Meet The Team

Sabiene North – CEO

Following a 22 year career in Wealth Management, Sabiene joined the BFYC team in March 2020 as our Fundraiser and Events Coordinator, before taking over as CEO in 2022. Sabiene brings a wealth of skills with her from previous roles in Wealth Management. Sabiene studied History and Politics at Southampton University and is an active member of the local running community. Her role at BFYC is vital for leading the team, bringing in funds, liaising with the community, corporates and raising awareness of the important work BFYC does. 

Sabiene is also one of our Designed Safeguarding Leads, her details can be found in our Safeguarding section.

Mandy McCartney – Fundraising & Events Coordinator

Mandy is responsible for all our fundraising and events, including applying for vital funding and recruiting donors to help support our charity’s activities and services for young carers. Mandy joined the charity in January 2022, and has personal experience of being a young carer, with the passion and desire to help and ease their circumstances and daily challenges.

Katrina Barber – Befriender & Volunteer Coordinator

Katrina manages our wonderful team of volunteers and befrienders, ensuring that they are safe and suitable to work with our young carers. Making sure that they are safeguard and first aid trained and completed our volunteer training package. Katrina creates the links between some of our young carers that need additional support and volunteers that are able to offer more time to our charity.

Previously Katrina has had a 24-year career working in a variety of roles in the childcare sector, and specialising in Special Educational Needs. Katrina has managed Preschools and Nurseries and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas of both childcare and management.

Katrina is also one of our Designed Safeguarding Leads, her details can be found in our Safeguarding section.

Charlotte Burke – Social Media Manager

Charlie is our Social Media Manager managing, developing, and responding to our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Charlie is the initial face of the charity online, bringing with her previous creative experience of interacting and documenting through blogging and website designing.

Ed Porter – Charity Administrator

Ed is our Team Administrator and brings that vital organisational link to our work. Ed has always been passionate about working with and supporting young people. Previously working as both a cricket and rugby youth coach. Ed has also volunteered as a youth leader at holiday clubs for a few summers and has a great connection with children and young people.

Gemma Thorpe

Young Carer Youth Worker –

The Vale and White Horse

Gemma is one of our fantastic support workers team, working in close liaison with her colleague Alice. Gemma engages with young carers, liaises with local schools and arranges young carer emotional support, activities and training.

Alice Hirst

Young Carer Youth Worker – South Oxfordshire

Alice is one of our fantastic support workers working in close liaison with her colleague Gemma. Alice joined the charity in July 2021 after working as a teaching assistant in a secondary school during the pandemic. Alice has a first-class psychology degree from the University of Reading and has a strong interest in promoting positive mental health in our young carers. Alice engages with young carers, liaises with local schools, and arranges young carer emotional support, activities and training.

Lorraine Nicholls

Young Carer Youth Worker – Oxford

Lorraine is a qualified primary school teacher with over 20 years experience of working in schools, and that for the last few years has been working as a teaching assistant supporting children with SEN and emotional/mental health needs.

Lorraine will be bringing her expertise on board as we expand into Oxford, an area she will be directly covering to support young carers and families.

Stacey Howard

Young Carer Youth Worker – Oxford

Stacey has a background in special education, working previously as a Pastoral Support Worker in a special school, mainly supporting students with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.

Stacey will be teaming up with Lorraine bringing together their skillset as we expand into Oxford, connecting with local schools to support young carers and families.

Jenny Latimer

Young Carer Youth Worker & Befriending Supervisor

Jenny has been a part of the Team for several years, working behind the scenes supervising the Support Workers when the Charity was previously called South and Vale Carers.

Her work provides our Young Carer Youth Workers and Volunteer Coordinator on a monthly basis with support dealing with case work, emotional wellbeing check ins, specialist advice and occasional training sessions.

Jenny currently work in Private Practice as a Therapist and Supervisor. Her qualifications include a BA(Hons) in Person Centered Counselling, Diploma in Psychology and an Advanced Diploma in Supervision.

Our Trustees

David Wells, Chair of Trustees

David’s career in Human Resources spans over 25 years in multi-national public-listed, private, private-equity-backed companies and public organisations, latterly as Director, People and Organisational Development at Imperial College NHS Trust.

Since 2018 he has been working with private and public sector organisations as an independent Human Resources consultant. He was inspired to join Be Free Young Carers as a Trustee having seen the positive impact that the charity makes, and the challenges faced by the NHS in meeting increasingly complex health needs. 

Elizabeth Paris & Loretta Light, Vice Chairs of Trustees

Elizabeth joined the Board in early 2021. Her career has been in investment banking as a Managing Director with Chase Manhattan Bank and JP Morgan. After a variety of board roles at national and regional level she is currently a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, an Associate Fellow of the University of Oxford Said Business School, Chair of Trustees at Oxford Playhouse, a trustee of SOFEA and a Charity Mentor. A particular focus on women and entrepreneurship includes a role as a World Bank consultant designing the IFC program for gender sensitivity in banks, leading on from managing the University of Oxford Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women programmes in China. 

Loretta, a local parish councillor and a Governor of South Central Ambulance NHS Trust for Oxfordshire, joined the Board in March 2020. Loretta is particularly interested in safeguarding.

Roy Browne

Roy graduated from Imperial College, London with an honours degree and is a Chartered Civil Engineer. Over a number of years he has held several senior positions in both the public and private sectors in England. Roy is married to Liz who is a Professor of Education. He shares his time between London and Oxfordshire and has been a Trustee of Be Free Young Carers since 2017, where he brings his commercial and marketing skills to the Charity.

Colin Mitchell FCCA

Colin is a qualified accountant with a broad background as CEO, finance director and non-executive roles in commercial enterprises and charities. He currently specialises in strategic business planning and has over 30 years’ experience in corporate mergers and acquisition projects across the UK and EU. Colin was a magistrate in Berkshire for 16 years; is a trustee of an Oxfordshire Multi Academy Trust and Chair of a London modern ballet company aimed at bringing the world of modern ballet to a wider audience and young dancers. He is married to his wife Pam, they have four children and eight grandchildren. Colin recently joined BFYC’s Board of Trustees in June.

Angus Horner

Angus former Campus Director for the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus Limited Partnership, having also been a founder shareholder inside the Private Sector half of the Partnership from 2013 until Spring 2020. He is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is also Founder and Managing Director of Prorsus Ltd. Angus lives in South Oxfordshire, with his Wife and young children. He is engaged in the broader region and also seeks to contribute via a Directorship of Didcot First Ltd, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Oxfordshire Growth Board and as a Governor of St Birinus School.

Alison Thomson

As an Occupational Therapist Alison worked with Cerebral Palsied children and their families in Scotland. When her 4 children went to school Alison returned to work as an OT, first with Social Services and then in Oxford with the NHS, working with the elderly and people with neurological conditions. Alison came in contact with Be Free YC, referring many patients to them for assistance.
Alison has been involved with local politics for 36 years, becoming a district councillor in 1999. In 2011 she was selected as the council chairman. After retiring from the NHS, Alison continued to work with people, becoming chairman and trustee of the Faringdon Pre-School and vice chairman for Faringdon U3A.

Laurie Cooper

Laurie currently heads up a Finance and Sales administration team in the gardening sector, with over 20 years accounting experience. She is a self driven systems and people manager that strives to achieve and embraces new challenges hence becoming a trustee for BYFC. Her family have been in Oxfordshire for the last 8 years. During this time Laurie have spent the last 5 years in a befriending role with another local charity which she has thoroughly enjoyed. She has a personal desire to always help others and being a part of this wonderful charity.