Our Trustees

Quentin Marris – Chair

Quentin originally trained as a mental health nurse and worked for 10 years in the NHS. He subsequently spent 25 years in the voluntary sector and another 6 years as a freelance manager. During this time he worked for various organisations, developing and managing health and social care services in many different locations across England. He has worked in the fields of mental health and learning disability, but the largest part of his career was spent in the substance misuse arena. Quentin was a registered Mental Health Nurse and holds a Diploma in Management Studies. Now retired, he wants to use his years of experience to help Project 6 continue to thrive in a competitive environment, chairing a Board that provides effective governance and guidance to the organisation.

Quentin says: ‘I am proud to be part of an organisation like Project 6 that believes in people and their ability to change’.

 

Tony Ball – Treasurer

Tony is a chartered accountant, recently retired from professional practice.

Once upon a time I was accountant for Professor Eric Wilkes, who founded St Luke’s Hospice and SAAS /SASS  (Sheffield Alcohol Advisory / Support Service). In time I found myself being the auditor. When I ceased being auditor I was pleased to be a trustee and, through the merger with Project 6, I am still here and hopefully still contributing.

As an accountant I have developed a niche speciality in auditing, accounting and being trustee for many charities, and we are expected to know the relevant law as well.

I have no lived experience and very little personal exposure to alcohol and substance misuse but was always brought up to treat everyone equally and with respect. To an auditor, the tea lady and receptionist are just as important as the Managing Director.


 

Pam Essler

A teacher by background I became involved with the NHS as a lay person many years ago following a poor experience of hospital care  for my then young son. Over the years I have been on the boards and committees  of a range of NHS organisations  always with a focus on using patient  experience to plan and deliver high quality care. A by product of this involvement has been that I have gained experience in many areas of organisational governance which I have then been able to apply to my work in the voluntary sector.

I am always aware through talking to patients and carers that there is a wide range of things that affect their health and wellbeing and  these are often best addressed by voluntary sector organisations who have the time and focus to help them deal with issues they are facing. I had long admired the work of Project 6 supporting people, within my community  of Keighley, to deal with their substance dependencies which were often having a devastating effect on their lives so was delighted to be invited to join their board a few years ago. Although the organisation has grown and now provides support across a much wider geography it remains focussed on the communities it serves thus staying true to one of its key values “people matter”


 

Kes Lewis

Kes joined the Board of Doncaster Alcohol Services, and stayed on when DAS merged with Project 6. They believe that addiction is a social problem, not a moral failing or a criminal matter and Project 6 works to support people to make lasting change in their lives. Kes is a management consultant by day, and a domestic abuse survivor with a passion for Trauma Informed Practice. Kes cares deeply about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and is the Board lead for this area, to ensure that Project 6 can effectively serve all the beneficiaries within the South and West Yorkshire area. They are a mid-career professional and enjoy using their skills to make a tangible and immediate difference to an organisation, and chose Project 6 because of the alignment of values and beliefs about the work Project 6 does.

Everyone Can Change is axiomatic for Kes in their life, because it is only through change that we can become the best versions of ourselves. It doesn’t matter where you start from: it matters that you work towards improving the world around you, and begins with yourself. Kes recognises their privilege in being white, middle-class, and a well-educated career professional, and they use this along with their lived experience of being LGBTQ and neurodivergent to challenge others to create inclusive, welcoming, and accessible spaces. Our beneficiaries can change their lives for the better, and we can change our support to make that easier, and we can change society to reduce the need for that support in the first place.

Jae Singh

I’m a personal trainer and health coach from Sheffield, who has come from a working-class background. As someone who has grown up with alcoholism in his family and community, I feel it’s important for someone to be involved with Project 6 to reflect viewpoints of the working-class ethnic minority.

Also I have been diagnosed with Autism and ADHD I understand and can relate to how substance abuse works with neurodiversity. I believe that Everyone can change for the better, they need to be given options, education, and information to improve in a constructive manner.

Jane McGeagh

Jane joined the Project 6 Board of Trustees in 2021 as she’s keen to help achieve lasting change with a charity who’s values she’s passionate about, having supported a close family member who struggled with alcohol, and seeing the effects on him and her family from a young age.

She has over 30 years’ experience of working in both the public and private sectors. Most recently holding senior positions leading complex operational, financial and commercial delivery, significant organisational change including in major cross-Government transformation programmes, together with leading associated communications and stakeholder engagement activity.

Jane is a proud member of the LGBT+ community, was her organisation’s anti-bullying, harassment and discrimination champion for four years, and is a strong advocate for ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion.

Everyone can change – this Project 6 value is important to me as I believe we all do or experience things which we might regret or not want to repeat. It’s just part of being human. And when or if people want to bring about positive change in their lives I believe Project 6 will be there to help them to help themselves, no matter how tricky or tough it may be. Having witnessed first-hand all sorts of situations, and felt the accompanying mix of emotions including love, anger, guilt and pride, I truly believe that having caring, expert support available is absolutely essential.

Joanne Morley

Joanne joined the Board of Trustees in 2021 after wanting to be more involved in local charities that make a difference in key communities across the North. With lived experience of her own mental health challenges and also the impact that drugs and alcohol have on individuals and their families, there was an affinity with Project 6 and the work we do. Joanne has been a senior leader and marketer, bringing over 30 years’ experience in the business world, having worked in a range of organisations and her own businesses. This combination of business knowledge, along with her lived experiences means she can bring a blended mindset that supports the growth ambitions of Project 6 along with a deep understanding and appreciation for the challenges that service users face.

I have a strong belief that people matter, no matter what their background or circumstances. I have worked with so many different people in my life, some have helped me when I was at my lowest ebb and I would not be where I am today without that support. And in return I have always been there to support my friends, colleagues and clients. Everybody matters and everyone has the capacity for change and so this value is very close to my heart.

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Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency trading as Project 6 is a registered charity number 1173006 and a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales number 3430925