Today marks six days until the Richmond Fellowship Enrich awards 2019. I’m very proud to have been on the judging panel to shortlist all of the nominations and to now be co-chairing the entire ceremony as well as taking over the Richmond Fellowship Tyneside Twitter account!
To keep up with all of the goings on, follow #EnrichAwards on Twitter
Every day for the next week, there’ll be a new post of ‘60 seconds with…’ someone involved in the Awards. I hope you enjoy!

Name and job title:

Rachel Perkins, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Working Together Committee

How long have you worked at Richmond Fellowship?

I joined the Recovery Focus Board last year

What drew you to this role?

I have done work in the past for Richmond Fellowship and was very impressed with what I saw – particularly the commitment to co-production across the organisation. So when I heard about the vacancy on the Board I jumped at the chance to apply.

What advice would you give to someone considering a similar career?

I think it’s really important that there are more people with lived experience of mental health challenges on the Boards of this (and other) organisations. So if you are interested, a good starting point is getting involved in local and national committees where people who use services and those who provide them work together.

How do you feel about being involved in the ENRICH awards?

I feel really honoured to be involved in the ENRICH awards. Having been on the judging panel, I was completely in awe of the strength and depth within the organisation. It was really hard selecting the winners from among so many excellent individuals and services who are doing amazing things.

What does a typical day at work involve?

Since I retired from the NHS I work freelance – doing the things I want to do, which includes being a Non-Executive Director of Recovery Focus. Therefore every day is different and I have the wonderful opportunity to work in many places across the UK and in other countries. This year I will be doing some work in Australia, Norway and Sweden.

What have you got on today?

My day started with a teleconference about a conference I am organising. It is a conference for services helping people with mental health challenges to gain and prosper in employment – several Richmond Fellowship services in London will be attending.

This afternoon I had a meeting with a London mental health trust about a workshop I will be running for their Rehabilitation Services. This workshop is designed to increase the extent to which these services promote the recovery of the people they serve. This evening I am going to collapse in front of the television and do some knitting!

What is the best thing about your job?

The large number of wonderful people I meet from mental health and other services in so many different places. Everywhere I go I learn something new.

What is the hardest part of your day?

Travelling on the Northern line in the rush hour!

What do you usually have for lunch?

I am not usually at home for lunch, so I tend to grab a sandwich or a mug of soup wherever I am working.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy knitting, walking, going to the theatre, meeting friends and attending lectures on things I don’t know much about. I also enjoy spending time with my two cats – Henry and Basil!

What would your superpower be?

My superpower would be the ability to clone myself. There are so many things I would like to do both in and out of work and there is never enough time. If I could clone myself we could do so much more!
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