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December 2018

Think Ahead announces new chair for its Service User and Carer Reference Group

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Oliver Wood as the new independent chair of our Service User and Carer Reference Group.

Our Service User and Carer Reference Group is a key part of the Think Ahead programme – it was established in 2014, and its aim is to ensure that the needs of service users and carers are represented in everything we do. The group has been involved in shaping many aspects of the programme – including contributing to participant recruitment, the academic curriculum, and teaching and assessments.

Oliver brings with him a range of experience– he has been involved in the service user movement for nearly 20 years, drawing on his own experience as a mental health service user, and working to promote inclusion and improve services.

Oliver said: “It is a real privilege to be invited to contribute to the vital work of Think Ahead. The role of chair allows me to collaborate with a diverse and committed group of service users who are central to delivering the programme’s aims. Bringing together this wealth of knowledge and experience with Think Ahead’s ethos and commitment to working in partnership is a fantastic opportunity.

“I look forward to ensuring that the voices of service users and carers remain at the heart of Think Ahead.”

Think Ahead’s Co-Chief Executive, Ella Joseph, said: “We are delighted to welcome Oliver as the new chair for our Service User and Carer Reference Group. The group has a vital role in Think Ahead, and Oliver’s wealth of experience, and passion for improving services will be a real asset to our programme.

“The group has already contributed an enormous amount to our charity, and we look forward to working with Oliver and the other members to continue developing our programme and ensuring the perspectives of people who’ve experienced mental health problems drive our values and approach.”

Oliver replaces Dr Sarah Carr, who has stepped down after over three years as the independent chair of the Service User and Carer Reference Group. Sarah played an integral role in establishing the group back in 2014, and we are grateful for her commitment to championing service user and carer involvement and the expertise she brought with her to help us achieve this.