Staff Team

Carol Sowande

Chief Executive Officer

Kellie Rostron

Operations Manager

Nisha Mundekad

HR & Admin Officer

Vanessa Banim

Communications Coordinator

Max Castellon

Finance & Admin Apprentice

Miatta Mac-Boimah

Community Engagement Worker

Fouzia Hinchliffe

Multicultural Mental Health & Wellbeing Manager

Chloe Torkington

Health & Wellbeing Worker

Sudipta Dash

Health & Wellbeing Worker

Shazia Peter

Emotional Support Worker

Shirley Arnez

Emotional Support Worker

Nima Javan

Activity Worker

Simon Torkington

Advocacy & Training Manager

Alex Coombes

Advocacy Officer

Dave Leigh

Independent Mental Health Advocate

Saiqa Sahotra

Community Advocacy Worker

Ben Allen

Trainee Community Advocate


Doris Angus

Aamen John

Eva Hinchliffe

Ruth Mukherjee

Shanaz Islam

Celine Hay

June Walsh

Namita Shalan

For more information on volunteering and how to apply please email

For more information on volunteering and how to apply please email

Our Trustees

Kahra Wayland-Larty

Chair Person

I’m currently working as a consultant supporting charities and social enterprises to develop more inclusive ways of working. Having led the political work for a national youth charity for many years, I campaigned for investment in community-based youth mental health services, and supported those services to deliver the best quality support for young people. Through this work, I developed a comprehensive understanding of the mental health sector and the areas where statutory services are too often failing people from marginalised communities. I’m a graduate of psychology and have recently returned to study with the aim of qualifying as a counsellor.

Sally Brajkovich

Vice Chair

I am an experienced fundraiser, with expertise in grants fundraising and tendering. Prior to moving into fundraising, I spent 8 years in the NHS supporting service users in community and inpatient settings. Through this work, I developed a strong understanding of the health inequalities faced by marginalised communities. My own lived experience of severe anxiety has driven a long-standing interest in mental health and person-centered care and support. I am a Trustee of the Awesome Foundation Liverpool and volunteer for Liverpool Care Leavers’ Christmas Dinner. 

Tracey Dickens


I am graduate of John Moores and Salford Universities and have worked in the voluntary sector for the past 20+ years as volunteer and employee. I have worked in education and am continually drawn to working with those needing additional support.  I am passionate about reducing stigma and increasing positive life chances for vulnerable individuals and groups and enjoy being part of developing systems and processes that can grow to become self-sustaining over time.  I recognise the uniqueness of an individual and how graduated responses to need within services help foster independence, self-esteem, and life skills. I am married to Peter, sharing four children and grandchildren.

Mimoza Gashi (Mimi)


I am a Tam Manager for the National Counter Trafficking Centre in Barnardos managing Merseyside and Greater Manchester. We support unaccompanied asylum seeking children who have been identified as victims of trafficking and exploitation within the Modern Day Slavery Act. I have worked in the voluntary sector for over twenty years both nationally and internationally. I have a real interest and passion supporting individuals going through the asylum process and are seeking protection in the UK. Within this, I have worked with different sectors within the health service supporting those affected by trauma and have been  diagnosed with PTSD. L8 has been my home from the age of 17 and its one I’m very proud to call it this. I’m very passionate about what MSH stands for and the proactive and advocate work we do for the communities we serve. 

Kemi Otubu


I have worked in the charity and voluntary sector for over 10 years. However, my main experience has been in mental health and people seeking asylum. I am passionate about injustice, and look to be involved in spaces that not only address discrimination but also empower individuals. Alumni of Operation Black Vote, Civic Leadership Programme. Currently employed in the mental health sector and on a journey to becoming a qualified counsellor.

Ayesha Bell-Gam Woto


I am the founder of Toxteth Women’s Centre. I opened the centre to provide advocacy, connect communities and develop life skills for the women of Toxteth. I formed partnerships with Stop the TraffiK, The Poppy Project, Freedom from Torture and NHS bridges. I worked with women who were trafficked into Liverpool. I served on the board for African Hope Refugee School in Cairo Egypt for two years. I am a Medical Research Scientist, I did my undergraduate in Biomedical Sciences, my Masters in Tropical Medicine with a focus on vaccine design for filoviruses. I’m a lecturer at the University of Liberia and currently working on my PhD doing research on Female Genital Schistosomiasis. A disease which impacts 56 million women in Africa making them more susceptible to HIV and may result in infertility. The hope is that findings from my research will help the Health Ministry develop a national pilot program in Liberia. My husband Julius and I have a son who is now a toddler.

Michelle O'Dwyer


I am a member of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Charity Committee.  I own a small catering business and a cookery school.  Also, Bay Tree Cookery Academy. Since 2018 I’ve been a fundraiser for the Lord Mayors Charity Committee and regularly run events to raise money for the chosen charities.

Matthew Thomas MA


Photographer | Artist | Film Maker | Book Maker | Writer With over 35 years experience, Matthew is an award winning photographer who has covered many subjects from live music, bands, to film making (on environmental awareness for Wirral council). More recently, he has just completed his Masters in photography at Falmouth university 2022. Published and exhibited worldwide, he is currently working with Writing on the Wall on the Dorothy Kuya archive.

Janet Cornmell


I qualified as a social worker in 1997 and work within the statutory sector within children’s services. Before qualifying, I did various jobs and I am very proud to say I was a volunteer at three different voluntary sector organisations including Mary Seacole House back in the 1990’s. I was born and brought up in Toxteth, and I have a strong on-going personal and professional interest in trying to address chronic inequalities, disadvantage, discrimination, domestic violence and mental health issues.

Sarah Byrne


I have worked as a teacher and manager with international students for 25 years. I have also volunteered and worked for local charities for people seeking asylum. At Mary Seacole House, I hope I can use my experience to help support the provision of wellbeing and esol activities as well as fundraising.

Join Our Board

 Mary Seacole House is continuously aiming to enhance its board of trustees by seeking the commitment of dedicated individuals who feel that they can make a valuable contribution. The overall aim of Mary Seacole House is to provide services to local people who are suffering mental illness. The area in which we operate has a high black and racial minority population, our client base and range of services reflect this. The trustee’ role is to play a significant part in determining the focus and direction of the charity.

Board members are unpaid and need to be able to dedicate an average of 2 hours per month to attend board meetings. We are particularly interested in people with, mental health, tendering, strategic planning, governance, finance, fundraising, personnel management, legal issues, community matters and marketing experience, but on the whole if you feel you have something to offer please do get in touch.

Email Nisha: for an application pack

Our Patrons

Emeritus Professor Ntombenhle Protasia Khoti Torkington

Known as Pro for short – BA Honours Degree in Sociology and holds a PhD Degree from the University of Liverpool. Sociology lecturer at University of Liverpool, John Moore’s University and Liverpool Hope University College. She is a qualified general nurse, midwife and sick children’s nurse. Trustee of Catholic Association for Racial Justice and author of several books.

Paul Sesay

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diversity Awards, Excellence in Diversity Awards, Welsh Diversity Awards, The Diversity Group and events company I Spoil U Media Limited since 2006. Paul’s business acumen has mainly been with a social focus.

With over ten years worth of experience within the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion sector, Paul has worked with some of the largest organisations in the world on their diversity and inclusion profiles. He has also worked within local communities to help people from various backgrounds to achieve and empower disadvantaged groups throughout the UK. Paul’s initiatives have helped many thousands of organisations and individuals get recognised for their hard work and dedication to diversity.

Louis Emerick

L8 Southend boy! Louis has been a professional actor for nearly 35 years.
He has performed at all of Liverpool’s Theatre’s; Empire, Everyman, Play house, Royal court, Neptune/Epstein, and always gets a feeling of real pride playing to his home audience. For 12 years Louis played the role of Mick in the iconic Liverpool soap Brookside. Now residing on The Wirral Louis says “I am honoured and proud to be asked to become a Patron of Mary Seacole House, I fully support the great work and awareness they bring to our community, may it forever continue!”

Ashling Oshea

Ashling is an actor (‘Rebel Cheer Squad’, BBC/Netflix and ‘Hollyoaks’, Channel4) writer and workshop facilitator dedicated to furthering conversation and awareness of issues affecting marginalised communities.

‘When I first saw the services Mary Seacole provide firsthand, I knew it was an organisation I wanted to be involved in. The support they provide for Global Majority and Refugee communities – whether it’s ESOL classes, Doctor visits with medical advice, or a space to dance and feel joy despite whatever is going on in their lives – is invaluable.’

Dr Ahmed Hankir MBChB MRCPsych

Become a Patron

For more information on what this role involves please email