Staff and Trustees

Friends of the Family is a small, friendly organisation. It is managed by a group of dedicated non-executive trustees and run by a team of professional staff and volunteers.

Our staff


Joanna Smith

Operations Manager

Jo oversees the day to day running of the charity and is responsible for strategic development and fundraising activity. Jo’s experience spans the public, private and third sector and she has a passion for raising funds and making a difference in the local community.


Sam Hunt

5s to 13s Befriending Manager

Sam heads up our 5s to 13s befriending service. In her role, Sam oversees the recruitment, training, placement and supervision of all 5s to 13s volunteers. She manages referrals to the service: assessing the needs of children and families who require support, and matching trained volunteers to them. Sam also works closely with other statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure that the needs of the children and families are being met. She originally trained and worked as a primary school teacher.


Jane Hall

Volunteer and Operations Co-ordinator

Jane works with our existing volunteers as well as recruiting new ones, along with helping to organise events and generally keeping the office running smoothly.


Katharine Duchesne

Mums’ and Young Children’s Therapist & Project Lead

Katharine is a qualified MBACP Counsellor and leads our Mums’ and Young Children’s Project. With her warm personality, she has experience of assessing referrals and working with adults, (especially mums) and young people. Katharine works closely with other counselling charities and is a busy mum of three.


Marie Carter

Mums’ and Young Children’s Group Co-ordinator

Marie is a mum of three with a love of working with children. She has experience in volunteering in child-centred environments and co-ordinates the support we offer to little people coming to the Group.


Shelley Dodd


Shelley is a qualified counsellor with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, with experience in working with children, young people, and adults. She offers a friendly, safe, and confidential space to listen and understand what is going on for you from your perspective.

Charlie Wright

Charlie Wright

Support for Dads Manager

Charlie is a fully qualified counsellor and runs our Support for Dads  service. He supervises referrals, delivers the one-to-one counselling for dads and oversees a father’s group called, Dad’s Aloud. Charlie also works closely with Spurgeons charity at Winchester Prison, mentoring dads who are due for release.

Our Trustees


Chris Bale

Chair of Trustees

Chris has worked in the non-profit sector for 35 years, nationally and internationally, and was awarded the MBE for services to charity. As the founding Director of Partnership for Children, he has a particular interest in promoting the emotional wellbeing of young children. Chris brings valuable skills and experience in the areas of governance and funding to the Board of Trustees.


Jane Bennett


Jane studied Computer Science and French at college, and went on to work at IBM for over 30 years. She has been a member of Hampshire and Islands Area Quaker Meeting since 2009, and has been a treasurer for the Area Meeting and Winchester Local Meeting during that time. She serves as liaison between Winchester Quakers and Friends of the Family.


Cathryn Perrin


Cat has worked in the charity sector for over 25 years and set up her own fundraising consultancy, Breathe Fundraising, in 2018. Cat loves to study and has a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management specialising in Fundraising and Marketing. She is also passionate about mental wellbeing and talking therapies and has completed her Level 2&3 Counselling qualifications.


Claudia Dickens


Claudia grew up in Winchester and first joined Friends of the Family as a volunteer for the Mums and Young Children’s project in 2008. Her volunteering hugely informed her career path over the last decade and she brings a wealth of experience in working with vulnerable children and families. Currently working as a Gender Equality Advisor for Save the Children UK, Claudia specialises in child protection, girls’ empowerment and gender-based violence.


Rebecca Lockwood


Rebecca Lockwood’s background in public relations and broadcast journalism dates back 25 years. From live news reporting to producing the BBC’s Countryfile programme, not to mention helping to manage the press department for a wildlife charity, her wide-ranging experience has taken her all over the UK and beyond. In her role as a Trustee, Rebecca is focussing our many communication needs.


Sarah Cootes


Sarah has a degree in English and taught in Hampshire Secondary schools for almost 40 years, including 20 years as Head of English with whole school responsibility for Literacy. Her role as Trustee allows her to maintain her commitment to improving the life chances of all children, with a particular interest in language and communication. She also enjoys being a grandparent, with all the varied experiences this brings!


Ed Marriott


Originally a journalist and author, Ed Marriott has spent the last 20 years working as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in the NHS and private practice. He also holds an MA from the Tavistock in consulting to organisations, so brings to the role of trustee not only psychotherapeutic experience, but also knowledge of group dynamics.

Our Ambassador

Karen Hazlitt

Karen Hazlitt


Karen trained and practiced as a Construction Litigation Solicitor in London and Hampshire. She has lived in Winchester with her family since 1996. She is a qualified endurance running coach. As our previous Chair of Trustees, Karen has kindly agreed to stay on as our Ambassador.

If you are interested in joining the Board of Trustees, please call us on 01962 864466 or

  • It's good to play a small part in a small charity that has a big impact.

  • At a time when life is tough for so many, it's nice to help put something back locally and try to make a difference.

  • It's a great opportunity to support a local charity, to learn new skills and be part of a team.