Alison Baum, CEO
Alison set up Best Beginnings in 2006 as a catalyst for change to radically reduce child health inequalities in the UK. Through working collaboratively, innovatively and from the evidence base, Alison has already had significant success.
In 2007, Alison received the prestigious Sheila McKechnie "Campaigner of the Year" award for her work in creating the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition, uniting 40 organisations, including five Royal Colleges and UNICEF, to lobby Government to deliver on seven objectives designed to allow women to make fully informed choices about how to feed their babies.
Before setting up Best Beginnings, Alison set up an internet based social enterprise called Express Yourself Mums, providing information and products for new mothers. She received a Level I and Level II Award from UnLtd, the national charity that supports Social Entrepreneurs for this work but left Express Yourself Mums in 2006 as she felt it wasn’t the best vehicle for social change.
Prior to setting up the social enterprise, Alison had worked as a producer and director for the BBC for almost ten years. She made science and health programmes such as Horizon, Tomorrow’s World and Animal Hospital and played a key role in "Making it Happen", the BBC’s internal change programme.
Alison has an MA from Oxford University in Pure and Applied Biology and an MSc from UCL in Neuroscience. She is married with two children aged eight and six, both of whom were born with cleft palates and significant health problems. She comes from a family of doctors and is married to a paediatrician.
Sarah Taylor, Director of Development
Sarah joined Best Beginnings in February 2013 from Christian Aid where she was head of corporate partnerships. She has been working in fundraising and marketing communications for nearly thirty years, in both the private sector and the not-for-profit sector. She has considerable experience of income generation having previously managed membership and sponsorship for Chatham House and the Management Consultancies Association. Sarah has a degree in modern languages. She is married with one daughter.
Lee Hall, Operations Manager
Lee has been at the charity since 2008. Lee is responsible for managing the day to day running of the charity, including finances, office management, human resources and the administration of various charitable activities.
Before joining Best Beginnings, Lee was Office Manager and Director at a Shoreditch marketing and design firm. He has also co-ordinated the production of academic journals at the British Psychological Society. Lee has a degree in English and in his spare time works to raise awareness of human rights abuses in China.
Jen Hughes, Fundraising Officer
Jen joined Best Beginnings in June 2011 and works on a variety of fundraising tasks. Jen has a degree in Geography and prior to joining Best Beginnings worked for the international development charity Action Against Hunger, as well as organising various fundraising events in her spare time.
Andrea Priest, Project Co-ordinator
Andrea joined Best Beginnings as Project Coordinator in March 2012. Prior to joining Best Beginnings she worked as Office Administrator and Project Assistant at a social and economic research consultancy called SQW, while volunteering as a befriender for the charity Home Start. Andrea studied at the University of Edinburgh and has a degree in Social Policy and Sociology.