Our Board of Trustees
Woking Mind is governed by a committed and passionate Board of Trustees who are responsible for setting our strategic direction, ensuring we deliver our objectives and make a meaningful difference to the lives of our members.
Will Forster – President
Will Forster is a Borough and County Councillor in Woking. At County Hall, Will is Vice Chairman of the Performance and Resources Select Committee, which scrutinises the Council’s financial, legal and property matters. Between 2014 and 2017, Will was the Leader of the Opposition on the Borough Council and in 2018/19, Will served as Mayor of Woking. Will is a law graduate, who until recently worked for a British Member of Parliament. He now works for a political party with responsibility for elections in the South East of England.
“I am passionate about supporting those suffering from poor mental health and I hope I can use my experience as a former Mayor and current Councillor to benefit Woking Mind. Mental health services suffer from underfunding and lag behind in comparison to treatment for physical health problems, yet one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health is sadly the Cinderella service of our NHS, which is why the work that Woking Mind does is vital to support residents and top-up NHS services.”
John Hamer – Chair of Trustees
John was CEO and then Chairman at Fidessa Group PLC, a software company which underwent substantial change and international growth from 5 to 1700 employees during his time there from 1983 to 2018. John has also Chaired two other software companies and been involved in other businesses in various advisory roles. His leisure interests centre around a love of nature and the great outdoors.
“I know from personal experience that changing perceptions around mental health issues and encouraging people to seek help early are vital components in improving our collective emotional wellbeing. Woking Mind is here to help you, whether it’s for advice, a friendly chat in a walking group or one of our many other support groups or to guide you to the right type of support.”
“Over the past 3 years, Woking Mind has seen considerable expansion, pursuing its objective of helping people in Surrey improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing and I’m very excited and honoured to join as Chair of Trustees. I hope my experience of managing growth in other organisations will help the incredible team here continue that journey whilst applying the highest standards to the way in which we deliver our services to our local community.”
Laura Tamplin (ACA) – Treasurer
Laura started her working life as a Primary School teacher but later took the decision to retrain as a Chartered Accountant, she is now a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. All of Laura’s accountancy work has been based around the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors and she now works for a firm providing advice and outsourced finance services to a wide range of charitable organisations. In both her professional life and voluntary work with Woking Mind Laura loves working with and supporting people who are passionate about making a difference to people’s lives.
“I became treasurer after reading an appeal in a local newspaper that Woking Mind was in danger of closing if a treasurer could not be found. I am happy to use my skills and expertise to benefit the local community”.
Carl Rogers – Trustee
Carl has supported Woking Mind for the last ten years. As a volunteer, he coordinated website, marketing and business plan refreshes for the charity. From 2015 Carl joined the Trustee Board to support the charity through strategic and business planning. Carl graduated from Aston Business School with a degree in Marketing, and is a certified Scrum Master. For the past five years Carl has been coaching teams working in the market research, data analytics and financial services sectors in developing their agile practise and mindset.
“Woking Mind has been an important part of my life for over ten years, and I was thrilled to have an opportunity to join the Trustee board at a time I could help the charity reflect on where it was at the time, and identity where it wanted to get to.”
Andrew Cox – Trustee
Having had a successful career in Sales and Marketing, principally with Xerox in the UK and Europe, Andrew then became a qualified fundraiser setting up and running a Corporate Fundraising and Major Giving programme at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham. Since then he has been working in the Education sector, setting up and managing a new International Student intake programme at Alton College, one of Hampshire’s most successful Sixth Form Colleges. He has also worked as a consultant Sales and Leadership Skills trainer in the UK and overseas.
In his spare time he hosts Charity functions and has raised £’000s in major Charity Auctions for a number of well-known national organisations.
“Mental Health provision is a subject I feel passionately about and I was delighted to be asked to join Woking Mind, and to be able to share some of my knowledge and experience particularly in Fundraising, to support this extremely worthwhile local organisation.”
Elle Wilks – Trustee
Elle joined the Trustee Board in June 2019 having served as Chief Executive of Woking Mind for the previous 18 months. She has over fifteen years’ experience in leading fundraising and development teams within the UK social sector, locally and nationally. She has postgraduate qualifications in fundraising, counselling and coaching. Elle now supports a range of organisations across strategy, marketing, fundraising and project management, alongside her copy editing and proofreading business.
“I chose to volunteer with local causes that really make a difference to the communities they serve, often with very little resources, and Woking Mind is an exceptional example of this. They support some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in the local area living with enduring mental health problems, who often have nowhere else to turn. I want to make sure this outstanding charity continues to survive and thrive.”
Leah O’Donovan – Trustee
“I became a trustee at Cornerhouse Woking in 2017. I wanted to lend my skillset to a mental health charity, joining my private and professional lives. I enjoyed being a trustee and joining the Woking Mind board was the perfect fit to enable me to continue providing my time and expertise. I’m excited to be joining as Woking Mind looks to expand and grow, delivering more services and supporting more people. My knowledge of the changing NHS landscape will help me to position the charity to respond to the growing demand for mental health support.”
Tom Landais – Trustee
Tom has been a volunteer with Woking Mind for over 4 years. During that time, he has supported our Young Persons group, Anxiety and Depression group and Wellbeing groups. Since the lockdown started in March, Tom has also been supporting our Community Wellbeing Calls project, making up to 10 calls a week during the busiest times. Since the Summer of 2020, Tom has also been a trustee at Woking Mind. The breadth of his experience with our client facing services means that he can bring a new perspective to the board of trustees.
Tom finds volunteering a hugely rewarding experience. He loves helping others, the positive feedback from clients and knowing that what he does is making a real difference.
“I became a trustee because I had received a lot of support, training and experience from Cornerhouse and then Woking Mind in the three years I had been volunteering and wanted to give something back and help the charity move forwards. My experience of volunteering within Woking Mind and in our client-facing work is a valuable perspective to bring to the board.”