Chair of Trustees

Lorraine Barclay

Lorraine is a qualified accountant with over 20 years’ experience in Leadership roles within Financial Services. Having been at ICAP/NEX/CME for 30+ years, she currently heads up financial transformation at The Bank of England. Recognised for her collaborative style, together with her ability to drive transformational change and growth, her experience covers a range of different cultures across Europe, the USA and Asia.  

 Lorraine is passionate about social mobility and as well as Chairing the Best Beginnings’ Board is an active supporter of community projects including being a Trustee of “Leadership Through Sport and Business” a Patron of the West Ham Foundation and a friend of the Rennaissance Foundation.  

 Recognising the impact of the pandemic on new and expectant families, and her deep understanding of the unique role that Best Beginnings has to play in reducing parental anxiety and isolation, Lorraine took a sabbatical from her career to work full-time, pro-bono, for Best Beginnings as Interim COO for more than six months. 


Dhaval Ponda

Dhaval Ponda - Global Head of Sales & BD, Media & Entertainment at Tata Communications

Dhaval currently heads the global business team of media & entertainment of Tata Communications based out of London. As one of the early founding members of the team, Dhaval has played an active role in scaling and effectively managing the global business resulting in one of the fastest growing players in the world of sports and new age media. As a very active leader in the world of digital media, sports & technology, Dhaval is often found discussing the future trends likely to impact not only the world of business but also every day walk of life.

 As an electronics engineer and MBA in Finance & Strategy from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Dhaval has explored the effective deployment of UN Human Development Index (HDI) to better deploy real world policy in the developing world. He is passionate about the role of technology to impact the public health and education sectors.


Hilary Russell

Hilary Russell - PR and Fundraising Advisor

Hilary is a highly experienced PR and Fundraising Advisor with considerable expertise in the not-for-profit sector. With a diverse range of interests and experiences, she is the Director of a variety of business ventures, including a leading hotel in Cambridge, an East Anglian property business and a farming business. Hilary is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Farmers Livery Company, as well as the Advisory Council for the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund based at the Old Bailey and has an active interest in the prison and probation service and reform of prisoners.

In the past she has worked on large projects for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Music in Hospitals and Bees for Development. In 2002, Hilary was a founding member of the charity, Blue Smile, based in Cambridge. The charity works in primary schools supporting children through early intervention and arts based therapy.

Hilary has four children and is based in London and Cambridge.  With a degree in Natural Sciences from Durham University majoring in Psychology and Zoology, she has always had an interest in mental health and wellbeing, which has driven her passion for Best Beginnings' vision and work. 

Gideon HurwitzGideon Hurwitz - FinTech Innovation Lab manager

Gideon is currently the FinTech Innovation Lab manager for the technology consultancy firm, Accenture. His experience at the London Innovation Centre (9 months) allowed him an acute insight into the evolving digital trends and how they are impacting firms today. His background in sales strategy, analytics and research has enabled him to set up an internal initiative called “Re:Think”, a thought-leadership platform discussing the issues of today. He has done pro-bono work on the side, supporting the Accenture Development Partnerships team in their offerings to charities. Gideon has a keen interested in the start-up world and is an advocate of education-for-all. 

Birte Harlev-Lam OBE - Senior Clinical Leader and Executive Director Midwife at RCM

Birte is a senior clinical leader with significant midwifery, children’s and general healthcare expertise underpinned by over 35 years of experience in clinical, management and strategic roles. She has worked across all settings as a midwife and held a number of senior positions including Director of Midwifery and Divisional Manager for Women’s and Children’s Services in both London and Cambridge, Regional Strategic Maternity Lead and nationally as the Head of Maternity and Children’s Services in NHS England. She then joined NHS Improvement as the Clinical Director for Maternity and Children where her remit involved supporting maternity and children’s services to make quality improvements ensuring women, children and their families’ had consistently safe, high quality, compassionate care. For the past two years Birte have been the Executive Director Midwife at the Royal College of midwives, where she is responsible for the setting the professional strategic direction and delivery agenda locally, nationally and internationally on behalf of the organisation.

Birte believes passionately in the importance of leadership and quality improvement, and how this links to safe, equitable and personalised care.

Birte Harlev-Lam OBE


Angela Horsley MBE - ECHO transition Partnership Manager at Hospice UK

The focus of Angela’s working life and her passion for her chosen career is the continuous improvement of healthcare for children and young people. Within her previous national role as Head of Children, Young People and Transition, NHS Improvement, Angela provided nursing advice relating to children and young people’s health care to the Chief Nursing Officer, England.  In 2018 she developed an Improvement and Assessment Framework for children and young people. This followed a review she undertook of children and young people’s services who were rated as “Requires Improvement” or “Inadequate” by the CQC.  Her role also included visiting services and supporting them to improve the care they give to children and young people.  From 2019-2021 Angela led on an England wide collaborative that aimed to improve healthcare transition for children and young people requiring physical and mental health care.

With over forty years’ experience as a nurse, earlier roles include: Head of East Midlands Maternity and Children’s Network, Senior Nurse for Children and Young People, NHS England, and Clinical Lead at the Nottingham Children’s hospital. She has worked in a variety of roles in the UK and abroad and was instrumental in the commissioning of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s hospital.

She is a registered general nurse, registered sick children’s nurse and Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She has published and presented widely and is a former chair of the Association of Chief Children’s Nurses (ACCN).

Angela has recently retired from the NHS but now works for Hospice UK as the ECHO Transition Partnership Manager.  She is also a Volunteer Counsellor for Childline.

Outside of work, Angela is a keen gardener and cyclist.