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Our Board

Jenny Burns


Jenny is a passionate and energetic Brand and Communications expert with more than 20 years experience. In 2014 she was named PR Week’s Communications Personality of the decade. Jenny was recently appointed as the Director of Brand and Customer Experience at Just Retirement who over the past 11 years have provided more than 250,000 retirees with better retirements. Before this role, Jenny spent 5 years at RSA Insurance as the Group Communications, Brand and Social Media Director. Jenny started her career at the well-known High Street retailer, WHSmith. She’s also held senior leadership and communications positions at Barclays, Centrica British Gas, HBOS and Telefonica O2. Over the years she’s become a positive disrupter; leading the way in making transformational and innovative changes in well established businesses.

Christine Wright


Christine is a community psychiatrist in south-west London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at St George’s University London. Previously she has worked in a number of roles including that of Senior Policy Advisor (Mental Health and Primary Care) in the Department of Health. In the context of global mental health she was for many years the Director of the Mental Health Programme, United Mission to Nepal and Visiting Professor at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Anil K Patil


At present, Anil is the Founder Director of Carers Worldwide. Carers of people affected by disability, HIV/AIDS, chronic illness or old age often experience ill health and many suffer from poverty and even discrimination. Therefore, Anil founded Carers Worldwide with an aim of sensitizing local organisations, NGOs – both national and international and governments to the needs of carers. Anil has over 15 years of experience in the international development sector as a development worker and grant maker. He joined BasicNeeds as he is passionate about supporting vulnerable people with mental illnesses.

Gita Patel


Gita has been working for Practical Action for over twenty years and currently holds the position of Financial Controller. Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. She has a keen interest in the project work and finances of the Charity Sector which is the reason for working in this area for most of her career. She joined BasicNeeds as a Trustee as she is very inspired by the work and impact that BasicNeeds has created in the lives of people affected with mental illness and epilepsy and keen to provide her input and support to help the organisation.

Jill Flint-Taylor


Jill is a Director of Rusando Ltd, a company that provides support for organisations in the areas of business psychology and leadership. She is also an Associate Faculty member and Research Fellow at Ashridge Business School. Jill has founded and managed NGOs in Southern Africa, and has considerable experience in international development work. As a former lecturer in psychology, she was keen to apply psychology to make a real and practical difference in the workplace. This has been the main driver behind her professional practice and voluntary work over the past 20 years.

Jane Beston


Jane is very passionate about mental health and has worked exclusively in this field for 15 years in clinical, strategic and transformative roles. She is currently a Training Programme Manager at Maudsley Learning, leading on the design and development of tailored training programmes, with a particular focus on mental health in schools and mental health and the workplace. She has worked exclusively in the field of mental health for the past 16 years, both as a clinician and in training and development. Jane enjoys travelling, reading and running occasionally.

Giles Marshall


Giles is a Director at Bregal Freshstream, a European private equity fund, and has been active in private equity investing and investment banking for eleven years. He joined the board of trustees in 2015.

Lisa Mudge


Lisa has been involved in communications for over a decade and has experience working for O2, RSA Insurance and currently LinkedIn. Lisa is extremely passionate about Internal Communications and helps organisations and professionals achieve communication excellence. Lisa joined the Board in March 2016.

Paul Drake


Paul is a chartered accountant with extensive experience in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Before retiring in 2015, he held a number of senior positions with the engineering group GKN, including Financial Controller of their factory in Italy and Finance Director of their Asia Pacific region, where his responsibilities included serving as non-executive director on the board of nine companies. He has been a trustee of The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford-on-Avon since 2009, and joined the BasicNeeds Board in February 2017 as Treasurer.