Meet the board Jackie Pollock (Chair) 'My involvement with CAUSE begins with my sister who has a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder: I joined the board to help in some way to support carers as I’ve been there myself. I work as a Technical Consultant for Kainos Software and in my spare time I volunteer at a youth club for young people with learning disabilities. I also represent the club within the Mencap family. To chill out I’m normally found in the middle of a good book with a cup of tea at one side and my black cat on my lap. I am honoured to be the new Chair of CAUSE' May McCann 'I have been associated with CAUSE for many years now, both as a board member and as a member of staff, when for a limited period of time I worked part time as CAUSE Carer Advocate. In 2009 I was appointed by the Minister for HSSPSNI as a non-executive director of the newly established Patient and Client Council an independent, arms-length public body tasked with ensuring that the voice of all people on health and social care is sought, listened to and acted upon. I also chair the Bamford Monitoring Group whose role it is to seek and make known to the Minister, department, trusts and other relevant bodies, the views and experiences of people - service users, carers, the public and communities - concerning the changes being made to services resulting from the Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability.' Gillian Blair (Treasurer) 'I am a Chartered Certified Accountant working in the Civil Service as a Deputy Principal Accountant where my current role includes managing the Financial Accounting, Procurement and Financial Systems functions and producing the Departments Annual Resource Accounts. The reason I applied for the Treasurer position in CAUSE is because I believe the services offered by CAUSE are invaluable for the carers of a loved one with serious mental illness. While I have no direct experience in caring for a loved one with a serious mental illness a close family member was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I attended a carer training programme to help me understand the illness.' Renee Quinn 'I have a varied professional background with experience in both the private and public sectors. I currently work as a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner within Local Government, specialising in public health and housing matters. I see my role on the board as providing support to the Chief Executive and her team and to help her continue to achieve outstanding outcomes through well thought out goals and effective governance. I hope my experience helps CAUSE link with local communities by providing networking opportunities. I am a strong advocate of community voice and appreciate the value that CAUSE contributes to our society. I am proud to be associated with CAUSE and hope that my experience will help to make a meaningful and positive contribution to assist CAUSE in achieving their objectives.' Nigel Spiers 'My full time career in statutory social work started in 1972 as a trainee social worker and ended in 2008 as a middle manager. My interest in joining the Board of CAUSE is therefore a continuation of my commitment to promote partnership and respect between user, carers, provider organisations and professions. I am very aware that in spite of relevant legislation, specialist posts, commitment to assessing carers’ needs and collaboration and much training and awareness raising there are still many dedicated carers of loved ones with serious mental ill health feeling uninformed and unsupported. Conversely many providing and professional staff also have significant personal carer roles. I hope that my own experience can assist CAUSE in working with providers, professionals and representatives of users to make care and service delivery more genuinely collaborative.'