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.

She continues her interest in maternal and child care in developing countries by 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.

Philip Nelson, Vice Chair
Director, Board Appointments at Career Volunteer (Charity People) 

A graduate in economics, Philip works as a senior executive search consultant supporting some of the UK’s leading charities including ActionAid UK, the Big Lottery Fund (England Committee), Sue Ryder, UnLtd and Volunteering Matters with the appointment of chairs and trustees.

His day job also now crosses over into his commitments outside work where he currently serves as Chair of the 7/7 Memorial Trust, a charity which he helped to found and where he played a pivotal role in the organisation of the two official commemorations for the 10th anniversary in 2015 and as a trustee of Coram's Fields, a children's charity in Camden. Philip has also previously served as a trustee of the Crime Prevention Panel and as a community governor at a primary school in King's Cross.

Philip also supports Britain's musical talent in his role as an Angel at Awards for Young Musicians.


Andrew Harris 
Chartered Accountant

Andrew is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of leadership roles within multi-national corporate environments. After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Economics, he completed his accountancy qualification with Deloitte & Touche. Andrew has undertaken a number of Chief Financial Officer roles, working in the UK, Europe & the USA. Andrew is married with two children.

Eileen Hayes MBE, BSc, MSc
Author & Parenting Advisor

Eileen Hayes MBE (services to children and families) is a mother of four, author, magazine columnist, qualified family counsellor and frequent broadcaster on TV and radio. Her background includes degrees in psychology and health education, teaching, health promotion and research.

As Parenting advisor to the NSPCC, over many years she worked on major campaigns such as Full Stop and Protecting Babies and wrote a wide range of their parenting publications, including Baby's First YearHandle with Care and Encouraging Better Behaviour as well as carrying out a great deal of their media response work on family issues.

Eileen has published several books on childcare, including Understanding Your BabyUnderstanding Your ToddlerCrying, Tantrums, and Crying and Comforting. A regular contributor to the media on family topics, on programmes like The Wright Stuff and Woman’s Hour, Eileen has also made several series of Practical Parenting tips for Living Channel, and presented a parenting slot on BBC series A Family of My Own and Everyone’s Got One. 

She was Editor-in-Chief of Your Family magazine and website for five years, is parenting expert on and, and Parenting Consultant to Bounty who deliver publications to all new mothers in the UK. Eileen's current responsibilities include being Chair of the Media and Cultural Change group for the Early Years Champions group, Patron of Parenting UK (of which she was a founder member and Vice-Chair), trustee of Brazleton Centre in the UK, member of the Government sub-group on public education for the early years, and Ambassador for Deaf Parenting UK.

Obi Amadi
Lead Professional Officer

Obi Amadi 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 starting her current post.

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.

She 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. “We all have a vital role to play in shaping and delivering health improvement to our population and our organisation is committed to support practitioners to do this”

Nadia Gabbie
PR and Communications Expert

Nadia is a highly experienced PR and Communications expert with a career spanning 25 years, who currently provides 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 over 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 Beginings, Nadia works in an advisory capacity for First Story, a charity which encourages an champions literacy in childen by providing creative off-curriculum writing workings in low-income area schools.

Andrew Earnshaw
Digital Health Consultant

Andrew Earnshaw is a technology consultant who delivers projects that improve health and social care. He has over a decade of experience in developing technology solutions for healthcare organisations in the UK, USA and Europe.

Andrew's recent projects have included improving the use of IT in a number of NHS trusts, connecting volunteers to health research, improving access to healthcare for rural populations in the USA, and supporting an IT programme to improve the health of babies in England. He has also supported the mobile telecommunications industry to adopt mobile health solutions.

Having recently become a father, Andrew has a real passion for making Best Beginnings a success.

Helen PertHelen Pert

Fundraising and Leadership Consultant

Helen is a Fundraising and Leadership Consultant for not for profit organisations, providing support in raising high value gifts. Helen is also a Board member for the Institute of Fundraising Convention and is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Major Gifts Leadership Group.

Helen started her career in the City of London working in technology and finance across Europe. Since joining the not for profit sector 25 years ago, Helen has focused on raising high value philanthropic funds from individuals, charitable trusts, institutions and corporate organisations. 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,

Helen is a mother to 2 children and 2 step children. She is passionate about providing support for parents through pregnancy and a child’s early years, and also promoting positive mental health.

Hilary Russell

Fundraising Advisor

Hilary Russell 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 Anglican property business, as well as 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 also 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


Seb Orton is a corporate partner at Eversheds Sutherland specialising in capital markets. Prior to joining Eversheds Sutherland, Seb was a corporate partner at another 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.