Read about our Community Champions and why they're passionate about improving health and wellbeing across Stockton-on-Tees.







Peter Mayes, Co-ordinator, Starfish Youth Employment Initiative

I work for Starfish Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), where we provide compassionate support and a community approach that offers young people choices to make positive changes to their lives and to take the next steps.

Starfish is linked with ‘wellbeing’ and has the experience to help people realise their unlimited potential, overcoming any barriers or obstacles that are getting in their way.

Research shows that by not having a career plan or focus on yourself, or by a lack of employment or training options are all well known to directly affect our wellbeing and mental health.

We show you that you have to realise that you are so important, you will do well and we will support and help all the way on you career planning, exploration and self-development.

I am looking forward to my role as a Healthwatch Champion for Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees.

Find out more about Starfish YEI

Brian Jones, CEO at The Moses Project 

The Moses Project is a registered charitable company which provides guidance, mentoring and support to hundreds of adult males with past and current addictions to drugs and alcohol. The men usually live in chaotic circumstances and are suffering the consequences of long-term self-abuse.

We provide daily assistance with housing and benefits, introduce clients to positive lifestyles and provide not only one-to-one support but also regular team-building events and activities.

Find out more about The Moses Project

Mark Walker, Trustee at Teesside Dementia Link Services

Teesside Dementia Link Services (TDLS) is a charity based in the tees valley aiming to provide support to dementia sufferers and their carers, through support groups, activities and social events.

The relief of sickness and preservation of health of people suffering with dementia and their families and carers in and around the Teesside area.

Find out more about TDLS

Leigh Trimble,  Volunteer and Project Manager at Red Balloons

When I heard about the opportunity to become a Healthwatch Stockton Community Champion it made perfect sense to put myself forward.  At Red Balloons we use Peer Support to give people a safe space to talk about their mental health while supporting them to use being active to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. 

We talk to people all day every day about their mental and physical health and this also regularly includes their experiences of health and social care services locally.  The opportunity to be an advocate for our service users as well as the chance to answer their questions and give them up-to-date information will be invaluable. 

The whole Healthwatch Project is extremely important, the fact that anyone in the community can become involved with feeding back, informing and shaping future services is absolutely brilliant.  I'm looking forward to being part of the Team.

Find out more about Red Balloons

Anthea Motson, Carer Experience Officer for the Patient and Carer Experience (PACE) Team at Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV)

Find out more about the PACE team

Bright Minds Big Futures

Bright Minds Big Futures (BMBF) is a nationally award-winning youth-led movement, working together with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to make the Borough a great place grow up. The group is managed by an elected panel of young people known as the Big Committee. Bright Minds Big Futures is a great way for young people to make friends, gain valuable life skills, increase confidence and be involved in making a real difference to the Borough of Stockton.

Netanya Alwis, Chair and Head of Community Safety 

Olivia Jessop, Head of Health & Wellbeing

Sophie Haste, Community Engagement Officer

Find out more about Bright Minds Big Futures

Dr Mojgan H Sani, Chief Pharmacist & Director of Medicines Optimisation at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Mojgan H Sani is an accomplished and innovative Chief Pharmacist & Director of Medicines Optimisation at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, with significant experience of working across acute hospital and interface settings.  She is passionate about transforming services to align with patient centred high quality care.  Her successful track record demonstrates achievements in quality and safety initiatives, financial efficiencies, patient engagement, service transformation, system wide engagement as well as collaborative work between the NHS and academia for improved patient care. 

Dr Mojgan pioneered the establishment of the role of consultant pharmacists as the first UK consultant pharmacist (Cardiac & Critical care) at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Mojgan has attained a Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy Practice, as well as Masters in Business Administration.  She has been appointed a visiting professor at several Higher Education Institutions for her expertise in Medicines Optimisation & Clinical pharmacy. 

In addition to her primary job, Dr Mojgan’s other roles have included CQC Specialist Advisor, Non-executive director roles, public governor, Healthwatch champion and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Fellow.

Find out more about North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Kim Peacock, Social Prescribing Link Worker for Yarm Medical Practice with Middlesbrough & Stockton MIND

Find out more about Middlesbrough & Stockton MIND

Wendy Peacock, Director at Everyday Language Solutions

Everyday Language Solutions Ltd (ELS) is a not for profit organisation that provides a comprehensive range of premium quality interpretation and translation services to the North East community and beyond. As a registered charity its aim is to support the promotion of good race relations and the elimination of discrimination through more effective communication. 

Find out more about Everyday Language Solutions

Mark Coleman, Chair of the Patient Participation Group at Norton Medical Centre

Find out more about Norton Medical Centre

Stephanie Hogg, Disability Employment Advisor at Stockton Job Centre

Find out more about Stockton Job Centre

Nikki Brown, Registered Manager at The White House care home

My name is Nikki Brown, and I am the Registered Manager of The White House Care Home in Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees.

I work alongside my husband Ben who is also the home’s Deputy Manager. I have not always been a Manager; however I have worked at The White House since I was 16 years old. I started as part of a work placement in 1999 and since then I have worked my way up performing almost every single role in home.

It is badge of honour for me in some ways to have experienced such a wide array of roles within the same setting. I feel it has kept me very grounded and has helped to shape my approach to leading a successful care team.  Care is something that has always come naturally to me, and I knew this was something that would always be part of me since I started at The White House all those years ago.

Just before the pandemic started, we were very fortunate to achieve an Outstanding Care Quality Commission rating which we worked extremely hard for. I feel that we achieved this amazing accolade through hard work and collaboration. The collaboration element was a huge part for us particularly working alongside Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Transformation team.

We worked very closely with this wonderful team who helped to guide us in directions which had the potential to lead to positive outcomes for our service and our residents. We grasped every opportunity the council provided for us, we embraced it, learned from it and then empowered our wonderful team of staff with the same knowledge and values.

I hope that the future of care is bright. I hope that, despite the hardships of the pandemic it will leave the world of care with a parting gift. I hope that is the gift of recognition that the healthcare sector really deserves, that healthcare workers are seen as more than just healthcare “assistants”, they are healthcare “professionals” in the truest sense of the word. I hope that more people will aspire to work in health care, knowing that the skills we each possess have their value and worth finally recognised.

I think all of us in health and social care have come through this experience battle hardened and prepared for anything the world can throw at us now … and I say bring it on!

Find out more about The White House care home

Ben Brown, Deputy Manager at The White House care home

My name is Ben Brown, and I am the Deputy Manager of The White House care home in Hartburn. I have the absolute pleasure of working alongside my wife Nikki who is the registered manager.

Together I think we make a great team as we bring a lot of our personalities into the role and often lean on our marriage to bring a sense of humour and a family feel to the home.

The White House is my first and only place I have worked in healthcare, although I did have a wonderful upbringing alongside my two sisters, one of which has a disability known as Angelman Syndrome. So, you could say that care is in my blood.

I started as the Housekeeper at The White House in 2007 and quickly progressed through the different roles withing the home, I spent time as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA), Senior HCA and then a long time as the Activities Co-ordinator which I absolutely loved. It was after another stint as Senior HCA that I became the Deputy Manager which is the position I have held up to this day.

Before the pandemic became such a huge part if our lives, we achieved one of the highest accolades in healthcare, an Outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission. I feel we achieved this by developing a team that had the perfect mind set. We were in a great place where we had some great opportunities provided by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. We learned from these, implemented them, improved our service as a result and then showcased our improvements for all to see.

I am very passionate about highlighting the positive sides of healthcare as I feel they are quite often overshadowed by the difficulties of the job or by the devastating effects of dementia. So, I set about creating video projects which showcased our lives both inside and outside of the home, particularly showing the meaningful activities for dementia which we provided.

I just feel it is important to embrace the sense of pride that we have for our world of care and show it off whenever and however we can.

I hope that we continue to see maximised efficiency from healthcare services utilising video conferencing to make assessments and clinical triage. I certainly think our service users and their families will continue to embrace video conferencing to stay connected, particularly as this continues to become more accessible.

Find out more about The White House care home

Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees are looking for volunteer Healthwatch Champions to engage with local community groups, services and individuals to identify issues faced when accessing health or care services in Stockton.

Find out more