As a charity, our activities are overseen by our Board of Trustees. These trustees are appointed collectively and volunteer their time at regular meetings, complying with our governing document and the law and acting with skill and care in order to:

  • Ensure Grassroots is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit.
  • Act in Grassroots’ best interests.
  • Ensure Grassroots is accountable.
  • Manage Grassroots’ resources responsibly.

Emma Mills-Sheffield (Chair)

Emma is an independent business consultant and coach having spent 15 years in industry leading major projects, training delivery programmes, workshop facilitation and coaching. She has experience working at KPMG, WSP and in the creative and digital industries and has worked extensively across the private, public and charity sectors. Her experience brings project management and business skills to the board.

Having been bereaved by close family suicide, Emma is using not only career experience, but also her experience of recovery in her work with Grassroots. She’s passionate about making a positive difference to those who need support in the community and through Grassroots’ work.

Emma is also a volunteer for Re-Engage and a mentor for local businesses at the Sussex Innovation Centre and students at the University of Sussex. In January 2020 she was named as one of 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK as part of the small business campaign f:Entrepreneur and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Caroline Hounsell

Director of Partnerships, Product Development and Training, MHFA England. Caroline Hounsell was one of the first MHFA England instructors to be trained and joined the national MHFA England training team in 2007. During her time at MHFA England, Caroline has been involved with the design, content development and writing across a range of MHFA courses, including Youth MHFA, Armed Forces MHFA and Higher Education MHFA. As an accredited British Association Counselling Psychotherapist (BACP) qualified in 2006, Caroline draws on the experience gained through her private practice to further develop her knowledge and skills as a mental health professional. Caroline is also a regular speaker at conferences and is an all-round advocate of MHFA.

Emma Wadey

Sussex born and bred, I am a mental health nurse with over 20 years’ experience transforming services, leading change and supporting and empowering people wherever they are to lead a life worth living. In my career, Having been bereaved by suicide I  have gone on to work in hospitals, prisons, immigration centres, ambulance care and in people’s homes to promote awareness, educate, research and care for others. Listening, learning and sharing good practice to save lives by promoting openness, understanding and the need to take positive action.

A mum, wife, runner and general livewire, I have joined the board of Grassroots at this exciting time in its journey, to build and extend on the fabulous work it does every day. I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues and the wider community to make Grassroots even greater.

Rob Yates

Has worked with charities for more than 25 years, overseas and in the UK. He has been fundraising for more than 15 years with VSO, Kew Gardens and the Royal Pavilion & Museums. Rob loves music and is learning Jazz piano. Spending time with his family and walking on the Southdowns are the things he treasures most in life. “I want Grassroots to become a great fundraiser, then it can do more of it’s great work in preventing suicide.”