Lifecraft’s Executive Committee is made up of an elected board of Trustees. As a user-led organisation three-quarters of the Executive Committee have lived experience of mental health issues.
Troy Cooper (Chair): I have lived in Cambridge many years, not far from Cherry Hinton, and have always enjoyed getting involved in things like choirs, play groups, and gardening. Before I retired I worked as an academic psychologist and school counsellor, and I knew Lifecraft from a family connection since 2010. I offered to become a trustee at Lifecraft in November 2018. That year I came to several social club groups and was made to feel really welcome (if utterly beaten at bananagrams 😊). In November 2019 I became Chair of the Board of Trustees, and have really enjoyed all that I have been involved with for that – which has included lots of meetings, and working on strategy, but also more socials, lunches and outings! I really enjoy meeting lots of different people and talking, and getting a view on life and events different to mine. I also really like working in teams – and the trustees, and the staff and volunteers at Lifecraft, have been wonderful for doing just that. I like red wine, Midsomer Murders and going for a run. I am hopeless at quiz games – I always come up with the answers 10 minutes too late (and I’m not great at bananagrams, obviously), and I hate watching television and trying to talk at the same time.
Michael Hewett (Treasurer): I grew up in Cambridgeshire, and have worked at PEM, accountants, since 2008 where I am now an Audit Partner specialising in the Charity and non-profit sector. I lived off Mill Road for many years until moving near Huntingdon at the start of 2022 to start a family. I became a trustee for Lifecraft early in 2019 and this is my first trustee role. I wanted to be involved with a Charity where I felt I could add value, and make a difference. Mental wellbeing is really important to me and providing people with opportunities to seek new experiences, gain new skills and fulfil their potential is also why I have been a Scout Leader since 2014. Outside of working and volunteering, I love to chill out at home with my Pug, Angus, or head abroad and soak up some sun. I’m a keen runner and have completed the Cambridge half marathon five times so far!
Kate Collins: I live just down the road from the Bath House and have been a trustee and active supporter of Lifecraft since 2015. My professional experience is in the environmental sector but I am known locally for my involvement in community activities. I co-founded the charity Love Mill Road and have been Chair of the Mill Road Winter Fair. My roles at Lifecraft have included fundraising, community liaison and partnership building, but I’ve been around for long enough to participate in most aspects of the charity. I enjoy meeting Lifecraft members and have a particular interest in promoting opportunities for new activities and volunteering which strengthen connections with their local communities.
Teresa Clarke: Lifecraft has been in my life for over eight years, as I was a volunteer counsellor from 2014 to 17 and I have been a Lifecraft trustee since 2017. As a counsellor at Lifecraft I was privileged to experience how invaluable Lifecraft is to its members and the great work it does in the community. Becoming a trustee meant I had the opportunity to represent the voice of my fellow counsellors; balanced with the best interests of Lifecraft. I strongly believe that everyone should be able to access counselling if needed, regardless of finances, beliefs or backgrounds and I am committed to keep striving to remove the stigma of mental health from our society. I qualified as a counsellor 12 years ago and have worked as a counsellor in several mental health charities. I am BACP accredited and have my own private practice.
Clare Bye: I live in Longstanton near Cambridge and I became a trustee for Life Craft a couple of years ago as I wanted to use my experience to support the amazing work that Lifecraft do. I work in HR at a software company in Cambridge and have been there 8 years and have spent over 30 years in HR supporting people. I am married to Ian and we have a daughter Maddie who is studying at Sussex University in Brighton. I have 3 cats and love all kinds of exercise. I also love curling up with Netflix or a good book! I love travelling and my favourite country to visit is India where I often go for work and have many friends there.
Adam Shakir: I had been a past Trustee for six years and was Chair of Lifecraft for three years. As Lifecraft converts to a CIO I would like to put myself forward as a Trustee. With my previous experience on the LC Management Committee and experience of working in industry and business, I feel I will be able to make a valuable contribution to Lifecraft. I helped to improve governance while Chair and was responsible for substantial fund raising. I also had the opportunity while Chair to visit the House of Commons to meet decision makers. I have been involved in many Lifecraft activities and can bring this perspective to the executive Committee. As Lifecraft moves forward I hope to be able to contribute to good governance so as to provide an efficient delivery of services. This will be based on an adaptable strategy to provide sound financial management , relevant policies and good human resource relationships.
Alex Radford: My main hobbies at the moment are kung fu, trampolining, badge making and playing computer games on my iPad. I go to Monday and Tuesday Social Clubs, Art Group on Tuesday and Craft4Smiles on Wednesday mornings. I will also be attending the Boxercise class on Wednesday afternoons. I would like to be a trustee because Lifecraft is a great charity for mental health.
Britt Thomas: I first started at Lifecraft as a staff member in 2014 and worked with member employees. I later restarted the Craft Group and have also been a volunteer. I was a Trustee for a short time at the end of 2019 but left when Covid began. I am now an active member of Lifecraft and want to re-join the committee as I want to help give back and be a familiar face for other members to liaise with. I am the manager of a charity shop in Saffron Walden and enjoy painting in the Lifecraft Art Group.