Who we are
Robyn Chappell (Director)
Robyn has held a personal health budget since 2015. Her story can be found here. Robyn attended the Peer Leadership Academy in 2017, and went on to join the NHS England Personalised Care Strategic Co-production Group. During her time as a member of the group, Robyn contributed to many NHS England policies and guidance documents, working and governance groups, workshops and training sessions and spoke at events around the country. She was the first person with lived experience to be invited to speak at the NHS England Public Board, where she presented to the Board at the launch of “Universal Personalised Care”.
Robyn is passionate about peoplehub’s role and work, and the difference that personal health budgets and personalised care can make in people’s lives – as it has her own. She joined Rita as a director of peoplehub in 2020.
Rita Brewis (Co-founder and Director)
Rita has a life-long commitment to improving support across health and social care. At the heart of her work is the pivotal contribution of individuals and their families, integrated with the perspectives of professionals and commissioners. Her approach is to encourage developments which focus on the whole person in their social context – working with people’s strengths and skills as well as addressing health or social care needs. She is therefore particularly pleased to be a co-founder and Director of peoplehub.
Rita has worked independently and also in Local Authority, Voluntary Sector and Health Service settings; including as a Director of Mental Health Commissioning, Senior Service Development Consultant for the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and as an Approved Social Worker. Rita co-led the first national personal health budget programme, with the support and input of the then Chief Executive of In Control.
(Rita’s qualifications include an MSc in Social Policy and Social Work Studies, a Professional Qualification in Social Work, a BA (hons) in Psychology and English, and a post-graduate Certificate in Management.)
Peoplehub has a network of skilled and knowledgeable associates who work closely with us to keep our organisation effective. They inform our thinking, shape our strategic direction and support our values. Their input is invaluable to ensure we fulfill our aims.
Charlotte is a self-professed ‘quirky individual’ who loves Doctor Who, swimming and eating. When she was diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, she embarked on a six year journey becoming increasingly reliant on both residential and agency care. This left her feeling deeply disempowered and depressed. She then met her wonderful husband Tom, who also has a disability. They were initially told that if they wanted to be together, they would have to move into residential care.
Then came the option of a personal health budget. This completely changed their lives. The personal health budget essentially enables them to live like any other married couple, supported by a fantastic team of personal assistants. They are passionate about enabling others with disabilities to reach their own personal goals. Charlotte believes everyone should be able to live the life they want and that is why she is excited to be a peoplehub associate.
Dr Chitra Acharya lives in Nottingham and she cares for her son, who has a personal budget. Chitra is a Patient Leader at NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group and through this, she became involved in the Nottinghamshire “My Life Choices” Personalised Care Strategic Co-production group. She is a member of the NHS Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership Patient and Public Engagement Committee, representing carers and as an expert in personalised care, and is a Patient and Public Representative at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
She works as a Technical Project and Business Change Manager within the Connected Nottinghamshire programme. She is also a digital ambassador in Nottinghamshire and a national NHS App ambassador. Chitra is a computer scientist with research interest in ‘Human Computer Interaction in Healthcare’, as well as a trained dancer, volunteer, advocate, campaigner, and fundraiser. Her PhD research ‘Human Computer Interaction and Patient Safety’ contributed to knowledge – application of basic human computer interaction principles and practices reduced medical errors and improved patient safety.
Chitra’s qualifications include has a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Information Science and Engineering, a Master of Science (MSc) in Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems, a Post Graduate Diploma Business Administration (PGDBA – equivalent to an MBA; which is awarded by an autonomous institution) in Marketing, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science.
After graduating from the Peer Leadership Academy, Chitra was part of the NHS England Personalised Care strategic co-production group. Chitra says peoplehub is important to her because “it has given me the confidence to use my lived experience as a carer to give advice and guidance on personalised care approaches within Nottinghamshire and on a national level.”
Courtney is a Chartered Certified Accountant who owns CW Accountants Limited. CW Accountants Limited primarily works within the third and voluntary sector as they see the importance and impact that these organisations have within the community. Courtney has been working with peoplehub for several years with her main responsibility being the financial transactions and record keeping of the organisation.
Courtney particularly enjoys working with peoplehub as she feels a valued member of the peoplehub family. Courtney enjoys the interaction that she has with those with lived experience and says what she likes overall is: “just seeing the difference, impact and empowerment that peoplehub has on people’s lives!”
Melanie thoroughly enjoyed an early career as a Police Officer in the North East of England. She was promoted to full time Mum and carer after her youngest was born prematurely and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. She has been involved in the development of personal budgets through her Local Authority pilot schemes and is passionate about personalisation and promoting well-being.
She now helps to manage a personal health budget for her son Nicholas. She is a member of the Northumberland and Tyneside Co-production Group, and is looking forward to better times when she can continue to work proactively with positivity in sharing lived experience in personal health budgets through co-production.
Peter’s working life has been as a freelancer for both large and small technology companies, performing various roles from developer to programme manager throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. Qualifications include a BSc, MSc and a recent MRes, with research ranging from how organisations can bypass IT department backlogs, how technology can enhance Neighbourhood Watch communities and how we can research with families unable to travel to group meetings.
A change of location with an associated break in the rat race of life provided Peter with the time to give something back. He started by volunteering with a range of charities, but it was his attendance at peoplehub’s Peer Leadership Academy that was pivotal to Peter working with families that have children with long-term complex needs. Using his professional and academic background, Peter has embarked on a PhD aimed at accelerating delivery of the huge potential of NHS England’s personalised care policy. The research will also examine if technology can play a role by enabling families, together with their healthcare and social care professionals, to form supportive online communities.
Rob lives in Leeds and has over two decades lived experience with a high-level spinal injury. He’s received every care package the health and social care system can muster, including agencies and family. Since finishing university he’s self-managed his 24-hour care through a range of personalisation schemes including Direct Payments, Personal Budgets and Continuing Healthcare. In September 2014 he became one of the first to hold a Personal Health Budget, which has completely transformed his life.
Rob shares his experiences of both working with and receiving support from the health and social care sector at a number of universities as an associate lecturer. He completed the 4th Peer Leadership Academy in 2017, and went on to join the NHS England Personalised Care Strategic Co-production Group where he’s spoken at national events on key areas of interest including: Long-Term Neurological Conditions, Delegating Healthcare Tasks, Assistive Technology and Personal Wheelchair Budgets. Alongside running his own technology consultancy and being on the management board of a local VCSE, Rob is a fellow of the Centre for Welfare Reform and provides technical expertise for our website.
Darley Consulting, is about enabling people, teams and organisations to work effectively, creatively and compassionately. As part of this, Steph works with people with lived experience of personalised care and people working in the health, care and voluntary organisations to develop their leadership potential.
Steph offers peoplehub organisational development support and advice and is pleased to work with our organisation which she sees as passionate and committed to co-production. Steph also co-facilitated the Peer Leadership Academy, a national peer leadership programme run in partnership with NHS England. Steph particularly enjoys working with participants to enable them to share their personal stories effectively.
“Watching the powerful impact these stories have and the part they play in changing hearts and minds within services is hugely rewarding.”