Click each section below to view our Service User and Carer Governors

Matt Copple - Lead Governor

I’m Matt Copple and I’ve been a Governor since 2018 and I am proud to say I was elected to be Lead Governor in October 2019. I also have five years experience as a service user and over 40 years life experience of mental health. My passion was work, but now it’s family and life, and removing the stigma associated with mental health in society.

I am a highly motivated and respected Project Manager and IT / Business Consultant with a career that spans over 20 years working for Local and Central Government clients from within the public and private sectors.

This work experience, coupled with my Governor, service user and life experiences provide me a unique and distinguished insight into mental health, work and society. I went through the mill and came out the other side. If I can, others can.

I have an IT, Customer Services, and Support Services background. My skills and experience are diverse, but I specialise delivering transformation and change.

Being part of a team in delivering transformation and change is specifically why I stood as Lead Governor for Mersey Care.

I’m passionate about technological change, bringing technology to the forefront of care within Mersey Care. I am very much aware that technology is useful, but the “always online” approach we see in today’s society can work to the detriment of our health. Balance is therefore key.

I pride myself at being able to operate effectively at all levels of business and society, utilising well developed communication, negotiation and influencing skills. I respect everyone for who they are and what they are.

Occasionally a non-conformist, I am optimistic, enthusiastic, creative and confident. I have a strong sense of the possible. I’m exceptionally forward thinking, motivated, and results driven. I am honoured to have the chance to channel my energies into delivering as Lead Governor and continue to be part of such a great team.

Read an interview with Matt here.

Term ends 30 September 2021


Julie Dickinson

My name is Julie Dickinson and I was born in Liverpool. I worked in the Banking sector for 34 years in a variety of roles.

Being a family carer for my Mum then 14 years for my Father in Law who has dementia first at home then in a residential home for the last 2 years and for my husband who has frontal temporal lobe dementia with parkinsonism. I feel this gives me a long view of Dementia of the services available and a carers role and the challenges presented.

I am an active member of SURF (Service Users Reference Forum) a part of the Dementia Action Alliance.

Having had my carers assessment, I am an active member of the Carers Forum and was asked along with a fellow carer if we would set up a monthly carers support group for people caring for loved ones with dementia. This enables us to reach out to help support carers with problem solving and socialising to signpost to the relevant agencies or voluntary bodies for this.

If elected I would be happy to be a carers voice and ensure they and their loved ones are not forgotten.

Term ends 30 September 2021


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 I feel driven to speak out 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.

Term ends 30 April 2022.



To be able to nominate yourself to be a Governor you must be a member of the Trust. To find out more about becoming a member of the Trust click HERE.


Hilary Tetlow

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. 

Term ends 30 April 2022.


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 Hub. Over the past 3 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.

You can read an interview with Tashi here:

Term ends 30 April 2022.


Kari Kvamme

Serving as Governor is a fitting appreciation of the excellent support I’ve received from Mersey Care over the years. It's also an opportunity to turn the tables on depression, using my experiences of mental health to make a positive difference to others.

I'm passionate about reducing discrimination, stigma and stereotyping around mental health and supporting those in mental distress.  Being elected as Governor supports this.  At Clock View Hospital I volunteer on the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team.  Additionally, I'm a Public Advisory Board member for COPESS - a 2 year self harm research project run by John Moores University and Mersey Care.   Since COVID19 I have been a  "Check in & Chat Volunteer", a befriending service for users who are particularly isolated under COVID.

At work I extensively promote mental health awareness, including Zero Suicide Alliance and The Big Brew.  For 20 years I supported individuals with major barriers into employment, education or training; encouraging those with significant issues to take small steps to living a more fulfilling and engaging life.  Currently I work in Diversity and Inclusion, contributing to making people feel respected and valued for who they are, as an individual or group.  

On being elected Governor, I wish to advocate that the significant expansion of out of hours care with COVID continues.   COVID19 has seen a very necessary and significant shift towards digital channels to support service users.  When COVID is over, I hope that digital channels aren't overly championed to the detriment of those digitally excluded and the importance of human interaction diluted. 

Term ends 30 September 2023


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 Walton Life Rooms.

Term ends 30 September 2023

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