0115 9348 411
Welcome To Improvinglivesnotts


Our Chair – Dr Mike Harris

Mike Harris is a Consultant Psychiatrist who has spent most of his working life in Nottingham as a general psychiatrist, a forensic psychiatrist, medical and operational director and chief executive.

He has been chair of Improving Lives since it was formed as a charity in 2012 and has previously been chair of Nottingham Mind.

Mike is also a trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and a trustee and non executive director of St. Andrews Healthcare.

Ben Staples

Ben first got involved with Improving Lives while studying Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. He went from volunteer, to support worker, before leaving to London to begin a career in Human Resources. Ben really enjoyed his time working with Improving Lives; “the staff all do wonderful work and the service users were all great to work with too”. In fact, Ben enjoyed it all so much that he couldn’t help coming back as a board member.

Sheila Wright

Sheila Wright is the Vice Chair of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, was the Deputy Chief Executive of the former Nottinghamshire Probation Trust and is currently an Executive leader for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland Community Rehabilitation Company. In addition to her professional and public sector roles Sheila is involved in developing and supporting a wide range of charitable organisations and individuals to improve community access and outcomes.

David Blackie – Treasurer

David retired in 2013 after more than 20 years in senior finance roles at The University of Nottingham. I now work with a number of small charities whose work focuses on supporting vulnerable people in and around Nottingham.

Holly Neill

Holly has worked in the voluntary sector in the East Midlands for a few years, and established and ran a network for voluntary sector organisations that provide support to vulnerable adults. During her time facilitating this network she worked with Improving Lives and was so impressed with what they were doing that she asked to become a trustee so she could support them in their work. Holly is currently working in Leicester for an organisation that supports people with health barriers to sustain or move into employment.

Anna Thurston

Anna spent the first part of her career at an international commercial firm, advising on large public sector infrastructure projects in the City of London. After deciding on a change, and wanting to work in an area that was concerned with protecting the rights of the individual, particularly the vulnerable, she decided to move into Mental Health work. She has advised on all aspects of mental health and mental capacity law and is an established member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme. Anna became involved with Improving Lives following referrals made to her firm.

Martin Gawith

Martin has lived in Nottingham since 1978. Originally he worked as manager for Courtaulds, before becoming an elected member of Nottinghamshire County Council, where he was lead on Economic Development and Deputy Leader opf the Council. After an MSc in Urban Regeneration Martin was appointed as Chief Executive of Greater Nottingham Partnership in 1998 – a public, private and voluntary sector regeneration partnership. martin has held a number of non executive positions including a Board member at Nottingham City Hospital from 1997 – 2005.

Martin retired from this post in 2011 and is currently Chair of Nottingham Healthwatch, and spends as much time as possible walking and cycling.

Naomi Roose

Naomi grew up in Plymouth, Devon until she moved to Nottingham in 1999 to attend Nottingham Trent University, to study Law. After graduation, Naomi remained in Nottingham and started working in disability services for the Department of Work and Pensions until 2004. She then moved to Nottingham City Council, working on substance misuse treatment and crime reduction initiatives until 2009.

Naomi developed a passion for public sector services, and improving the lives for vulnerable members of our society. After working on social issues, she then moved into health and continues to currently work for the NHS. Naomi has worked across mental health and learning disability services, community services for frail elderly people and acute care. She is currently the General Manager for elective orthopaedics and sport exercise medicine, with University Hospitals of Leicester.

In her spare time, in additional to working with Improving Lives, Naomi mentors students with Nottingham Trent University and is studying an Msc in Healthcare Leadership with the University of Birmingham.



It is pretty difficult to get across in words quite how different experiences of the mental health system are as a service user versus as a professional. So we must always always ask those whose views matter most esp those whose opinions challenge us and make us uncomfortable.

Myth #4... there’s no free food provision for the homeless in Nottingham. The photos below speak for themselves. No one ever needs to go hungry in this City.

Load More...