Emma Thomas (she/her) - Chief Executive
Emma joined YoungMinds as CEO in July 2018. Prior to this, she worked as a consultant for a range of youth organisations on digital adoption and strategic development and was Chief Executive of The Mix. Emma has wide-ranging experience across commercial and third sectors, as well as working at the BBC developing new digital services and campaigns. For the past ten years she has worked in the youth sector advocating for young people to have a greater voice in society and in improving services.
Emma is a member of the NHS England Independent Advisory and Oversight Group, the NHS Long Term Plan steering group, the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, the Children’s Commissioner’s Inpatient Taskforce Oversight Board and the ITV Mental Health Advisory Group. Emma's advice to her younger self? Life will never take the path you expect; that’s ok as you have strengths you never imagined.
Tom Madders (he/him) - Director of Communications, Campaigns and Participation
Tom leads the team responsible for our communications, campaigns and participation work. He joined us in 2016 and has spent his career campaigning for change in the health and disability sector, including at Mencap, Sense and Diabetes UK. Most recently, he spent almost 8 years at The National Autistic Society leading their campaigns and public engagement team to multiple successes, including the multi-award winning Too Much Information campaign.
Tom's advice to his younger self? Do what you love.
Deirdre Kehoe (she/her) - Director of Training & Services
As our Director of Training & Services, Deirdre leads the teams that deliver our parent services and training and consultancy work. After 20 years at charities like the NSPCC, Diabetes UK and Arthritis Research UK, she started working in support services in 2013. It’s here she’s found her passion, and feels privileged to have a job where she can go home every day knowing that her team have helped someone.
Deirdre’s advice to her younger self? Be kind to yourself and to others. When I was 16 I had a Yeats quote stuck up on my wall that said ‘I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’ Life can be tough, but kindness can make all the difference.
Vanessa Longley (she/her) - Director of Development
As Director of Development, Vanessa connects supporters with what we do, so we can fund the future of YoungMinds. Vanessa began her career working for WWAV Rapp Collins in direct marketing, but has now been a fundraiser for over 20 years, with experience at both a regional and national level. She has previously worked for Havens Hospices, Royal Mencap and LEPRA among others. She is also currently working with CASS Business School, researching creative leadership in the voluntary sector.
Vanessa’s advice to her younger self? You don’t have to manage everything all by yourself. By asking people for help, you also give them permission to ask you for support when they need it.