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The Board of Trustees is a group of volunteers who decide upon the Leeds Mind strategy, and oversee the governance of Leeds Mind. The board meets quarterly and also has four committees which oversee specific areas of operation:

  • Finance Committee
  • Business Development Committee
  • People Development Committee
  • Quality and Performance Committee

The Board of Trustees


Mick Gartside


Mick is Chair of Trustees for Leeds Mind. He has a background in Operations and Transformation, working across a number of sectors across his career. Mick currently works for Wesleyan, a Life & Pensions company, leading Operational Transformation. Outside of work Mick likes running and dogs.
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Blane Watson


Blane is a Chartered Accountant by profession, qualifying with KPMG in Leeds. He currently works for Lenvi, a financial technology company in Leeds, in their Commercial Finance team. Outside of work, Blane is a keen runner and fundraised on behalf of Leeds Mind for the 2024 Rob Burrows Leeds Marathon. Blane is also a proud dog owner, with Bella being a particularly hyper Keeshond who continues to keep him and his wife on their toes. At Leeds Mind he sits on the Finance Committee.
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Kate Lupton


Kate has a background in strategy development, policy, research analysis and evaluation, and has worked across a range of fields both in the UK and internationally. She currently works for NHS England and Improvement, where she leads strategy work on behalf of the National Quality Board. Kate is passionate about health and wellbeing and runs yoga classes and coaching in her local community “in her spare time”.

Rebecca Lasseko


Rebecca is a consultant Psychiatrist working within a secure rehabilitation ward in Leeds. Rebecca's work mainly supports those people who have found themselves in and out of hospital and are unable to sustain long periods in the community well. Rebecca is passionate about contributing her knowledge to Leeds Mind to help improve mental health within the community.
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Jen Murgatroyd


Jen is passionate about making a difference to people whether that be personally or professionally. With extensive experience in Community Fundraising and Events having previously worked for Cancer Research UK and in her current position as the Director of Fundraising for Headway - the brain injury association, she enjoys building relationships and partnerships that deliver impact.

Having seen first hand the debilitating effects poor mental health can cause and personally benefitting from counselling a few years ago, she was keen to support the great work Leeds Mind provides people locally.

Outside of work Jen doesn’t sit still. She is a mum to three young girls and enjoys walking, weight training and is known to get stuck in to a challenge for Charity, just don’t ask her to run another Marathon.

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Ayesha Akram


Ayesha works at The University of Leeds as a Senior Education Outreach Officer. Her work includes travelling across the UK delivering talks and workshops in schools to inspire and inform primary, secondary and post-16 learners about the variety of opportunities and routes open to them when considering, and applying, to university. She has previously worked in the Charity and Finance sector and has led mental health projects based around employee well-being and reducing anxiety in the workplace. Ayesha is an advocate for mental health and joined Leeds Mind to help serve a community and cause that she is very passionate about. Ayesha also sits on the People Development committee.
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Cheryl Astley


Cheryl has had a long career working in IT specifically within the insurance industry and is now a Chief Information Officer for JMG Group. Prior to this Cheryl did some consultancy work for Leeds Mind helping them to overcome some technology challenges and was so impressed with the work that they do for the community, she applied to be a Trustee to enable her to continue to contribute to this valuable service. Outside of work, Cheryl likes to ride her horse and walk her dog.
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Sarah Bronsdon


Sarah is currently director of strategy at the Leeds Academic Health Partnership. It’s a small organisation, set up to foster partnership working across the health and care sector and academic institutions in Leeds. She has previously worked in the NHS at national and regional level, and in research in the UK and overseas. She joined Leeds Mind because wants to do what she can to help them make a difference for people in Leeds.
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Luke Barrett


Luke is a Chartered Surveyor specialising in commercial property management. Very aware of the fantastic work Leeds Mind do, Luke hopes to put his property knowledge to good use and add value to the team by helping to develop a property strategy.
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Heather Simpson


Heather brings experience of working as a clinician, leader and organisational development practitioner in secondary mental health services across Leeds and York and more recently has designed and led national health and wellbeing and leadership programmes across health and social care. She currently balances her work as an Asociate Tutor at the University of Manchester with her role as an independent coach and OD consultant, continuing her passion to support the growth and development of others. Outside of her work role, Heather is passionate about health and well being and is a fan of cold-water lake swimming, recognising the evidenced benefits of this on managing her own physical and mental health. She is excited to be joining the team at Leeds Mind and hopes to bring her experience to support Leeds Mind in enabling all to flourish.
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Tracy Commons


Tracy is an Associate Director at Leeds Beckett University with strategic accountability for the External Relations Service. Tracy leads a team responsible for the advancement and management of Leeds Beckett University's reputation and profile in the UK and internationally. This includes management of the university's communications and campaigns, creative, digital and events, alumni and partners teams.

Tracy is the current chair of the Leeds Anchor Network marketing and communications group and an independent steering group member at Leeds Business Improvement District.

Tracy is also a Trustee for Learning Accord Multi Academy Trust and the chair of the pay, performance and personnel committee.

Prior to working within the higher education sector, Tracy worked at Kirklees Council and Welcome to Yorkshire. She was part of the team responsible for delivering and securing investment to bring large scale events to Yorkshire, including the Grand Depart Tour de France, Yorkshire Festival and Tour de Yorkshire.