The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the governance of our charity and ensures that we are acting in the best interests of parents, who are our beneficiaries.
They set the strategy, policy and financial framework for our charity and have overall direction and control.
They also have responsibility for ensuring our charity complies with the law and the safeguarding of our charity’s assets, including its money, property and reputation.
NCT's Board is composed of a minimum of nine and maximum of twelve Trustees. Up to eight Trustees are elected by the membership and up to four are appointed by the Board.
The Board of Trustees is supported in its work by two board committees:
- Audit, Risk and Scrutiny – covering the adequacy of financial control, external reporting of performance, and budget and risk management.
- Nominations and Remuneration - covering people issues, inclusion, trustee recruitment and remuneration policy for senior management and other key groups.
Voluntary independent members work alongside trustees on each of the committees to support these specific governance areas. The independent members are not trustees but are appointed as co-optees on the committees to bring additional skills, experiences and perspectives to our governance work.
The Nominations and Remunerations Committee are responsible for assessing the current Board's skills, experience and diversity, and oversee the election and appointment of Trustees. In 2020, we took positive action to increase the diversity of our Board and Committees. We were delighted to welcome five new Trustees and independent Committee members to support strong governance at NCT. You can read more here.
If you would like to contact our trustees, please email email@example.com.
Jessica Figueras, Chair of Trustees
Jessica became chair in June 2017 after being elected to the board by members at the 2016 AGM.
Jessica has had a wide variety of roles at NCT since joining in 2009, including breastfeeding counsellor, research networker and branch co-ordinator. She lives in London with her husband, two daughters and a rabbit.
Her day job is as a tech strategist and board advisor specialising in government, policy and regulation, and civil society. She currently advises start-ups and scale-ups on growth strategy, and undertakes tech futures research for the UK government. Previously she ran multi-million pound data and research programmes at companies including Dods, GlobalData and Ovum, worked as a director at a digital start-up network, and in public relations.
Stephanie Maurel, Chair Elect
Stephanie is Chief Executive of the Corporation of Church House. Previously, she was Chief Executive of Concordia, a charity promoting international volunteering.
She began her career in the commercial sector before moving into customer focused and strategy roles at Sport England. Stephanie is also a trustee of her county sports partnership.
Stephanie feels strongly about the rights of women and girls and is a trained mentor supporting women working within the charity sector as well as a lead mentor for a charity working with teenage girls from deprived backgrounds.
She was appointed to the Board in 2017 and will take on the role of Chair of Trustees from 1 August 2021.
David Shanks, Vice Chair of Trustees
David is a lawyer, currently working at Google as Senior Counsel. Previously, David was an associate at Freshfields in the City.
He has significant experience in managing risk and has knowledge of the digital and tech industries.
After experiencing his first antenatal course, it was the support and network he and his partner found through NCT that inspired him to apply to become an NCT trustee.
David was appointed to the Board in 2017.
Ema Ojiako, Honorary Secretary
Ema is currently employed as the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development - Operations at NHS England and NHS Improvement.
She has held senior Human Resources positions in public and private Healthcare. Ema is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an Employment Tribunals Lay member with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and also serves on the board of Directors as a trustee with the charity CAP UK.
Ema was appointed to the board in 2021 to the vacant position of an elected trustee until the close of the next Annual General Meeting.
Richard Smothers, Honorary Treasurer
Richard has been chief financial officer and executive director at Greene King since February 2018. Previously he was chief financial officer at Mothercare.
Richard has held senior positions in a number of large FTSE companies both in the UK and internationally. He brings extensive financial, commercial and boardroom experience to NCT.
Richard was appointed to the NCT Board in February 2016 and is chair of the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Committee.
Sherry Bevan, President
Over the years Sherry has developed strong links across NCT practitioners, volunteers and staff. She’s taken on many volunteer roles including branch coordinator, newsletter editor, and London Regional Coordinator. Plus she continues to volunteer locally at Baby First Aid and Nearly New Sales.
Sherry qualified as a Breastfeeding Counsellor in 2010. For two years she worked at one of our Baby Cafés while also facilitating sessions in antenatal classes which she continues to this day.
With more than 30 years’ experience in technology, Sherry joined NCT staff as User Engagement Lead for the Parentforce project. She took on additional data protection responsibilities and coordinated our GDPR efforts. Sherry was elected to the Board at our AGM in 2019 as President and resigned from her staff role.
Sherry is mum to two teenage daughters and has been married to Tony for more than 30 years. She’s a marathon runner (gaining a place in London 2020) and a successful career coach.
Sherry was elected as President at the 2019 AGM.
Chi Evi-Parker, Trustee
Chi has over 13 years’ experience working in marketing, digital marketing, and strategy in the private sector, with over 5 years in leadership positions driving business growth.
Chi is an advocate for equality, and a founding member of Tesco’s African, Black & Caribbean (ABC) Network in 2011. She sits as an advisor and mentor for a number of Black, Asian and minority-ethnic organisations, supporting junior marketers as they progress through their career.
She is passionate about ensuring any parent can educate themselves, no matter who they are or where they’re from.
Chi was also elected to the Board in 2020.
Elaine Lambe, Trustee
Elaine was elected to the Board at the 2017 AGM, and has been an NCT member and volunteer for over 15 years in a variety of different roles including eight years as the West Midlands Regional Coordinator and six years as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter. She was a founding member and volunteer of Southam & Villages branch.
Elaine is currently working as the manager of a charity running a community centre in south Warwickshire. Previously, she ran her own business and taught children with autism. Elaine has volunteered in a variety of roles with different community groups and charities over the years and is currently volunteering as a Special Educational Needs and Disability Parent Carer representative.
Franciane Husbands-Chevot, Trustee
Franciane is a scientist and businesswoman, and has worked in development for a pharmaceutical company in Northern Ireland. Her passion for science and research to drive improvements for everyone led her to become a STEM ambassador, regularly engaging with young people and promoting science in the context of diversity and inclusion.
She has also sought to encourage young members of Black, Asian and minority-ethnic communities to pursue a career in science.
Having had a baby herself during the pandemic, she is keen to bring new perspectives to NCT.
Franciane was elected to the Board in 2020.
Joanne Powell, Trustee
Jo has many years of experience within NCT as a volunteer and practitioner.
As a practitioner, she has been facilitating courses in both antenatal and postnatal specialisms. Through becoming an Excellent Practitioner, she’s also now an assessor and mentor. Jo has been an active member of NCT’s Practitioners’ Representative Body (PRB).
A volunteer since 2007, Jo’s held numerous roles including the Chair of her local branch. She’s credited with setting up and running of a Bump & Babies group in a non-stereotypical NCT geographical area. She is a current long-standing member of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Maternity Services Liason Committee (MSLC) as a user representative member, and previously the South East Wales MSLC.
Jo was elected to the Board at the 2019 AGM.
Peter Brown, Trustee
Peter’s involvement with NCT began nine years ago with an antenatal class in Enfield, North London. Since then he has returned to Scotland and is Membership Coordinator at the Lomond Branch and part of the NCT Scotland Regional Team, working to raise the profile of the Scottish branches and their activities, as well as supporting branches that are struggling for volunteers.
Peter currently works for a telecoms software company and is responsible for creating and communicating the product roadmap for his international customers. Peter is also Vice-Convener of Helensburgh Community Council and a qualified Assistant Scout Leader.
Peter was elected to the Board at the 2018 AGM.
Sarah Brown, Vice Chair Elect
Sarah Brown is a lawyer, currently working for the Medical Protection Society specialising in regulatory law. She has extensive public sector experience and has previously worked for the General Medical Council, Greater Manchester Police and in local government.
As a parent, Sarah knows from her own personal experience how invaluable support is during the first 1,000 days. Sarah believes that NCT, and the people she has met through it, have provided a lifeline for her on the toughest of days and feels very fortunate to have that support and know how and where to access relevant services.
Sarah was elected to the Board at the 2017 AGM.
Salima Shariff, voluntary independent member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee
An accomplished senior HR leader recognised for building board-level strategies that transform people and culture functions across the international arena. As a passionate leader and trusted collaborator, she helps to build workforces that will create a sustainable future for the world and everyone within it.
Throughout her career Salima has championed diversity and inclusion. She is currently responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision to identify the best talent in the industry. She supports a network of thousands of employees to reach their full potential and support them on their path to success, regardless of the walk of life they have come from. Salima helps to make people happy in their work – which she thinks makes it the best job going.
Salima has a BSc. in Chemistry from Imperial College and a MA in Human Resource Management from Middlesex Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Naomi Horsfall, voluntary independent member of the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Committee
Naomi has been a member of NCT since her first child was born in 2016. Now a mother of 3, she combines parenting with working within business consulting for Grant Thornton. Naomi has been a member of the Audit, Risk and Security Committee since 2018.
Naomi has over 10 years of experience of working with a variety of clients to audit and assess their finances, manage risk and optimise operations.
Naomi is passionate about positive parenting and promoting the important social and peer benefits NCT can facilitate between new parents. She helped establish and run the successful ‘Mondays up the Malverns’ sling walking group and ‘Welly Tots’ toddler walking group. She is also a regular volunteer at NCT Feed and Change tents, including at events such as the Malvern Show.
Faran Johnson, voluntary independent member of the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Committee
Faran is a highly experienced change and transformation professional, currently she is part of NHS Test & Trace executive team as Chief People Officer. Previously, she was Chief People Officer at Channel 4 and Managing Director of a social movement, Engaging for Success, formed to promote employee engagement as a better way to work that benefits individual employees, teams, whole organisations, communities and the UK.
Her 30 year career spans both the private and the public sectors, operating in senior executive, consulting and board roles across media, private equity, financial services, entertainment, service, retail and charity organisations. She specialises in transformation - including strategy design and execution, behavioural, cultural and leadership change, and improving organisational performance. She has sat on boards, remuneration and audit, risk and compliance committees of listed and trustee-led organisations.
Faran, whose passions include cooking and creating belonging within communities, lives in York with her two teenage children Alex and Sammy.