Our Team


Professor, The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE


Lord Patel has extensive experience working at the highest levels on national and international developments in government policy on a wide range of areas, including health, social care, crime, community cohesion, extremism, mental health, drug and alcohol use, equality and human rights, and higher education. 

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Dr Jon Bashford


Jon is currently a founding partner and designated member of Community Innovations Enterprise LLP.  As the company Director Jon is responsible for all projects and programmes, business strategy and development including quality, contract management and performance.

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Sherife Hasan

Senior programme Director

Sherife is an experienced and highly skilled programme director for CIE with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in systems improvement and innovation. She has an extensive history of working on health and social care issues, including drugs and alcohol, health, veterans, offenders and young people at a national, regional and local level.

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Our Associates

Dr Clare Collins, Associate

Dr Collins is an experienced consultant working across multiple sectors including health and social care sector and justice sector:

  • ​Skilled in report writing, project management, analysis, facilitation, policy and strategy review, and evaluation

  • Experienced in qualitative research with different audiences ranging from senior stakeholders to vulnerable and seldom heard groups.

  • Specialist expertise in mental health, offender health, long term conditions, working with regulators, and equalities and human rights in relation to health, criminal justice and employment/skills.


Clare has worked with a range of clients across the public and voluntary sectors including several Government Departments and regulators. She ran her own consulting business for several years and was previously an Shared Intelligence (Si); was Health Research Director at Opinion Leader and a Senior Researcher with the University of Central Lancashire Centre for Ethnicity and Health. Prior to becoming a consultant Clare was a Senior Civil Servant at the Lord Chancellor’s Department where she led departmental implementation of the Human Rights Act.


Examples of Clare’s relevant projects include:

  • Projects (many with Dr Jon Bashford) to increase organisational capacity/performance on equality and human rights for a variety of public sector clients in health, education and justice sectors including Healthcare Commission, Mental Health Act Commission, Dept of Health Care Services Directorate, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, East Midlands SHA and Crown Prosecution Service

  • Project managed Si’s stocktake of the General Medical Council’s equality and diversity strategy including interviewing senior and middle management staff, senior stakeholders and interest groups; with workshops for senior staff to identify outcomes/measures

  • Senior Researcher on Si’s evaluation of the NHS Equality Delivery System and wrote analysis of impact of EDS on implementation of Public Sector Equality Duty submitted to government review of PSED

  • Clare has a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the London School of Economics. Her selected publications include:

  • Human Rights: Making It Real Mental Health Act Commission, 2007

  • Report on CEHR Community Consultation, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2007

  • Equal Treatment: Closing the Gap, Disability Rights Commission, 2007

  • Not Ready for the Scrapheap: Looking for Work after 50, Age Concern England, 2006

  • The Drugs Intervention Programme Black and Minority Ethnic Community Engagement Programme, Home Office/University of Central Lancashire (with Yasir Mir and Kate Davies), 2006

  • Gender Public Sector Duty Pilot Project Equal Opportunities Commission, 2005 (with Shared Intelligence)

  • Public Involvement and the Commission for Equality and Human Rights Age Concern England, 2004

  • Separate Silos: Race and the Public Sector Reform Agenda Institute for Public Policy Research, 2002

Professor Jane Fountain, Associate


Professor Fountain is an independent research consultant and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Central Lancashire.  She is a research consultant for a number of national and international organisations including the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group;  European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA);  Correlation (the European network for social inclusion and health);  The European Society for Social Drugs Research (ESSD);  DrugScope;  and The Centre for Public Innovation.


​Professor Fountain established QED (a network of qualitative drug researchers across Europe) for EMCDDA.  Over seven years, her work included managing teams of expert advisers representing their countries, co-ordinating data collection from each country and managing the associated website.  She is currently a key member of an international workgroup set up by Correlation to produce an online manual concerned with peer involvement in health and social service initiatives.


Specialties include:

  • ​Issues surrounding drug use and mental health among Black and minority ethnic and other marginalised populations and the barriers to health and social services they face;

  • Active participation in national and international networks;

  • Academic support, reviewing and editing of research reports, academic journal papers, books, websites and other publications, especially where the writer’s first language is not English;

  • Qualitative research.


Alison Gell, Associate

Alison is a qualified social worker with over twenty years experience as a practitioner working in the fields of mental health, substance use and the elderly. Alison is a qualified Independent Mental Health Advocate and Care Act Advocate and has worked for a number of yeas in the voluntary sector as an practitioner working with a range of vulnerable people. 

Alison has led work developing the role of advocacy under the Care Act, in particular for older people, people with mental health problems and their families. 


Alison was one of the first people employed at the Smithfield Project, Turning Point in Manchester where she helped establish the programme of day care for people with substance use problems. Alison has also undertaken voluntary work for George House Trust, supporting people and families affected by HIV and AIDS and on the Campaign Against Domestic Violence. 

Jo Harvey, Associate

Jo comes from a communications and strategy background and is skilled and experienced in building multi channel programmes for a variety of users and audiences. Jo is leading development of CIE’s mental health and wellbeing programme, including Learning to Take Care, an online resource for mental health and wellbeing. Jo was the Marketing Manager for Aon Risk Solutions, Australia and Human Resources Operations Consultant for ING Australia.


Jo has also worked for Barclays UK on communications and campaigns, with 383 Project (an E-consultancy and innovation studio for digital customer experience) and for Cogent Elliott (an integrated creative marketing agency). In addition to this Jo has had exposure to a variety of sectors including education, local government, retail, viticulture, financial services and older people’s care services.


Jo Is currently Project Co-ordinator at Joanna Harvey Limited.

Leon Herbert, Associate


Leon’s background experience is in youth & community work, social science & community development. He worked in the social housing & mental health sector for over 15 years working in operational, service management & equality & diversity capacities. He also led the national Recovery-in-Action pilot for Leicester around mental health, culminating in the formation of a sustainable user led social enterprise. 


Leon joined Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust  in December 2010 as part of the Integrated Equalities Service. He worked as a health inequalities project manager, including ‘increasing access to & improving outcomes from early intervention in mental health problems amongst Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) population, which culminated in the opening of the first LGB&T Open Mind self-referral IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) Service.


Leon currently works in the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Safeguarding Team leading the Trust’s work on the Prevent strategy across the organisation and with local partnerships. Leon led on the Trust’s work around the healthcare response to the hate crime agenda. Leon is also an experienced Prince 2 accredited project manager. 


​More recently Leon has worked as an independent consultant for De Monfort University and Like Education.

Karen Lawson, Associate


Karen has worked with a variety of organisations on understanding the lived experience of service users and how increasing understanding about people's lived experience can help improve lives and make services more effective and responsive. She has led awareness raising sessions in a number of prisons, with the police and with health services. 


Karen is working with CIE on the development of a lived experience programme for health and justice including being a voice and advocate for service users rights and helping organisations to delivery services that are more responsive and appropriate in meeting diverse needs.

Yasir Mir, Associate


Yaser is a highly experienced social researcher, manager and senior specialist on all aspects of community engagement. Yaser has taken leading roles in major community engagement programmes across England working with disadvantaged and Black and minority ethnic communities on some of the most difficult issues that can affect communities. These include community needs and public service provision around issues of drugs use, mental health, regeneration, crime and offending. 


In recent years Yaser has concentrated on senior roles in research, consultancy and teaching on the issue of violent extremism and community cohesion. The Government’s Prevent programme has been a specific focus of work and interests, undertaking a range of commissions including those for the Department for Communities and Local Government, local authority partnerships and the Metropolitan Police Service.