Retired – Elizabeth Prochaska
The Chair position is currently being recruited.
Alix Anderson – Secretary
Alix is Chief of Staff at Unicef UK. She has been working with Chief Executives and their teams for 10 years across both the travel and charity sectors. She brings experience of charity governance from both Unicef UK and Comic Relief where she has worked closely with the Board of Trustees. Alix has a young daughter and is passionate about advocating for human rights during pregnancy and childbirth.
Indy Cross – Vice Chair
Indy is an experienced charity leader with a specialism in communications and two decades of experience in marketing, influencing, policy, internal/external comms and fundraising. Currently Chief Executive of Agenda – the alliance organisation advocating for women and girls at risk – Indy’s varied career includes working for the Government Equalities Office; entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones’ Foundation; and the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and the London 2012 Festival & Cultural Olympiad. Indy has a young son and feels strongly about advocating for care and respect during pregnancy and childbirth.
John Davis – Treasurer
John is an entrepreneur and business leader who is expert in small businesses, banking and technology. After time at Lehman Brothers and Sky, he worked for 10 years at Barclays as the Marketing and Product Director for Barclays Business before running a fast-growth start-up to scale up company called BCSG. He sold that business and two others during 2016 and 2017 and now acts as a Non-Executive Director, adviser and consultant to a range of companies and charities. He also spends plenty of time with his wife and three daughters.
Sandra Igwe is a Black maternal health advocate, TedX speaker, and is the Founder of The Motherhood Group, a social enterprise that supports the Black maternal experience by delivering community-based events, training workshops, peer-to-peer support, national campaigns (Black Maternal Mental Health Week UK), and culturally sensitive programmes for Black mothers. Sandra is also the co-chair of Birthrights National Inquiry into Racial Injustice in Maternity Care. She is the author of My Black Motherhood: Mental Health, Stigma, Racism and the System. Sandra is a leading voice and bridges the gap between the community of Black mothers and service providers, policy-makers and organisations; a key-note speaker for Trades Union Congress (TUC) Conference, Dove, Mbbrace-UK, and other notable organisations .
Mars is a coach and birth activist. A triple award winning doula, mentor, educator and coach with over 15 years’ experience, Mars is in high demand, both in the UK and across the world, as a speaker and trainer. Mars created Abuela Doulas a doula preparation course primarily, but not exclusively, for Black and Brown women, and is the Founder of BLA (Black Lives Abuela) Scholarship. This scholarship is to help Black women who wish to become doulas to train and not be held back by socio-economic disadvantage. She is Inclusion Consultant to several large companies causing them to look deep into their practise to make systemic and structural change.
Simon is a midwifery leader with over 25 years experience as a midwife including roles as a Consultant Midwife, Clinical Director and Director of Midwifery. His passions include encouraging health professionals to continually reflect on what they do and how they care for women, birthing people and their families and in promoting a culture where women and birthing people are treated with respect and kindness and where they feel informed, supported and empowered.
Simon is one of our long standing trainers helping to facilitate our online and face to face training and also the Chair of Birthrights Clinical Advisory Network.
Tara is an experienced third sector leader with expertise in business development, corporate foundations, grant making and fundraising. Tara was most recently Interim Director of Sweaty Betty Foundation, and founded Nova Foundation, an online resource which created the first ever online antenatal class for parents pregnant after loss. Proceeds funded trauma informed support for parents experiencing baby loss. Tara has two children, a son who was stillborn and her rainbow baby daughter, and is passionate about ensuring all parents, no matter their journey to parenthood, receive respectful, dignified care in pregnancy and childbirth.
Dr Ria Clarke
Dr Ria Clarke is an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar in the South of England.
Throughout her training she has dedicated herself to learning how to amplify the voices of the individuals and families she cares for. Her clinical work involves training within the hospital environment to care for people with reproductive organs at formative periods in their lives. This includes medical and surgical interventions.
Outside of the hospital environment, this passion has led to Dr Clarke presenting at international conferences about the impact of severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, and working with her alma mater to support non traditional medical students become doctors. Her most recent advocacy has focused on the racial disparities in maternal mortality between Black, white and Asian women. This has involved collaborations with agencies such as the BBC, and the charity Tommys.
Balancing the demands of raising a family with such an emotionally charged job has equipped Dr Clarke with vital juggling skills, whilst also making her appreciate how important work life balance is.
Dr Clarke is married with two children and when she isn’t working, she enjoys sewing, travel and learning about her heritage.
She will be returning from parental leave in early 2023 with a renewed gusto for supporting human rights in maternity care.