About us Meet the team Staff Staff Management Team Simon Kitchen - Chief Executive Simon has been CEO of Bipolar UK since April 2018. His previous roles include leading one of the largest co-production initiatives in adult social care at Leonard Cheshire Disability and running the social action movement at the Dementia Action Alliance. He has also held a number of policy and research roles in Whitehall and in the regions. He is passionate about peer support and giving people with bipolar greater choice and control over their lives. He has a family connection to bipolar. Rosie Phillips - Deputy CEO Rosie joined Bipolar UK in 2017 managing our Information and Support Line and latterly overseeing integration of our Peer Support Services. Her previous experience allows her to bring a wealth of experience working with people across a range of sectors including homelessness and youth. Peer Support Services Parisa - Senior Peer Support Officer, Support Groups Parisa joined the Bipolar UK team in 2018, starting off as a Peer Support Admin Assistant before transitioning into an Officer and now her current role. Parisa’s background is diverse having previously worked in both primary and secondary mental health services, most notably Bromley & Lewisham Mind’s IAPT service and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust on a psychiatric ward. Her connection to bipolar has been through work and she has lived experience of a mental health diagnosis. Sara - Senior Peer Support Officer, Support Groups Sara joined the Bipolar UK team in 2021. Prior to this she spent nearly 15 years working within volunteer management roles in a variety of settings, within employed and voluntary capacities. Sara has a personal link to mental health through friends and family. Molly - Senior Peer Support Officer, Digital Services Molly joined the Bipolar UK team as a Peer Support Line volunteer in 2018, progressing to a full-time employee soon after the end of the volunteering period and transitioning into a senior role in 2021. Molly has an academic background in psychology, with experience in both statutory and third-sector mental health care. Helen - Peer Support Officer, Support Groups Helen joined the team in 2021 and has an academic background in Psychology. She has lived experience of Bipolar and has several years experience in volunteer management. Mike - Peer Support Officer, Support Groups Mike joined the team in 2022, and outside of their role in the organisation is a social policy analyst with a focus on mental health. Mike has 25 years experience of working in mental health. Mike lives with bipolar. Helen - Peer Support Officer, Support Groups Helen joined Bipolar UK as a peer support officer in 2022 having previously worked for many years as a company secretary and lawyer. She has also worked in the NHS in Bristol and South Wales as a community nursing and mental health services manager. Helen has experience of bipolar through friends and family. Ellie - Peer Support Officer Orla - Peer Support Officer, Peer Support Line Orla joined Bipolar UK in 2021, and outside of her role at the organisation is a trainee art psychotherapist. She has bipolar type 1. She has supported a diverse range of client groups across a range of settings in the third sector. She loves art, skating and outdoor sports. Ceyda - Peer Support Officer, Peer Support Line Ceyda joined Bipolar UK in 2022. Her employment history has involved working in Healthcare, Childcare and Mental Health. Ceyda is passionate about mental health and human rights as she believes everyone has the capability to be successful no matter what their diagnosis is. Ellie - eCommunity Moderator Ellie joined Bipolar UK in 2021. She has an academic background in health sciences, including mental health, with experience in third sector, health care and administration. She also has lived experience of bipolar. Leshmi - eCommunity Moderator Leshmi joined Bipolar UK in July 2022. She is passionate about peer-to-peer support as well as online communities. Leshmi has experience in third-sector mental health care. Fundraising and Partnerships Lorna - Strategic Partnership Manager Lorna has been with Bipolar UK since January 2021 and is responsible for building partnerships and fundraising within the corporate and major gift sectors. Lorna recently project-managed a complex eco-renovation of an “at risk” cottage dating back to the early 1500s. She also worked as a National Events Manager for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life team in the Southwest with an annual fundraising target of just under £10 million. Lorna has a connection to bipolar through family and friends. Camilla – Partnerships Development Manager Camilla joined Bipolar UK in December 2021 as partnership development manager, having previously worked as senior partnership officer for eating disorder charity Beat. Camilla has also been a facilitator for the Camden Bipolar Support groups and has been an integral volunteer for the charity. She has built up a strong support network in her local area and has provided the community with a reliable and safe space for over three years. Odhran – Trusts Manager Before joining Bipolar UK in 2017, Odhran has over 20 years’ experience in trust, statutory, corporate and general fundraising. Among the organisations he has worked for are BLISS, ChildLine, NAHCF and Gorilla Organisation. In his spare time Odhran is an enthusiastic guitarist and loyal Fulham Football Club fan. Ellie - Trusts Officer With 15-years’ experience in the fundraising and communications sectors, including with fundraising consultancy ConsultAid and food education-horticulture charity Tuppenny Barn, Ellie joined the team in September 2022. With a passion for peer and community-led projects her fundraising journey began as an active volunteer for community garden and social and therapeutic horticulture initiatives. Kayleigh - Senior Partnership Officer Kayleigh joined Bipolar UK in November 2021 and works within the fundraising team; securing corporate partnerships, maintaining key relationships and handling major gift donations. She has over 3 years’ experience in securing corporate partnerships within the private events sector, and an academic background in psychology and neuroscience. Rosario - Fundraising Officer Rosario joined Bipolar UK in 2022, and has previous experience in corporate fundraising and partnerships. She is also a trustee at a charity that supports unpaid carers. A family member has a mental health condition and this motivates her to make a difference. Communications Sarah - Policy and Communications Manager Sarah has a background in health journalism and, alongside her cousin Amanda Saunders, is co-author of 'Bipolar Disorder - The Ultimate Guide' (Oneworld Publications). Several members of Sarah's family had/have bipolar, including her late grandfather, father and aunt, and her sister and oldest son. Michael - Senior Digital Lead Michael joined Bipolar UK as a Fundraising Officer in 2018, after 4 years in telephone fundraising where he raised £1.2 million for a variety of high-profile charities. These included PLAN International, Oxfam and SCOPE. Prior to that Michael spent over 20 years in middle management roles in and around central government. Working primarily in the field of communications with senior civil servants and Members of Parliament, he uses those skills acquired in his current role. Finance and Administration Steve – IT Manager Steve joined Bipolar UK in 2021. Steve has over 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, implementing IT systems, Salesforce CRM and digital services. Vincenzo - Finance Manager Vincenzo joined Bipolar UK in December 2021. He is a qualified management accountant with extensive financial experience having worked in various finance roles for multinational companies in variety of industry sectors. Three years ago he made a conscious decision to move away from the profit focused commercial world into the not-for-profit sector whose primary aim is to provide essential support to people affected by mental health issues. Ellie - Senior Finance Assistant Ellie joined Bipolar UK in 2022. She has over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, both in the UK and overseas, working in the areas of finance, fundraising and programme management.