In the second of a mini-series about our Trustees, we meet Dr Sue Upton.
Sue is a senior business and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in both the private, public and not for profit sectors. Most recently, Sue spent 10 years on the Executive Team at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional membership body for HR and people development, including a period as Interim Managing Director. Sue is educated to PhD level in Chemistry and also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. As a newly elected Board member, Sue hopes to use her skills and experience to ensure the Trust delivers on its mission and objectives for the benefit of its clients and other key stakeholders.
How did you end up becoming a QVT Trustee? Tell us a bit about your Trustee role…
When I left CIPD, I wanted to use some of my time and my skills to ‘give back’ in a voluntary capacity. I met Ingrid, QVT’s CEO, at a networking event in late 2017 and whilst there wasn’t a Board vacancy at the time we kept in touch. I joined the Board in January 2019 and in July 2019 I took on the role of Chair of the Risk and Governance Committee (R&G). The R&G Committee is responsible for the management of risk and regularly reviews the risk register to ensure all risks are captured and that mitigation is in place to manage risk, It also ensures the effective governance of the organisation in line with the requirements of the Charity Commission.
Best thing about being a Trustee?
There’s lots of good things about being a Trustee including a chance to use my skills and knowledge to support QVT’s clients and staff and to hopefully make a difference.
What do you think makes QVT special/ what do you think QVT does well as charity?
QVT really cares about it’s clients and their well being and mental health. The leadership team and staff are all committed to their roles and are a lovely team to work alongside.
Biggest challenges currently facing mental health services and mental health charities?
You are asking this question in the middle of a global pandemic when issues of mental health and homelessness are high on the publics agenda. Many of the services and mental health charities will be challenged by demand and yet may not be equipped with the resources (both people and money) to meet that demand.
What do you think really helps our clients when it comes to supported housing?
The obvious answer is a roof over their head but it goes further than that. QVT aims to support clients with their mental health and wellbeing and better integrate them in society so clients can be more self sufficient and take the next step whatever that my be.
Where do you see QVT in 2021/ What would you like to see from QVT in the coming year?
At the moment we need to get through the pandemic and continue to focus on delivering the services for clients and commissioners. There are some emerging plans to grow QVT’s reach and services which are in their early stages but very exciting.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Normally, I enjoy everything that London has to offer – theatre, eating out, visiting galleries but that has been on hold for obvious reasons. I visit Kew Gardens a lot which is close to where I live. I also love to travel but again that’s on hold for now. During lockdown I completed the NHS Couch to 5K running programme and have managed to keep that up since March which I’m very pleased about (if not slightly exhausted!)