I am responsible for the leadership of the team, the overall implementation of the strategic and business plans, fundraising, finance, risk-management and HR. I came to Birth Companions from running Inside Job Productions, a social enterprise working with women ex/offenders. I have a background in communications, training at the BBC and working as a documentary film-maker in the UK and in Communications for Development in East Africa, before moving to the voluntary sector.
Head of Services
Denise Marshall, MBE
My role is to co-ordinate the services we provide for women in prison and in the community and to support the staff and volunteers who do this work. I also support our new birth companions through their training year. I joined Birth Companions in 2005 and it has been very rewarding to be able to extend our support to more women and to women in different settings as the organisation has developed and grown.
Senior Coordinator: Community Births
I joined Birth Companions in 2015. My role is to coordinate the support Birth Companions offer to vulnerable women in the community in London, working with service users, referrers and our volunteers. I am also The Designated Safeguarding Officer for the organisation. I am passionate about providing the very best support we can for the women we work with. My professional background includes work as a Breast Feeding Counsellor, Doula, Child Protection Officer, Welfare & Family Support Worker and Key Worker in a Children’s Therapeutic Residential Home.
Senior Coordinator: Bronzefield Prison Services
Community Manager: Antenatal and Postnatal Services
I joined Birth Companions in 2010 to help support pregnant women and new mothers in HMP Holloway. As our prison work has evolved, so has my role and I am now responsible for developing and delivering our antenatal and postnatal courses for women in prison and the community. I also coordinate and supervise our team of prison visitors who visit HMP Bronzefield in Surrey every week to deliver classes, groups and ongoing support for the women there. Most recently, I have also become Community Manager: Antenatal and Postnatal Services overseeing the delivery of our targeted community-based antenatal courses in Hackney and Islington and our Community based postnatal services. I am a qualified breastfeeding counsellor and I am the Breastfeeding Lead for the organisation.
Coordinator: Community Postnatal Services
I joined Birth Companions in 2019. I support women in the community postnatally, until their babies are 8 months old. I run a weekly group that provides support, advocacy, signposting, discussions and a space for women to connect. My aim is to empower women to build their own support and community networks. Prior to starting at Birth Companions I worked at Mind coordinating youth volunteers and advocates. I have also worked in support/therapeutic roles in a college, a women’s prison and an eating disorder clinic.
I have been involved with Birth Companions since 2007 and started out as a volunteer before joining the staff. My role is to ensure that all our systems run smoothly from our database to our external communications. I manage our website, and oversee all our evaluation and monitoring, tracking the different aspects of the support and generating all the figures and statistics required to support our fundraising activities.
Head of Policy and Communications
I lead our work to build greater understanding of multiple disadvantage during pregnancy and early motherhood, in order to inform and influence policy and practice. I work directly with the Lived Experience Team and with policy-makers, parliamentarians, commissioners and the media to help make sure women’s voices are heard and responded to. I joined Birth Companions after many years working as a consultant specialising in charity communications and campaigns.
I joined Birth Companions in 2012 and worked in HMP Holloway, coordinated our services at HMP Peterborough and then managed a four year National Lottery Community Fund project in User-Engagement. My current role is Engagement Manager and I lead the Lived Experience Team (LET) The LET offers opportunities for women to influence maternity services through consultation and co-production. We work with commissioners, public bodies and other voluntary organisations to ensure the voice of women facing multiple disadvantage is represented in policy, research and service development. I am also a Peer Support Trainer which involves training serving prisoners to offer practical and emotional support to perinatal women in prison.
Administration and Information Officer
Katherine Miller Brunton
I am the Administration and Information Officer at Birth Companions. I provide administrative support to the staff team across all aspects of our work, including service delivery in the community and in prison, and attend to our information and data needs. I joined Birth Companions in 2020, having previously worked for a number of other third-sector organisations in research, data and administration roles. I have a longstanding interest in pregnancy, birth and maternity care, and wrote my MSc thesis on experiences of multidisciplinary collaboration within the Dutch maternity care system.
Coordinator: Foston Hall Prison Services
I joined Birth Companions in November 2020. My role is to coordinate and deliver our support services to pregnant women and new mothers in HMP Foston Hall, including working with our prison volunteers; prison, healthcare and midwifery services and working with peer supporters within the prison. I am passionate about the women’s sector and the impact that specialist support services can have for women. As well as my work with Birth Companions, I also volunteer as a trustee and helpline volunteer with my local rape crisis centre.
Coordinator: Peterborough Prison Services
I joined Birth Companions in 2020 to coordinate services for pregnant women and new mothers in Peterborough Prison. I work with prison staff, midwives and a small team of volunteers to provide practical and emotional support that is tailored to women’s individual needs. I am also a midwife with a particular interest in continuity of care and its potential to help reduce health inequalities. I’m currently doing a masters in primary maternity care with an Australian university.
Coordinator: Peterborough Prison Peer Program
I joined Birth Companions in January 2021. My role is to co-ordinate our Peer Support programme in HMP Peterborough. This programme comprises of two pathways; 1. Peer support for perinatal women focusing on support, advice and guidance and 2. Healthcare Peer Support which aims to ensure all women are registered with a GP and have information on local services upon release. I will be recruiting and providing ongoing support for peer supporters as well as acting as the project lead in HMP Peterborough. I have worked in Youth work and Criminal Justice for 10 years, managing programmes across local and national youth provisions and probation as well as delivering theatre interventions in prisons and mentoring women in prison. I am incredibly passionate about the positive and holistic impact that mentoring and coaching interventions have with those that face disadvantage and am excited to be developing a programme with this at the core. Alongside work I volunteer for a local homeless community group which involves person centred support and providing hot meals and essentials to those in need.