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About us

Our Trustees

David Ellis

David Ellis


David retired from teaching in 2017 after 35 years, twelve of which were served as a head teacher in York. David has recently become Captain of Sandburn Hall Golf Club and has chosen York Mind as his Captain’s Charity for the year. In his professional life David experienced first-hand the impact of mental health on the lives of young people and their families. David hopes that his experience as a senior leader and manager of a large comprehensive school will contribute to the work of York Mind allowing us to continue to make a difference to the lives of people of all ages across the City of York.

Paul Yeomans

Paul Yeomans

Vice Chair

Paul has worked in Project Management roles for over 20 years, alongside this he also volunteers as a Mental Health Act Manager for the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to becoming our Chair in 2017, Paul was a trustee for two years and a regular fundraiser for York Mind - he stood down from the Chair role in Nov 2019 due to work commitments and is now Vice Chair. Paul has lived experience of mental illness and the associated stigma that can still exist in certain places, especially the workplace.


Gus Hughes


My name’s Gus, and I joined as a trustee in 2019. In between growing a beard and having two amazing children, I’ve worked largely in change and transformation, across a range of industries and positions. At work, I’m known for the calm, considered and focused way in which I deliver my works. At play, I’m large, loud, and usually to be found wherever the laughter is.  In reality, I have suffered with my mental health and wellbeing for many years – and I’m acutely conscious of just how widespread these issues are; the temptation to hide from or otherwise avoid them; and the power of a good conversation to help bring these issues into the light.

I was a founding member of the BT Employee Support network and a European Diversity Awards winner for my work with the Hiscox WeMind network, talking regularly to colleagues about mental health and wellbeing.

Nick Wood

Nick Wood

As a PR and communications expert, Nick has more than 20 years’ experience working for some of the UK’s best known organisations from the sports, travel and public health worlds, including Virgin Group,, The FA and NHS England. Whilst leading the social media team at LNER he worked with CALM and The Samaritans to promote the importance of mental health within the rail industry, which led to him joining the board of trustees at York Mind. In his current role with the NHS, he is also acutely aware of the impact mental health issues can have on both patient welfare and the wellbeing of colleagues working tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally hailing from Hull, Nick is now based in a countryside setting north of York, but still heads back to his roots to indulge in his (questionable!) pleasure, watching Hull City – but please don’t hold that against him!


Yvonne Okyere-Whalley

Yvonne is a lawyer and currently works as a freelance legal consultant having previously worked for law firms in Leeds, Harrogate and Accra in Ghana, West Africa. Yvonne is also an award-winning actress in Ghana and naturally has a soft spot for acting, filming and the creative industry. Outside her legal work Yvonne is passionate about and dedicates time for charitable work. She is the founder of The Forgotten Foundation, a charity based in Ghana assisting special needs schools with financial support. She’s also the founder of Dringhouses Community Foodbank helping families to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic by supplying food and household items. Growing up, it was almost a taboo and one would be stigmatised for talking about and accepting that they suffer from any form of mental ill-health. By joining the Board at York Mind, Yvonne hopes to encourage people in her community and especially those from black African heritage that it is alright to seek help for mental ill-health from those best placed to assist

Jennifer pic June 23



Jennifer is Managing Director of Frankly, an innovative leader development organsisation. Her work enables leaders and organisations to reach their full potential. Prior to setting up her own business, Jennifer worked as a senior leader for a large technology corporate. Her work so far has enabled her to combine wisdom from three careers; marketing and business planning, acupuncture and employee wellbeing and culture change and leadership.

Having overcome difficult times of her own, she is passionate that all people should be able to access good quality mental health in the same way we can physical health. She is a published author, ambassador for IDAS charity and works extensively for the not for profit, Heard in London.



Sarah is a photographer who specialises in working with families and brands. Having spent 16 years in secondary teaching and ultimately working as a senior leader with responsibility for exams and achievement, she recently returned to study and has completed an MFA in Photography. Sarah is hugely passionate about supporting the mental health of mothers and her research interests are focused on the mental load of motherhood. Sarah also volunteers for the Blue Bear Family Foundation who provide inclusive support for people adopting children internationally. She lives in York with her husband Matt and her two boys.

York Mind are looking for new people to join our Board of Trustees!

Are you ready to help set York Mind's future direction? Are you looking for an opportunity to make a real difference to the people that we serve? Our trustees make sure we're fully focused on the biggest challenges to mental health. We are currently looking for Trustees who can support us on our journey, so if you would like to get involved then please click here for more information about the role.

Our trustees set the strategic direction for York Mind and ensure we're having the greatest impact possible on the communities in our great city and surrounding areas. They make sure that we don't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both the support and respect they deserve.

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