I am thankful they were around when I needed a friend and a helping hand.



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.    

Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins worked in the NHS for 37 years as a clinical psychologist. For the last 20 of these she also ran clinical psychology training at UEA and then at the University of Essex. Suzanne was chair of one of the first specialist housing associations for people with learning disabilities in South London. Now retired, she has an honorary position at the University of Essex and supervises Cambridgeshire Social Services staff working with the most troubled families.

Janice Fawell FCMA (Treasurer)

Janice has worked in the NHS for 25 years across a range of provider and commissioning organisations at Board level. She is currently working with specialist and teaching hospitals in London to better understand the pathway and costs for specialist and complex patients. Janice was awarded a three-year Fellowship with NICE in 2011 and is also a Fellow of the RCA.

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.

Diana Parkinson (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.

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.  




Our Patrons

Professor Lesley Page

Baroness Helena Kennedy