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Meet the Team: Part 1

by on February 12, 2011

MY APOLOGIES for the length of time this has taken, but I’m now able to start introducing the 5 Quid for Life team. Thank you for your patience and support in the meantime, and special thanks to those who have made donations so far. The amount raised as I prepare this post is £1,570 — you can keep track of the total via the Donation Tracker in the sidebar.

So who are we? As you’ll soon realise, we’re a group of ordinary people, all volunteers: none of us are millionaires or big business leaders, but we are passionate about the things we believe in; and one of those things is that mentally ill people should receive the same respect and treatment as anybody else.

We begin with Sam Jenkin, Paula Ann Walker and myself; introductions to the rest of the team will follow as they overcome their shyness and send them in. These bios will also be posted on our About page; links are to facebook profiles: click on through if you’d like to get to know us better.

A – Z by Surname…

Phil Groom, Founder / Acting Finance Officer*

Phil is, in the words of one of his critics, a “vociferous blogger”. It wasn’t intended as a compliment but Phil takes it as one: he believes in speaking out when he sees things that are wrong, and he believes that the treatment meted out to mentally ill people in the UK is all too wrong all too often. You’ll find him bloggingfacebooking and tweeting his opinions in far too many places, but that’s what happens when you give a subliminal loudmouth a laptop and a smartphone.

He’s an ex-boatman turned ex-bookshop manager turned supermarket shelf-stacker who believes in equal rights and fair treatment for all. He’s seen the debilitating effects of mental illness on friends and family and is determined to see those affected by mental illness adequately supported. He’s the one your mother warned you about and, right now, he’s after your money.

* Phil took on the role of Acting Finance Officer after our meeting on 15th Oct 2011 following Paula’s resignation; please see this post for a report on that meeting: Challenges and Changes

Sam Jenkin, Project Manager

What Sam does for a living is pretty indescribable and mostly unpublishable but falls under that great category of Facilities Management.  She  claims to have been in more mens’ toilets than the average male sex worker.  In her spare time she is a Mad Cat Lady/ activist/ rescuer/ blogger and now project manager for the 5 Quid For Life Campaign. She loves people, nature, creepy crawlies, cats and cannot abide cruelty in any form.  Short and black-haired with a ridiculous dress sense on occasion, she is very nice until she is annoyed senseless.  Is usually accompanied by a large, long-haired man, the cats tend to stay at home and destroy things.

She believes that not standing against injustice is the same as supporting it, hence her involvement in this campaign.

Paula Ann Walker, Finance Officer*

Paula is married, has children, grandchildren, a brother, nephews and parents, and it’s her relationship with her family and God that govern her life. She loves reading and the theatre, music, learning, living, and laughing as much as she can.

Paula has experienced personally and with family and friends the devastation of poor mental health. She knows that it can hit unexpectedly and last for a short time or a long time. She has seen different successes of treatment, suicide attempts, family breakdown, financial difficulties, and recovery.

As for 5 Quid for Life, she says:

This charity is something that I could have used, or recommended to others and I am so delighted and proud to be a part of it.

* Due to personal circumstances, Paula resigned her position as Finance Officer at our meeting on 15th Oct 2011; please see this post for a report on that meeting: Challenges and Changes


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