Chief Officer - Stephen Bitti
Stephen has more than 20 years’ experience working in the public, private and voluntary sectors. He is a member of the Notting Hill Genesis Group Board (where he is Chair of the Resident Services Committee), and Director of his company Nudge Associates that provides consultancy services to health, social care, and wellbeing sectors.
Stephen worked for six years as a National Support Team (NST) Delivery Manager for the Department of Health. He is Chair of his local Residents Association, and a former Chief Executive of UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS.
Jaimy Halliwell-Owen - Communications and Engagement Officer
Jaimy has more than ten years experience in marketing and communication roles from across the private and public sectors including retail, law and not-for-profit. Most recently she worked in a communications role for local government and ran several campaigns for the public health team; partnering with NHS England and local Clinical Commissioning Groups to champion the health and wellbeing of residents in Kingston.
Jaimy is also a resident of Kingston borough and so has a good knowledge of the area and understands the concerns and interests of the local community.
Persephone Pickering - Time to Change Hub Coordinator
Persephone has worked in the charity sector for several years in campaigns, communication and fundraising. She is determined to change the way people think and act about mental health problems due to her own experiences. She wants to create long-term change to reduce mental health stigma in Kingston. Persephone has worked with an array of beneficiaries including families in poverty, people affected by cancer and autistic people. At the Care and Support Alliance, she coordinated campaigns with more than 75 charities. At Tottenham Community Press she managed a successful community crowdfunding campaign and built relationships with a diverse range of organisations, community groups and volunteers.
Scott Bacon - Projects and Outreach Officer (Learning Disabilities)
Scott has more than 10 years’ experience supporting people with disabilities through his work in Sports Development, Short Breaks and as a Personal Assistant. One summer he was asked to provide small games for a group of young people with disabilities and fell in love with the work.
While in sports development, Scott set up Chanctonbury Sports and Leisure (Storrington, West Sussex), the first regular sports clubs for people with disabilities. Before his role at Healthwatch, he was a Short Breaks Coordinator at The Springboard Project in Horsham, providing support for families of people with disabilities.
Rona Topaz - Learning and Disability Support Officer
Rona is engaged with a multitude of arts and health projects throughout London and Surrey. She has worked virtually all her adult life in the performing arts, as a singer and actress. Prior to caring for her late mother with dementia, Rona worked as a speech and language therapist for a variety of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Rona currently leads choirs for a variety of day centres and care homes in addition to providing private singing lessons. Additionally, Rona is a Wellbeing Champion for Manor Gardens Welfare Trust in London. She is also a Community Connector for mentally unwell tenants at Peter Bedford Housing Association. In her spare time, Rona enjoys reading, socialising, and campaigning for social change.
Candy Dunne - Projects and Outreach Officer (Social Care / Adult Safeguarding)
Candy brings a wealth of experience having lived and worked locally in the borough for the last 10 years. Previously she was involved in a number of projects at the YMCS SPG Corporate Office, these included Health and Wellbeing, Children’s Youth and Family Work and finally with Release Counselling and Mental Health. Candy was involved in the running of a private and community counselling service, that prided itself on providing affordable therapy for people in immediate need.
For a number of years Candy worked closely with various youth groups in the local area, helping to deliver activities and events for young people. With a strong background in social media, she has been a Mental Health and Chronic Illness blogger for a number of years, battling the stigma and promoting positive parenting during times of ill health.