Our People

STAFF

Paula Ojok

Paula Ojok

Chief Executive

Gemma Khairi

Gemma Khairi

Director of Operations

Lorraine Pearce

Lorraine Pearce

Head of Administration

Laura Dowswell

Laura Dowswell

Head of Finance

Nicola James

Nicola James

Head of Membership

Annika Howard

Annika Howard

Marketing and Communications Manager

Paula joined Helplines Partnership in 2008. Her previous roles were in the private sector working for several high profile household names including Sony Computer Entertainment, Morton International and Cable and Wireless. Since joining the voluntary sector, Paula has developed her role within Helplines Partnership from PA, to Central Services Team Manager, to Director of Membership and External Affairs. She is responsible for the organisation’s membership, events, policy, marketing and communications and external affairs. Paula has a particular interest in helplines and is passionate about the service they provide to the public and the communities in which we live.
Click here to see all articles written by Paula

Gemma has a BA Hons Degree in Applied Social sciences and MA in Criminology, Rights and Justice with a large focus on children and young people and mental health. Gemma began her career working at a probation hostel working with vulnerable adults who had suffered drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues, and schedule 1 offenders. Gemma was recruited to set up a new Childline base in Liverpool in 2007, a new innovative building, built for children and families to support children in a locally deprived area of Liverpool. During her 11 years in Childline she took on other roles such as business support manager working directly with the senior management team to deliver service delivery models. Gemma has extensive experience of safeguarding and child protection throughout her professional roles and 11 years management experience at both an operational and strategic level.

Lorraine has worked for Helplines Partnership since 2009 and has extensive and varied experience of working in administrative roles. She has previously worked as a helpline volunteer and currently supports her husband who is Chairman of a local voluntary environmental charity. Her current role includes Governance, Human Resources, general administration and Health & Safety.

Laura qualified as an Accounting Technician in 2000 after completing her training in general practice and in 2012 gained Fellow status as an FMAAT member. She started working as finance officer for a local Church in 2008 which sparked her interest in working in the Charity Finance sector.

In her role as Head of Finance she has overall responsibility for the day to day financial transactions of the organisation as well as providing management information to the CEO and Board to assist with their decision making.

She is a voluntary Board Observer for the national charity LMBBS as well as being a family support worker for their patients and families and fully understands the importance of people receiving the appropriate support at times of difficulty.

Nicola joined Helplines Partnership in 2005 as administrator to the Project Manager. Through this role, she gained wide experience in all aspects of the charity, developing a particular interest in working with the members and facilitating member conferences. In the past, Nicola has worked for various Councils and commercial organisations developing systems, delivering training and implementing IT projects.
Click here to see all articles written by Nicola

Annika has worked in communication and marketing roles since 2005. She spent time in the public and private sector, working in areas as diverse as web design and development, financial services, healthcare and social science research. Annika has supported a range of charities in voluntary roles as a youth mentor, volunteer advisor, media match volunteer, trustee and chair.
Click here to see all articles written by Annika

Mega Arumugam

Mega Arumugam

Trainer & Assessor

Membership Team

Membership Team

Membership Executive

Tracey Lott

Tracey Lott

Services Executive

Mega has worked for over 10 years in the voluntary sector, namely within the domestic and sexual violence and abuse field and also has experience in volunteer management. She has managed, developed and led the specialist domestic and sexual violence helpline and crisis intervention teams. Mega is a professional and accredited trainer, specialising in designing and delivering domestic and sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, honour-based violence and child sexual exploitation training. She is also a telephone befriending volunteer for a national organisation supporting Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE). In her current role as Trainer and Assessor for Helplines Partnership, Mega is using her experience within the helpline and voluntary sector to support helpline services in development, training and achieving the Helplines Standard accreditation.

Sonia has worked in various support roles including secretarial and enquiry line work. She is now part of the Membership Team and is a key point of contact for new member applications.

Tracey has over 15 years’ experience working in the charity sector across a range of mental health & wellbeing support services. Tracey’s working life started in metal research but volunteering with a local helpline sparked her passion for the sector. She has since worked as a Volunteer Manager and a Mental Health Information Worker. In her current role as Services Executive, Tracey is responsible for providing support for the delivery of Helpline Partnership’s suite of high quality services. In her spare time, she is currently a trustee of a local charity with an interest in governance and supporting quality service delivery.

TRUSTEES

Sophie Andrews

Sophie Andrews

Elected Member Trustee

Roger Leslie

Roger Leslie

Treasurer

Christopher Stacey

Christopher Stacey

Elected Member Trustee

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy

Elected Member Trustee

Karen Ditchfield

Karen Ditchfield

Co-opted Trustee

Daniel Whitbread

Daniel Whitbread

Elected Member Trustee

Sophie Andrews is the Chief Executive of The Silver Line Helpline and was recruited by Dame Esther Rantzen and the Board of Trustees as their first employee in September 2012. Within two months of joining she successfully launched a pilot of the service across the NW of England and then with a small team secured the funding in order to launch the service nationally in November 2013. Sophie has extensive experience of working at both strategic and operational levels, and in managing and large numbers of staff and volunteers. In recognition of this she was awarded Voluntary Sector Achiever of the Year at the Women in Public Life Awards in 2011.

For more than 25 years Sophie has been employed in senior management positions within the private sector, the public sector and voluntary agencies. She has extensive helpline experience and began her career as a call centre manager for Cable and Wireless and then Marks and Spencer Money before making the transition to work in social care. She then went on to become Head of Volunteering at the NSPCC (ChildLine). Alongside her professional career, Sophie has been a Samaritan volunteer for over 25 years and held the position of Branch Director and Regional Director before being elected as National Chair of the charity which is a position she held from 2008-2011. Sophie is also a published author and motivational speaker.

Roger is a graduate of St Andrews University and a chartered accountant. He spent most of his career as a tax partner at Ernst & Young firstly in Edinburgh and then in London retiring in 2011. Since then he has been working part-time advising HM Revenue & Customs and HM Treasury on tax policy matters.

Christopher is the Co-Director of Unlock, an independent award-winning charity which provides information, advice, training and advocacy, dealing with the ongoing effects of criminal convictions. He is responsible for overseeing the charity's support, activities, communications and policy work. He is one of the country's foremost experts on the criminal record disclosure system, and in understanding the long-term effects associated with having a criminal record. He supports and challenges employers and others in their use of criminal records. He has a Law degree, Master of Laws degree, is a Winston Churchill Fellow and a Member of the Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group.

Sarah has worked within third sector helplines since 2005, her first role being a telephone debt adviser and mentor with National Debtline, before moving to Rethink Mental Illness in 2009 where she is currently their Head of Advice & Helpline services, looking after different telephone based services across the country all specifically helping people affected by mental illness.

Karen is Operations Director at the WISE Campaign, a not for profit membership organisation which works to empower those who want to increase the participation and success of women in the UK science, engineering and technology workforce. Karen leads the operational delivery to ensure the commercial and technical infrastructure supports the growing membership and development activities. Karen has over 10 years' management experience in the outsourced contact centre sector and has delivered helplines on behalf of charity and public sector organisations as the Head of Contact Centres. The helplines delivered include services covering mental health, general health, education, employment and carers.

Daniel's current role is Head of Operations at Samaritans, where he has worked for 7 years. Before that he worked and volunteered for two other helplines, Get Connected (now The Mix) and Childline. Daniel has an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School, and has a particular interest in the different languages of technology, and how change happens on a large scale.

Chlöe Morton

Chlöe Morton

Elected Member Trustee

Emma Bull

Emma Bull

Co-opted Trustee

Chlöe is Director of Services for a digital youth charity called The Mix, which reaches over 3 million young people a year. In this role Chlöe is designated safeguarding lead and oversees all support and youth engagement work. This includes a multi-channel helpline, clinical counselling service, peer support community as well as all volunteering, training and youth participation. Chlöe studied and lectured in Psychology and has over 15 years experience of developing and managing on and offline support services in areas such as mental health, bullying and housing. She is a Clore Social Fellow, has been a volunteer with The Samaritans for over 12 years and is an advocate of challenging mental health stigma.

Emma has worked with helplines for 13 years. She started as volunteer with the Samaritans and then worked with Missing People, the MS Society and more recently Turn2us. She has run, led and innovated helpline teams and services from an operational and strategic perspective. Emma is passionate about equality and upholds inclusivity for marginalised groups: those that identify as an ethnic minority, having a disability, having mental health and/or physical health challenges or people from the LGBTQIA community. Emma is as Professional Therapist providing Counselling and Talking Therapy privately. She also works for Citizens Advice as a regional Program Lead for a project helping people with the welfare benefit Universal Credit. Emma has a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Therapeutic Counselling and is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).