Children: Fola Balogun

Service User/Carer Governor (Children)

I'm a Service User/Carer Governor representing service user and carer members who use our Children and Young People's Services. I've been a Governor since 2013.

Governor: Fola Balogun 2015
Service User/Carer Governor (Children & Young People): Fola Balogun

About me

In Nigeria I was a pupil teacher, before training to become a grade II teacher. I taught for two years then attended Advanced Teachers College (NEC), specialising in Physical and Health Education, Education and Adult Education. After teaching for some years I came to the UK and worked as a clerical officer in the finance department of a telecommunications company (BT). I returned to Nigeria and took up my teaching career once more, becoming Assistant Chief Education Officer and inspecting schools.

My interest in politics led me to take up the role of chairman of local government and I later served as assistant secretary for a political party. When I returned to the UK I undertook a computer course and did some work experience with Greenwich Council before applying to University of London, Goldsmiths to study Social Science, Community Development and Youth Work.

Over the years I have worked with many voluntary organisations, as an advocate for learning disability, with mental health clients as a befriender, an appropriate adult, social justice mentor for young people and with victim support.

Why I became a Governor

I decided to become a governor because I wanted to serve the community that has given me so much, and because I believe that Oxleas has been the best service provider for people who have been affected by mental health issues. The attention, care and empathy shown by the staff, together with conscientious management and a hard-working Board of Directors, makes it, in my opinion, one of the best NHS trusts. I'm proud to be part of it. It's a very friendly organisation with people at the centre of everything they do - it's supportive and accessible for those who need to use it.

I have been sent on lots of training courses, including finance and core skills training, so I can approach my duties with commitment and professionalism. I have visited many Oxleas sites and attended board meetings. I've also been involved in most of the events organised for learning disability clients, as well as those focused on recruiting more members, and have engaged in discussions on the progress of the trust. As a member of a working group holding non-executive directors to account, I work alongside other governors, and I'm also on the Committee for Membership.

My interests and hobbies

I love sports; I enjoy swimming and attend a gym. I also like visiting patients in the hospital and, in my quieter moments, I like to read and knit. I do some child care too.

Contact me

You can contact me by:

  • emailing
  • or you can call the Trust Secretary's office on 01322 625752 - they will pass a message on to me.
  • you can also write to me c/o the Trust Secretary's Office, Pinewood House, Pinewood Place, Dartford DA2 7WG.