Head of Operations
I have been involved with Birth Companions since 2007 and started out as a volunteer before joining the staff team. 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: Bronzefield Prison Peer Support and Wellbeing Service (Maternity cover)
My role is to 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. Before joining Birth Companions, I worked 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 currently volunteer with an outreach service supporting women involved in the sex industry and as a texter on a mental health line.
Coordinator: Community Perinatal Support Service - Criminal Justice
My role is to coordinate the delivery of perinatal support for women involved with the Criminal Justice System in the community, including those on probation and community sentences. The support that I offer includes one-to-one antenatal work, remote birth support, postnatal guidance, signposting and advocacy work where needed. I have a background in Criminology and am a trained pregnancy yoga teacher and Doula, where I provide emotional and practical support to women on their unique birthing journey.
Denise Marshall, MBE
Head of Services
My role is to oversee 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 volunteer birth companions through their training year. I joined the Birth Companions staff team 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 birth support Birth Companions offers to vulnerable women in the community in London, working with pregnant women and new mothers, referrers, and our volunteers. I am also the Designated Safeguarding Officer for Birth Companions. 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.
Head of Engagement
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 to develop our service user engagement. My current role is Head of Engagement, and I manage our Lived Experience Team (LET). The LET offers opportunities for women to influence change in maternity services, the criminal justice system and children’s social care through consultation and co-production. The team collaborates with health commissioners, public bodies, researchers and other voluntary organisations to ensure the voices of women facing inequality and disadvantage are represented in policy, research and service development. In addition to managing the LET, I support other organisations in the women’s sector to develop best practice in their engagement work.
Katherine Miller Brunton
Policy, Communications and Engagement Officer
I joined Birth Companions as the Administration and Information Officer in 2020, having previously worked in research, data and administration roles at a number of other third-sector organisations. Since 2022, I have worked to support Birth Companions' policy, research and influencing activities, and the work of our Lived Experience Team, in order to improve care and support for women facing inequality and disadvantage during the perinatal period. I have a background in Sociology and Medical Anthropology and previously carried out Masters research looking at multidisciplinary collaboration within maternity care.
Head of Policy and Communications
I lead our work to build greater understanding of inequality and 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.
Coordinator: Community Antenatal Services
My role is to coordinate the delivery of our antenatal services for women in the community. I plan and deliver a weekly 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.
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.
Administration and Information Officer
My role is to provide administrative, data and information support to the Birth Companions staff and volunteer teams. I support our service delivery in the community and in prisons, process incoming referrals, oversee the running of our 24-hour Birth Line, and manage incoming enquiries. Prior to joining Birth Companions in 2023, I worked in the charity sector as a volunteer and staff coordinator within the youth, community, and sustainable international development sectors. I am trained in a variety of women’s holistic wellness practices including womb & fertility massage, womb yoga, movement, meditation and energy healing, and hold space for individuals and groups through my own practice.
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 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.
Sophie Hug Williams
Coordinator: Community Postnatal Services
I started volunteering with Birth Companions in 2016, and joined the staff team in 2022. I run a weekly Community Mother & Baby group that provides support and a space for women to connect with each other. Prior to working with Birth Companions, I worked in Humanitarian Aid for over 10 years, focused on projects to protect and empower women and girls.
Criminal Justice Services Manager
I oversee the delivery of Birth Companions' prison and probation contracts, and manage the coordinators delivering these services. Before joining Birth Companions in 2022, I spent 15 years working with women, men and young people involved in the criminal justice system, and those at risk due to exploitation, problematic substance use to cope, difficulties with mental health, and social exclusion, through roles at organisations like Women in Prison, Cranstoun and User Voice. I have also worked to support women who are victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and in a mental health capacity with university students. I am an RSA fellow and the board co-chair of Clean Break, a women’s theatre company who work to highlight the injustice women face in the criminal justice system through theatre.