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Sibs trustees

Simon Everest - President

Simon is a civil servant, working in the UK Government Digital Service as an engagement and digital transformation lead, helping to improve government services online.  He is an adult sibling, with a younger sister with a severe learning disability.  Simon brings advice and guidance on the use of digital technologies, including social media, to the charity.

Saba Salman - Chair

Saba is a social affairs journalist. A former Evening Standard correspondent with 20 years’ experience in media, she writes regularly for the Guardian. Saba is an adult sibling and has a younger sister with Fragile X syndrome. She brings expertise in communications and knowledge of social care. Demystifying jargon and focusing on human stories in her journalism, she also uses these skills in her editorial consultancy work.

Jackie Howell - Vice Chair

Jackie has over 15 years experience in marketing in organisations such as UKTI, PA Consulting Group and a major professional services firm.  Specialising in taking complex business issues and making them easily digestible to a busy audience, Jackie is looking forward to using her skills to help Sibs take their story to an audience who may not know there is any support out there for them. Jackie has a young son. Her older brother has cerebral palsy.

Sara Wheeler

Sara is an award-winning non-fiction writer specialising in travel; she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has written many books, including the bestselling Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica.  She is an adult sibling with a younger brother who has profound brain damage; doctors have never been able to find out what caused his non-congenital condition. Sara has sat on various arts boards and brings her experience of both corporate governance and of the role of non-executives within a small charity.

Charlie Simpson

Charlie has over 20 years fundraising experience derived from a variety of fundraising and senior management roles within organisations such as NSPCC, I CAN, Unicef UK and Action on Hearing Loss. As Director of Income Generation at I CAN he transformed the charity’s distribution model through the introduction of a licensing programme which significantly and sustainably increased programme reach. He has two daughters aged 8 & 11 and has an older sister with autism.

Carol McBride

Carol is a Director and Head of the Private Client team at Hugh Jones Solicitors, Manchester. Since she qualified as a solicitor in 2002 she has helped disabled people and their families protect their financial interests.  This can be through setting up specialist wills, trusts or powers of attorney, as well as working with the Court of Protection. She is a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and serves on STEP’s mental capacity Special Interest Group steering committee. A Dementia Friends Champion she is a vice chair of Salford Dementia Action Alliance and has been named as a leading individual lawyer by the Legal 500. Carol advises Sibs on future planning resources for adult siblings.

Georgia Pavlopoulou

Georgia is Head of School and Family Partnerships at LiLAS Lab at Institute of Education, University College London. She has spent the last 15 years working with people with complex needs in the roles of therapist, teacher, lecturer, Head of Department, Scientific Co-ordinator and Educational Consultant, in the UK and Greece. Georgia has a special interest and expertise in family-centred programmes in Autism Spectrum Conditions. Her PhD research concentrates on understanding adolescent sisters’ experiences growing up with a brother or sister with complex autism. Georgia wants to use her knowledge and experience to help Sibs with future planning resources for older teenage siblings.

Claire Tibble

Claire is a research finance manager at Imperial College London and has extensive experience of projecting and managing budgets for a diverse research portfolio that is supported by a variety of funders from across the globe. She also has several years experience volunteering with a London-based charity that supports adults with autism and learning disabilities – participating in social development workshops and helping to run training sessions for new cohorts of volunteers. An adult sibling to an older sister with Down’s Syndrome, she was part of the small sibling group that first met informally and has since developed into the official Sibs London adult sibling group. Claire brings to Sibs her funding management background as well as her experience interacting with a range of people whose lives are impacted by disability..

Sibs staff

Clare Kassa

Clare Kassa joined Sibs as CEO in 2018.  She has a long connection with the charity, and was at the first meeting to discuss the setting up of Sibs back in 2001. Clare has worked in the voluntary sector supporting both disabled children and adults and their families for over 25 years. She has delivered workshops on sibling issues, undertaken direct support work with adult siblings and commissioned a piece of research with the University of Portsmouth,  Do Siblings Matter Too, 2015.  Clare is an adult sibling – she has an older brother with a learning disability. Clare is passionate about sibling support and wants to ensure that the important role siblings play in the lives of disabled people is acknowledged by service providers and policy makers.

Louise Scott

Louise has been working at Sibs for the past 12 years, having previously worked in banking. She brings her organisational and finance skills to Sibs as the Administrator and Events Coordinator. She especially loves it when she hears the relief in the voice of a sibling or parent at having found Sibs.

Linda Owen

Linda is our Information Officer for Young Siblings. She has worked in the voluntary sector for ten years, initially working in schools supporting young carers and sibling young carers. More recently she has managed the information service for a regional carers’ charity. She has four children, two of whom have a genetic disorder.

Frances Danylec

Frances is our Development Officer for Adult Siblings. She is an Occupational Therapist by background and has a brother who has severe learning disabilities. She has worked with volunteers and groups over the past ten years, and has always enjoyed volunteering herself. Frances co-founded and facilitated the Nottingham Adult Sibling Group. She brings her personal and professional experience to her work to support adult siblings at Sibs.

Sibs advisors

Richard Hastings

Richard is a Professor in the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research at the University of Warwick and the Cerebra Chair of Family Research. He is a researcher in the field of intellectual disability and autism, with particular interests in families of both children and adults with disabilities. Richard’s research team have carried out several studies focused on brothers and sisters of children with intellectual disability and/or autism, especially young siblings.

Nikita Hayden

Nikita is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research at the University of Warwick and a Research Associate for Sibs.  Supervised by Professor Richard Hastings and in collaboration with Sibs, Nikita’s PhD project explores questions regarding the educational and psychological outcomes of children that have a brother or sister with intellectual (learning) disability or autism as well as their sibling relationships. Nikita’s work with Sibs also involves research with adult siblings. Nikita has a younger brother with autism.

Larry Reynolds

Larry is managing partner of Courageous Conversations at work, a company that helps people in business to create high performing organisations where people love to work. He supports Sibs with staff and volunteer training