A History of Mind
Note: The language and names used throughout this factsheet are those current at the time: for example, Mind was originally known as ‘The National Association for Mental Health (NAMH)’ or ‘the Association’; in 1972, the name ‘MIND’ was adopted; and then changed again in the nineties to ‘Mind’. Also, some of the language used to describe mental distress, would not now be acceptable, but was current at the time in question
Mind was was established as The National Association for Mental Health in 1946 by the merging of three major mental health organisations. These were:
- the Central Association for Mental Welfare (established in 1913) led by the pioneering Dame Evelyn Fox, this organisation worked through local groups of volunteers to help mentally handicapped people
- the National Council for Mental Hygiene (established in 1922), which had a strong educational bias and stressed the social causes of mental illness
- the Child Guidance Council (established in 1927), which set up the first child guidance clinics and launched training courses for their staff.
Between them these organisations had a fine tradition of working in the mental health sector. They were responsible for a series of important firsts, including the first homes for mentally handicapped people, the first school counsellors, and the first training for child psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, educational psychologists and teachers of mentally handicapped children.
The amalgamation was recommended by the Feversham Committee on voluntary mental health associations, which reported in 1939. The formal merger had to wait until the end of the Second World War, but the organisations worked together during the war through the Provisional Council for Mental Health. The Government asked the Council to take on the task of providing a national aftercare service for people discharged from military service on psychiatric grounds. Extended to civilians, it was the beginnings of community mental health care.
The beginnings of the National Association for Mental Health coincided with the development of the National Health Service and the welfare state. It was a period of rapid growth and change. Many voluntary organisations had to redefine their role, as many of the services they used to provide were taken over by the state. In psychiatry, new drug treatments and, perhaps more importantly, campaigning by enlightened professionals, meant that many long-stay patients could be discharged, and new patients needed much shorter periods of hospital care. The doors of the psychiatric hospitals began to be opened, and the public took an increasing interest in mental health issues.
The aims of the Association, as stated in its first annual report (1 April 1946-31 March 1947), were:
- to foster a wider understanding throughout the community of the importance of mental health in all the relationships of everyday life, and to establish the principle that its foundations must be laid in early childhood if healthy mental and emotional development is to be achieved
- to spread a knowledge of the ways by which mental health may be achieved and maintained
- to provide and encourage the provision of courses, lectures and conferences for the general public, and for various groups of professional workers dealing with mental health problems
- to encourage and advise on the setting up of training facilities for personnel in the mental health field, and to establish and maintain professional standards of work
- to encourage and promote the establishment of treatment and training facilities for adults and children suffering from mental and nervous disorders or who are mentally subnormal or defective or who present behaviour problems
- a) to supply information as to existing facilities for the prevention and treatment of mental and nervous disorders
b) to give an advisory service on schools and homes for individual children and adults suffering from such disorders or from mental defect
c) to provide and promote community care for persons handicapped by mental or nervous disorder, including epilepsy, or by mental subnormality or defect
- to promote international contacts with mental health organisations throughout the world, to assist in the organisation of world mental health congresses, and to promote friendly international relations.
In 1947, membership of the Association cost one guinea per year (£1.05).
At this time, members of the council were all medical and associated professionals, representing organisations such as the Institute for the Scientific Treatment of Delinquency, the Magistrates Association and the Royal Colleges of Nursing, Physicians and Surgeons (the Royal College of Psychiatrists did not yet exist).
During this period, the staff at the Queen Anne Street office was led by a medical director (until 1953) and a general secretary. The departments included a library and information service, residential services, social services, and training and education. Staff included psychiatric social workers and educational psychologists, and there was a panel of medical consultants who could be called on for their expertise.
The local associations
Although some local mental health groups existed before the NAMH was set up (Cambridgeshire Mental Welfare Association, for example, was formed in 1908), the development of the local associations movement really dates from the early 1960s. By that time it had become clear that the statutory services could not meet all the needs of people who were experiencing mental distress or had learning disabilities. As a result, the NAMH strengthened its campaign for improvements at a local level. The resulting publicity attracted many people to the mental health movement, and local associations affiliated to the NAMH sprang up throughout England and Wales.
Training and education
The Association ran courses for, among others, doctors, educational psychologists, psychiatric and social workers, health visitors and teachers.
At this time, the NAMH worked with people with learning disabilities, as well as those with mental health problems. Its courses for teachers of children with learning disabilities were for some years the only courses available. These training courses were gradually phased out during 1970 to 1971, following the hand over of responsibility for the education of mentally handicapped children to the Department for Education from the Department of Health. Colleges of further education gradually adopted their own teacher training courses.
In 1946, the NAMH ran (in the language of the time) 11 agricultural hostels for mentally handicapped men, two homes for mentally defective children, two holiday homes for mental defectives and mental hospital patients, and one convalescent home for epileptics. The following year, a second convalescent home, an approved school, a home for pre-delinquent children, and a home for old people, were added.
Other than Feversham, a school for children with behaviour problems, which opened in September 1969 and closed in 1997, the other institutions that the NAMH was responsible for had all closed or been taken over by other bodies by 1983.
Campaigning – towards community care
By the late fifties, the forthcoming Mental Health Bill, which eventually became law in 1959, was the focus of the Association’s campaigns. In 1958, the Association’s quarterly journal Mental health commissioned articles on ‘The public and the Mental Health Bill’, ‘The Mental Health Bill and the psychopath’, ‘The new Bill and the mental deficiency services’ and ‘The new look in the care of the mentally ill’.
The proposed Mental Health Bill aimed at reorientating mental health services away from institutional care, towards care in the community. The NAMH pledged its support for the Bill, while voicing reservations. There was concern at the lack of provision for adequate mandatory community services and at the failure to address the training of qualified staff. The Association commented on the Bill at the time: “it will not give us better buildings for our mental hospitals, it will not in itself give us the extensive research for which the services crave, and it will do nothing to provide trained staff...(and) it is little more than a half-hearted attempt at promoting the preventive services where the future of this whole subject lies”.
The community care approach was boosted by a remarkable speech made at the Association’s annual conference in March 1961 by the then Minister of Health, Enoch Powell. In this he announced proposals to close the large psychiatric hospitals. Edith Morgan (then the local associations officer) commented later in a BBC radio interview: “We all sat up, looked at each other and wondered what had happened, because we’d been struggling for years to get the idea of community care and the eventual closure of mental hospitals on the map and here it was offered to us on a plate”.
But there was still a recognition within the Association that adequate community care provision was still a long way off. The annual report of 1963 to 1964 says, “…the concept of community care is now no longer new and is generally accepted. But, as we anticipated, it has become clear that local authority provisions are inevitably lagging behind the new demands created”.
By the late sixties, the Association began to become more of a voice for patients. An article in Hospital world in 1969 expressed the view that the NAMH had: “developed from a polite, reassuring body, uttering words of comfort to all those involved with mental health, to an organisation which is now firmly on the side of the patient and not at all scared of speaking its mind when the need arises”.
The Association’s encounter with the Church of Scientology may have contributed to this shift in emphasis. In 1969, the Scientologists branded orthodox psychiatry as a system of murder, sexual perversion and monstrous cruelty, and the NAMH as a criminally motivated ‘psychiatric front group’. In October 1969, a number of Scientologists applied for membership of the Association, and it became apparent that they were trying to take over. Their membership was withdrawn and, after a court case, the matter was resolved in the Association’s favour. Mary Applebey, who was director from 1951 to 1974, said, perhaps rather generously, in a speech for Mind’s 30th birthday in November 1976, “Scientology represented in an exaggerated form one aspect of disillusionment with the official mental health line”.
The MIND campaign
In 1971, its 25th anniversary, the Association launched the MIND campaign to clarify its policies and aims, and to attract much-needed funds, under the leadership of the new campaign director, David Ennals. It was the first time that the Association had launched a major public education and fundraising campaign. The MIND campaign had seven main objectives:
- to create concern for mental health and to challenge apathy and neglect
- to overcome ignorance of the origins of mental disorder and its treatment
- to improve services for the mentally disordered in hospital and community
- to support the relatives of the mentally disordered who may need as much help as the patients
- to mobilise voluntary help – in psychiatric hospitals, hostels, sheltered homes, in social activities for ex-patients, children’s playgroups and in support of patients’ relatives
- to raise funds for the work of the National Association for Mental Health and its local associations – to provide more schools for maladjusted children; more hostels, ‘half-way houses’; day centres, industrial training units and other facilities to aid recovery or retraining
- to sponsor research directly and through the mental health research fund.
The campaign was so successful that in 1972 the NAMH adopted the new name ‘MIND’. The logo of the newly renamed organisation was a dove with the name ‘MIND’ in capitals.
At the end of the MIND campaign David Ennals left the organisation to return to Parliament, and Mary Applebey also left after 22 years as director, feeling that MIND should be free to move in a new direction. The new director, Tony Smythe, brought experience in the field of human rights. One new initiative was the setting up of an executive committee, which, “added a degree of immediacy to the running of the organisation”, and enabled staff at all levels to take on more responsibility and participate in the policy-making of MIND. This was probably the start of a process that eventually led to the involvement of service users in management and policy decisions. Another change at this time was the move to new premises in Harley Street.
The change from NAMH to MIND was much more than just a change of name: it was a complete change of emphasis. During 1971 to 1972, the organisation’s objectives were rewritten to stress MIND’s function as a lobbying group, and for the first time support for the patient’s family became a specific aim. In 1974, three strategies were given priority:
- MIND was to establish more regional offices in order to cover every part of England and Wales, and more support was to be given to local MIND associations
- three of MIND’s residential establishments were to be transferred to other agencies – in future projects were to be of a “pioneering, innovative, and experimental nature”
- the advisory service, which was dealing with an increasing number of legal and welfare rights queries, was to be expanded.
Following this last decision, the legal and welfare rights service began in 1975 with the appointment of MIND’s first legal officer, Larry Gostin, who wrote A human condition (1959) – MIND’s proposals for reforming the Mental Health Act. An article in Social work today said that this book became a basis for the Mental Health Act Commission Code of Practice: “…the 1983 Mental Health Act owes much to his tenacious battles for patients’ rights and the need for advocacy”. In 1979, the legal and welfare rights service became a fully-fledged legal department and began to take test cases.
Mind in recent years
The original MIND campaign lasted from 1971 to 1973, and was followed by many others.
- 1976 Home from Hospital – highlighting the housing problems faced by people with mental health problems
- 1977 Rehabilitation – demanding more and better services, and employment opportunities
- 1979 Alert! – highlighting the needs of elderly people who are mentally infirm
- 1981 MIND in Action
- 1983 to 1987 Tranquillisers – aimed at raising public awareness of the problems associated with benzodiazepine drugs (such as Valium) and the difficulties people experience coming off them
- 1983 Manifesto for a New Mental Health Service – Common Concern – with the goal of developing a comprehensive local mental health service
- 1986 A Better Life – designed to “create a climate of outrage about the lack of resources for the development of a local network of care”
- 1988 People First
- 1992 Stress on Women – to raise awareness of sexual harassment on psychiatric wards, the problems of mixed wards, and issues for mothers
- 1994 Breakthrough! Community Care – promoting a user-centred holistic approach to community care
- 1997 Respect – focusing on the discrimination faced by people with mental health problems
- 2002 My Choice – aiming to widen the choice of treatment for people with mental health needs
- 2003 Benefits – drawing attention to the difficulties mental health service users face in claiming social security benefits
- 2004 Ward Watch – campaigning for better conditions in hospitals.
- 2005 Access all ages – for better mental health services for older people
- 2006 Building solutions – about mental health and the built environment, including both hospital and work settings
- 2007 Ecotherapy – the green agenda for mental health
Many of these campaigns have led to significant breakthroughs, in prescribing practice, government policy, and in encouraging new understandings of mental health and the issues faced by service users. Successes have included the Home from Hospital campaign, the Yellow Card Scheme (part of the Breakthrough! Community Care campaign) and the Mind Inquiry – Creating Accepting Communities (part of Respect).
Home from Hospital
The 1976 Home from Hospital campaign led to increased information about existing housing projects and provided the stimulus for many new ones; doubling the accommodation available in the community. By November 1976, the local MIND associations had provided an extra 130 group home places, to add to the 800 already in existence.
Other housing schemes involved the Housing Corporation and housing associations, and adult fostering. A joint project with Shelter investigated the possible use of short-life property for people leaving hospital. MIND was heavily involved in the preparation of two Granada television programmes, as a result of which many offers of homes were received from the public.
Yellow Card Scheme
Mind’s Yellow Card Scheme was set up as part of the Breakthrough! campaign. The idea was to give users of psychiatric services an opportunity to report on the side effects of their medication. The card was based on the official yellow cards doctors use to report on side effects of drugs to the then Medicines Control Agency (MCA), but also asked about how much information people received at the time their drugs were prescribed, the help they received from their doctors, and the efficacy of their drug treatment. Copies of the returned cards were sent, at their request, to the MCA.
A first report was produced in 1996, and a further report in 1998. The scheme was relaunched in 2000, with the specific aim of seeking more information on prescribing practice for people from Black and minority ethnic communities, and a report was published in 2001.
Mind has continued to press for mental health service users to be able to report side effects of drugs directly to the Medicines Control Agency. In 2003, following reports of problems with the antidepressant drug paroxetine (Seroxat), and two television programmes highlighting the nature and extent of the problems, Mind’s Chief Executive, Richard Brook, was invited to be on a committee reviewing the use of SSRI antidepressants. In 2004, he resigned from the committee, saying that the (by now renamed) Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency had deceived the public by not revealing all that was known about these drugs and allowing them to be prescribed in a dangerous manner, with incomplete information. In 2005, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency launched a trial scheme for users of medicines to report adverse effects directly, and this scheme was made permanent in 2007.
Mind Inquiry – Creating Accepting Communities
This inquiry into the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems, and their relatives and friends, was set up as part of the Respect campaign. It sought to consider:
- the experiences of people with mental health problems, in particular the extent to which they are discriminated against and the extent to which they are socially excluded by society
- what measures are needed to protect those with mental illness against discrimination and prejudice
- initiatives that have taken place within the mental health and other fields that have demonstrated effectiveness in overcoming discrimination and social exclusion
- whether a code of practice could be drawn up from those successful initiatives in order to influence government policy and practice.
The inquiry panel was chaired by Lincoln Crawford and included Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Darcus Howe, Denise Platt, Ivan Massow, David Crepaz-Keay, and Baroness Pola Uddin. The inquiry report, Creating accepting communities: report of the Mind inquiry into social exclusion by Sara Dunn, was published in 1999.
Phase two of Mind’s Creating Accepting Communities work was the Social Inclusion Initiative, which had the aim of developing measurable criteria to create models of mentally healthy living. The Initiative looked at the components that help to improve the quality of life for people with enduring mental health problems. These included issues of race/culture/diversity, arts and sport, employment, education and training, and housing and neighbourhood. The models were developed in consultation with other sectors, including local authorities, education, employment and public health bodies. The work began with a pilot project, developed in Merton during 2000. This project centred around a cyber café, to promote access to the Internet and develop mental health service users’ computer skills.
Structure and networks
The MIND office in Wales opened in 1972 and was renamed Mind Cymru in 1997. In 1976, the Northern regional office opened, and by 1979 there were MIND offices in Trent, Yorkshire, and the North West. In 1982, West Midlands MIND opened and the Trent and Yorkshire offices combined. South East MIND opened in 1984, starting off in Harley Street and then moving to City Road. In 1986, South West MIND opened; it was renamed South and West Mind in 1999. In 2000, the regional offices were closed down, leaving the two national offices in England and Wales.
The local Mind associations
There are now about 160 local Mind associations affiliated to Mind. Local associations have grown in the scope of their activities, as well as in their numbers. Today, they run housing schemes, day centres, social clubs, and many other projects for users and carers. Each year the work of the local associations is acknowledged by the Mind Good Practice Awards.
In 1999, Mind’s internal structure was changed, and a local Mind support team was set up to improve liaison between the national organisation and the local associations.
The Mind Consumer Network was set up in 1987 to inform and advise Mind on the experiences, views and opinions of service users, and to have a direct route into policy development. The following year, the Network was renamed ‘MINDLINK’ and had doubled its membership. It formed a consumer advisory panel with members from the regions, reporting to the council of management. By 1993, there were over 1,000 members, and Mind Link was becoming increasingly influential, being asked to write training manuals on user empowerment and to help with the work of the Mental Health Task Force. Membership continues to grow, and there is now a list of user/trainers available to provide training on mental health issues.
Rural Minds was started in 1997, with the aim of combating the disadvantages experienced by people with mental health problems who live in rural areas in England. A review found that people in mental distress in rural areas face stigma, lack support structures and have limited access to information about what services are available. The review also found that women and people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities are more at risk of mental health problems.
Rural Minds set up a national resource centre for rural mental health, with a library of practical resources and reference materials. Information and training were offered to volunteers and professionals, and a network of individuals, statutory and voluntary organisations in rural communities is being developed, influencing purchasers and providers of mental health services by working with user networks.
Connecting Minds, a teleconferencing scheme to enable people in remote areas to hold travel-free meetings, was started in 2001. The programme started in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Northumberland, and included partner organisations.
Since April 2004, Rural Minds’ work has been integrated into Mind’s core activities, so that rural issues will be evident in all areas of its work.
Diverse Minds – set up in 1997 and still running - is an initiative aiming to help make Mind’s policy and practice more responsive to Black and Minority Ethnic communities. Its functions are to:
- be integrated into Mind and its policies and campaigns
- act as an information and contact network for Diverse Minds members and related organisations
- put forward suggestions for Mind’s future work
- have one co-opted place, with voting rights, on Mind’s Council of Management
- participate in Mind through regional forums in the (then) six English Mind regions and Wales
- promote, encourage and support training on race and cultural awareness in Wales and the English regions
- provide/promote training for Black and minority ethnic workers, carers and service users/survivors.
Changing Minds (1998-2000)
Changing Minds developed from the Avon Measure, a user-centred approach for assessing needs, created by South West Mind in partnership with representatives of users, survivors, the voluntary sector and professionals from Avon Health and Bristol Social Services. The Measure is an assessment document filled in and owned by the user, offering a chance to describe the help they would like. This covers 25 topics, including housing, money management and mood swings.
Changing Minds’ objectives are to:
- strengthen and enhance the ability of statutory, independent and voluntary agencies a) to deliver service user-centred needs assessment in their own services, and b) to develop services that more fully reflect the needs and expectations of mental health service users
- empower service users, their advocates and befrienders to achieve responsive and relevant services from all community agencies.
Training, information and publications
While training for teachers was phased out in the early 1970s, Mind’s training courses have also developed in response to changing circumstances and now include legal training courses, mental health awareness, working with postnatal depression, and seminars on specific subjects, such as psychiatric drugs and help for those who hear voices.
The information service has gradually developed over the years, answering calls from members of the public, mental health professionals and mental health service users. Information is also provided by letter, and latterly by email. In 2003, the information service was outsourced to Broadcasting Support Services (BSS) in Manchester, with backup from Mind head office, where a specialist library is maintained.
In the early days of the Association, its publications mainly related to childcare. Mind has been innovative in developing materials for school children on mental health. In the late 1970s, several friezes were published, designed to create an opportunity for teachers to talk about mental health in the classroom. The bird and the word, materials for mental health education in secondary schools, was first produced in 1998.
The Association’s original quarterly magazine was Mental health, which cost 5/- per year, or 2/6 for members. Openmind is now Mind’s bi-monthly magazine. Designed for people who use mental health services and the people who provide them, it has a readership of 11,000.
The list of materials produced by Mind has gradually expanded over the years, and now includes many award-winning booklets on many different subjects related to mental distress. Mind also runs the UK’s only specialist mental health mail order service, selling a wide range of publishers’ titles.
During 2003, Mind adopted a new logo and brand for all its publications.
Mind runs a series of national awards, designed in part to highlight good practice and to gain publicity for mental health issues.
Mind Book of the Year/Allen Lane Award
The Mind Book of the Year Award was started in 1981 by MIND and the National Book League, in memory of Allen Lane. The prize is awarded to a book, either fiction or non-fiction, published during the past year, which deals with the experience of emotional distress and fosters a deeper understanding of mental health. In 2000 and 2001 it was funded by the Royal Literary Society, and in 2002 by Abbey National. In 2007 it was sponsored by BT.
1982 The art of starvation, Sheila Macleod
1983 Annie’s coming out, Rosemary Crossley and Anne McDonald
1984 Depression: the way out of your prison, Dorothy Rowe
1985 Art as healing, Edward Adamson
1986 A woman in custody, Audrey Peckham
1987 Talking to a stranger: a guide to therapy, Lindsay Knight
1988 The minotaur hunt, Miriam Hastings
1989 Out of mind, J Bernlef
1990 No winner
1991 The trick is to keep breathing, Janice Galloway
1992 The catch of hands, Benedicta Leigh
1993 50 years in the system, Jimmy Laing
1994 Scar tissue, Michael Ignatieff
1995 Mustn’t grumble, Ed. Lois Keith
1996 Phone at nine just to say you’re alive, Linda Hart
1997 Push: the life of Precious Jones, Sapphire
1998 Skating to Antarctica, Jenny Diski
1999 Remind me who I am, again, Linda Grant
2000 Making us crazy, Herb Kutchins and Stuart A. Kirk
2001 My name is Gabriel, Kate Rankin
2002 The noonday demon: an anatomy of depression, Andrew Solomon
2003 Will the circle be unbroken: reflections on death and dignity ,Studs Terkel
2004 Giving up the ghost, Hilary Mantel
2005 The cruel mother, Siân Busby
2006 Borrowed body Valerie Mason-John
2007 Living with mother Michèle Hanson
2008 The Father I had Martin Townsend
2009 The Boy with the topknot Sathnam Sangheera
2010 Sectioned: a life interrupted John O’Donoghue
2011 Diary drawings: mental illness and me Bobby Baker
Mind Journalist of the Year Award
1995 Cal McCrystal
1996 David Brindle, The Guardian
1997 Euan McGrory, The Northern Echo
1998 The Big Issue
1999 Roger Dobson, freelance
2000 Peter Tory, The Express
2001 Adam James, freelance
2002 Sarah Boseley, The Guardian
2003 Sophie Goodchild, Independent on Sunday
2004 Simon Garfield, freelance
2005 Joanna Kowalski, Nottingham Evening Post
2006 Emma Forrest, Health Service Journal
2007 Derek Draper and Dr Cecilia d'Felice, Psychologies magazine
Student journalist of the year
2007 Helen Thompson, University of Cardiff newspaper, Gair Rhydd
Bigot of the Year Award
1995 Jaci Elliot
1996 Lenny Lottery, The Sun
1997 Martin Sharpe, The Sun
1998 Andrew Mosby, Time Out
1999 Roger Todd, Sunday Express
2000 Paul Gilfeather, The Sun
2001 David Mellor, People
2002 Nigel Nelson, The Sunday People
2003 David Mellor, The Sunday People
In 2004, the Bigot of the Year Award was discontinued, and in its place a Mind Champion Award was started. Readers of Openmind were invited to nominate the person who, in their view, made the most important contribution to challenging discrimination against people with mental health problems during the past year.
2004 Frank Bruno
2005 Joanna Bennett and BBC Radio 4’s The Archers
2006 Peter Campbell (Mind Diamond Champion), mental health system survivor, activist and writer.
2007 Stephen Fry
2008 Liz Miller
2009 Alastair Campbel
2010 Rachel Perkins
This factsheet was written by Katherine Darton, and updated 2012.
Appendix – officers
1946 HRH Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent
1968 HRH Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvie
1946 the Rt Hon R A Butler (d.1982)
1990 Lord Ennals (until his death in 1995)
2000 Lord Bragg (Melvyn Bragg)
2011 Stephen Fry
1946 the Rt Hon the Earl of Feversham (until his death in 1963)
1963 Lord Balniel MP
1969 Christopher Mayhew MP
1978 Lady Bingley
1984 Lord Ennals
1989 Timothy F Durkin
1994 David Peryer
2001 David Henry
2012 Ryan Campbell
1946 Lady Norman
1962 Lady Adrian
1967 Dr David Clark
1975 Charles Clark
Dr Douglas Bennett (exact date not known)
1984 Dr Hugh Freeman
1988 Mike Lawson
1994 Judith Morgan-Freer
1995 Lisa Haywood
2006 Alison Cowan and Keith Cornford
2012 Alison Cowan and Lesley Dixon
1946 Sir Otto Niemeyer
1964 RG Raw
1967 JQ Hollom
1975 Charles Clark
1978 Michael Edwardes-Evans
1987 Rev Jim Moore
1996 Roy Daniels
2003 John Tomlinson
2006 Maureen Dickson
2011 Mike Starkie
1946 Miss M C Owen (general secretary; there was also a medical director)
1951 Mary Applebey
1974 Tony Smythe
1982 Christopher Heginbotham
1989 Ros Hepplewhite
1992 Judi Clements
2001 Richard Brook
2006 Paul Farmer