Meet the Team

Meet the Arty-Folks Staff Team

Lorella Medici, CEO

1995 supported a group of users of mental health services to start Arty-Folks as a creative peer support group and has continued to work for the charity ever since.

“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

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, Data

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, Marketing

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”.

Karen Lewis, Support Worker

Supporting individual participants to remove obstacles on their journey to recovery and to achieve their dreams and ambitions.

“I am so excited to be back in the fabulous community of Arty Folks!  I know first-hand how powerful and transformative art can be for an individual in finding their feet again. When it goes hand in hand with the right mentoring and support that’s when it really delivers in helping individuals to fully realise their potential.”

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.”

Laura Wilde, Impact 

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.” 


Ceylan Thompson

Ceylan is a trained Executive Coach and Mental Health Wellbeing practitioner who is passionate about promoting wellbeing strategies and personal change to a range of clients including young/old individuals and corporate clients.  She also has over 22 years working as an IT Consultant across private, public and charity sector organisations in the IT industry.

“All individuals have the potential for growth regardless of background.  I joined Arty-Folks to inspire ‘care’ for self whilst improving personal and professional performance, as well as balance home and work life.”

Laura Quirke

Laura’s career has been in marketing and communications, for the private and public sector, for big brands and little brands. For the past ten years, Laura has worked with and in the NHS, and her work has included supporting organisations and individuals through change, with a focus on team cohesion and staff wellbeing.

“We all need to dream, at any age!  I have personally experienced the positive impact of creativity on mental health and with a bit more practice I’ll be as good an artist as my daughter, brother, father and aunts!”

This could be you!

We are always looking for skilled and passionate professionals to join our Board of Trustees.  We are at an exciting and challenging point in our life having been awarded a transformative contract to deliver Art for Wellbeing by Warwickshire County Council to people with low to moderate mental health needs.

As a member of the Board you will be supporting our small but dedicated staff and volunteer team to support vulnerable adults in the community to stay safe and reduce social isolation.

To download the Trustee Welcome Pack click here.