Meet Our Trustees
Polly is currently the Service Manager at Care Management Group in Reading – an organisation specialising in home care and support for people with mental health needs. Prior to that she was the Head of Mental Health & Training for The Afiya Trust, a national charity set up to reduce inequalities in health & social care. Her role included project management, staff development and a representative of the National Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health.
Polly regularly contributed to All Party Parliamentary Group discussions in the Houses of Parliament, advised health ministers and the CQC and was a member of the group working with the previous Archbishop of Canterbury to look at faith & mental health. Locally, Polly was the Deputy Chief Executive of Reading Resource for 9 years until November 2008. She developed an effective Peer Support Programme in partnership with a colleague from Berkshire NHS Trust.
Polly has won many awards including a Sony Gold Radio Academy Award for her work in partnership with BBC Radio Berkshire and Company Paradiso on a project called “Warning May Contain Nuts”, a mental health awareness project. They also won the Silver award the following year for “Handle with Care”, a project addressing issues for young people in care and care leavers.
Polly can be heard regularly on BBC Radio Berkshire responding to current affairs news items or as a guest reviewing the papers. She has also been a guest presenter for their African Caribbean Programme. Polly’s expertise is in people management, training, organisational development and service user involvement. She is a qualified and experienced senior manager, trainer and facilitator. She also has a small business.
In 2007 Polly was nominated for the Pride of Reading Awards for her work in mental health and her contribution to the community. She is currently Chair of Trustees for Graft Thames Valley.
Hilary is an experienced coach and facilitator. She runs her own coaching practice focusing on career, leadership and life coaching. Challenging, creative and pragmatic she is renowned for delivering results for her clients.
Hilary is a Certified NLP Coach, a Licensed Career Coach, a qualified Myers Briggs and Strong Interest Inventory practitioner. Her coaching clients include: HM Treasury; BEIS; The John Lewis Partnership; Surrey County Council; The Institute of Cancer Research; Interflora, and private clients.
For many years Hilary ran successful leadership programmes for the Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG). From 2012 to 2019 she focused on running programmes and seminars for women. During this time, she also co-designed and delivered innovative career workshops titled “Take Control of Your Career.”
Before starting her own business, Hilary worked full-time for WIG for 5 years. She was Director of Leadership Programmes and a member of the Executive Team. Hilary established a thriving HR network; developed new products and transformed leadership programmes into a core business stream. Her previous background was in organisational consultancy and HR within the civil service.
Hilary became a Trustee of Graft in 2010. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011 and in 2012 became a support volunteer for the MS Society where she has used her experience to design and chair a course to help the newly diagnosed come to terms with their condition. Her personal experience of living with a chronic progressive condition, coupled with her involvement with the MS Society and Graft, has strengthened her passion for helping everyone overcome their limitations, reach their potential and find fulfilment at work and in life. In 2018 she became a Trustee of the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre.
Formerly Beneficiary Officer. Mike is an experienced support worker who leads our specialist programme for clients with severe and enduring mental ill health. Mike’s clients receive specialist support that links their employability support with their condition management programmes.
Mike liaises with psychiatrists, psychologists an community mental health teams to ensure his clients get a truly holistic support package that really helps them into work.
As a Trustee, Mike has brought greater clarity of purpose and his vast experience in Governance and Client engagement and support. He also sits on the Data and GDPR Working Party.
The latest trustee to join us, Anna has become Graft’s Data Controller and Communication Working Party Chair.
She has been running a successful VA Company since 2018 and has personal experience of the difficulty of settling into working life after a period of illness.
Anna is a firm believer in the importance work has in all our lives and how it is inextricably linked to our own sense of self-worth and identity. She is also currently supporting Graft in the Training for the Fusion Project. For more information, please email her on firstname.lastname@example.org