Meet the Board

All charities are governed by a Board of Trustees (BOT) and our charity is no different; our Board makes sure we are true to our mission and vision and to our Articles of Association. They lead us by ensuring that we guide and communicate the practical tools to enable many to experience a better way of life and recovery from mental illness.

Our Board members have a passion for what we do as an organisation however some of our trustees have been touched by mental illness, either through a personal experience of mental illness or through that of family members or friends. Our Board also includes people with professional experience in mental health provision, support services and within the nursing and teaching profession.

We also have a working committee which governs the work we do for our Uberheroes programme. We are always interested to hear from individuals who have a heart for our work, a passion for shaping a positive future of recognition and change and offer additional skills and experience – Are you interested to hear more? Would you like to be part of our board or our working committee? If so then please apply though our contact us page.

Please note this is not a paid role as we are governed by the Northern Ireland Charity Commission and in line with charitable law and our articles; no member of our governance committee can be paid.

Board of Trustees

Dee Nixon (Chief Executive)

Dee Nixon Although Dee started her career within psychiatric mental health nursing she has over twenty seven years’ business experience within a variety of vertical markets these include print and broadcast media, marketing and event management, commercial banking and telecommunications. Dee has worked in Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland as well as working in the USA. Dee has many years of experience as a director and in senior management she is also a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator.


TBC (Chairman)


Paddy Davidson (Deputy Chairman)

Paddy DavidsonPaddy develops the national strategic vision for the Education, Training and Development of programmes of the Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland, ensuring they are relevant, accessible and delivering excellence for young people. He works closely with the Policy and Strategy team to determine the impact of external policies and research on the Trust's Education, Training and Development programmes. He is also the only person in the UK licensed to offer courses in Mental Health First Aid for both England and Northern Ireland and is also a qualified WRAP Facilitator.


Michael Crooks (Treasurer)

Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. I always strive to give a quality service to all my clients. He endeavors to understand each client's business and what their motivations are to help in giving them good business advice. He is highly motivated by what we want to achieve and sees this as a way to facilitate positive change within NI.


Campbell Hamilton

Campbell HamiltonOrganisational representative – Campbell has had a diverse career, mostly within the charitable sector in one way or another. His range of work has taken in youth and community work, personnel support, training and theological education. He has lived and worked in several African countries and in the UK, and has been accredited tutor associated with the Universities of Uyo, Calabar, Lampeter and Chester. For the last ten years he has written and delivered training in cross-cultural awareness and communication and is a qualified facilitator of WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan).


Fiona McKenzie

Fiona McKenzieFiona McKenzie (Human Resources): Fiona is a CIPD Qualified HR Manager with over ten years’ experience within the private and public sectors.  She is focused on HR Strategy, business and employee strategic alignment; and organisational development, leadership, culture and change. She is excited about the capacity Hope4Life has to change people’s lives for the better within Northern Ireland.



Peter Holloway

Peter HollowayPeter has worked as a freelance IT Consultant in England and Northern Ireland for more than 20 years advising SMEs and global corporations on all aspects of their IT.  Peter has a wealth of experience in helping businesses to make IT work for them from infrastructure to software solutions. Peter’s experience encompasses working at a senior level with globally distributed teams within the corporate environment.

Peter has pastored 2 churches in the North West of England and has worked with The Gideons International for 7 years.


Laura Dowie

Laura DowieLaura currently works as Senior Marketing Manager at Belfast Metropolitan College.  She is responsible for delivering high quality marketing services to support the College’s strategic direction and business plan.

Previous to this, Laura held the role of Events and Marketing Manager at Women in Business, playing a pivotal role in growing the organisation's membership, offering, brand and profile.  Laura is also the founder of Little Women NI, an initiative which aims to develop a range of life assuring skills among young girls through bespoke events and programmes.




Lesley Nelson (Secretary)

Lesley has over thirty years’ experience working within the NI Civil Service, she has been responsible for attending board meetings and writing up the minutes of same, distributing and collating information on actions and outcomes for internal reports. Lesley has a heart for those who suffer with disabilities and has been a volunteer at NI Children’s Hospice and other Action groups for many years.