Meet the trustees standing together for women’s mental health

Alexandra Phillips


Alexandra has joined Wish as a trustee after volunteering for the organisation. She is currently a mental health peer worker in an NHS Trust, and previously worked as a research assistant on a project exploring the impact of the closure of Holloway Prison on the women imprisoned there. In addition to this, Alexandra brings her lived experience of mental health challenges, and the Mental Health System, as well as her knowledge of the Criminal Justice System, to her role as a trustee for WISH. She is particularly passionate about Trauma-Informed approaches to care and addressing systemic inequalities.

Alexandra has training in feminist leadership and brings experience in the areas of managing and supervising staff, team development, research, service user involvement, and policies and systems.

Carly Guest

Carly is an Assistant Professor at Northumbria University. Her work explores personal and social memories and narratives of the everyday. A concern with care, social justice, and collective support runs through her approach to teaching and research.

Carly came to know the work of WISH through her collaborative research project that considers the impact of the closure of Holloway Prison, London, on women imprisoned there. WISH’s trauma-informed, care-focused and holistic approach to supporting women is exactly the kind of response required to experiences of social harm and distress.

Christine Spooner

Christine has been on the Board of People First (Self Advocacy) for eight years, and Chair for the last five years.  Christine brings her experience as a trustee and as Chair to support decision-making and the overall management of WISH. Christine is involved in the Peer Leadership Academy Christine is passionate about campaigning and has been involved in many campaigns including the campaign to challenge the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill not being in Easy Read, demonstrating that people with learning difficulties have not been informed or supported.

Rachel Seoighe

Rachel is a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Kent. Her research, teaching and activist work are shaped by a concern with social justice and challenging state violence and a commitment to feminist, decolonial and abolitionist principles. Since the closure of Holloway prison in 2016, Rachel has been carrying out research on the lived experience and memories of women imprisoned there, as well as advocating – with Reclaim Holloway – for the establishment of a women’s building on the site.

Rachel believes in working collectively and hopefully to bring about compassionate, community-centred and trauma-informed responses to harm in society. Too often, women are criminalised as a result of mental health crises, marginalisation and circumstances of distress and trauma. Rachel was drawn to the work of Wish because of its user-led, caring and collaborative approach to supporting women.

Ruth Lambley

Ruth has a background in psychology and academic research and has a master’s degree in human resource management. She also has experience in facilitating a hearing voices group, organising conferences, and developing information resources for people with mental health needs. She brings these skills and her own personal experience of severe mental illness to help Wish flourish.

Ruth is a PhD researcher at York St John University.  Her PhD is exploring coproduction in mental health research. She has an interest in survivor research, especially relating to emancipating women within the mental health or prison system.

Sarah Wilson

The work that WISH does supporting women with mental health needs in secure hospitals, prisons, and the community is very close to Sarah’s heart, and she aims to support Wish to develop and grow.  She is particularly interested in supporting WISH as a user-led organisation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and acted on at all levels. In particular, Sarah hopes to develop campaigns to address the need for all statutory services to be trauma-informed at the point of delivery.

Sarah has a degree in politics and has a real understanding of the legislative process. When she lived in Northern Ireland she was involved with Corrymeela, the Centre of Peace and Reconciliation. Sarah understands the importance of empowering women through exploring and developing positive pathways and employment and has a specific interest in diversity and ensuring that inclusion in WISH is a reality for all marginalised groups of women.

Helen Harcombe- Edwards 

Helen has joined as a trustee after supporting WISH by building a database of services as part of her Psychology degree. Helen has worked in both women’s secure services and adult mental health settings within the NHS. She is currently studying for her Masters in Applied Psychology and brings along some experience of the Criminal justice System and being a volunteer with Women’s Aid. Helen has lived experience of domestic abuse and economic abuse, speaking at the Ministry of Justice as an expert by experience during the campaign and development of the new Domestic Abuse Bill.

She has advocated for service user involvement in her NHS role and is keen on research, which she continues to undertake whilst studying for her Master’s. In her role Helen is keen to advocate for women in mental health services to have a voice.

We’re looking for more trustees!

We are looking to recruit up to four new Trustees over the coming year. Find out more here.

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