Service User and Carer Governors are elected and sit on the Council of Governors to represent Service User and Carer members’ views.

Marie Da Silva Bleasdale


Hello, my name is Marie Da Silva Bleasdale. I'm happily married and a mother of a teenager. Whilst working in customer services at the government (for around twenty five years+), in March 2018 I volunteered as an Expert by Experience. This is a specified facilitator role on my day off.

I enjoyed working with patients and psychologists- building resilience and recovery.  I'm a 'people' person, and I am grateful to all the individuals that voted for me. I care and I will do my best to listen and voice the concerns, which represent the Carer and Service Users of Merseyside.

2020 has specifically been a challenging year, however Mersey Care has aspiringly risen to combat these factors. To be exact, it's been great to be able to access these wonderful online self-help courses with The Life Rooms Walton.

First term 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Julie Dickinson


As a re-elected Governor, I will continue to be happy to be a representative for the carers’ voice and ensure they and their loved ones are not forgotten by Mersey Care.

Born in Liverpool, I was a family carer for my Mum, and then for my father in law for 14 years who had Dementia. My husband sadly also developed Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia with Parkinson’s disease and I have cared for him for more than 10 years. I worked in the Banking Sector for 34 years and I am a member of a local ladies Choir. I am an active member of SURF, a part of Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance and this allows me to reach out to fellow carers to help with problem solving and signposting.

My experience has given me a long view on Dementia, and of the services available. Importantly the carers’ role and the challenge presented. I am an active member of the Carers’ Forum in Liverpool and I am appointed to liaise with the council lead for carers. As I am involved in the running of carers groups, this enables me tokeep current and up to date with issues affecting Dementia Carers in Liverpool.

Second term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

Mark McCarthy


I am an experienced service user governor who has a strong track record of speaking out for service users with learning difficulties and other vulnerable service users.

I am a part time maths teacher in a specialist school for students for mental health and other health problems; it is a job I feel privileged to have. Outside of work I am a keen hiker who has hiked over 2000 miles during the past four years and even written a successful hiking guidebook. I have previously worked as an IT manager both in the UK and Portugal and as both a manufacturing and engineering manager in the automotive industry. I have also worked for thirty years as a volunteer helper on the Liverpool Lourdes pilgrimage.

Having had a sibling with learning difficulties has made me a passionate advocate for those with learning difficulties.

I am caring and passionate and have been on the receiving end of our services, so I understand what is important to us as service users. I now have three years’ experience as a governor and have been a constant advocate for our most vulnerable service users especially those with learning difficulties, mood disorders and personality disorders.

Third term 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

Alison Reynolds


I have been a carer and advocate for a local service user for over 20 years. I therefore have considerable experience of the challenges faced by those with mental health problems and the difficulties experienced in navigating the local health care provision. 

I would like to provide a voice for other service users and carers alike, and to ensure that the trust upholds its commitment to providing the very best possible life-long care.

I moved to Liverpool in 1993 to study and made the city my home. As a carer I’ve experienced the devastating impact that poorly timed or potentially inappropriate care choices can have on the lives of those suffering from mental illness.

I feel very strongly about reducing mental health stigma and discrimination in society, in ensuring service users have a strong voice and expanding access to more user-led services that could improve overall living standards.

I currently work as a programme manager in infectious disease research in Liverpool and have over 15 years’ experience in management of international public health projects.

I’m also a Labour party member and get involved in local campaigns to support vital services like Liverpool’s One Stop Shop, maintaining bus routes and the collective action to combat climate change. During the initial Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, I joined a local mutual aid group to support elderly and vulnerable residents, befriending, signposting, delivering shopping and hot meals to those without support networks.

I hope to gain a greater insight into the workings of the trust and represent the views of service users and carers where possible.

I have experience working with a range of individuals from diverse backgrounds and across different organisational structures. I’m capable of building lasting relationships with team members, research collaborators, funders, stakeholders and policy makers and motivating people to achieve goals.

I have strong communication, negotiation and diplomacy skills and would not hesitate to ask appropriate questions and hold the non-executive directors to account. I am used to working in difficult conditions, often in hard to reach or hostile environments and can handle challenging and sensitive issues diplomatically.

First term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

Hilary Tetlow

Lead Governor since Janaury 2023


As Governor of Mersey Care Foundation Trust, I represent Carers and Service Users I am passionate to make life better for the people I represent.

As a former Consultant in Fashion Merchandising, I am confident when speaking to Board members and Chairpersons of FT listed companies. I am also well versed in speaking to the workforce and the customers of companies to seek their views. I am not afraid to raise sensitive issues and questions in representing the views of the governors, ensuring that as many governors as possible are able to raise their concerns.

I am active in Merseyside and beyond in the following:

  • A founder member secretary and treasurer of SURF (Service Users Reference Forum) for people and carers of people with dementia working together to try to make changes in attitudes and services, provide a voice and influence decision makers
  • Set up general meeting groups for coffee and natter for dementia groups
  • Involved in the patient engagement and experience group of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Founder member of ‘tide’ carers involvement network supported by The National Lottery
  • I am chair of the LExE Group (Liverpool Experts by Experience) of Liverpool University Doctor of Psychology and am involved in selection of course candidates, teaching, research and clinical aspects of the course

As a Governor I try and attend all Board Meetings as many QRV visits as possible plus events open to Governors and members so that I am aware of what is happening in the Trust and the feelings of the workforce and the service users and carers. 

Second term 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

Tashi Thornley


I put myself forward to be a governor because I am passionate about service user involvement and want to ensure the service user voice is heard. I also feel I hold all the Mersey Care values.


Before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I was elected Vice President Education at Leeds Beckett Students’ Union. Within this role, I sat on numerous boards and committees representing students and ensuring their voice was heard. During my term in office, I was shortlisted for a national award due to my hard work.

Since being under Mersey Care, I have used a wide range of the services. This has given me an understanding and broad knowledge of the diversity of services that Mersey Care has to offer. This has helped me understand what works well but also where there is room for potential improvements to be made in order for such services to work more effectively for the benefit of all service users.

I am currently under Springhouse Personality Disorder (PD) Hub. Over the past three years, I have sat on steering groups and contributed to the development of what is now a fully functioning seven-day crisis and day service for people with PD.

I instigated a name change of the PD Hub so people could feel more connected to the service and I ensured that this vote was put out to service users. I have also recently been appointed as a Service User Lead at Springhouse.

I am passionate, determined and will always strive to make positive change, ensuring that I do my best to represent those that voted for me.

Second term 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

Neil Williams


I’m passionate about making the NHS accessible and accountable to its patients. I’ll strengthen the voice and represent the neurodiverse and the 1-in-4 of adults who’ll experience mental health issues.

I live in Maghull, I am married and father to two grown-up daughters.  I’m a keen reader of sci-fi, a tech geek, mental health advocate and trying to get fit after 15+ months of lockdown.

After nearly 30 years of mental health issues associated with anxiety, late last year I was diagnosed with Asperger’s (a form of high-functioning Autism) and ADHD.  Sadly, to obtain this diagnosis and treatment I had to ‘go private’ as limited NHS capacity meant a 2 year wait for initial assessment. Previously I’ve volunteered as a school governor and currently mentor young adults via the Prince’s Trust.

I suspect had I had a diagnosis come earlier in my life, a lot of the NHS’ time and money would have been saved.  I’m a huge advocate for the NHS, and my overall experience of being a patient has been positive, but it needs to be held to account. I consider myself open, honest and transparent and will represent the experiences of those using mental health services and the neurodiverse.

First term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

3 vacant seats will be elected to in Summer 2023