YMCA Mental Health Champion Scheme

As part of our commitment as a Mindful Employer, we believe that every staff member should have access to the support they need to feel confident in their physical and mental health, both at work and at home. Our Mental Health Champion (MHC) scheme works to support Nottinghamshire YMCA staff with mental health issues and general wellbeing.

MHCs are qualified members of staff in each department who have been specially trained by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) to offer support, advice and signpost staff experiencing poor mental health.

Meet our Mental Health Champions

Danny Graham

Gym Manager (YMCA Gym)


Job role: My role as YMCA Gym Manager involves increasing the positive impact that we have on our members by offering and creating new health, fitness and related services that meet the physical and emotional needs of the our community in a safe, inclusive environment.

What makes you happy: Playing with my kids, spending time with my fiancé, running and playing football make me happy! 😊

Top wellbeing tip: My top wellbeing tip is to regularly take time for yourself to do something you enjoy and to be physically active.

Email address: Daniel.Graham@nottsymca.org


Beckie King

Lead Social Worker (YMCA Housing)


Job role: My job is to ensure people with multiple and complex needs are accessing the external support and services they are entitled to receive. My role is to offer them both practical support to set this up and refer/signpost to relevant services, but also provide the physical support around setting this up and engaging with them.

What makes you happy: I love spending time with friends and my family at music festivals and exploring the world (and English countryside!), particularly if there’s sunshine!

Top wellbeing tip: When you are saying ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.

Email address: Beckie.King@nottsymca.org


Emma Hodgett

HR Operations Manager (Support Services)


Job role: I’m responsible for everything HR – including wellbeing, employee engagement, HR administration, employee relations (etc.). 

What makes you happy: What makes me happy is spending time with my partner, four children, friends and family.

Top wellbeing tip: My top wellbeing tip is to only focus on the things that you are in a position to change.

Email address: emma.hodgett@nottsymca.org


Keiron Carlisle

Domestic Manager (YMCA Facilities)


Job role: My Name is Keiron Carlisle and I have worked for the YMCA for over five years now. My main role is Domestic Manger and I manage all the Domestic staff members within the charity.

What makes you happy: What makes me happy most is my friends and family, walking in the Peak District, and keeping fit in general.

Top wellbeing tip: I found during lockdown that walking really helped my mental health – anything from a short walk to a 16 mile walk at the weekend. After a busy week in these uncertain times, walking gives me time to gather my thoughts, while appreciating nature. Fitness in general really helps me, and I would recommend trying to get fit where possible to anyone who is feeling stressed.

Email address: Keiron.Carlisle@nottsymca.org


Joanna Laverick

Housing Needs Assessor (YMCA Housing)


Job role: I interview people who are homeless or at-risk and help them to get housed in suitable supported accommodation at YMCA. My role involves a lot of decision-making and talking to people sensitively over the phone. I am friendly and approachable with the most non-judgemental attitude; I enjoy helping and supporting others. I have a big heart and a good sense of humour.

What makes you happy: My son, he brings me so much joy!

Top wellbeing tip: Routine – I believe in having a routine at the beginning and end of your day is good for maintaining and protecting your mental wellbeing. My routine changes every now and then; recently I added in exercise, ‘journaling’ and planning my day ahead to my morning routine.

Email address: Joanna.Laverick@nottsymca.org


Chris Jarvis

IT Manager and Data Protection Officer (Support Services)


Job role: I started at Nottinghamshire YMCA as a volunteer in 1996 and became an employee in 2000.

What makes you happy: Spending time with family and friends, walking, photography, bird watching, golf, playing guitar, listening to music, reading The Lord Of The Rings (read it over 30 times) and annoying my friend Neil MacLaren (Funding department).

Top wellbeing tip: Our physical health suffers when our mental health suffers – find out what helps you relax/de-stress and, once you’ve found out, make time to do it often!

Email address: chris.jarvis@nottsymca.org


Valerie Burrell

Manager of the Business Resource Centre (BRC)


Job role: Primarily dealing with processing housing benefit claims for our supported accommodation, CYF and Newark and Sherwood bookings and reporting for all of these services, our BRC team is also the first point of contact for all general enquiries.

What makes you happy: Gardening, watching a good film noir on a rainy afternoon and my daughters.

Top wellbeing tip: Gardening (see the theme!).  I can easily do 12hrs straight in the garden. I forget everything else and my thoughts are always with the job in hand; it’s like meditation for me. Seeing the plants spring back to life in the Spring truly does give me a renewed sense of hope, and for days afterwards I feel like I’ve done a week’s workout in the gym.

Email: Valerie.Burrell@nottsymca.org


Emma Sleight

HR Administrator


Job role: After working at YMCA Gym, I have returned to Nottinghamshire YMCA in the role of HR Administrator. I am so happy to be back!

What makes you happy: I love to spend most of my free time keeping fit. Training makes me feel so good first thing in the morning!

Top wellbeing tip: Love what you do!!

Email: Emma.Sleight@nottsymca.org

Katie Inglis

HR Advisor


Job role: I joined the YMCA in October 2020 as a HR Advisor. My role involves supporting employees and managers with general HR activity and I am the wellbeing lead in the team.

What makes you happy: Now more than ever, I appreciate the outdoors and going for long walks. I love spending time with my friends and family, reading books and performing in Musical Theatre productions.

Top wellbeing tip: I always make sure I have some time for myself each day, whether it be to exercise or read my book for half an hour. I find that doing something for myself that I love really improves my wellbeing. When I feel I need some extra support, I always make sure that I talk to someone about how I am feeling, and this really helps me.

Email: katie.inglis@nottsymca.org