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Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

Meet Our Team - OBS Trustees

Except where noted, our trustees were elected in April 2018, having previously served on the Management Committee of our predecessor organisation (Oxford Baby Cafés Group).

Juliet Rayment headshot

Dr Juliet Rayment  - Chair

BA (Philosophy and Literature); MA (Social Research Methods with a Specialism in Health); PhD (Sociology)

Juliet leads on external relations and strategy and this year has done OCVA’s Good Governance training.

 “I found OBS (then Baby Cafe) in 2015, when I was struggling to breastfeed my tiny new daughter and their support made an enormous difference to our experience in those early months. Even once our breastfeeding was going smoothly, I still went to the Drop-Ins because it was a friendly, welcoming space where I could hang out, drink tea and chat to other adults and it wasn’t all about the babies. I went along to a fundraising meeting in 2016 to offer my support in whatever way I could, and came away from the meeting as the Chair!  I feel passionately that no woman should need to stop breastfeeding before she wants to just because of a lack of support, and I feel lucky to be able to help OBS to support women in my community through my role as Chair. There’s never a dull moment being a trustee: I often use skills from my day job as a maternity services researcher, but there’s always a fresh challenge or something new to learn. Thanks to the commitment and diligence of OBS’ facilitators, trustees and volunteers, I’m really excited about what the future will bring for our charity and for breastfeeding families in Oxfordshire”.

Ilana Levene headshot

Dr Ilana Levene - Deputy Chair (elected March 2019)

BA, BmBCh, MRCPCH (Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health)

Ilana leads on evaluation and impact and since January has been part of the 4th training cohort at Oxford Hub’s Young Trustees Programme.

“Since having my children in 2013 and 2015, breastfeeding has become very important in my personal and professional life. I am passionate about helping to set up a supportive, rather than destructive, environment for families to breastfeed, both in hospital and in the community. Quality community breastfeeding support is so key to mothers achieving their breastfeeding goal, and it's so cost efficient - so I have a lot of energy and passion to not only keep OBS going but to help it expand its reach to even more families”.

Louise Ellis headshot

Louise Ellis - Treasurer & Volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor

BSc (Mathematics, Dunelm), ACA, La Leche League Leader

“I valued the support I received from skilled helpers when I struggled to breastfeed my first child. I am now grateful that I can use my financial background (I am a chartered accountant and work in the finance team of a large school) to support a cause I feel so strongly about. Knowledgeable, community-based support is invaluable for women who want to breastfeed and I believe it should be easily available to any mother who needs it.”

Elizabeth Horwell headshot

Elizabeth Horwell - Governance and Safeguarding Lead & Volunteer Peer Supporter

BSc (Hons) Medical Biochemistry, NVQ L3 Operating Department Practice, PGDip Clinical Health Care Practice

“I first encountered OBS back in 2012 when my eldest son was brand new. The wonderful practical & emotional support I received from the facilitators, Peer Supporters & other mums was invaluable in helping me breastfeed my son beyond any goal I had dared imagine! I wanted to be a part of giving this support to other mothers & trained as a Peer Supporter until becoming a service user again when my second son was born!

Being a trustee is an opportunity to be a part of the future of OBS, so that every woman in Oxfordshire can be supported to reach their breastfeeding goals, as I was. It's tremendously rewarding to be part of such a valuable service, making a difference to so many women and families”.

Claire Inness headshot

Dr Claire Inness - Team Liaison

BSc (biology); PhD (behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology); ARCS (Associate of the Royal College of Science)

Claire leads on Contractors (liaison with the facilitator team) and this year has done OCVA’s Good Governance training.

“I became a regular visitor to OBS, or Baby Cafe as it was then known, in 2014 with the birth of my eldest son and have recently returned to sessions with my new baby. I joined the management committee 18 months later and became an OBS trustee on the charity's inception.  I joined the management committee in order to try to give something back to the organisation. One of our most important, and positive decisions, was to catalyse the evolution of OBS from Baby Cafe and becoming a trustee was a natural next step. The support and evidence-based advice OBS provides is unparallelled and I want to ensure the benefits it confers remain available to all women in Oxfordshire who want to breastfeed”.

 

Harriet Batten - Secretary (Co-opted January 2019) & Legal Compliance

LLB(Hons) Law; Practising Solicitor

“I was a service user of OBS (then Baby Café)  in 2013 and 2016 with both my babies. I wanted to exclusively feed them with my breastmilk -  that was my breastfeeding goal. Arriving at our first session when our first baby was only a few days old, a facilitator identified major feeding issues, probably averting hospital readmission. We have received lots of support from OBS to provide my milk for our first baby who couldn't breastfeed, for a whole year, and then to breastfeed our younger son for 2 years. Therefore OBS has had a powerful impact on our breastfeeding journeys”.

 

Dr Heather Thomas - Fundraising

MA Oxon, BmBCh (Medical Degree), MRCPCH (Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health)

 “I was a regular user of OBS ( then Baby Café) in Wheatley when I had my first son in 2015, and so many of my local friends received wonderful support which enabled them to continue to breastfeed. Between us all, we must have had most of the common breastfeeding issues, and we were all so glad to have expert help on hand around Oxford. I breastfed my older son until age 2, which I never could have imagined at the start, and I'm now feeding my second son who is 13 months. OBS Drop ins and Facebook support gave me so much confidence in breastfeeding, and I really want it to continue helping other mothers do the same.

In my professional role I am a Paediatric trainee, meaning that I'm a doctor working with children from birth (including premature babies) to 16 years. I see first-hand the huge benefits of breastfeeding through my work, and also the difficulties mothers can experience along the way. I also realise how few people are really experts in  breastfeeding, and how sparse the resources for breastfeeding support can be. OBS provides such a valuable service to the community, giving truly expert advice to mothers, and therefore preventing them developing further problems and having to see other health professionals. There is strong evidence that breastfed babies will go on to have fewer health problems and therefore need less medical attention in future.

OBS is an invaluable resource for our community and it's a privilege to be involved as a trustee. My biggest role over the past 6 months has been in fundraising. I organised a Festive Family Concert, Raffle and Holiday cards in December 2018 which raised over £1500 for OBS and hopefully also improved awareness of the charity. I look forward to seeing the charity going from strength to strength”.


OBS is looking to recruit two more trustees during 2019, including one to lead on fundraising. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express an interest.

updated May 2019

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