Christopher is a digital marketing and communications professional with over ten years’ experience in digital communications, marketing and project management. He is currently Digital Communications Manager at Mind, the mental health charity, and joined the Choir with No Name board in April 2014.
''In September 2013 a controversy emerged on Twitter and broke through into the newspapers and TV – Asda selling costumes for Halloween which portrayed (in their words) a ‘mental patient’ as blood-drenched and murderous. The reaction by people who were actually‘mental patients’ – everyday people who happen to have been treated for a mental health problem – was amazing. Instead of simply condemning the costume, they took selfies wearing ordinary clothes captioned with ‘Here’s me in my #mentalpatient costume’. It all came from one Twitter user, Becki (a mental health activist who sadly is no longer with us, and is deeply missed).
This use of humour to challenge Asda very inspiring to me – I was running the digital and social media for the mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness at the time. I realised that all charity supporters should be inspired to be as creative as the #mentalpatient participants on Twitter, and that people like me in charities needed to give skills, inspiration and confidence to our supporters. As a music lover my thought was ‘it should feel like being in a choir’...
And that’s how I met Marie! A few months after the Asda outcry, I was giving a talk about how important this ‘choir’ attitude is and ended up chatting with Marie about The Choir With No Name (and our mutual love of a band called The Wedding Present). I was instantly smitten with the charity, and I mean really 'love at first listen’. I was over the moon to be later invited to join as a trustee, and I still am.
I’m now Digital Communications Manager at Mind, the leading mental health charity. We’re quite a big charity compared to the Choir, and growing – for instance we hundreds of thousands of social media followers. So my aim is to give to the Choir some of what we are doing and learning at Mind, to help it grow and thrive for years to come. Whatever I can give is a fair exchange for being inspired by the choir members and staff, whose hard work, warmth and singing voices I am continually uplifted by.''