Become a Governor

Our latest round of governor elections closed on Wednesday 29 May 2024, with the next set of elections due to begin in Spring 2025. For further information please see the governor elections information tab below or contact

Why become a governor?
  • Hear about our latest developments and plans first-hand from senior managers at the Trust
  • Get regular updates on the Trust’s performance
  • Have your say to help improve and shape local mental health and learning disability services
  • Influence our forward plans and how the Trust provides its services
  • Influence who is on the Trust’s Board of Directors by appointing the Chair and Non-executive Directors
  • Receive invites to networking events and training sessions to extend your knowledge on mental health, physical health and general wellbeing within the NHS.
  • Hold our Non-executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board
  • Appoint our External Auditors
  • Meet some great people and truly make a difference
  • Act as an ambassador for our Trust
  • Access to NHS discounts and healthcare staff benefits
  • Support our campaigns to promote good health and fight mental health stigma
Who can become a governor?

Anyone who is a member of the Trust and aged 16 years or over can stand for election as a Governor. Our Governors must also live in the designated constituency area. If you have any queries about your constituency, you can email to check.

Do I need any qualifications or experience to become a governor?

You do not need to have any formal qualifications or previous experience to be Governor, all you need is to have a passion for improving mental health and learning disability services within the NHS. We will provide all of the help, training and support that you need to carry out the role of a Governor.

How can I become a governor?

To become a governor, you must first be a member of the Trust, and then you must follow the election process. Please see further down this page for information on governor elections.

Will I be paid to be a governor?

Our governors are not paid, but we are happy to repay any expenses. Please see our Governor Expenses Procedure in the ‘downloads’ box on this page.

Governor elections

Spring 2024 governor elections

Our latest round of governor elections closed on Wednesday 29 May 2024, and we are pleased to announce the results below:

  • Miranda Arieh – Public: Leeds
  • Nicola Lister – Public: Leeds
  • Ivan Nip – Public: Leeds (re-elected)
  • Madhulika Singh – Public: Leeds
  • Matthew Knight – Public: York and North Yorkshire
  • Helen Pyne – Public: Rest of England and Wales
  • Leila Abadi-Bulmer – Carer: Leeds
  • Carole Myers – Service user: Leeds
  • Joseph Riach – Service user: Leeds (re-elected)
  • Martyn Sinclair – Service user: Leeds
  • Gail Harrison – Clinical staff (re-elected)
  • Adam Redhead – Clinical staff
  • Ian Andrews – Non-clinical staff (re-elected)
  • Anne Toone – Non-clinical staff

We would like to thank all those who nominated themselves and voted during this round of elections.

Our next election will begin in Spring 2025. The best way to keep up to date with the latest information on governor elections, including dates, available seats and standing candidates for your constituency is to join as a member. Find out more about becoming a member here. Additionally if you are interested in becoming a governor yourself, please find our Guide for Prospective Governors here.

For further information, please contact

Read what our current governors have to say about their experiences

Amy’s experience of being a Clinical Staff Governor for LYPFT

Amy Pratt profile photograph

Hello, I’m Amy, I’m a Clinical Staff Governor and have been on the Council of Governors since March 2023. I work in the Trust as Principal Dietitian. As a dietitian, I’m really passionate about the physical health inequalities experienced by many of our service users, and I also passionately believe in the role a wide range of professionals can contribute to their care.

I wanted to become a governor to bring this perspective to the table and contribute my skills. From a personal development perspective, I’ve also found that being a governor has increased my awareness and understanding of governance processes in the Trust, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet in my day-to-day work, including fellow staff members and executives, as well as service users, carers and other members of our community. All these things have been personally fulfilling, give me pride in my work and the Trust, and give me skills and ideas that I can bring to my day job. My line managers have been very supportive of me absorbing my duties as a governor into my working hours.

I’d advise anyone interested in becoming a governor to chat with the Corporate Governance Team, who are really friendly and helpful, or ask to meet with an existing governor who can share their experiences with you.


Becky’s experience of being a Service User Governor for LYPFT

Becky Oxley Profile Picture

Hey, I’m Becky! I’m a Service User Governor and have been on the Council of Governors since November 2023. I’m a massive supporter of Leeds Rhinos and Manchester City and enjoy reading in my spare time. I also love volunteering and I am a Fundraising Coordinator for the Leeds and District MS Society as well as helping out at St James Hospital as a Leeds Way Welcome Volunteer.

I wanted to become a governor because I’ve lived with my own mental health struggles since I was 16. I have seen how services are run and how service users can sometimes feel like they don’t have a voice and feel lost in the system. I’ve seen firsthand the positives and negatives, and in this time of transformation I wanted to be at the root of the input and challenge and have a voice and influence from a service user perspective. I am very well versed in the trauma informed way of working and my vision as a governor is to see LYPFT fully working in this way.

The role of a governor is to hold the Non-executive Directors to account on the way the Board of Directors performs. We are here to represent the public and share information with our members. We have 6 meetings a year, which are a mix of in person meetings and virtual meetings. The meetings are a chance for us all get together, discuss matters and have our say on the things going on within LYPFT.

I enjoy being a governor as I love being the voice for those who don’t feel able to speak up. I am passionate about mental health and enjoy the fact that I’m heard in my governor role. I feel respected and feel like I can be a positive influence for change and see things from a ground level as a service user. I share my experiences, good or bad, and make suggestions to influence and improve how services are delivered.

There are many opportunities for additional involvement as a governor, over and above the basic time commitment of 6 meetings. There are chances to visit services to see how they run and what they involve. There are training opportunities and the chance to observe board sub-committee meetings as well as so much more.

I absolutely love my role as Service User Governor, and I would recommend anyone who has clicked with anything I’ve said above to apply. The chance to be a part of change and have a voice is powerful. I’ve also felt a lift in my own mental health because I feel like I have a purpose and a meaning in life.

I would say to anyone thinking of applying to go for it and if you have any questions to ask them. There are no ‘stupid questions’ and we would love to help you overcome any challenges you may have in becoming a governor. We are a great bunch of people from all background and walks of life. If you have a passion for change and helping others, then this may well be the perfect role for you. I am here if anyone wants to ask me anything directly and my email is

I hope to see some of you very soon at a Council of Governors meeting!


Joseph’s experience of being a Service User Governor for LYPFT

Joseph Riach

Hello, my name is Joseph Riach and I have been a Service User Governor for the Trust for approximately 3 years. Outside of my governor role, I am completing a mathematics degree with the Open University, am a member of my local Labour Party, and enjoy travelling with my wife around Europe and beyond.

I was interested in putting myself forward for the role of Service User Governor following a period spent as an inpatient at the Newsam Centre in 2020 during the Covid pandemic – I felt my experience there highlighted areas where care was outstanding but also areas where care could be improved, and I wanted to personally highlight the concerns of fellow service users at Board level. Being a member of the Council of Governors has given me an opportunity to do this. My vision for LYPFT is that across all services and departments there is effective staffing levels, caring staff, service user involvement and management that is well led and represents the community it serves.

My role as governor involves attending quarterly Council of Governors’ meetings which can be either face to face or virtual. At the meetings we discuss the information that has been provided in our paperwork, which usually includes performance data, a financial report, a report from the Chief Executive, a report from the Chair, a report from the Lead Governor and reports on other key areas of interest. We often get presentations from services too. At all times there is an opportunity to ask the Board of Directors questions and scrutinise the information we have received. At the meetings we hold the Non-executive Directors to account and receive assurance about key service indicators such as bed occupancy, out of area placements, or the Trust’s financial position. I enjoy being able to represent the views of fellow service users at a high level. I have enjoyed meeting and forming working relationships with fellow governors and finding out what the essential priorities are for the Trust going forward.

Outside of the Council of Governors’ meetings, I have observed a number of Board sub-committees, such as the Quality Committee, and have also been part of face-to-face service visits to services including Acute Services and the Pharmacy Department. I have also attended a workshop on the introduction of Integrated Care Boards with governors from various other Mental Health Trusts. There are also opportunities to attend training sessions with NHS Providers.

I would recommend the role of governor to anyone that would like to develop their knowledge of how an NHS Foundation Trust operates, offer feedback on their own care or the care of loved ones, and be part of high-level strategic decision making on mental healthcare across the cities of Leeds and York. For those interested in applying, I would say that attending the induction will really help you in transitioning into the role of Governor, and that the Council of Governors’ meetings are an open, and transparent way of offering your views and learning about the priorities of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It has been a privilege and a rewarding experience for myself and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the role.


Peter’s experience of being a Carer Governor for LYPFT

Peter Ongley Profile photograph

Hello, I’m Peter! I’m a Carer Governor and have been on the Council of Governors since March 2023. I enjoy hill walking, reading, music, theatre, church, and meeting up with family and friends. I’m married to my wife, Joan, and we are both retired. We have two grown up children. Our daughter is married with two children: Harry is now at university and Grace is in her first year of sixth form. Our son has cerebral palsy and lives in a care home but suffers from mental health issues and requires regular support from my wife and me.

I became a governor due to my son having mental health issues for many years and as a direct result of the difficulties incurred when trying to get help for my son when he is suffering a mental health crisis. My vision is that the Trust can learn from governor experiences and improve services to all service users.

One of the roles of a governor is to ensure the general public have means to communicate their views directly to the Board of Directors. This is done through our Council of Governors meetings. I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Board members, managers, staff and other governors, and being able to share my experiences of using the Trust.

Since becoming a governor, I have had the opportunity to visit various service areas, including the Acute Liaison Psychiatry Service, the Gender Identity Service and the Forensic Service. I have been able to observe board and committee meetings and have found attending these meetings has given me an excellent understanding how the Trust operates and the important role of non-executive directors in holding the board to account. I have also received training and attended governor events ran by NHS Providers that has helped me to become a more effective governor.

I would highly recommend becoming a governor as it gives you an opportunity to understand how the Trust works and provide input into improving services. My advice for new governors is to be prepared to listen and learn, but don’t be frightened to provide your input at meetings as to how the Trust is being run.

Page last updated: 31st May 2024 11:30am