Katharine Lazenby

People Participation Worker, at East London NHS Foundation Trust

Having struggled with complex mental health issues since her teens, and the accompanying hospitalisation throughout her twenties, Katharine uses her lived experience to help others in similar situations and improve the provision of mental health and social care.

Katharine works with Peabody Housing Association to co-design and facilitate recovery focussed mental health training for its care and support staff. As a trained Peer Support Worker, she has also worked with Peabody and the Institute of Mental Health to deliver training to service users, support staff and senior police officers, among others.

She draws on her own extensive experience of mental health services to help review and improve the delivery of mental health care in her local area, taking part in interview panels for NHS staff, helping to conduct CQC Readiness Inspections and carrying out PLACE assessments (Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment).

Katharine is also a tutor at the City & Hackney Recovery College, which supports wellbeing and recovery through education and skill development. A practising artist, with a degree in Fine Art, Katharine teaches photography and creative writing.

She is a volunteer befriender for Maytree Respite Centre which supports people in suicidal crisis in a non-medical setting. Katharine also volunteers for the charity Hospital Rooms, which transforms inpatient mental health units with specially commissioned artwork from world-class artists.