Meet our Sociable Angels


Vanessa Garrity Managing Director

Vanessa Garrity, RNMH
Managing Director

Hello my name is Vanessa. I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse, with over twenty years of experience in the Health Service as an Nurse, Manager and Leader. I have worked predominantly within the NHS, but also within the Voluntary and Independant sector.  I have a very broad range of interests around Mental Health and am particularly passionate about improving patient experience and the quality of services provided. I am also highly committed to challenging stigma around Mental Health.

I have a special clinical interest in maternal mental health, which developed during my experience of being the Clinical Services Manager for a  regional Perinatal Mental Health Service. Whilst in this role, I was successful in leading a bid to the Kings Fund for the ‘Enhancing the Healing Environment programme’, which allowed us to transform the unit into a more holistically orientated space for Mums and their infants. I also trained as an Infant Massage Instructor during my time in this area,  with a particular interest in working with women with Postnatal depression, in relation to attachment and bonding.

Following this, I moved into a role as the Lead for Risk and Complaints for the Specialist Services Directorate, which then led to a broader remit as the Lead Nurse for Specialist Services. This included professional leadership responsibilities for the following: Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders, Leeds Gender Identity Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Leeds Addiction Unit, Forensic in reach services, Leeds Personality Disorders Clinical Network, Liaison Mental Health Services and the Leeds Perinatal Mental Health Service. As part of this role,  I was also involved in leading nursing strategically,  as part of the senior nursing team for the Trust and developed a particular interest and leadership role in supporting the digital agenda around how we might use technology to improve clinical care and opportunities for peer support and self care.

Recently, I have been working as Programme Manager on one of the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund Programmes within Primary Care and was involved in a successful Multi Speciality Provider Vanguard Bid, as part of the New Care Models Programme, set out in the NHS England Five Year Forward View. During this period, I also worked as Project Manager for the Connecting Care Programme with Wakefield CCG, as the lead for Mental Health within the West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing Team.

In addition, to the above, you can also find me at @WeMHNurses , which is a global Twitter Community for Mental Health Nurses and those interested in Mental Health. I facilitate this, along with three of my Twitter colleagues and also lead the virtual mental health book club that I recently founded.  I believe firmly that Social Media has a significant role to play in helping us move towards a more collaborative and open culture in health care.

I created Sociable Angels as part of my journey , because I have a passion for improving our Health and Care Services and believe that working independently allows me to truly work across organisational boundaries, enhancing my objectivity,  whilst also enabling me to share learning and knowledge across the system.


Martin Garrity Finance Manager ACA FCCA

Martin Garrity
Finance Manager

Hello my name is Martin. I am a Chartered Accountant with over twenty years experience in Accountancy Practice, looking after a wide range of businesses and their owners. I work as a Director at BPR Heaton in Leeds and as Company Secretary, Finance Manager and Business Advisor to Sociable Angels.

I am passionate about the NHS and all that it stands for. I am actively involved in raising awareness about Sepsis.


Alex Gilmartin Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Alex Gilmartin
Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Hello my name is Alex. I am a graphic designer, illustrator and artist, based in Leeds. My background is in producing high impact visual designs for both the health care and commercial sector. I work with Sociable Angels on a freelance basis.



Jeff Barlow Associate

Hello my name is Jeff. I am an Independant Consultant to the NHS with over twenty years experience of working in the NHS and Social Care. I am dual qualified as a Registered Nurse and Social Worker and am additionally qualified as an Approved Mental Health Professional and Best Interests Assessor.

In 2010, I attained a Masters degree in Mental Health Law and became the head of Mental Health Legislation, after successfully implementing new legislation as the Mental Health Legislation Project Manager for a busy Mental Health Trust in Leeds. During this time, I co-authored ‘the Prevalence of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Royal College of Psychiatrists. 2010.

I am also an Associate Lecturer at the Leeds Metropolitan University and a Professional trainer with the Andrew Simms Centre.

I have a wide range of experience within innovation. This includes being involved in the development of alternatives to acute mental health hospital admissions, working clinically within one of the first Crisis Teams. During this time, I successfully implemented community alternatives to hospital admission and a hospital based section 136 service.

More recently,  I worked at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of countries biggest acute hospitals, initially as the strategic lead for learning disabilities improving clinical outcomes for people with learning disabilities, before becoming Head of Safeguarding. Whilst I was Head of Safeguarding, I was lead investigator and author of the investigation report into the activities of Jimmy Savile at the Leeds General Infirmary.

I currently work on a consultancy basis for West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing Limited, as the lead for governance with a newly formed Federation Board of a group of GPs. The company successfully implemented a programme of change around accessing primary care through the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund, before becoming a Multi-specialist Care Provider under the Vanguard (Five Year Forward View, NHS England).


Please get in touch if you would like to connect with us or if you fancy working with us in the future.




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