Birthrights was founded in 2013 by human rights barrister, Elizabeth Prochaska, and Rebecca Schiller, a doula and writer on birth, parenting and women’s rights. Our work is overseen by our expert board, including senior health professionals, policy-makers and lawyers. We currently have five members of part-time staff.
Amy Gibbs is a health and human rights campaigner and senior leader with over 12 years experience in national charities, local government and Parliament. Throughout her career she has led teams and organisations to secure legal, policy and practice change for vulnerable adults and children denied their rights by services and society. Amy was a Director of child rights organisations Unicef UK and The Children’s Society, and earlier spent 5 years leading policy and campaigns on social rights and healthcare at mental health charity Mind.
Amy served for 8 years as an elected Councillor for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, including two years as Cabinet Member for Health & Adults Services and Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board, which oversaw integrated services including maternity care transformation. She has held various non-Executive positions including Vice-Chair of East End Citizens Advice Bureau and Governor of East London Mental Health Foundation Trust. Amy has an MSc in European Public Policy and MA in English Literature and German. When not working for Birthrights, she is kept on her toes by her lively toddler!
Amy is responsible for the overall leadership of Birthrights, including strategy, finances, fundraising and communications.
Maria Booker is a project management and policy professional with over 15 years’ experience of running high profile projects in Government and more recently in the maternity sphere. Maria was previously UK General Manager of Maternity Neighbourhood (a US based, midwife-led company developing a woman-centred electronic maternity record). Maria also led the development of the website Which? Birth Choice for Which? to its launch in 2014. Prior to that Maria had a diverse 11 year career in the Department for Business and also studied for an MBA during that time. Maria has two school age children and has until recently was Chair of her local Maternity Voices Partnership for 4 years, and sits of the Stakeholder Panel of National Maternity Voices.
Maria leads the Birthrights policy and legal hub, and also manages our training for healthcare professionals and peer supporters.
Research and Partnerships Officer
Rebecca Brione is a bioethicist and public policy expert. When not working for Birthrights, she carries out research on reproductive rights and autonomy, on her own and with academic partners. She is a critical friend to maternity services as a user representative on her local Maternity Voices Partnership. She monitors care and decency for women in prison as member of the Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Downview. Rebecca has completed a MA in Bioethics and Medical Law and is a postgraduate associate of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies and a member of the AHRC network Risks of Childbirth in Historical Perspective and the inter-disciplinary Perceptions of Pregnancy network. Prior to moving into maternity work, Rebecca had a ten year career in UK and EU policy and legislation in the Civil Service.
Rebecca leads the research we are undertaking with Birth Companions, as well as overseeing Birthrights’ research strategy and partnerships. She is also involved in wider policy projects as part of our policy and legal hub.
Advice and Legal Officer
Alice has worked in the Charity sector consistently since graduating from Queen Mary, University of London in 2003. In 2009, she began the Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School whilst working full time and sat her final exams for the Legal Practice Course a month before giving birth to her second child. She has been a dedicated Project Manager for many years, running projects to improve outcomes for some of the UK’s poorest children and has always been committed to using her skills to support her local community, volunteering at the Free Legal Advice Centre at Toynbee Hall whilst also being a vocal member of the Governing body at a nearby school. Having grown up in two continents, Alice is fluent in four languages and hopes to reach women who have yet to encounter our work.
Alice is responsible for looking after our advice service; responding to enquiries, ensuring all materials are up to date, and growing and developing the service.
Rachael has spent 15 years working in international development and child rights organisations. Rachael’s experience is in programme development and fundraising, specifically major donor, trusts, and institutional funding. She has spent time working in Sierra Leone, Angola and Ethiopia getting maternal and neonatal health programmes funded. Rachael has recently returned to work after taking several years out to have her family, she is a mother to two young children.
Rachael is responsible for operational matters at Birthrights.