At our 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 26 November 2021, we had the pleasure of announcing the outcomes of our Trustee election.

Parents at an antenatal class

We're delighted to welcome Zoe Stewart-Field, who has been elected as a new Trustee, and Elaine Lambe and Sarah Brown, who have been re-elected for a second term.

There has never been a more important time to join our Board, as we continue to focus on recovery and renewal as well as maintaining our critical work to responding to the impacts of the pandemic.

Trustees play a vital role in looking after NCT, and we understand that good leadership and governance are best achieved by ensuring diversity of skills and professional and lived experience on our Board.

Thank you to all the NCT members who stood as a candidate or voted in the election. Your engagement helps to drive forward our work to become an open, inclusive and diverse charity, and towards our vision of a world where no parent is isolated and all parents are supported.

You can read more about our 2021 Annual General Meeting here, including a review of our achievements and impact from the last year.

Our three elected Trustees  

Six candidates stood for election, all of whom were elected by NCT members. You can read more about the three elected Trustees:

Elaine LambeElaine Lambe

Branch: Southam & Villages

Nominated by: Elgan Owen, Gemma Proctor

Relevant experience, skills and background

I have a strong history as a leader in the not-for-profit sector both as an employee and as a volunteer. After more than a decade of volunteer management experience within NCT as a branch, regional and national volunteer, I am currently employed part-time leading a local charity that manages a community centre. In that role I am responsible for all the aspects of the day-to-day running of the centre including the organisational strategy and governance, leading on safeguarding, health and safety, community development and funding.

Building on my campaigning and lobbying work, including on the #hiddenhalf campaign and during the public consultation on the reorganisation of Children's Centres in Warwickshire, I am now Chair of Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice, a parent carer led organisation working in partnership with the local authority and health services to co-produce improvements to services for disabled children and their families. I am passionate about co-production and everyone having a role to play in developing our charity. Having been a trustee on the NCT board for the last four years and served on the Audit Risk and Scrutiny Committee I have the knowledge and understanding of NCT's current strategy and priorities. 

Why do you want to be an NCT Trustee and what will you add to the board? 

NCT has been a huge part of my journey over the last seventeen years, first as a new parent, then as a volunteer, moving to a new area and starting a new branch, becoming a breastfeeding peer-supporter, being West Midlands Regional Coordinator and chair of the Regional Volunteer Support Network, as well as having had the opportunity to meet two of NCT founders, being among my highlights. As a current NCT volunteer I maintain links with the grassroots and love meeting parents at the start of their parenting journey. My experience working with the other regional coordinators gave me strong insight into NCT in all four nations and the challenges this can involve. I bring this history and NCT volunteer voice to the board. In addition, working to meet the needs of my community and my experience of disability give me good understanding of the needs of a diverse range of people. 

Having had the privilege to serve on the NCT board for the last four years, through some very challenging times, I would love the opportunity to continue this work. I am excited about the focus on increasing diversity within NCT and the Future of Volunteering projects. 

If you feel comfortable doing so, please outline how your personal / lived experience will impact your approach to supporting and championing NCT's equality, diversity and inclusion priority. 

Throughout my time as a NCT volunteer I have tried to make NCT events and activities accessible to all new parents. As branch coordinator in Coventry I saw the impact of the division of services by postcode and encouraged Surestart Breastfeeding Peer Supporters to train as NCT Breastfeeding Counsellors. In moving to Warwickshire I gained an understanding of rural isolation and the need for our branches to be really rooted in their local community; our branch may be small but I know from the personal stories shared at our Bumps and Babies group that it has been accessed by parents with a wide range of diverse experiences.

I work closely with the local foodbank and am leading on a breakfast club project to help tackle holiday hunger. In recent years, our family journey with understanding neurodivergence led to my involvement with families with SEND and the autistic community, this has made me more understanding of the barriers parents with disabilities face. I am passionate about NCT being for all parents and learning more about how we can be a truly inclusive organisation where everyone is valued for who they are. 

Sarah BrownSarah Brown

Branch: Leeds

Nominated by: Jessica Figueras, Fran Bailey

Relevant experience, skills and background

I am a breastfeeding mum of a one-year-old with multiple allergies and breastfed my other child until she was 3.  I am the Vice Chair of the NCT board of trustees and a branch volunteer, currently running a Walk and Talk.  I have worked with my board colleagues to lead NCT through the complexities of responding to the pandemic.  I am the NCT lead safeguarding trustee and also held the lead safeguarding trustee position when I was a trustee of Leeds Mencap.  

I have recently renewed my safeguarding skills through training and understand what safeguarding means in practice for NCT and the accountability of the board for safeguarding matters.  I am a solicitor practising medical regulatory, inquest and disciplinary work.  I have experience of NCT as a parent accessing courses and services such as Baby Cafe, and as a volunteer and trustee; this has given me an excellent understanding of the different aspects of the organisation and how they fit together, through shared values, to form NCT as a movement. 

Why do you want to be an NCT Trustee and what will you add to the board?

I love NCT and the amazing things our movement does to help parents.  It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be an NCT trustee for four years.  Over that time, despite challenges and set backs, I am proud to say I believe the ethos of NCT has changed for the better.  I am excited to see what the future holds as we continue with our “unlock” strategy and I am passionate about the equity, diversity and inclusion work going on throughout our movement.  I would love to see that work through and continue to drive change to make NCT truly a charity for all parents.

I would bring continuity and institutional memory to the board at a time of change, following the election of a new chair and several new board members.  I would also bring my legal skills and knowledge, which I have utilized over the past four years to assist with complex matters that have required a level of governance and oversight.  In addition, as a branch volunteer and having been pregnant and on maternity leave during the pandemic, I would bring my experience and knowledge of what issues are affecting parents on a day-to-day basis. 

If you feel comfortable doing so, please outline how your personal / lived experience will impact your approach to supporting and championing NCT's equality, diversity and inclusion priority. 

I am passionate about championing the rights of parents whatever their characteristics. I have a large amount of experience as a solicitor of ensuring that everybody is able to have their views heard and their opinions respected. My experience has taught me how to deal with the sometimes difficult matters that come with allowing people safe space to air their issues, ensure everyone feels heard and their views respected, and come to a shared understanding. As a woman from a working class background in a profession where the upper echelon is dominated by white middle class men, I have learned that there is no one size fits all approach to EDI. The issues I have faced, are important and should be tackled, but are in no way the same or more pressing than the challenges of others. Experiencing how I am treated and how others are treated differently has helped me to realise that I can be a good ally and strive to continually learn about the oppression of other people and look to what can be done to change the system that perpetuates such issues. 

Zoe StewartZoe Stewart-Field

Branch: Leicester

Nominated by: Rachel Gray, Natalia Bokuniewicz

Relevant experience, skills and background 

I am a new parent who has recently been through NCT antenatal classes with my wife, so have direct experience of NCT services and feel passionately about the role of NCT in supporting pregnant people and those becoming parents. 

I am also an obstetric registrar, so have professional experience supporting women and pregnant people throughout pregnancy and beyond. From both personal and professional perspectives I appreciate the unique role the NCT plays in providing accurate and reliable information, as well as a platform for peer support and friendship for new families. 

I have previously served as a trustee for organisations including FPA UK and the Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre; presented at the UN Commission on Population and Development on behalf of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and was a founder of a charity which performed sexual health screening in non-traditional settings. 

Through these various positions, I have developed skills and experience in governance, financial oversight, fundraising, and public relations. Working in NHS and University settings has also provided me with formal training and real-life experience in safeguarding, adult training and education, championing equality and diversity, and delivering pregnancy care. 

Why do you want to be an NCT Trustee and what will you add to the board? 

I would be an enthusiastic and dedicated NCT trustee that cares deeply about supporting people in their transition to parenthood. From professional and first-hand experience, I am keenly aware that this can be a daunting time, and NCT can help make the transition easier. I have seen how beneficial NCT can be both in terms of information (via courses and resources), and in terms of building a community and peer support system for new parents. I would love the opportunity to become a trustee for NCT to help safeguard the essence of the organisation while also working with NCT staff and volunteers to ensure that the organisation’s work evolves with our changing society and the changing needs of pregnant people and new parents. I believe that my experience with previous trustee work and working as an obstetric registrar, as well as being a new parent, have equipped me with a unique set of insights and skills that would be valuable to the NCT board, and would be delighted to serve as a trustee. 

If you feel comfortable doing so, please outline how your personal / lived experience will impact your approach to supporting and championing NCT's equality, diversity and inclusion priority. 

My wife and I have recently had our first child and so, we have had first-hand experience of navigating obstetric and midwifery services, NCT classes, and pregnancy itself as an LGBT+ couple. We feel lucky that our experiences were largely positive, but were acutely aware that we differed from most people experiencing pregnancy, and that services weren’t, for the most part, designed with us in mind. The language, images, and ideas we faced when accessing services frequently didn’t fit our situation. I believe strongly in making pregnancy services open, easily accessible, and welcoming for all pregnant people and their families. I have therefore helped champion diversity education and training (particularly around LGBT+ pregnant people) in the obstetrics and gynaecology department I work in. As a trustee, I would draw on both personal and professional experiences to promote an inclusive approach where all pregnant people feel that NCT is an organisation where they will be welcomed and understood. 

Please see our Governance at NCT page for further information about all our trustees and committee members.

If you'd like to find out more about our plans to improve, update and embed an approach to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout our work and practices, you can find out more here.

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