Lucy Ball 

Lucy is a policy adviser and consultant with particular expertise in setting up and running grant making trusts and foundations and corporate giving to charity.    

Jen Beardsley FCA (Treasurer)

Jen is a chartered accountant and currently works on a freelance basis undertaking Independent Examinations and providing Finance Support to several charities working with women experiencing disadvantage. For 10 years prior to that she worked as the Head of Finance at Kent Association for the Blind.

Viv Gray 

Viv is a founder member of Birth Companions with a background in birth education and birth support. She is a midwife in independent practice, acupuncturist and trainee clinical hypnotherapist. 

Liz Hogarth OBE 

Liz worked in the voluntary sector and probation service before heading up the probation team in HMP Holloway for eight years. At the Home Office and MoJ Liz worked closely with Baroness Corston on developing the Corston Report and implementing its recommendations. She was awarded the OBE in 2008 for services to women offenders. Liz now works in a voluntary capacity as an advisor to Baroness Corston and the Corston Independent Funders Coalition. 

Sam Matthews 

Sam is Director of Deliver at Leap Confronting Conflict, prior to that she was CEO at Charities Evaluation Services. Leap supports young people to gain a greater understanding of themselves and their relationship to conflict – the organisation works in prisons and in local communities.  Sam’s career spans over 20 years in the civil society sector where she developed specialist skills in quality assurance, change management and performance improvement.  She is also a skilled trainer and facilitator. 

Jenny Mcleish

Jenny is a former criminal and family law barrister who joined the voluntary sector to focus on improving services and support for mothers and babies experiencing disadvantage.  She is also a health services researcher at Oxford University and has a particular research focus on volunteer, peer and doula support for families experiencing disadvantage.

Diana Parkinson MBE (Chair)

Diana is one of the founder members of Birth Companions and has been Chair of Trustees since 2001. She has a background as an antenatal teacher and has worked in the voluntary sector for many years. She is a freelance evaluator and has a particular expertise in work in the criminal justice sector. 

Anne Stephens 

Anne Stephens was a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Holloway for 19 years until December 2013. She worked as a volunteer for Citizens’ Advice Bureau for 10 years. She has been a Magistrate in the Adult and Family courts since 2004. She is a member of the Steering Group of PECAN Moving On project which mentors young women leaving prison. 

Avan Wadia 

Avan has been a trustee with Birth Companions for over ten years and has worked in and with the voluntary sector for more than twenty. She has a particular interest in women, prisons and human rights and is currently working as a freelance consultant and trainer in monitoring and evaluation with a number of organisations including Working Families, Kidscape and Rape Crisis England & Wales. 

Julie Juliff

Julie retired from the NHS in 2018 after 38 years service as a nurse and manager. Her last role was maternity commissioner for the North Central London Local Maternity system (LMS), which involved working with providers, women, voluntary organisations and other commissioners to ensure families received the best possible maternity care and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Our Patrons 

Professor Lesley Page 

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Birth Companions is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1120934 at Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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