Meet the Team

Meet the Arty-Folks Staff Team

Lorella Medici

CEO, Mentor, full-time
BA Hons Fine Art at Coventry University.  Founded Arty-Folks 1995 together with a service user.  Lorella mentors service users to explore aims and ambitions and plan how to move forward.

“There is always a way forward but sometimes we get so frustrated we can’t see the wood for the trees.  That’s when we need a bit of help to break down what appears insurmountable into manageable  chunks.”

Liz Harvey

Art Programme Manager, part-time
BA Hons Illustration at Coventry University. Liz manages the art programme and leads the group workshops.  She also helps our members to build their art portfolio for college/University courses.

“Art allows us to connect to other people in a positive and personal way.  It helps us recognise our uniqueness whilst also enabling us to bond with like-minded people.  That’s when healing begins.”

Fiona Emmerson

IT and Data part-time
Fiona is optimising our data collection tools and processes as well as  reporting tools that help Arty-Folks continue to increase the social impact of our work.

“I started attending Arty-Folks in March 2019 following a long hospital admission for my mental health, and my aim is never to have to return there!. Working for Arty-Folks is helping me rebuild confidence and self-esteem in a place where I can be myself and express myself freely.”

Hayley Cartwright

Board & CEO support, part-time
Hayley provides business planning support to the CEO and Board of Trustees enabling Arty-Folks to move ahead with ambitious plans backed by thorough analysis.

“I first volunteered with Arty Folks in 2017, impressed with the success of their art programme proven by solid metrics.  I love working with a fantastic team knowing that Arty Folks’ work has a lasting impact.”

Bally Sembi

Business Assistant, part-time
Bally is our ‘office angel’ provides the team with administrative backup including website, social media and marketing, research…..

“I have always loved drawing and painting for it’s therapeutic value and its potential  to heal through self-exploration and self-connection.  My journey has allowed me to experience Arty-Folks as a client, employee, volunteer and advisor, and I am excited to be working with Arty-Folks again”.

Peer Volunteers

As part of our Art Programme, we offer volunteering opportunities to service users who have become well in themselves as a result of our program and who are now looking to give back and support their peers.

Service users who become Peer Volunteers for Arty-Folks know what we do inside-out and are best placed to take on greater responsibility to help us shape our business strategies.

Starting a new job after a long break can feel very daunting, no matter how skilled and experienced you once were. Which is why, wherever possible, we offer our skilled Peer Volunteers a first step into employment with us.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees acts in the best interests of our charity and is responsible for complying with charity law requirements and strategic forward planning that clearly delivers public benefit, in line with our constitution. The Board of Trustees also Manages our resources responsibly and maintains appropriate financial controls – identifying organisational risks and supporting the Staff Team to mitigate these.

Barry Day, Chair

Barry offers strategic and hands-on leadership and he is passionate about the needs of service users being at the heart of everything we do.  He is currently Managing Director at Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. He has a successful track record in negotiating and facilitating service redesign and re-modelling as well as leading organisational change.  He has led and supported major change initiatives in helping statutory and voluntary sector organisations to transition through culture change and mergers.

“My passion is in working with individuals and teams and mentoring and coaching people to achieve and fulfill their ambitions.”

Ian McFarlane-Toms, Treasurer

Ian is a CIMA qualified accountant and now is a professionally trained and accredited business adviser at the University of Warwick Science Park where he supports new businesses to establish themselves.  He brings to Arty-Folks a wealth of experience from the commercial sector across most business disciplines.

“I moved to Warwickshire in 2018 and joined Arty-Folks soon afterwards.  I have a keen interest in mental health and well-being, and I would like to contribute my skills to creating a more compassionate society.”

Jane Batchelor, Trustee Communications

Jane has been working at senior management level for the past ten years developing and delivering high impact marketing and communications strategies. Jane brings to Arty-Folks her skills and experience of working across a range of sectors; Public, Private and Third Sector, with a wide range of stakeholder groups and often in complex environments. Jane has chaired the Operations Group since 2017.

“I thrive on developing and motivating others.  Working with the Arty-Folks team is so enjoyable as everyone is working to high standards and are giving their best.”

Thanh Sinden, Trustee Equality and Diversity

Thanh has worked in arts and culture for over 14 years and across the third sector on community focused initiatives, local government and the cultural sector.  She works to advance equity between groups, to celebrate and respect diversity for a more inclusive world.  She is passionate about helping teams and individuals maximise their potential to create and deliver social value.

“My vision is to inspire collective action such as Arty-Folks that builds a kinder, happier and prosperous world for all.”

Barnie Giltrap, Trustee IT Support

Barnie worked for many years as IT specialist and he is now helping staff with a range of IT issues and maintenance. He was a service user at Arty-Folks for 18 months which helped him to ground again and to develop his creative confidence as well as helping him to map a new way forward.  Subsequently, Barnie completed the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in 2017/18 and he has now started a degree in Fine Art and Illustration.

“As a teen I was discouraged from studying art and design and went into IT instead, a safe career. Life events derailed me for a few years until I re-discovered what makes me tick through Arty-Folks.”

Laura Wilde

Laura is currently studying for a PhD at Coventry University alongside her job as a Research Assistant. Laura went from being a service user at Arty-Folks to a part-time employee here and now supports Arty-Folks as a member of the Board of Trustees helping with planning and development of our service.

“I’ve learnt so much on my mental health journey with Arty-Folks including how important it is to do what you enjoy and love. Life is too short and I’ve learnt that I actually do have a choice with how I want to spend my time on this earth.”