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Sibs patron

Jo Whiley - Patron

Jo is a radio DJ and television presenter.  She is also an adult sibling, her sister Frances has a learning disability.  “My sister Frances is a real live-wire, the kind of individual you never forget once you’ve met them. She is loving and loud and a real live wire. She also has learning disabilities which means that life sometimes, gets complicated. This means that I have an understanding of what it means to be a sibling – the fun and the not so fun bits!  It also means I know the value of an organisation like Sibs.”

Sibs president

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.

Sibs trustees

Saba Salman - Chair

Saba is a social affairs journalist and author. A former national newspaper reporter, she writes for a variety of titles including the Guardian and the Independent and is the editor of the book Made Possible. Saba is an adult sibling and her younger sister Raana has Fragile X syndrome. She brings expertise in communications and knowledge of social care.

Jackie Howell - Vice Chair

Jackie has over 20 years experience in marketing in organisations such as PA Consulting Group and KPMG, specialising in taking complex issues and making them easily digestible to a busy audience. Growing up, fundraising and charity events with family and friends were an important part of life, particularly to raise money for the local community and for disability charities. Jackie hopes that her experience, can help Sibs take their important story to an audience who may not know there is any support out there for them. Jackie has two young sons. 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 25 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 and now YHA (England and Wales). He has two daughters aged 13 & 16 and an older sister with autism and learning difficulties..

Carol McBride

Since Carol qualified as a solicitor in 2002 she has specialised in the legal issues facing disabled people and their families.  A director of Solicitor for the Elderly, having spent over 15 years in private practice as a specialist mental capacity and vulnerable client lawyer, Carol now works in local government, advising on adult social care law and policy. Carol advises Sibs on future planning and mental capacity resources for adult siblings.

Dr 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. Currently, she is supervising students researching experiences of twins/triplets with and without disabilities and autistic and non-autistic siblings across the lifespan. She is committed to creative participatory health and educational research, co-producing work with community members, alongside valuing public engagement and outreach work to ensure that research has impact beyond academia. Georgia is involved in post-diagnostic support programmes for autistic people and their families offering consultation and training services in two prestigious clinics in Central London. She is also working towards her UKCP accreditation as clinical psychotherapist..

Claire Tibble - Treasurer

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 13 years, having previously worked in banking. She brings her organisational and finance skills to Sibs as the Office and Finance Manager. 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 an Early Career Fellow with the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick, having recently submitted her PhD for examination. Nikita has a younger brother with autism and is a Research Associate for Sibs. Supervised by Professor Richard Hastings and in collaboration with Sibs, Nikita’s PhD project explored questions regarding the psychological outcomes of children and adults that have a brother or sister with intellectual (learning) disability or autism as well as their sibling relationships. Nikita is Sibs Research Associate.

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.

Harinder Natt

Harinder is a financial professional who has worked in both private and public sector. Harinder has previously held the trustee treasurer role and raised over £1,500 for Sibs in 2019 by running a half-marathon in London. Harinder is a sibling to his younger brother who has Cerebral-Palsy. Harinder supports Sibs with finance, operations and planning.

Claire Cook

Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moore’s with a degree in Media, Culture and Communications, now working in a marketing agency helping organisations grow their social media presence. Claire is a sibling to her older sister and younger brother who both have autism. Claire supports Sibs with their social media development.