Trustees and ambassadors

Claire Johnston

Chair

Claire has been a director of nursing, working on NHS Mental Health and Community Trust boards for 15 years. She worked in clinical and operational service roles in family and mental health and safeguarding, and then took up a role as the Royal College of Nursing’s national adviser in primary care. She also worked as a policy adviser in the chief nursing officer’s team on nursing in primary care and school health. Claire is an honorary clinical professor of nursing at Middlesex University’s Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. “As someone who has worked directly with families where a parent suffers with mental ill health, as well as managing front-line teams in health and care, I have seen first-hand the devastating impact on children’s lives. Children of a parent with mental illness are astonishingly creative and courageous –  taking on young carer roles with their mum or dad which would defeat many an adult. But this is often at great expense, as their chances to do well at school, build friendships and grow into well-balanced adults are diminished.”

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 a solicitor in the London office of a leading international law firm where he specialises in advising companies and investors from across the world on cross-border corporate and financial transactions. Ed is committed to pro bono legal representation and assists many charities operating in the United Kingdom and beyond with questions of charity law and corporate strategy.

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.

Sigridur Tulinius

Trustee

Sigridur has a legal background and currently works as a policy advisor and senior researcher at the House of Commons. 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 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.”