Specialisms: Mental health, lived experience, elected member, dependency
Andrew has worked in the voluntary sector for the past thirty years and over this time has witnessed much change in mental health services.
He was a member of the former mental Health NHS trust at non-Executive director level for three years He chaired the audit and charitable funds committees
For the past twenty years, he has been employed by Birmingham Mind in various roles. Currently, he manages Influence and Participation and coordinates the Anti-stigma Associates' Group in Birmingham, formally Time to Change. Andrew works to the ethos of “nothing about us without us”.
Andrew has battled with his own demons and has lived experience of mental health problems. These began at age nine and continued for most of his life, in his late teens Andrew turned to substance use to help deal with his mental health and is particularly proud of how he managed to recover his life. Andrew feels he now makes a positive impact on the life of others.
Andrew was an elected member of Birmingham City Council for eight years. As a cabinet member, he was part of a team that successfully lobbied to gain government approval for the transfer of 95000 council housing stock. Andrew chaired several committees whilst on the council and chaired the west midlands local government associations housing and environment committee for one year. In this role Andrew introduced the first housing strategy for the area.
He uses his spare time in several voluntary roles, at present, he is chairing the Birmingham council of faiths, a group dedicated to working with all faiths and those with no faith to bring about harmony and understanding in what is a diverse city is.
He is the Buddhist representative and was ordained as a lay priest in 2018. Andrew is a chaplain for several organisations and tries to use his faith to support others.