BfN Board of Directors

Our board of Directors are all volunteers and bring with them a wide range of experience and skills.

They are dedicated and passionate about the work done by The Breastfeeding Network and are committed to growing the charity and to taking it from strength to strength.

Sarah Turner, ChairSarah Turner

I started my relationship with the BfN after having great difficulty with feeding my first daughter.  I realised that establishing successful breastfeeding was the hardest, most emotionally charged thing I had ever done, and if I hadn’t had support from the many people who helped me during that period, it may have been impossible.  Precisely because of this, I decided to train with the BfN to become a Helper.  I have regularly volunteered in Tower Hamlets since 2015, and went on to take my Supporter training in 2017 (enabling me to take calls on the National Breastfeeding Helpline).

My background is in finance, in particular focusing on the application of regulation to various financial activities.  Following the birth of my second daughter, I have changed professional focus, and am now undertaking a PhD in the security and privacy of digital technologies in the home, whilst also consulting and researching on policy issues relating to digital technologies.

Joy Hastings, Vice-Chair

I joined the BfN as soon as it was formed in 1997. I am proud that my membership number is 002.

I continue to volunteer as a Supporter on the NBH and I have been a Tutor and Supervisor since I joined.

I have just retired from the NHS as a midwife and manager of the Tower Hamlets Baby Feeding service – so feel I now have more time to support the BfN by becoming a board member.

Retirement means that I can concentrate on the things I like best which is supporting mums and training others – both of which are very excellently done by the BfN.

Zara Bergman

Zara first encountered the BfN at an antenatal class whilst pregnant with her first child, Jacob. She went to several groups per week at her local children’s centres with BfN support throughout her maternity leave and made lots of new mummy friends. Zara was overwhelmed by how accepting and supportive all of the BfN team were. Zara’s breastfeeding journey was not easy or conventional but it continued far longer than anyone would have expected and that’s all down to the BfN. Zara is expecting her second child and she knows the road ahead will be far less bumpy surrounded by the amazing support of the BfN.

When the opportunity arose to train as a BfN helper Zara jumped at the chance. She now volunteers on the maternity wards in Birmingham City Hospital. The appreciation for what she does from both mums and staff is clear and very rewarding.

In her other life, Zara has a PhD in Chemistry and works for a global industrial coatings company. Zara enjoys baking and all things crafty. Zara has made quite a few stuffed boobs for BfN!

Emily Carpenter

I have over ten years experience in the third sector with a fundraising and project management background. I have worked for several national charities and currently support small charities to start, grow and strengthen their fundraising income, products and processes.

I discovered The Breastfeeding Network in March 2021, days after giving birth to my daughter. After a tricky start to breastfeeding and very inconsistent midwife support, I was fortunate enough to lean on a friend who suggested BFN as a great starting point to learning more about breastfeeding and to guide me through all those enormous questions you have in the early days.

From there, my passion grew to learn as much as I could about breastfeeding and to understand the huge inconsistencies in support I had received, to help advocate better for myself and my friends who had wanted to breastfeed too.

Francesca Cherubini Stoughton

I am delighted to have joined the Board in July 2017.

As a mother of two, the BfN was and still is an invaluable resource for me, particularly with respect to the straightforward advice provided around medications in breastmilk. I am committed to ensuring that mothers who want to breastfeed – along with those who love and care for them – can benefit from the same outstanding and dedicated professional and peer support that my children and I received on our breastfeeding journey.

My background is in financial services. From my early days in Corporate Finance to advising clients in Wealth Management, I have enjoyed building longstanding, personal relationships and evolving ideas and solutions to help clients achieve their goals. As a working mother, I have a particular interested in the support employers can offer to breastfeeding mothers or those seeking to return to work.

I have constantly been awed by the work that the BfN has done – especially since funding continues to be an issue – and feel that lending my skills and experience to the Board is a small way of saying thank you to all of the information and guidance provided by its brilliant staff and volunteers. I very much look forward to serving the BfN and its members.

Grace Edghill

Grace trained as a Helper with the BfN when she was on maternity leave with her youngest, ten years ago, and has been involved with the Breastfeeding Network ever since, as a volunteer and most recently as the volunteer coordinator for the breastfeeding service in Lambeth. In 2017 Grace qualified as a Tutor/ Supervisor, she is thoroughly enjoying working with the projects and people across London and the wider BfN. As an organisation, Grace believes the BfN is unique in the holistic, person-centered supports it gives breastfeeding parents. Grace is proud to be a volunteer peer supporter and is really pleased to be continuing her association with the BfN as a Member Director.

Claire Fradley

As a former breastfeeding counsellor, peer supporter and a mother of two children, I’m excited to be involved once again in supporting breastfeeding mothers and families to make informed parenting choices with the Breastfeeding Network. I spent seven years training and working first as a peer supporter and then as a breastfeeding counsellor when my own two children were small, after receiving amazing support and making life changing friendships at a local breastfeeding group. As a breastfeeding counsellor I facilitated NCT antenatal groups, worked on their breastfeeding helpline and worked at weekly drop-in groups. I did this alongside my role as a Civil Servant until the time was right for me to step away from breastfeeding counselling seven years ago, as my children had grown and my career was taking me in a new direction.

However, expertise I gained as a breastfeeding counsellor came to the fore in my Civil Service career in ways I did not expect – my ability to facilitate groups, set clear personal and professional boundaries, to listen with meaning and care and to lead with empathy and authenticity.  And my passion for supporting others in making informed choices has never waned! I’ve been in the Civil Service for 17 years now and I think that I have a unique combination of expertise; knowledge, experience, and passion for supporting families and mothers on their breastfeeding journey and expansive experience enabling informed government policy making and creating and delivering high level strategies. I hope to be able to combine the two things as a trustee for the BFN.

Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi, Caldicott GuardianErnestine Gheyoh Ndzi

I encountered the BfN when I started researching on the impact of shared parental leave policy on breastfeeding.  I was/still interested in exploring how breastfeeding mothers wanting to take shared parental leave could return to work, with minimum disruption to breastfeeding.  I am an advocate of breastfeeding and researching on barriers to mothers returning to work.

As a black mother of two, I realise that women of the black community do not tend to access breastfeeding support when they need it for various reasons.  My aim is to work with the BfN to find viable and sustainable ways of reaching out to the BAME community.

In my other life, I am a senior lecturer in law.  My area of expertise includes Company Law, Corporate Governance and Employment Law.  I am excited about the opportunity the BfN has offered me because I will be able to share my skills as well as acquire skills and experience.

Ann KerrAnn Kerr (480x640)

I have a background as a General and Sick childrens’ nurse with an obstetric certificate and have worked in health promotion for over 20 years. I am currently a senior manager in the NHS and have been involved with breastfeeding locally and nationally.

Sarah Hindocha

As a GP with a particular interest in paediatrics and women’s health I first came into contact with the BfN through the Drugs in Breastmilk factsheets.  I find them an invaluable resource to help mothers make informed choices regarding breastfeeding whilst receiving medical treatment.

I have two little boys and after struggling to establish breastfeeding with my first son I quickly realised just how difficult it can be and how important a strong support system is.  As both a mum and a doctor I have experienced first-hand the often conflicting and inaccurate information surrounding breastfeeding that women can be given.  I admire the work that the BfN does to help protect the feeding relationship whilst promoting the health and wellbeing of mothers.

I am delighted to join the Board and look forward to working with the organisation to support women and their families throughout their breastfeeding journey.

Jes Johal

As a first time mum in 2019 I was lucky to have BfN support throughout my whole breastfeeding journey. My local BfN Peer Supporters were a major support in the biggest change in my life. The main thing that stood out to me about the BfN, was the independence I had to make my own decisions. I felt in control in an otherwise overwhelming situation. Following my experience, I was inspired to support others and I trained as a Helper in 2020. I have since actively supported parents and families in two of my local project areas.

I am delighted to have recently been appointed to the Board, and I am keen to share my interest in breaking down boundaries in society relating to breastfeeding and progressing the BfN’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Alongside working part –time as a BfN Helper, I also work as a Commercial Property Solicitor.

Caroline Polley, Treasurer

Caroline first encountered the BfN after having her first baby and finding out the hard way that breastfeeding isn’t something you simply choose to do and then get on with.

After her second baby, a peer supporter suggested she should also train as a volunteer and since 2013 Caroline has been helping out in a couple of London groups and more recently on the helpline.

Since moving to the South West Caroline has had to give up work, and after 13 years in the financial services sector she’s very excited about joining the board as Treasurer and staying involved in that capacity too.

As well as the full board we also have a smaller Finance, Audit and Risk Committee (FAR) which some directors are also part of. This committee reports back to the board.

Initial contact with Directors should be made via Shereen Fisher, Chief Executive Officer

Page last updated November 2021