National Lottery Community Fund

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

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Meet The OBS Team

Head and shoulders of Karin Chandler

Karin Chandler - Charity Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karin has more than 15 years of experience in supporting parents through pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. This was sparked when she found herself voted in as Chair of her local NCT group in her first year of motherhood. She then went on to train and volunteer as a La Leche League breastfeeding counsellor as well as establishing herself as a successful birth and postnatal doula. She also ran women’s workshops, groups and ceremonies over this time.

“Breastfeeding my three children gave me both joy and challenge in their early years. I have also found it a huge privilege to accompany families on this part of their parenting journey. I am delighted to be working with colleagues at OBS to help Oxfordshire families reach their breastfeeding goals”

Karin is an experienced voluntary sector manager and has run projects and programmes in the public and charity sectors, including The Breastfeeding Network, Parkinson’s UK, HMP Bullingdon and Oxfordshire County Council. She’s passionate about feminist leadership principles, dismantling bias and the power of volunteering to change lives. She was born in Oxford and used to live on a narrowboat by Donnington Bridge with her beloved tabby cat Lyra. She is a music fanatic who loves dancing, running and weightlifting.

Hannah Torrance head and shoulders

Hannah Torrance - Clinical Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"I was born and brought up in London and moved to Oxfordshire in 2011. I have worked in the NHS for the last 25 years first as a critical care nurse and then as a midwife and infant feeding specialist. I have lead two UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) projects for large NHS Trusts. I am an IBCLC with a particular interest in infants with suckling difficulties and how best to support them and their families. I am deaf and a mother of four children whom I've breastfed in to toddlerhood (3 of whom were premature). I'm passionate about supporting families to decide on their feeding goals and help them get there with warmth and empowerment."

Hannah joined the team in April 2023.

Head and shoulders of Lisa Mansour

Lisa Mansour IBCLC - EDI Lead & Facilitator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lisa Mansour IBCLC originates from Oxfordshire, where she has lived for most of her life. She originally studied photography and discovered her passion for supporting breastfeeding when she worked in the NHS as a Maternity Support Worker from 2001-8, mostly in the community.

“I have always loved being able to help mothers and babies with breastfeeding and I felt even more inspired and passionate after experiencing a pretty easy breastfeeding relationship with my first daughter. Feeding my second daughter has been challenging at times and has taught me many very useful lessons. I cherish both deeply”.

Lisa has been involved with our organisation since 2008, and was Project Lead from 2012-18, before giving birth to her second child. She facilitates in-person sessions as well as offering virtual breastfeeding support. She has been Clinical Lead since April 2022. 

Charlotte Gilman headshot

Charlotte Gilman - Development Lead & Facilitator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charlotte has been living in Oxford since 2002. She comes from a sales and marketing background and previously worked in London as a fundraiser for the Children’s Society and NSPCC.
  
She comes from a family that struggled to breastfeed and found feeding her first baby difficult, but thanks to supportive friends, a great midwife and health visitor, managed to continue and has had a passion for breastfeeding ever since. She signed up to do the peer supporter course soon after her second child was born and volunteered at Baby Cafes for 4 years.  She then worked for the NHS as a Breastfeeding Support Worker based at Donnington and Blackbird Leys Health Centres, providing home visits to new families.

“I think my favourite learning experience was spending time Breastfeeding Clinic at the John Radcliffe Hospital. It not only taught me the importance of positioning and attachment but also the sheer determination women have to breastfeed. I knew from this special time that I wanted to spend the rest of my career supporting families at such a crucial time in their lives to achieve their breastfeeding goals. The right support can be life changing” 

Charlotte has been working as a facilitator for OBS since 2013, having been involved with the organisation as a service user and a volunteer since 2006. Now that her 3 children are older and with her 12 year background of supporting families to breastfeed, she is now training to become an IBCLC. She is also the Development Lead, working with the team to ensure we remain funded.

Charlotte facilitates in-person sessionsco-facilitates the Antenatal sessions and works with young and vulnerable parents in partnership with the Oxfordshire Family Nurse Partnership

Head and shoulders photo of Cathy Berry

Cathy Berry - Facilitator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cathy Berry is a Breastfeeding Counsellor with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. She has been involved with OBS since 2017 when she trained as a Peer Supporter and began supporting families in-person and online as a volunteer. In 2021 she became a Cover Facilitator with OBS. She is currently a Facilitator at some of our in-person sessions, offers virtual breastfeeding support, and leads facilitation of our Facebook group.

Cathy has a particular interest in new-born positioning and attachment, supporting parents with the transition to parenthood, and breastfeeding grief and trauma.

Head and shoulders photo of Ruth Vilella

Ruth Vilella IBCLC - Facilitator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruth Vilella is a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse who worked as a Health Visitor for many years and now works as an NHS school nurse in Oxford. She has 8 years experience of working in community health in Brazil -working with mothers and babies in a favela/slum community. She speaks fluent Portuguese.

“I thought I knew quite a lot about breastfeeding when I became a mother in 2011 so I was surprised when my own breastfeeding journey with my son brought many challenges- which we surmounted -thanks to great support. This is when I started my journey into becoming a breastfeeding counsellor with La Leche League and also qualifying as an IBCLC.”

Ruth works as a facilitator for online 1:1 OBS sessions and also as a cover facilitator for group sessions. She also runs a monthly antenatal breastfeeding session with La Leche League.

Catriana McKie headshot

Catriana McKie - Systems and Safeguarding Lead This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Catriana studied mechanical engineering in Vancouver and worked in engineering design software at the Ferrari Formula 1 team in Italy in the early 2000s. After studying for a masters in Science and Technology Studies in Edinburgh, the challenges and rewards of breastfeeding her eldest son, born in 2007, started her on the path to supporting other families to breastfeed. She moved to the Banbury area in 2008, and was accredited as a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor (Leader) with La Leche League in 2013. She started volunteering with OBS in 2014 and facilitated some drop-in sessions 2015 before OBS became an independent charity. Since 2016 she has been working behind the scenes on OBS's website, social media, systems and safeguarding.  

Head and shoulders photo of Hannah Dingwall-Jones

Hannah Dingwall-Jones - Operations Assistant This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Despite firmly intending to return to Scotland after her BA in Classics, Oxford worked its charms on US-born Hannah, who has never been able to leave it for long. Aside from a spell in London for an MA in Ancient History, and a brief family relocation to Lancashire, she has lived in the city for most of her adult life. She worked in university admissions until the birth of her first child in 2017.

The support and reassurance that she received from OBS (then Oxford Baby Cafe) in their antenatal sessions and breastfeeding drop ins helped her to navigate a difficult initial breastfeeding experience, and made her keen to help others access such a fantastic service.

Hannah joined OBS as the Operations Assistant in 2022.

Last updated September 2023

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