Trustees and ambassadors

Claire Johnston

Chair

Claire has been chair of Our Time since 2018. Claire is well-suited to chair Our Time, having worked as a nurse throughout her career. Following clinical and teaching roles, she became the Royal College of Nursing’s National Adviser in Primary Care, then worked to the Chief Nurse for England on community and social care reforms, before taking up Director of Nursing roles in London NHS trusts. Claire is a registrant member on the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the two professions’ regulator, and is nurse member of the North Central London Integrated Care System and Clinical Commissioning Group.

“To be the chair of Our Time is a tremendous privilege, but brings a big responsibility. We are the only charity in the UK dedicated to campaigning for and providing effective interventions to truly change the lives of children who have a parent with a mental illness. Our monthly workshops and programmes in schools change how children and young people – and their mums and dads – understand what living in a family with mental illness means, and help them to speak out and ask for help instead of hiding their fears. We enable the young people we work with to overcome the stigma they all too often experience, and to realise all that they are capable of at school, on the sports field, in sustaining friendships and later in becoming well-adjusted adults. This is what motivates our trustees, hard-working staff and volunteers.”

Jonathan Stone

Treasurer

Jon has worked in media and consulting and over 20 years in financial services working across international markets. He has held a wide range of positions including group treasurer of Barclays Bank PLC and qualified as an accountant with PwC. Jon is now an angel investor working with businesses in their early stage of development and is committed to using his commercial expertise to support charities in their development and growth.

“I’m delighted to become a trustee of Our Time and look forward to working with everyone to make a real difference to children and young people’s lives.”

Ambeya Begum

Trustee and Ambassador

Ambeya has been an active ambassador for the charity and her ongoing support has been recognised in her role as an NHS Changemaker. Within this role, she voices the concerns of young people, ensures young carers have recognition and helps the NHS manage their social return on investment. She has completed several demanding fundraising activities and advised policymakers and educators on parental mental illness, and how to recognise and support affected children. As a young carer herself, Ambeya is passionate about helping others, which is reflected through her ongoing commitment and contribution to the charity. She supports young people in monthly workshops and has proactive involvement in the ‘Who Cares?’ programme, offering recommendations based on her own personal experiences.

“Working for Our Time is always an amazing, yet overwhelming experience for me. Having never had a KidsTime Workshop experience whilst growing up, I see it as my obligation to prevent others from experiencing a tough childhood. Seeing a smile on a child’s face when they leave a workshop is one the most rewarding experiences I have encountered.”

Louise Rodgers

Trustee

Louise has had a successful career as a PR and communications consultant working with many different organisations, across all sectors. She is now a trained and accredited executive and business coach (PGC, ICF) and founder of her own company Eidyia Ltd. She is also a visiting lecturer in Public Relations at Regent’s University, London, and a board trustee at London Youth.

“I believe that each generation has an obligation to pass on to the next a world that features an improved level of wellbeing and greater equality of opportunity. Our Time works with a group of children and young people who, because they are not widely recognised as having very specific support needs, may struggle to grow up healthy and achieve their potential. With deceptively modest, but very effective interventions, it is clear to me that Our Time can make a real difference to future generations. I am delighted to have the opportunity to become a trustee and hope to make a contribution to Our Time’s continued growth.”

Edward Hicks

Trustee

Ed is the general counsel of an international private investment firm and the chief operating officer of a UK-based travel business. He was previously an attorney in the London office of a US law firm, working on a range of complex cross-border acquisitions and financings. He has been deeply involved in pro bono legal representation and has represented clients from across the world in a number of high-profile charity matters.

Kirsty Tahta-Wraith

Trustee

Kirsty has worked with Our Time since 2011 in several capacities and is determined to ensure the impact of Our Time’s services is made available to more than just the lucky few. Kirsty attended Our Time’s KidsTime Workshops from the age of eight with her father who had bipolar disorder. She is clear that the support she and her family received at the workshops made a big difference to her confidence, as well as influencing her career choice.  She is passionate about supporting families affected by parental mental illness and she now contributes to the workshops as a counsellor, drawing on her own experiences to support those in similar situations. She continues to be involved in the development of the resources for schools as part of the ‘Who Cares?’ programme and has delivered numerous presentations to school staff and other professional audiences, including the Marlborough Family Service Conference.

Sigríður Tulinius

Trustee

Sigríður is a civil servant and currently works on climate change and net zero at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. She has personal experience of parental mental illness and is strongly committed to helping others in the same situation.

When I was a young person experiencing parental mental illness, I wish there would have been a safe space where I could have discussed what I was experiencing to get help and understanding. I believe that the services that Our Time is offering should be accessible to all children that find themselves in these difficult circumstances.”

Anil Sharma

Trustee

Anil has 20+ years of experience building software solutions for global technology companies and investment banks. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, with expertise in algorithmic trading of financial products. Anil is passionate about education and its contribution to social mobility. He is committed to helping charities with his expertise in finance and technology.

Jasmine Grewal

Trustee

Jasmine is a solicitor at a leading asset manager and has extensive experience in the fields of corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. She is committed to helping young people and has participated in numerous mentoring schemes throughout her career. 
 
I am very excited to be able to help steward Our Time in achieving its mission. Wellbeing is increasingly coming to the forefront of our daily lives. However, it is apparent to me there is not enough support and recognition allocated to young carers, a segment of society that seems to be easily over-looked. I am relieved to see an organisation willing to lend a voice and commit resources to helping this brave group of young people.”

Sophie Charles

Trustee

Sophie has a funding and communications background, and currently works for a children’s grant-making charity. She has lived experience of parental mental ill health, through which she uses her own experience to support young people at Our Time’s KidsTime Workshops.

“I could have only hoped to have come into contact with Our Time when I was growing up, to help me understand what was happening and connect with others going through similar challenges. I’m so pleased to have found an organisation which is as passionate as I am about getting the recognition for young people affected by parental mental illness. I’m delighted to be joining the trustees and look forward to supporting more young people who are going through what I did.”