I have over 30 years of experience working as a researcher in the charity sector, the NI Assembly and in academia. I recently co-authored “Review of Mental Health Policies in Northern Ireland: Making Parity a Reality” (June 2019) Professor Siobhan O’Neil; Professor Deirdre Heenan and Dr Jennifer Betts; Ulster University. I currently serve as a school governor at Longstone Special School, a role I enjoy and where I have gained valuable knowledge. I was also recently appointed a director of Northern Ireland Open Government Network and was previously a trustee of Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI). I am delighted to join the board of PIPS. I believe the charity sector plays a vital role in mental healthcare in Northern Ireland, providing a safe place in the community that is accessible, flexible, and able to respond with help for individuals and their families in times of crisis.