Board of Trustees


acAlisdair Cameron: (Vice-Chair) Acting Chair

Alisdair Cameron has variously been an academic historian, a lawyer and a user of mental health services, in between stretches of generalised community activism. His day job is as team leader at Launchpad, the mental health service user involvement project for Newcastle upon Tyne, and he is also co-chair of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Service User & Carer Network, and has been a leading light in the establishment of a north east regional mental health user and carer organisation. He is a director of NAGAS (Newcastle and Gateshead Arts Studio), vice-chair of MHNE (Mental Health North East), and a board member of UKAN (United Kingdom Advocacy Network). ‘In spare moments I shuffle all of the letters from the aforementioned acronyms and see what they can spell out.’


MMcMark McArdle BEng (Hons), Managing Director HMC:

Group Mark graduated from Newcastle University in 1989 with a First Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He Joined Nissan's European Technology Centre as a Graduate Design Engineer where he progressed through the ranks to become one of their youngest managers, having spent time in Japan and been given special responsibility for helping develop Nissan's Alliance with Renault.
Mark left Nissan in 2000 and returned to the North East to join the family Care Home business, Helen McArdle Care, as Managing Director. He is also Managing Director of the family's Nursery business, Kids 1st, as well as HMC Group. Mark lives in Gosforth.


RGRosemary Granger
Rosemary Granger has worked in the NHS and was Chief Officer of a CHC. Rosemary worked in child and adult mental health services before going on to commissioning with the inception of the MH framework, taking up a joint appointment with local authorities and then becoming an Executive Director with the NTW Strategic Health Authority.
Rosemary has held a number of portfolios with a common theme around vulnerable members of society, including North East Director of Commissioning for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. Rosemary left the NHS to become a management consultant. She also has direct experience as a carer.


PPLieutenant Colonel Peter Poole MBE
Peter Poole is currently Director of Strategy Policy and Performance and has worked for Combat Stress since 2002. Peter was educated at Prices School Fareham and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. On commissioning in 1968 he joined the Royal Corps of Transport. There followed a number of Regimental and Staff appointments principal among which were Squadron Command in 1981 and staff appointments at the MoD and in the Falkland Islands. He was appointed MBE in 1985. Promoted Lt Col in 1989, Poole first commanded Supply and Movements Wing, RAF Mount Pleasant, he followed this by Commander, Transport and Movements Hong Kong and subsequently was Commander Transport and Movements Southern District in the UK. He retired from the Army in 2002 and joined Combat Stress as a Regional Welfare Officer. Appointed Director of Welfare in 2008 he remained in that post until reorganisation of the Combat Stress Executive moved him to his current role. He is Chairman of the East Midlands Veterans Advisory and Pension Committee and Vice Chairman of his Regimental association


gsGeorge Spoors

George has a depth and breadth of skills and knowledge gained over 14 years within the welfare, health and social care landscape and has been involved in the development of contract tendering and grant funding processes. He has worked supporting enterprise and business innovation to vulnerable people accessing specialist and mainstream support services and has a wide range of networks across the statutory and voluntary sector in the North East.


LBLynne Blakey

Specialising in tackling inequality and cross sector commissioning for improved health outcomes, Lynne's roles have included Wellbeing and Health Coordinator for Newcastle Local Strategic Partnership and Head of Practice Based Commissioning for North of Tyne Primary Care Trust. Since leaving the NHS in 2011 Lynne has undertaken a range of projects as a freelance consultant predominantly supporting third sector organisations in engaging with the changing funding and commissioning landscape.
Lynne lives in Newcastle with her two daughters and has always taken an interest in mental health services having been brought up in a family of Registered Mental Health Nurse practitioners.