Our Board of Trustees

Woking Mind is governed by a committed and passionate Board of Charity 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.

Peter Christmas – Chair of Trustees

After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Electronic Engineering, Peter soon moved into the world of Banking and Finance – initially in IT and then managing clients. 35 years later he is still in financial services, running the client management business for the largest UK funds Trustee. During this time Peter has been fortunate to spend time in Amsterdam, Madrid, Singapore and New York as well as in the UK. Peter first moved to the Guildford / Woking area in the early 1990s and has two grown up children who went to school here. He now lives in Woodham with his wife Diane and beagle, Billie-Jean and enjoys walking at weekends as well as good food.

‘A number of times in my life I have been involved with people who have Mental Health issues and I have seen the significant effects this can have as well as the difficulties getting appropriate help. I want to help in whatever way I can to try to improve services and make peoples experience as positive as it can be. Being appointed as the Chair of Woking is a real privilege and I look forward to making a difference.’

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.” 

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.”

Leah O’Donovan – Trustee

A role within Adult Social Care supporting the county-wide dementia strategy and the implementation of dementia friendly communities lead Leah to discover a new-found passion for all things mental health. She worked closely with Cornerhouse and Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in setting up the Woking Safe Haven. Finally, she took her skills as a mental health commissioner to SW London in 2017 where she is now the Head of Mental Health Transformation for SW London Clinical Commissioning Group.
“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.”

Manish Joshi – Trustee

Manish is delighted to be a Trustee and is able to bring his past experience of working with Woking Mind for 18 months, and other skills and expertise that he has from his 25 years in senior management.

“Having worked for woking Mind I saw first hand the good work that they do in helping people in need. I learnt a great deal about the value and benefits of the Woking Mind services and so it was an easy decision to support that work as a Trustee”.

Trustee employment

Woking Mind is always on the lookout to broaden the knowledge and experience of its Board. With that in mind we are particularly interested in hearing from persons with lived experience of mental health or people who are Woking Mind or Shifa service users. We are also interested in talking to people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and people with fundraising skills, knowledge of CCG and/or mental health commissioning, clinicians, young people, or people who have never been Trustees and would like to be mentored.

Please send your CV and covering email to [email protected]

The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on mental health

Help us be there for those who are struggling to cope during this critical time