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.
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 also help other organisations develop their engagement practice. As well as leading the LET I work as a Peer Support Trainer which involves training serving prisoners to offer practical and emotional support to pregnant women and mothers in prison.
Administration and Information Officer
Katherine Miller Brunton
I provide administrative support across all aspects of Birth Companions’ work, including service delivery in the community and in prisons. I take care of our data and information needs, and contribute to our website, social media, and internal and external communications. I joined Birth Companions in 2020, having previously worked in research, data and administration roles at a number of other third-sector organisations. I have longstanding interests in pregnancy, birth and maternity care, and have previously carried out research into the experiences of multidisciplinary collaboration within the Dutch maternity care system.
Community Services Manager
Rubi Rodriguez Nieto
My role is to manage and develop Birth Companions’ Community Services (antenatal, birth and postnatal) and to support the team of coordinators who deliver these services. I am also responsible for implementing Birth Companions’ new Community Probation Support Service. I joined Birth Companions in 2021, having previously worked coordinating volunteers supporting pregnant women in vulnerable situations in East London. I have also worked in the domestic violence support and migrant women charity sectors. I am also a trained Doula and a Social Anthropologist with a masters in Social Development.
Coordinator: Community Antenatal Services
My role is to coordinate the delivery of our antenatal services in the community. I plan and deliver an antenatal course, covering everything from pregnancy and labour, to infant feeding choices and the post-partum period. I also provide emotional support, signposting and practical items where needed. My aim is to offer information and support to women, empowering them to make the best decisions and choices for them and their babies. I am a trained Hypnobirthing teacher and have experience working as a maternity care assistant.
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 and Family Support Worker and Key Worker in a Children’s Therapeutic Residential Home.
Coordinator: Community Postnatal Services
I joined Birth Companions in 2019. I support women in the community postnatally, until their babies are eight 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.
Coordinator: Community Probation Services
I joined Birth Companions in 2020 to coordinate services for pregnant women and new mothers in HMP Peterborough. Building on my experience of working in prisons, I’m now leading a community service providing emotional and practical support for perinatal women on probation. I work closely with other voluntary sector organisations, contributing to a holistic wraparound service tailored to meet women’s complex and individual needs. I provide face to face support for women in London and remote support for women in the regions surrounding London. I’m also a midwife with a particular interest in continuity of carer and its potential to help reduce health inequalities. I’m currently doing a masters in primary maternity care with an Australian university.
Coordinator: Foston Hall and Bronzefield 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 also temporarily covering our remote support services in HMP Bronzefield. 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 Peer Support Programme
I joined Birth Companions in January 2021. My role is to co-ordinate our Peer Support programme 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 who face disadvantage and am excited to be leading a programme with this at its 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.