults and young people to understand and talk about their mental health, something that Mind encourages as a core part of their overall mission to increase awareness about mental health. With my role of Community Development Worker, I get to go to our local communities to spread awareness of mental health and talk to people about how we at MMK Mind can support them, whether it be through community programmes, counselling sessions or through training opportunities. Since starting I have also taken on enhanced responsibilities relating to the training delivered at MMK Mind, meaning I am a vital part of the team working behind the scenes to ensure that all elements of MMK Mind’s delivery run smoothly and efficiently.
Thomas Fishenden
Marketing Assistant
As the person in charge of the Marketing and Digital Presence for Maidstone & Mid-Kent Mind, I enjoy being able to experiment with a variety of digital tools to drive engagement with our services, and crucially, to raise awareness of Mental Health within the greater community as a whole. As my first job straight from College, working for MMK Mind has given me invaluable opportunities - allowing me to learn about everything from E-Mail marketing, to working with members of the press. I hope I am able to use these skills, and these opportunities, to further the charity and our mission for years to come.
Kelly Lee
Wellbeing Worker
I have volunteered with Maidstone & Mid Kent Mind for the past few years after first being a service user and then, a fundraiser. Now, I have joined the team in a Wellbeing Worker capacity. I'm very passionate about raising awareness of mental health and furthering the mission of Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind. Primarily, I work with children in schools to deliver the courses we provide. Eventually, I hope to expand my knowledge and experience even further, something which I am hopeful MMK Mind will allow me to do. I always aim to be pro active and enjoy being 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 I hope that this will continue for future projects. I enjoy being able to demonstrate how exercise is a great tool for better 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
Reaching Communities Lead 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.
Pip Chandler
Wellbeing Worker
I’m Pip, I have worked in primary schools across England for the past 14 years as Therapeutic leader/Pastoral care leader, supporting children with bereavement, emotional regulation, emotional literacy, behaviour and other wellbeing issues. Offering support such as therapeutic play, Lego therapy, ‘drawing & talking, ‘positive play and many other interventions. I have supported many children over the years including those with ASD, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, and Pathological Demand Avoidance. My support would often extend to parents and carers and siblings. I joined MMkmind as Sunday Youth group worker over a year ago and made the move to a full time wellbeing worker in Nov 18. I am enjoying supporting children, young people and adults to overcome emotional and mental health difficulties they face.
Rebecca Slingsby
Office Administrator
I joined MMK Mind in March 2019, having been in various Administration roles over the last 9 years, across a number of different sectors. Having known the guidance and support individuals receive from Mind and the brilliant work they do to improving peoples’ lives I jumped at the opportunity to join the team. I am looking forward to this new chapter, assisting the team and helping with the smooth running of such a worthwhile company and learning lots of new things along the way!
Jane Sampson-Darke
Wellbeing Worker
I joined Maidstone & Mid Kent Mind in April 2019 after having worked in schools for the last 20 years. My roles included Teaching Assistant, Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Bursary and Finance Officer in a SEN Boarder School. Through these roles, I have learnt a lot about student wellbeing that I hope to bring forward to my new role of Wellbeing Worker for the Reaching Communities Youth Programme.
Sam Read
Wellbeing Worker
From an initial career in banking I have spent the last 20 years working with children. The most recent of which was as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant within a primary school. During this time, I have always supported pupil wellbeing and in recent years became more interested in this aspect of my role. By joining Maidstone and Mid-Kent Mind I am looking forward to the challenges the role will provide, increasing my knowledge and helping children, young people and adults with the emotional and mental health issues that they encounter on a daily basis.