Service User and Carer Governors

Eight members from Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley.

Matt Copple

Matt Copple – Lead Governor

I’m Matt Copple and I’ve been a Governor since 2018 and I am proud to say I was elected to be Lead Governor in October 2019. I also have five years experience as a service user and over 40 years life experience of mental health. My passion was work, but now it’s family and life, and removing the stigma associated with mental health in society.

I am a highly motivated and respected Project Manager and IT / Business Consultant with a career that spans over 20 years working for Local and Central Government clients from within the public and private sectors.

This work experience, coupled with my Governor, service user and life experiences provide me a unique and distinguished insight into mental health, work and society. I went through the mill and came out the other side. If I can, others can.

I have an IT, Customer Services, and Support Services background. My skills and experience are diverse, but I specialise delivering transformation and change.

Being part of a team in delivering transformation and change is specifically why I stood as Lead Governor for Mersey Care.

I’m passionate about technological change, bringing technology to the forefront of care within Mersey Care. I am very much aware that technology is useful, but the “always online” approach we see in today’s society can work to the detriment of our health. Balance is therefore key.

I pride myself at being able to operate effectively at all levels of business and society, utilising well developed communication, negotiation and influencing skills. I respect everyone for who they are and what they are.

Occasionally a non-conformist, I am optimistic, enthusiastic, creative and confident. I have a strong sense of the possible. I’m exceptionally forward thinking, motivated, and results driven. I am honoured to have the chance to channel my energies into delivering as Lead Governor and continue to be part of such a great team.

Read an interview with Matt here:

Term ends 30 September 2021

Julie Dickinson

My name is Julie Dickinson and I was born in Liverpool. I worked in the Banking sector for 34 years in a variety of roles.

Being a family carer for my Mum then 14 years for my Father in Law who has dementia first at home then in a residential home for the last 2 years and for my husband who has frontal temporal lobe dementia with parkinsonism. I feel this gives me a long view of Dementia of the services available and a carers role and the challenges presented.

I am an active member of SURF (Service Users Reference Forum) a part of the Dementia Action Alliance.

Having had my carers assessment, I am an active member of the Carers Forum and was asked along with a fellow carer if we would set up a monthly carers support group for people caring for loved ones with dementia. This enables us to reach out to help support carers with problem solving and socialising to signpost to the relevant agencies or voluntary bodies for this.

If elected I would be happy to be a carers voice and ensure they and their loved ones are not forgotten.

Term ends 30 September 2021

Mark McCarthy

I am an experienced service user governor who has a strong track record of speaking out for service users with learning difficulties and other vulnerable service users.

I am a part time maths teacher in a specialist school for students for mental health and other health problems; it is a job I feel privileged to have. Outside of work I am a keen hiker who has hiked over 2000 miles during the past four years and even written a successful hiking guidebook. I have previously worked as an IT manager both in the UK and Portugal and as both a manufacturing and engineering manager in the automotive industry. I have also worked for thirty years as a volunteer helper on the Liverpool Lourdes pilgrimage.

Having had a sibling with learning difficulties I feel driven to speak out for those with learning difficulties.

I am caring and passionate and have been on the receiving end of our services, so I understand what is important to us as service users. I now have three years’ experience as a governor and have been a constant advocate for our most vulnerable service users especially those with learning difficulties, mood disorders and personality disorders.

Term ends 30 April 2022.

Andrew Naylor


I am a widower, ex-carer and a supporter of the NHS and the fabulous job it does. I want to help people who are in the position I was in.

I currently work in the software industry and have recently completed a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I’m looking to make a positive impact for my local community and help make people’s lives that little be better.

My former partner suffered from Cystic Fibrosis and passed away 3 years ago. My ongoing recovery from that emotional loss has led me to a place where I wish to help, and allow my experience as a carer and a service user, to make a positive difference to people in similar situations to the one I have been through.

My experience as a carer and spending countless hours on wards and clinics give me an insight on what patients like or need to improve their time under the care of the NHS. After dealing with anxiety and depression following the loss of my former partner I am a strong advocate for mental health and the importance is plays in our daily lives and wish encourage public awareness of the seriousness of mental health.

I will do my utmost to ensure Mersey Care provides the best possible care to all its patients in a concise, compassionate manner while placing the emphasis on the patient.

Term ends 30 April 2022.

Debbie Riozzie

I have no interests to declare. I am reapplying following my application last year. I first entered mental health services in 1991. After a second section I was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar.

Currently I work as a Health and Wellbeing Trainer for Sefton Council for Voluntary Service. We work alongside Mersey Care Community staff to re enable in a person centred and collaborative way, supporting people to live more independent and healthy lives at home.

I consider myself direct, honest and hard working. My experiences in psychiatric hospital and elsewhere meant I carried anger and shame for many years. This has motivated me to improve service user’s lives and services using my lived experience: to put the service user voice central to how services are conceived and run.

The first task would be to widen and deepen the link through to service users so we may better represent them.

I have worked across the commercial and the third sector giving me a wide perspective.

Highlights include: Establishing a small business.

More recently: Regional Coordinator for Like Minds, Like Mine in New Zealand: anti stigma and anti discrimination social marketing program

Managed a small Charity on Merseyside

I will push Mersey Care to provide the very best of humane, effective mental and whole health treatment.

Term ends 30 September 2021.

Hilary Tetlow

As Governor of Mersey Care Foundation Trust I represent Carers and Service Users I am passionate to make life better for the people I represent. 

As a former Consultant in Fashion Merchandising I am confident when speaking to Board members and Chairpersons of FT listed companies. I am also well versed in speaking to the workforce and the customers of companies to seek their views. I am not afraid to raise sensitive issues and questions in representing the views of the governors, ensuring that as many governors as possible are able to raise their concerns.

I am active in Merseyside and beyond in the following:

  • A founder member secretary and treasurer of SURF (Service Users Reference Forum) for people and carers of people with dementia working together to try to make changes in attitudes and services, provide a voice and influence decision makers
  • Set up general meeting groups for coffee and natter for dementia groups
  • Involved in the patient engagement and experience group of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Founder member of ‘tide’ carers involvement network supported by The National Lottery
  • I am chair of the LExE Group (Liverpool Experts by Experience) of Liverpool University Doctor of Psychology and am involved in selection of course candidates, teaching, research and clinical aspects of the course

As a Governor I try and attend all Board Meetings as many QRV visits as possible plus events open to Governors and members so that I am aware of what is happening in the Trust and the feelings of the workforce and the service users and carers. 

Term ends 30 April 2022.

Tashi Thornley

I put myself forward to be a governor because I am passionate about service user involvement and want to ensure the service user voice is heard. I also feel I hold all the Mersey Care values.

Before I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I was elected Vice President Education at Leeds Beckett Students’ Union. Within this role, I sat on numerous boards and committees representing students and ensuring their voice was heard. During my term in office I was shortlisted for a national award due to my hard work.

Since being under Mersey Care, I have used a wide range of the services. This has given me an understanding and broad knowledge of the diversity of services that Mersey Care has to offer. This has helped me understand what works well but also where there is room for potential improvements to be made in order for such services to work more effectively for the benefit of all service users.

I am currently under Springhouse Personality Disorder Hub. Over the past 3 years, I have sat on steering groups and contributed to the development of what is now a fully functioning seven-day crisis and day service for people with PD.

I instigated a name change of the PD Hub so people could feel more connected to the service and I ensured that this vote was put out to service users. I have also recently been appointed as a Service User Lead at Springhouse.

I am passionate, determined and will always strive to make positive change, ensuring that I do my best to represent those that voted for me.

You can read an interview with Tashi here:

Term ends 30 April 2022.