​2016 Public Reference Group Members 

You can click on the photo of a member to reveal their biography.

Charmaine has a background of working as a motivational caller for NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) helping service users self-manage their health and care and signposting them to the right services. Charmaine has also run a ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ project and ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ project with Age UK Lambeth funded by the Big Lottery as well as heading the Expert Patient Programme at Merton NHS.
Charmaine currently works for Community Connections in partnership with Lewisham Disability Coalition and Age UK Lewisham and Southwark.
Charmaine believes lack of joined-up healthcare causes issues for children and adults alike with or without complex needs. She is particularly interested in user consultation and involvement in design. Charmaine believes presenting information in a way that promotes understanding, e.g. easy read formats for people with learning disabilities and communication that works for those experiencing mental health issues.
Paul is a member of Lewisham Pensioners Forum where he is vice-chair. He is also a member of Lewisham Pensioners Action Group, Positive Ageing Lewisham and South London Interfaith Group.

Paul’s career was in surveying, development and property management mainly in the public sector and in international development. This has given him an insight into the workings of central and local government including NHS trusts. He has spent time in sub-Saharan Africa and the Commonwealth Caribbean countries. This has helped him to appreciate the challenges faced by Lewisham’s diverse community, including black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.
Paul has been involved in a number of community groups, including Amersham Vale Patient Participation Group (PPG), Deptford Neighbourhood Action; and Friends of Tidemill Nature Garden. Currently he has been working in a community sustainability project for the EU, called Creeknet. Paul is interested in the development of frontline primary care services; and believes preventative medicine and health intervention are a way forward in tough times.

Paul has a background as a freelance IT trainer working with older and physically disabled people. He is interested in digital services in health, isolation in the home of those with disabilities or mobility issues and complementary health. He loves gardening for its therapeutic benefits and has been chair of a herb garden in Deptford.
Denver volunteers at Healthwatch Bromley and Lewisham as an outreach worker. She is a member of Healthwatch Lewisham subcommittee. Denver feels her experiences to date help her appreciate the different groups and communities that make up Lewisham’s diversity. She brings to the table strong communication skills, open-mindedness and the values of teamwork.
Sangita Kansal is a Justice of the Peace and is involved in regular charity work. She is very passionate about people receiving a first rate service from the NHS. She has a keen interest in alternative medicine.

Sangita is a carer for her father who is an older person and has dementia. The experience of caring for a loved one has given her added insight into how the NHS operates.

Sangita has a great communication and analytical skills and is a consummate team player in her role of sitting with a bench of magistrates.
Linda is a member of the Lewisham Bowel Cancer Support Group, which includes people living with cancer or who have had cancer treatments. Linda’s cancer was discovered early due to voluntary screening and she is keen to promote this aspect of the NHS service.

Before retiring Linda taught in a Southwark secondary school as the designated child protection teacher. She was also involved in health education. Linda believes all children and young people need easy access to a sympathetic and efficient NHS.
Roseanna is the admin volunteer at Lewisham Speaking Up - advocacy service for people with a learning difficulty, disability or special needs. She is interested in breaking down barriers people may have accessing health services and giving a voice to the seldom heard.
Becky has been a health MP for Lewisham Speaking Up for two years. She also belongs to Lewisham Speaking Up’s Health Action Group. She is an advocate for good NHS services in Lewisham. As well as involvement with Lewisham Speaking Up, Becky has helped with volunteer induction at Three Cs (focus on those with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges.)

Becky is a born team player. In her spare time, she has enjoyed volunteering at a local nursery twice a week and now works in a local pub every Friday.
Beverley is a parent carer, a mental health practitioner and a teacher. She has an MA in Counselling and many years of previous management experience. Beverley has an interest in the structure of local healthcare services, how this benefits the community and the improvement of service user experiences. She would like to see more integration of mental health services between the sectors. Beverley describes herself as methodical, good at planning and solution focused. She is a passionate spokesperson and brings strong communication skills to the role.
Kelvin belongs to a number of community groups, which enhance his role as a public reference group member. The community groups Kelvin belongs to include:

* SUCAG (Services Users and Carers Advice Group) for older adults with dementia) and;

* Patient Participation Group (PPG) for Honor Oak Health Centre.

Kelvin has a particular interest in the mental health agenda. He has experience of working with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), experience as a dementia carer and helping black and minority ethnic groups (BME) around mental health issues. He is also a member of Carers Lewisham Dementia Group.
Nigel has worked at a senior level in local government in human resources and facilities management. A Lewisham resident and council tenant of 30 years, Nigel has an interest and expertise in procurement and outsourcing. He is a trustee of Lewisham Healthwatch and an Associate Tutor for Greenwich University providing a service user’s perspective to health and social care. Nigel is also a committed member of Lewisham Tenants Fund and joined the Board of Lewisham Homes in autumn 2016. His passion for tackling social inequality motivates every aspect of his voluntary work to empower his communities. He is supporting public engagement with health, local government and housing and has a particular interest in sexual health and LGBT issues and the broader social justice agenda.
Juliet is a long time Lewisham resident.  Her work and interests have always been to do with children and young adults. Juliet has a BA in Childhood and Youth Studies, and she is working part-time with some young people in a self-employed role.
A few years ago Juliet got involved with Parkinson's UK Lewisham Branch. She is a Committee member and volunteer at the branch, where she organises the events programme for the year.
Juliet strongly believes in self-help, be it: one-to-one or small groups/hubs, and see this as a great source for information sharing and motivation. Juliet thinks this encourages well-being and involvement for individuals.
During her working life Alex was Regional Property Manager for Woolwich Bank dealing with all aspects of their residential and commercial buildings.
Because she was a long term carer for some years, and also has long term medical conditions herself, she naturally has personal interest in health and wellbeing. Her GP asked her to join the practice Patient Participation Group (PPG) in 2006. She was voted in as Chair and since then has worked closely with the PPG and the surgery, which has nearly 16,500 patients. As Chair of the PPG, and also for her personally, she takes an active part in a variety of round table discussions, focus groups and workshops with Lewisham Council, Healthwatch, the CCG and various community groups. There Alex puts forward her thoughts and suggestions whilst to resolve some of the issues and problems faced with regard to health and wellbeing.  Alex has learned about the many challenges people face in everyday life, and how they try to deal with them, and thoroughly enjoy getting involved. Her experience and expertise will be of value to the CCG, and in turn to Lewisham residents.
James is a member of the Woodlands Health Centre Patient Participation Group and volunteers for a charity which supports young people in care by taking them out to places or undertaking activities they might not otherwise get the chance to go to or do.
James works as an Associate Director for the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, a small charity which works closely with the NHS to measure and improve healthcare services.
James thinks that all service users should be empowered to help improve the services they are recipients of and that the first step is to provide them with up-to-date, quick and easy to read information to help them understand how the service is doing and where improvements can be made. James knows that some people can feel like they are on a conveyor belt of processes surrounding their own health and care needs, and feels all service users should have the opportunity to experience support and care which is tailored to their needs and with more emphasis on support which can prevent the need for care.  
Michelle is a mother of three and a mature student on her third year studying a BA in Practice Management in Health and Social Care. Her studies have enabled her to research and analyse many aspects of the NHS. Her experience working with children and young people has inspired her to want to improve services that help children and their families. Educating the wider population to look after themselves is also another of her passions as she feels that people are sometimes ill-informed when it comes to being healthy. She is also a volunteer with the Women and Girls Network, a charity who help and counsel women and girls exposed to gender-related violence.
As a PRG member she brings a positive enthusiastic nature combined with a passion for supporting Lewisham's CCG to improve health and care provisions for its local population.