Chair of Trustees

Dr Ann Hoskins MB BCh, BAO, MCommH, FFPHM

Ann has over 30 years’ experience working in public health in the UK and the Republic of Yemen. She has successfully led innovations in health strategy, policy development and programme implementation to improve health and tackle health inequalities. She has held local, regional and national senior PH leadership positions, with a special interest in children and families.Ann continues her interest in maternal and child care in developing countries through her membership of the External Advisory Group, Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She is a non-executive board member of Plus Dane Housing Association.

Vice Chair

Helen Pert - Director, Fundraising and Leadership Consultant

Helen’s career began in the City of London in IT/finance working across Europe. Since joining the not-for-profit sector 25 years ago, Helen has focussed on raising high value philanthropic funds from HNWI's, Charitable Trusts, Institutions and corporate organisations. Helen has extensive experience of building Fundraising Boards to raise new income for appeal and non appeal income. Working most recently as Development Director for the British Heart Foundation, Helen has previously worked in leadership roles for Age UK and the NSPCC's Full Stop Campaign, and her career has been punctuated by a number of consultancy roles at a wide range of national and international charities.

Treasurer

Kirsten Johnston - Chartered Accountant

Kirstin has over 10 years experience working in the financial services industry, having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2010 with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland. Her career to date has been spent leading external audits at Deloitte in both Scotland and London before joining internal audit at Credit Suisse where she continues to work today. She has experience in numerous industries including charities, consumer goods and financial services.

Kirstin has two children under the age of three and as a result has a very keen interest in both child care and development which drew her to the charity. The skills and expertise forged in her career to date, alongside a natural interest in the work of the charity led her to apply for the Treasurer position, a role where she believes she can add real value.

Obi Amadi - Lead Professional Officer

Obi is Lead Professional Officer for Unite the Union Health Sector which incorporates all professional groups including the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association. She is a trained nurse, midwife, health visitor and nurse practitioner, leaving clinical posts to work as a locality manager in two London Healthcare Trusts before joining Best Beginnings.

Her role involves supporting professional activity across the UK, taking the strategic lead on professional issues, working with Government on policy development and supporting our industrial relations and campaigning activity. Obi is passionate about reducing inequalities in health and the promotion of the diversity agenda. She is a member of the Mary Seacole Award Steering Group and in 2013 she was made a Mary Seacole Statute Appeal Ambassador.

Nadia Gabbie - PR and Communications Expert

Nadia is a highly experienced PR and Communications expert with a career spanning 25 years. She offers strategic communications advice in an in-house capacity to a range of consumer-facing technology businesses.

Nadia has founded her own PR agency and led teams in large networked and global agencies throughout her career. During this time she has represented a wide range of consumer-facing brands, from retail to family entertainment, and from sport to travel.

Nadia's focus is on helping brands and organisations to protect their reputations. In this capacity she is an expert in crisis communications as well as in proactive and creative consumer campaign development and delivery. Her specialist expertise is in joining the lines between public relations and social media, and developing strategic plans to help brand storytelling.

A mother to three sons and married to a gynaecologist, Nadia also has a particular passion for Best Beginnings' vision to achieve an equal start in life for all.

Alongside Best Beginnings, Nadia works in an advisory capacity for First Story, a charity which encourages and champions literacy in children by providing creative off-curriculum writing workings in low-income area schools.

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. 

 

Seb Orton - Corporate partner at Eversheds Sutherland Law firm

Seb is a corporate partner at Eversheds Sutherland specialising in capital markets. Before joining the company he worked a different global firm where he also led the London pro bono practice and oversaw work for a number of charities, including Best Beginnings.

Seb sits on the Board’s Risk Committee. As a corporate lawyer, the essence of his day job is to prepare companies for listings on the London Stock Exchange and to brief boards of directors on their duties and responsibilities while helping them ensure they have adequate systems and controls in place to deal with the next stage in their development. These skills will assist the charity to maintain good standards of governance going forward.

Seb has two children and is based in London and has a strong interest in reducing inequality throughout the UK while furthering the parity of esteem narrative around mental health.

Claire Lyons-Collins - MH Innovation and Improvement at NHS Improvement

Clare led the development of the national improvement model for mental health, Valued care in mental health: Improving for excellence on behalf of NHS Improvement. This was co-produced with mental health trusts across England. She has a long history of transformation in the NHS working across community, acute care and commissioning. She originally trained as an Occupational Therapist, holds a MBA from Henley Business School and was recently invited to become a leadership fellow at St. George’s House, Windsor Castle.

She lives in South West London, with her husband and two children. She has lived experience of postnatal depression giving her invaluable insight into perinatal mental health.

Gideon 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.