National Lottery Community Fund

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

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Meet The OBS Team

Kawther Alfasi headshot

Kawther Alfasi - Operations Lead This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kawther was born in Tripoli, Libya, and moved to the UK with her family at the age of two (the final flight out before the 1992 UN Security Council embargo took effect...or so family legend has it!) She went on to study for a BA in English Literature at Oxford University, before switching disciplines, first with a MA in Politics and Religion from Birmingham University, then a PhD in Politics from Warwick University. She worked in academic journal production at Oxford University Press until her daughter was born in 2019.

Her own, initially challenging experience of breastfeeding reinforced the importance of having timely, skilled and empathetic breastfeeding support - and how fortunate it was to be living in Oxfordshire, where that help was so readily accessible. She joined OBS as Operations Lead in January 2021.

Lisa Mansour headshot

Lisa Mansour IBCLC - Clinical 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 and OBS Group sessions and works with young and vulnerable parents in partnership with the Oxfordshire Family Nurse Partnership

Julie Gallegos headshot

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

Julie is originally from New Mexico. She worked several years as a maternity nurse before completing a Master of Public Health at Columbia University in NYC. She then worked on several international maternal-child health projects throughout the world, including in Amman, Jordan where she qualified as an IBCLC in 2013.

Julie moved to Oxford in 2019 and joined OBS in March 2020, just as the COVID pandemic was starting. Since then, she has been taking on more responsibilities with OBS behind the scenes. She joined the Facilitator team in November 2020. Julie offers virtual breastfeeding support and co-facilitates the Antenatal and OBS Group sessions.

Catriana McKie headshot

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

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Catriana studied as a mechanical engineer 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 operations, systems and strategy.  

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 July 2022

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