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Michael Arhin-Acquaah

Appointed October 2021.

Ex-service user, neurodivergent Psychology student, determined to amplify the voices of those impacted by such a crucial and important trust.

Why did you want to become a governor?

The accessibility of NHS services provided has always drastically impacted the lives of me and my peers. As the son of first-generation immigrants with understandably strong opinions on healthcare services, and the brother and friend to neurodivergent, nonconforming, minority ethnic individuals, it often felt like our needs were not being adequately met. I believe that the best way to represent service users and amplify their voices is to give them the platform, rather than providing a messenger.

What skills and experience do you feel you can bring to the role?

First-hand experience as an ex-GIDS user and part of the stakeholders’ group, where I take initiative to bring issues I feel should be discussed to the forefront. I also work on the interview panels- recently hiring a non-executive director for an NHS trust. My family is very big, with both a complex and diverse background as well as a long line of developmental disorders- especially in my younger brothers. I also work as a playworker at a playground offering stimulating play for children with additional needs. Outside of work, I am a second year psychology student at London South Bank University (LSBU). This involves developing understandings through prior research and real-life applications. I am interested in neurodevelopmental disorders, cultural and environmental differences, and identity-which lead to independently conducting a qualitative study on BAME individuals who accessed CAMHS services that I later presented at a Tavistock BLM away day. I intend on bringing the perspectives and context of a young, culturally diverse, service user and student of a similar age to those accessing services at the Tavistock.

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None