Board of trustees

The Board of Trustees determines policy and - together with staff - sets the direction for National Voices.

Hilary Newiss


Hilary is a lawyer and former partner in a City law firm, specialising in Intellectual Property (innovation, data, patents, brand, copyright). Since leaving the City, has served on several public boards in the science, innovation, health, and ethics fields including The Human Genetics Commission, the National Information Governance Board, Biobank Ethics and Governance Board, the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information and the Francis Crick Institute. She is currently a trustee of the Natural History Museum, where she chairs the Audit and Risk Committee, and a Director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. She was the patient champion on the Accelerated Access Review, and now sits on the Accelerated Access Collaborative, helping to put patients at the heart of innovation.

She was attracted to National Voices after poor quality experience in hospital and wanted to try and to improve the experience for everyone. National Voices does that, and she is proud and delighted to be Chair.

Jean Appleyard

Jean is a qualified accountant with broad financial management and operations experience gained primarily in the finance sector. Most recently she was the Group Finance Director at a direct investment and corporate finance advisory firm. Jean is also Treasurer of the Phoenix Cinema Trust and serves as an Independent Member on the Audit and Compliance Committee of the University of Bedfordshire.

Akiko Hart

Akiko is the newly appointed Chief Executive of the National Survivor User Network. She currently works at Mind in Camden, where she manages the Hearing Voice project. Akiko is Chair of ISPS UK, which advocates for social and psychological approaches to psychosis, and sits on the HVN England committee.

As part of her work for the English Hearing Voices Network, she co-wrote the Alternative Mental Health Act Review. Akiko is also on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University, and has worked as the Director of Mental Health Europe

Catherine Davies

Catherine Davies is Director of Cooperation and Competition at NHS Improvement. A qualified solicitor, Catherine previously held senior public sector regulatory roles at Monitor, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, the NHS Cooperation and Competition Panel and the Competition Commission. Prior to this Catherine was in practice with a global law firm, advising on UK and EU merger and competition.

Ed Holloway

Ed is the Executive Director of Services and Support at MS Society. Much of his career has been in research, organisational strategy and impact and now service provision. Ed is currently responsible for all of MS Society's services to people affected by MS across the UK, including their national services (helpline, information and financial support) as well as the services provided by their network of volunteer-led groups in communities across the country.

Jill Worth

Jill is Head of Healthcare Practice with Ordnance Survey. She has 25 years' experience working both for the NHS and on behalf of companies supplying services to the NHS, with extensive experience establishing senior level client relationships and developing new business in the healthcare sector.

Noha Al Afifi

Noha is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Arthritis Action. She has 15 years’ experience in marketing, communications, and public relations in a variety of industries, and has focused on the health and charity sectors for the past six years. She previously worked for a former UK health minister as part of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), promoting healthcare policies serving both the UK population and the rest of the globe. Noha is passionate about translating complex health messages to the public, and is keen to further National Voices’ agenda of promoting person-centred care nationwide.

Rick Borges


Rick Borges is the Head of Assessment at the Banking Standards Board. He previously worked at the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, the Department of Health in the Private Office of a Minister of State, at the National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care, and in the Private Office of the Director General for NHS Informatics. Rick also acted as an advisor to the Press Recognition Panel, set up following The Leveson Inquiry. Rick has a Masters in law and a postgraduate diploma in law in the UK.

Sarah Collis

Sarah has over 30 years’ experience working with and for the third sector. After several years working for the Big Lottery Fund, Sarah turned her passion for supporting communities into direct action as CEO of Self Help UK. Over the last ten years, Sarah has been an active champion of self-care and the power of people to help each other build on their own experience to shape the support they want and need.

Sarah Rae

Sarah is a trustee of Mind's Council of Management. She is an Expert by Experience and trained as a Patient Leader, working to ensure that patients, especially those from diverse backgrounds, are at heart of the decision-making processes. Sarah works with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust as a critical friend to improve services to ensure they are person centred and reflect patients’ needs. She is a Non-Executive Director of the East of England Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, a member of her local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) Clinical Advisory Group, a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough STP Mental Health Strategy group as a patient representative, a member of East of England Citizens’ Senate, and is also a patient representative on the Eastern Academic Health Science Network’s ‘Action on Frailty Patient Safety Collaborative’

Sarah Vibert

Sarah has been Chief Executive of the Neurological Alliance since October 2016. Previously she was Director of Strategy and External Affairs at Epilepsy Society. There she was responsible for strategy, business development, partnerships, policy, user involvement, and communications. Prior to working at Epilepsy Society, Sarah held a number of management roles in the charity sector and local government, including working in policy and strategic projects for the Mayor of London and in the Charities Office of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Steven Platts

Steven is the Chief Executive of Groundswell. He has over 15 years experience of enabling vulnerable people to overcome social injustice- providing one to one support to homeless men, managing teach training programme in refugee camps and has led two homeless charities in London, which have both grown successfully under his leadership.