Say hi to our new Chief Operating Officer, Erica Thornton

White appearing women wearing glasses and smiling in the camera. She's holding a dog with a rainbow bow.

At 10am on Monday 17th October 2022 I walked into the MindOut office for my first day as the new Chief Operating Officer and I can honestly say I have felt very much ‘at home’ ever since. Finding organisations that ooze kindness, warmth and acceptance isn’t that easy, but it is evident in every corner at MindOut. I feel very lucky to have joined such a special team where my identity and lived experience is welcomed, without question.

A bit about me…

I am a proud Lancashire lass, growing up by the sea and cockles in Morecambe Bay. However, the South came calling in my early twenties and after a couple of years crimping pasties in Cornwall, I moved to Brighton in 2006. I’m hugely passionate about performing so Brighton did not disappoint, and I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in many an am-dram show across the city.

We moved to Seaford in lockdown to practice a slightly slower pace of life (well, as slow as it can be with three children and a dog) and as a keen runner, the sunsets here never disappoint.

My professional operational background is in offender rehabilitation, social care and missing children. I led the set up and delivery of the first Pan Sussex Missing Children’s service with the charity Missing People, commissioned by Sussex Police and all three Sussex local authorities. Before moving on to broader organisational development roles, most recently at the UK wide sport for development charity, Sported, as their Head of Delivery & Development.

The focus of my COO role at MindOut is predominantly internal, my priority being the team; supporting, providing and empowering each of them with everything they need to be their brilliant selves. The staff and volunteers at MindOut are exceptional, providing immeasurable, vital support to our service users all year round. I’m excited to have this unique opportunity to work alongside everyone, to build on and strengthen the culture, values and functions already well established.

Having battled with mental health issues since my teenage years, I understand how the winter months can be difficult to manage. December festivities can raise anxiety levels and heighten issues around isolation and loneliness. MindOut is here for anyone in need of support, some of our services are pausing but our online chat function will be available at select times in the day throughout December and the New Year.

Stay safe and MindOut for each other.

Erica (she/her) x

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