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Trustees and Patrons
Trustees and Patrons Image

About Maytree

Trustees and Patrons

We value the contribution of all our trustees and patrons. Their experience and influence supports us in our work to help people in crisis, raise awareness and overcome stigma to save lives.



Terrence Collis
Chair of trustees

Terrence was a volunteer at Central London Samaritans for thirty two years, during which time he was Chairman of the trustees. He is now a board member at The Listening Place, a charity providing face to face support for the suicidal.

Following a career in corporate communications particularly in the financial sector, Terrence has taken on a number of trustee board roles, joining the board of the National Children’s Bureau in October 2004. He is also currently, a board member of St Christopher’s Hospice in South East London, and was a Trustee and Board Member of British Red Cross 2004 to 2011. Terrence joined Maytree in 2014.

Professor Michael Crawford

Mike trained in psychiatry at the Royal Free and Maudsley Hospital and in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Following this he completed an MD on the management of suicidal behaviour. He works as an honorary consultant psychiatrist at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

As a professor at Imperial College London, his primary academic interest is in mental health services research. He is involved in the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions for people with complex mental health needs such as those with personality disorder and psychosis. Current projects include clinical trials of creative therapies, psychoeducation and brief intervention for alcohol misuse.

He also works for the Royal College of Psychiatrists as the Director of the Centre for Quality Improvement. This involves helping run national audits, quality networks and accreditation programmes aimed at improving the quality of mental health services. Mike joined Maytree as a Trustee in April 2016.

Heather Wignall

Heather was a Senior manager in the NHS before becoming HR director at Save the Children UK. She now works in organisational consultancy, mainly in civil society organisations, focusing on leadership development and implementing change. She has a special interest in how organisations and individuals can develop and sustain their well-being and resilience at work. Heather trained in psychosynthesis psychotherapy and has worked as a counsellor in a HIV and sexual health agency, with children and young people, and in private practice.

Peter Hale

Peter worked as a lending banker in the City for many years, most recently for ING. Now retired, he is putting his experience of finance, law and accounting to good use with Maytree, having in his past life been treasurer for The Samaritans’ Central London branch. He is also a member of, and treasurer of, the volunteer-run Abbey Theatre in St Albans, which is a small business in its own right, and a primary school governor.

Brian Watson

Brian joined the board in 2008. He comes from a legal background.

Simon Schiff

Simon is a solicitor who has worked in leading City law firms over the last 20 years. He was previously a trustee of the charity Depression Alliance. He has a particular interest in clinical depression and OCD. Simon joined Maytree’s board in 2017.



Nick Hitch

Nick retired in 2015 after a lengthy career in the oil and gas industry, mainly working on the design and construction of offshore facilities projects. In January 2013 he was employed as project manager for a compression upgrade at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria when it was attacked by Al Qaeda. Forty oil workers died in the four day hostage crisis but Nick survived and escaped. Building on his experience of recovery from a traumatic incident he enjoys supporting charities and not-for-profit organisations assisting victims of terrorism, hostage taking, trauma and mental health issues.

Professor Keith Hawton

Professor of psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University and Consultant psychiatrist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. For more than thirty years he and his research group have been conducting investigations concerning the causes, treatment, prevention and outcome of suicidal behaviour. He has published more than 400 papers and chapters and fifteen books.

Professor Hawton is co-editor of The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide (2000, Wiley), editor of Prevention and Treatment of Suicidal Behaviour: From Science to Practice (2005, Oxford University Press), co-author of By Their Own Young Hand: Deliberate Self Harm and Suicidal Ideas in Adolescents (2006, Jessica Kingsley Publishers), and co-editor of Suicide (2012 Routledge). He is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Group for England, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prevention of Suicide and Self-harm, and the US Suicide Research Strategy Task Force.

Professor Hawton has received the Stengel Research Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention (1995), the Dublin Career Research Award from the American Association of Suicidology (2000), the Research Award of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2002) and a Life Achievement Award for outstanding contribution in research, treatment and teaching in the field of suicidology presented by the European Symposium of Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (2012).

Simon Armson

Simon Armson has been involved with Maytree since its inception; he was on the board between 2005 and 2013 and Chairman between 2009 and 2013. He was on the staff of Samaritans for twenty years, for fifteen of which he was Chief executive. He now has a portfolio in mental health, which includes clinical psychotherapy practices in London and Berkshire, membership of the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) and work as a Mental Health Act Manager at Broadmoor Hospital. He was previously a Mental Health Act Commissioner and Chaired the Board of the Commission between 2008 and 2009. He was a member of the Independent Advisory Panel to the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody between 2008 and 2014.

Alastair Campbell

British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of communications and strategy for Prime minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003.

Isabel Hardman

One of the country’s leading political journalists, Isabel is Assistant Editor of The Spectator and presenter of Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster. Her first book, Why We Get the Wrong Politicians, was recently published. As well as her interest in mental health she is also a champion for the domestic abuse charity, Refuge.

Joy Crookes

Joy is an inspiring singer-songwriter whose Bangladeshi-Irish South Londoner identity and heartfelt lyrical honesty are keystones of her work. She is a soulful storyteller with a beguiling, timeless sound and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting artists to emerge in the British music scene. Labelled the one to watch by The Guardian, BBC Radio 1, Clash, Indie and Vogue, she has also been an outspoken campaigner for mental health. Her deeply felt connection with music and performing has helped her understand her own mental health in a complex way, and she has joined Maytree as a patron in the hope that her voice can help others talk with each other and seek help when it is needed.