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.
Jessica Figueras, Chair of Trustees
Jessica became chair in June 2017 after being elected to the board by members at the 2016 AGM.
Jessica is an NCT breastfeeding counsellor, research networker and former branch co-ordinator, with a variety of other voluntary roles since joining NCT in 2009. She lives in London with her husband, two daughters and a rabbit.
Jessica's day job is in business intelligence, where she is responsible for a multi-million pound political and policy research programme, a large team of consultants, and the transformation of its underlying digital platforms.
She brings a good deal of business, technology and management experience to the Board, with previous roles including public sector technology adviser, strategy consultant, director at a digital start-up company which built a network for charity CEOs and Trustees, and in public relations. She is a well known public speaker and commentator on technology issues, a Fellow of the RSA and active member of the Association of Chairs.
Richard Smothers, Honorary Treasurer
Richard has been chief financial officer and executive director at Greene King plc 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.
Caroline Flint, Trustee
Caroline has been a midwife for 39 years and ran a Birth Centre for over 20 years. She is also a retired NCT Practitioner and has facilitated classes for more than 45 years.
Over the years Caroline has organised jumble sales, Nearly New Sales, Picnics, Sponsored Walks, Parties and First Aid Courses.
Caroline was elected as an NCT Trustee at the 2015 AGM.
Carey Oppenheim, Trustee
Carey is the outgoing Chief Executive of The Early Intervention Foundation. She has held a number of senior positions including Co-Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Special Adviser in the No 10 Policy Unit (2000–2005).
Carey currently sits on the UK Advisory Board for Save the Children.
Carey was drawn to NCT because of her shared belief in the importance of the first 1,000 days, and wants to support NCT to extend its reach into communities where parents really need our support but don’t yet have access to it.
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. He is also a trustee of a dance charity and sits on their Finance and General Purposes Committee.
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.
Elaine Lambe, Trustee
Elaine is currently working as the coordinator of a local charity-run 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 local community groups and charities, including nine years as a trustee and two years as Chair of the school parent teacher associations. She is a member of the parent forum of the Children’s Centre, a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and founding member and volunteer of Southam & Villages branch.
Elaine was elected to the Board at the 2017 AGM, and has been an NCT member for over 12 years. She was also the West Midlands Regional Coordinator for eight years.
Sarah Brown, Honorary Secretary
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 and was made Honorary Secretary in 2018. Sarah chairs the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.
Stephanie Maurel, Trustee
Stephanie is 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.
Clarissa Ayo-Dele Smith, Trustee
Clarissa joined NCT in 2005 and is a volunteer and practitioner. Clarissa has contributed to Nearly New Sales and newsletters, has offered information and support around feeding issues on social media and Bumps & Babies, and was involved in the development of NCT’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
Clarissa has managed services and led teams to deliver effective care for vulnerable adults. Currently living in Norfolk, Clarissa has previously worked in inner-city London supporting patients with acute mental health and substance misuse issues, as well as representing African-Caribbean patients at tribunals.
Clarissa was elected to the Board at the 2018 AGM.
Heather Trickey, Trustee
Heather’s involvement in NCT has spanned 17 years; as a parent of four, volunteer, MSLC representative, breastfeeding counsellor and researcher.
Heather is a public health policy researcher at Cardiff University, focusing on parenthood and how policy can be improved by paying attention to parents’ experiences. Heather’s current projects are on 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 sits on the designation committee for UNICEF Baby Friendly and contributes to Welsh and Scottish strategy and research groups on infant feeding. Heather led the development of NCT’s first Infant Feeding Message Framework.
Heather was elected to the Board at the 2018 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.
Upcoming board dates
The 2019-20 Board meetings will be held on 23 May 2019, 1 August 2019, 17 October 2019, 5 December 2019 and 26 March 2020.
NCT Trading is a subsidiary of The National Childbirth Trust. The aim of the company is to generate funds for NCT.
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.