Professor Mike Thomas, an experienced academic and clinician, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of national health and social care charity, Making Space.
Making Space provide services from Cumbria to Cambridge, supporting people in their own home, in their local community and with specialist support services. Their services are offered to any adult with an identified health or social care need, including people with complex mental health needs, learning disabilities, living with dementia as well as older people and carers.
Throughout Mike’s 40-year career in academia and the health sector, he has held a significant number of leadership roles including Vice Chancellor and held various Professorial Chairs across four universities.
During his career, Mike has carried out clinical research to enhance mental health support for individuals who experience severe and enduring eating disorders whilst, simultaneously, over the last fifteen years he has been working with research colleagues across the UK investigating issues that impact on compassionate leadership in both the public and private sectors.
He has written three books and numerous articles and chapters on these two subjects. He remains research active and a practising clinical psychotherapist.
More recently he has been providing an advisory service to public and commercial sector organisations supporting staff engagement projects, cultural change programmes and strategies for enhancing good governance. He is currently the Chair of the Board for University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay Trust.
He will take over the role from Chair of the Board of Trustees, Elaine Johnstone, who has been in the role since June 2022.
Elaine said: ”I have really enjoyed my time as Chair, it has been a pleasure to serve with board colleagues who are as committed as I am to delivering excellent services to support adults with care and support needs, and their carers, to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
“Mike has a long history in the health sector and is a well-established board member, I am confident that he will be an excellent chair. His knowledge, insights and wisdom will be invaluable to our board and our wider team alike..”
Mike is committed to the voluntary, charity and public sector and has been continuously involved in charitable work for his whole working life. He is currently serving on the Lancashire County Council Veterans board and the College for Military Veterans and the Emergency Services which he co-founded.
Prior to entering academia, he served in the Royal Navy, working for five years in HM Submarines before employment in the engineering sector and then qualifying as a mental health nurse and later a psychological therapist.
Professor Mike Thomas said: “I am honoured to have been appointed Chair of Making Space Board of Trustees as I have been aware of Making Space since its infancy, and I have watched the charity grow as an organisation. People’s wellbeing is a big passion of mine along with the vision, mission and values that Making Space live by, as they align to my own.
“I am committed to mental health and user/carer improvement and I am excited for the opportunity to work with Making Space to help the organisation to further enhance its provision.
“Thank you to Elaine Johnstone for all her hard work in her role as Chair of the Board, I am looking forward to working with her and everyone at Making Space to continue to provide high quality services and strive to go above and beyond for the people they support, helping them to live happy, fulfilling and enriched lives.”