Our Directors

Meet our Directors

Diana Noel Paton

Diana has worked with Thistle since 1995.

Before that, she worked for a number of statutory and voluntary organisations in the field of supported housing and mental health.

For the first number of years here she was the Operations Director and was very involved in the move from residential and housing services to that of our current individualised Supported Living service.

Diana became Chief Executive in January 2005. She believes the biggest challenge for Thistle in the coming years is to manage the difficult task of continuing to grow and further develop our work, as well as ensuring that we remain committed to responding individually and flexibly to every person we  support.  

Mark Hoolahan

Mark has over 20 years’ experience working across the private, public and voluntary sectors.

During his career, Mark has provided support and leadership to teams of learning and organisational development practitioners both within the NHS and Local Government. He has contributed to the development and delivery of effective learning programmes and resources to support the delivery of high quality support for people. During his time working in the local government and voluntary sectors Mark has made important contributions to leading and facilitating large scale change such the move towards implementing Self-Directed Support (SDS).

Mark joined Thistle in February 2014 and as Deputy Chief Executive has been working to grow and develop the organisation as a high quality Health and Wellbeing charity. During his time in the organisation Mark has continued to work with colleagues and support Thistle to continue its journey towards becoming a self-directed organisation, where staff are empowered to continue developing their skills and deliver the shared values of the Thistle community in practice.

A consistent theme through Mark’s career has been his commitment to ensure that supported people are involved and have choice and control over how their support is designed and delivered.

Mark says, ‘I am inspired by the stories of people who come to Thistle and who have experienced and overcome significant challenges in their lives. It is a privilege to work alongside them and to play a part in supporting them to live the life they want.”

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