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.
If you would like to contact our trustees, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, as well as working as a director at a digital start-up network and in public relations.
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.
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.
Heather Trickey, Honorary Secretary
Heather’s involvement in NCT has spanned 20 years; as a parent of four, volunteer, MSLC representative, breastfeeding counsellor and researcher.
Heather has a background in public health policy research, with a focus on parenthood and how policy can be improved by paying attention to parents’ experiences. Research projects have covered infant feeding, perceptions of the guidance on alcohol in pregnancy, innovative ways of working with peer supporters, and developing a ‘respect agenda’ for public health messages relating to pregnancy and birth.
Heather has sat on the designation committee for UNICEF Baby Friendly and contributed to Welsh and Scottish strategy and research groups on infant feeding. Heather led the development of NCT’s first Infant Feeding Message Framework.
Alongside her work for NCT, Heather is currently primarily occupied as an NHS patient, which she finds is a rich source of insight into the experience of service users.
Heather was elected to the Board at the 2018 AGM.
David Shanks, Vice Chair
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.
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.
Sarah Brown, Trustee
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.
Stephanie Maurel, Trustee
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.
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.
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.
The board of trustees is supported in its work by two board committees:
- Audit, Risk and Scrutiny (chaired by Richard Smothers) – covering the adequacy of financial control, external reporting of performance, and budget and risk management.
- Nominations and Remuneration (chaired by Heather Trickey) - 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.
Ema Ojiako, voluntary independent member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee
Ema is currently employed as the Deputy Chief People Officer at the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has held senior Human Resources positions in public and private Healthcare. She 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.
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. Combines over 22 years’ experience with a deep knowledge of engagement, performance improvement and talent acquisition to guide seamless change journeys in market-leading organisations.
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 to broaden talent pools and elevate business performance. In her current role she is responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision to identify the best talent in the industry. At the heart of her role, 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, most recently in the role of Chief People Officer at Channel 4. Previously, she was 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.
NCT Trading Board
NCT wholly owns one active commercial company, NCT Trading Ltd, which gift aids its profits to the Charity. The board of NCT Trading Ltd is responsible for its activities, which during 2019-20 consisted of commercial fundraising and sponsorship.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing the overarching principles within which the subsidiary’s trading activities must take place. Trustees have established a comprehensive Commercial Activities Policy within which the Trading Board is required to operate.
NCT trading is chaired by Marsha Taylor-Daniel. Peter Brown (NCT Trustee) and Thom Harvey (Executive Director of Organisational Services) are also Directors of NCT Trading.
Marsha Taylor-Daniel, non-executive director
Marsha Taylor-Daniel is a Business Development Manager with nearly 20 years of experience in the Financial Services industry working for global corporations such as American Express, Bank of America and most recently with Infosys Ltd.
Marsha has held a range of roles across operations, business development and client engagement working with top tier clients across the EMEA region. Marsha additionally holds a number of board roles with NCT Trading, the Finance Innovation Lab and a school governing body.
Marsha is an advocate of diversity and inclusion, most notably in gender and race, and she has a keen interest in the evolution of Artificial Intelligence and addressing the challenges of discrimination bias in its data.