Our Board

​Salford Mental Health Forum has a board of Trustees that are responsible for:

  • Furthering the charity’s overall purpose, as set out in its governing document, and setting its direction and strategy – for example, by developing plans and strategies and monitoring progress.

  • Ensuring the work of the charity is effective, responsible and legal – for example, by the use of policies and procedures and systems for monitoring and evaluating the charity’s work.

  • Safeguarding finances, resources and property and ensuring they are used to further the charity’s purposes – for example, by insuring and documenting assets, maintaining financial systems, monitoring income and expenditure and ensuring the charity is financially sustainable or viable.

  • Being ‘accountable’ to those with an interest or stake in or who regulate the charity – for example, by preparing annual reports and accounts and consulting with stakeholders. 

  • Being clear about the people who carry out work on behalf of the charity – trustees, staff, volunteers –establishing and respecting boundaries between the governance role of the board and operational or day to day matters.

  • Ensuring the board operates effectively – for example, ensuring it receives the right reports and advice, by planning the recruitment and induction of trustees, providing trustees with support and training or carrying out reviews or appraisals of the board’s effectiveness.

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Chair Vania Burnell

I joined SMHF, following my involvement with Salford Healthwatch.

Since being diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition, one of the most difficult experiences has been what its done to my mental health. Many people with a neurological condition or illness struggle to access mental health support and I am determined that SMHF will change that.

Through SMHF you can be with people who have lived and shared experience of mental health and I've found that just talking and being part of a group, that encourages all members to reach their goals has helped me considerably. 


I feel very privileged to be Chair of SMHF and a Peer Mentor for mental health. 

Dan Stears


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Lawrence Caygill

After graduating with a degree in Business Studies Lawrence has developed extensive operational management experience working in both private and charitable organisations. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Down Syndrome Cheshire and was previously Operations Manager of the mental health charity Mind in Salford.

Lawrence has a passion for co-producing sustainable community-led support by working with, and listening to, the needs of people and their carers. He has developed many successful programmes that enfranchise communities and individuals to actively define and deliver support. He strongly believes that all members of our society should have the opportunity to live the life they choose and is looking forward to supporting Salford Mental Health Forum to create opportunities that will empower people to meet their full potential and aspirations.

More information about our board and Trustees coming soon