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Leadership Team

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Ruth Kettle

Chief Executive

Ruth Kettle has overall responsibility at Community Links.


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Image of Ruth Kettle

Ruth Kettle

Chief Executive

Ruth Kettle has overall responsibility at Community Links.


About Ruth

Ruth was appointed to the role in December 2014 and has risen to the many challenges and demands of being the driving force of the organisation.  Find out about what she enjoys most about her role and why she’s recently started entering triathlons!

How long have you been at Community Links?
I love working for Community Links and I’ve been here since 2004.  I joined as a Director of Residential Services and as we developed as an organisation my job title changed to Operational Director.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
There are way too many to mention, needless to say I love a challenge!

What is the favourite aspect of your role?
The best thing about my role is the satisfaction I get from knowing that our wonderful employees are really making a difference to the lives of some of our most deprived and disadvantaged people. To think that someone who is supported by Community Links is able to quickly re-establish links with their family and friends, make changes which improve quality of life and can re-establish their independence from services is a great motivator for me. Our impact can be truly life changing.

What do you think is the main challenge facing the mental health sector at the moment?
The incidence of mental distress is increasing but resources are diminishing, it’s a difficult circle to square!

What inspires/motivates you?
Knowing that change is possible and that we can and do make a difference. Responding positively and helpfully to those seeking for help, even if we don’t have all the answers, can be the difference between a few weeks/months needing support to years of feeling side-lined, unsupported and stuck.

What’s your favourite hobby?
Not sure it’s my favourite but the one I am most committed to is running and exercise of some kind as it really helps me to switch off.  I completed my first triathlon in 2016 which involved swimming in Roundhay Lake and am looking to enter more triathlons in the future.

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?
I’d love to read people’s minds – so watch out!

Donna Gooby, Director of Diversity and HR

Donna Gooby

Director of Diversity and HR

Donna is the Director of Diversity and HR and is responsible for the design and implementation of our HR strategy.

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Donna Gooby, Director of Diversity and HR

Donna Gooby

Director of Diversity and HR

Donna is the Director of Diversity and HR and is responsible for the design and implementation of our HR strategy.

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About Donna

She has responsibility for the HR team, the Training Team, and is the organisational lead for Equality & Diversity strategy and policies.

How long have you been at Community Links?
I have worked at Community Links since 2003.  I went into HR with rose-tinted spectacles, thinking it was all people-focused however it is so much more!  HR is in unique position to support the business and help direct strategy.  It is important to understand your industry inside out to prove your worth.

What I love about my job is that it challenges me, both allowing me to be creative whilst forcing me to be accountable.  What’s even better is that I’m working for an organisation I am passionate about.

One of the reasons I have stayed so long is due to Community Links being a little bit special. Everything we do is about trying to give the best to our service users.  Working here is about honesty, friendliness, making a difference, having fun and encouraging people to be themselves.

What’s the favourite aspect of your role?
Employment law – so much is centred on it these days. The more you know as an HR professional the more your organisation can rely on you.  Given the volume and complexity of employment legislation these days it’s good to have the legal knowledge to inform policies, systems, processes and how you communicate.

What do you think are the main challenges facing the health and social care sector at the moment?
From a workforce perspective research shows that a skills shortage could risk a shortfall in workers with the right talents and abilities.  The problem goes beyond just a need to recruit.

What inspires/motivates you?
When I was at school I had a secret ambition (despite a serious lack of talent) to be a dancer! I now realise it wasn’t the glamorous lifestyle I was attracted to. What I wanted was to connect with others and use my imagination to make a difference to people’s lives.

These ideals still exist in what I do today as HR has a big role to play in employee engagement.  If employees are happy and healthy, feel supported and enjoy what they do then they will also perform better in their role and deliver a higher standard of service.

I’m inspired and motivated by watching our employees, volunteers and service users succeed and progress.

What’s your favourite hobby?
I love to cook and experiment sometimes it works and sometimes it’s burnt!  I like everything about cooking from planning what I’m going to cook, buying the ingredients, licking the bowl and enjoying the finished product.  Cooking makes me feel calm and happy. If I’m stressed I start to cook and I completely relax. There’s just about nothing that makes me happier than sharing food with my family and friends.

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?
Reading minds would be so useful in my job but flying would be so much more fun!

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Martin Horbury

Director of Finance and Business Support

Martin recently joined Community Links as the Director of Finance and Business Support. He oversees all financial matters and a…

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Martin Horbury

Director of Finance and Business Support

Martin recently joined Community Links as the Director of Finance and Business Support. He oversees all financial matters and a number of key support functions.

07387302363

About Martin

Martin is the newest addition to the Leadership Team. He leads on all financial and business support matters.  This includes budgets, information governance, health and safety, IT, property acquisition and payroll.

How long have you been at Community Links?

I started on the 1st November 2016. Prior to joining I had worked for a number of companies in a range of sectors including manufacturing, engineering and the service industry. I also worked in the Finance Department at St John Ambulance which gave me an insight into the not for profit sector.

What is the favourite aspect of your role?

I have range of responsibilities which makes every day different.

What do you think is the main challenge facing the mental health sector at the moment?

I am particularly interested in the financial aspect of the sector and I see the key challenge is the squeeze on funding faced by our Commissioners.

What inspires/motivates you?

I am inspired by people who embrace life with passion and commitment. This includes team mates from my running club who train hard to prepare for marathons and other running challenges and work colleagues whose specialist skills and knowledge have been central to the success of the company. I have already met colleagues at Community Links who have real passion for the mental health sector.

What’s your favourite hobby?

I am a regular club runner competing in races mainly in the local area and an occasional cyclist. I like a wide range of music and have a guitar which I play very badly!

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?

I would like to be able to travel in time. In particular I would like to go back and watch some of the great sporting events I missed such as Leeds United winning the FA Cup in 1972 and Usain Bolt winning gold for the 100 metre sprint at the London 2012 Olympics.


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Erin Richardson

Director of Planning and Business Development

Erin oversees three strategic areas within Community Links; business development, strategic planning and external communication.


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Erin Richardson

Director of Planning and Business Development

Erin oversees three strategic areas within Community Links; business development, strategic planning and external communication.


About Erin

Erin’s main responsibility is to develop services; in current and new areas which involves nurturing innovative, pioneering practice within Community Links. building partnerships and understanding the external environment. Erin also oversees our strategic planning processes to ensure the work of the organisation is aligned to the mission, vision and values.  In addition to this, she oversees external communications, including the website, social media profile and printed materials.

How long have you been at Community Links?

I have worked at Community Links since 2013. When I was employed I was the youngest Director to have been appointed within Community Links!  I’m as excited and enthusiastic as I was then about working for a leading mental health organisation, committed to working to values such as putting people first (both employees and service users), and changing lives through pioneering approaches.

Previous to Community Links I had a number of strategic and development positions within the voluntary sector. Including with ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) where I had a number of roles, including in policy and communication and latterly developing the membership and presence in the North of England and supporting our members on a range of governance and leadership issues.

What is the favourite aspect of your role?

Having the potential to develop and improve support for people’s mental health and wellbeing. We all have mental health and our needs in relation to maintaining good mental health is on a spectrum, from activities which benefit our wellbeing to much more intensive care and support for people who may have had traumatic life experiences. For me, the most important thing is that everyone who comes into contact with our services is first and foremost recognised and valued as a person. I think this is something that Community Links is particularly good at!

I also love being part of an organisation and movement that is helping to challenge traditional stigma and stereotypes around mental health and mental health care.

What do you think is the main challenge facing the mental health sector at the moment?

The huge and historic disparity between funding for mental and physical health still poses a significant challenge to achieving the quality of care needed for mental health. Suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 and 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease.

I also think that our mental health services have a way to go to respond to the effects of our modern society on the mental health of our children and young people.

What inspires/motivates you?

Fundamentally, my motivation comes from helping to address inequalities in our society. I get inspired by people every day who are overcoming challenges and are out there doing just that. Not least our amazing employees, volunteers and service users at Community Links.

What’s your favourite hobby?

Spending time outdoors with my daughter, or with family and friends, usually around a dinner table!

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?

I would have a magic wand – so that I could transform sticky situations large and small in an instant!