Head of Operations
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.
Coordinator: Community Antenatal Services (Maternity cover)
My role is to coordinate our antenatal services for women in the community, which includes supporting women at our Hackney-based antenatal classes as well as one-to-one. I am passionate about women being well informed and educated in a trauma informed way around pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period, as this then allows women to feel empowered and confident when making decisions for themselves and their babies.
Coordinator: Peterborough Prison Peer Support Service
My role is to co-ordinate our Peer Support Project for women at HMP Peterborough. I train and supervise the Peer Supporters in the prison who support the pregnant women and new mothers there. Before Birth Companions, I worked as a Policy and Project Officer at Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) where I developed a passion for peer support and co-production. Before that, I spent time volunteering with refugees in Greece and in a London based homeless drop-in. I am currently volunteering with an outreach service supporting women involved in the sex industry and as a texter at SHOUT mental health line.
Denise Marshall, MBE
Head of Services
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.
Coordinator: Bronzefield Prison Peer Support and Wellbeing Service
I coordinate our Peer Support and Wellbeing Service for perinatal women at HMP Bronzefield. I train and supervise the Peer Supporters in the prison who support the pregnant women and new mothers there. I joined Birth Companions having worked for several years as a caseworker with Prisoners Abroad, and before that as a Family Support Worker and Violence against Women and Girls Lead Worker with the Single Homeless Project. I have volunteered with a number of initiatives including The Helen Bamber Foundation, Help Refugees and Hibiscus and I am a trained massage therapist with a pregnancy specialism.
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: Foston Hall Prison Service
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.
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.
Katherine Miller Brunton
Administration and Information Officer
I provide administrative support across all aspects of Birth Companions’ work, including service delivery in the community and in prisons. I work on our database and statistical reporting, and I contribute to our website, social media, policy activities, and internal and external communications. I have a background in Sociology and Medical Anthropology and have carried out research into multidisciplinary collaboration within maternity care. I joined Birth Companions in 2020 having previously worked in research, data and administration roles at a number of other third-sector organisations.
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 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.
Rubi Rodriguez Nieto
Community Services Manager
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 a trained Doula, and a Social Anthropologist with a masters in Social Development.
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