SUDC UK TEAM

Board of Trustees

In addition to a representative from our affiliate the SUDC Foundation (sudc.org) we are grateful to the following charity trustees:

Camilla Gooden

Co-Founder and Chair of Trustees

SUDC Parent to Rex 10.4.2013-7.2.2015

Camilla has a communications background with over 20 years’ experience in the global healthcare, lifestyle and beauty sectors including a large part of her career at skincare experts Clarins and L’Oreal. Camilla went on to study Naturopathic Nutrition at The College of Naturopathic Medicine and is now a qualified Nutritional Therapist specialising in Family Nutrition. She takes both a holistic and scientific approach to identify nutritional and biomedical imbalances within the body and provides gentle natural solutions.

Email: camilla@sudc.org.uk

Helen Charalambous

Co-Founder, Trustee and Treasurer

SUDC Parent to Yianni  29.06.2012 – 15.11.2013

Helen has worked in the investment industry for more than 15 years for organisations including The Bank of New York, State Street Global Advisors and NWQ Investment Management Company. She is currently vice president and head of fund distribution for EMEA at Nuveen. In addition to her trustee role, Helen supports SUDC UK’s corporate relations and corporate initiatives.

Email: helen@sudc.org.uk

 Staff and Volunteers

CEO and Co-founder – Nikki Speed PhD, nikki@sudc.org.uk

Nikki has a PhD in biochemistry and has experience of working in academic research and pharmaceutical sales. Using her personal experience as a bereaved parent and her scientific background, she co-founded and worked with a team to establish SUDC UK and develop professional expertise on Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. Nikki represents SUDC UK at various national and international groups for child death and bereavement policy, directly supports families with family-led case advocacy and supports SUDC training. Read Nikki’s story.

Communications Manager – Hannah Johnston hannah@sudc.org.uk – read Hannah’s story at www.forevermissingapiece.com

Fundraising and Events Manager – Lorna McKay lorna@sudc.org.uk 

Team Administrator – Mandy Rooke mandy@sudc.org.uk 

SUDC UK relies on the generous volunteer spirit of many to achieve its mission. We are grateful for everyone who has helped us in the past and those who continue to support us. SUDC UK would not exist without your dedication.

Our Patron Jenni Thomas OBE

SUDC UK is thrilled that Jenni Thomas agreed to come on board as our Founding Patron.  With nearly 50 years of experience in the NHS supporting bereaved families, Jenni Thomas is widely recognised in the UK as a leading authority in bereavement support for grieving families. In 1994, Jenni founded the charity Child Bereavement UK to support families and educate professionals when a baby or child dies or is bereaved.  Throughout her career, Jenni has learnt – and continues to learn – from families.

When parents Tom and Nikki were thrown into the painful world of grief after Rosie died suddenly and unexpectedly, a priority for them was to seek guidance to understand the most helpful way to support their young son Adam.  Nothing can prepare grieving parents for the enormity of being parents to a suddenly bereaved young child.  So, it is enormously caring that bereaved parents have used their experience of what they needed to set up this important charity.  I know how valuable it will be to other families who sadly share the experience of losing a child in this way, as well as to the many professionals who are alongside the families at this time.  I am very honoured to be a Patron of SUDC UK and am grateful that I can use its excellent resources in my work.”

Jenni Thomas OBE

Expert Advisory Board

Professor Marta Cohen OBE

Marta C Cohen MD, FRCPath, DMJ (Pathology), Dip Med Education

Prof. Marta Cohen OBE is a Consultant Paediatric Histopathologist, Head of Department and Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Diagnostics and Genetics Paediatric at Sheffield Children NHS FT and Paediatric Pathology Professor at the University of Sheffield. She is also an active member of the Sheffield Child Death Review Panel.

Marta’s research includes studies on unexpected child deaths in infants and children. Her MD Thesis was on the subject of Sudden Infant and Early Childhood Death. She has co-edited a book on the investigation of Sudden Infant Death and is an author/co-author of numerous book chapters and has published numerous studies on unexpected child death. 

Marta actively participates in numerous research projects on SIDS and SUDC  and is part of the Steering Committee of Care of the Next Infant (CONI), of the Lullaby Trust and a executive board member of ISPID.

As a result of the work of SUDC UK and our ambition to optimise international collaboration, Prof. Marta Cohen OBE is also a member of the SUDC Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, directly supporting its global efforts since 2020.

Causes behind SUDC are still under-recognised. This is why research in this field is so much needed. SUDC UK IS the only UK organisation aiming to raise awareness and funds that directly feed into research in this field.”

Professor Cohen

Professor Peter Fleming CBE

FRSA, PhD, MB ChB, FRCP (London), FRCP (Canada), FRCPCH.

Peter Fleming is a Professor of Infant Health & Developmental Physiology at Bristol University. He works primarily in research, teaching and safeguarding children and over the past 40 years has led several large-scale epidemiological studies of factors contributing to unexpected deaths in infants and children.

Peter was the lead clinician in the UK “Back to Sleep” Campaign in 1991, which led to a dramatic fall in the numbers of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly. He has been involved as a collaborator and advisor to several similar campaigns in other countries. This work is estimated to have led to the saving of over 15,000 infants’ lives in the UK, and over 100,000 worldwide.

Peter continues to conduct detailed research in this field and has co-authored more than 360 scientific publications. His current research is the largest study to date of unexpected deaths in childhood in the UK.

Peter has supported SUDC UK as an advisor since it’s launch in 2017. 

The sudden unexpected and unexplained death of a child is possibly the worst tragedy that can occur to any family. Research into unexpected deaths in infancy has led to an 80% reduction in such deaths over the past 30 years in the UK. Unexpected deaths in older children are less common, much less well understood, and to date little research has been conducted in the UK to try to understand or prevent such deaths…

I give my strongest possible support to the work of SUDC UK – supporting bereaved families and facilitating research aimed at understanding and preventing unexpected deaths of children. I am convinced that with the right research we will soon be able to prevent such deaths.”

Professor Fleming

Dr Joanna Garstang

 MBChB MSc MRCPCH PhD

 Dr Joanna Garstang is a Consultant Community Paediatrician, Designated Doctor for Child Death, and Honorary Research Fellow. Her specialist areas are in safeguarding children, Child Death Review and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood. Joanna’s PhD was an evaluation of multi-agency investigation of unexpected infant death from both the parents’ and professionals’ perspectives, more recently her research has focussed on improving multi-agency working in safeguarding and preventable child mortality. Joanna is Chair of the West Midlands Regional Child Death Review Network and Interim Chair of the national Association of Child Death Review Professionals (ACRDP).

Following years of advice and support implementing our medical education program, Joanna officially joined the SUDC UK expert advisory board in 2021. 

Outside our team SUDC UK is an active member of the following relevant bodies:.

  • Founding member of the All-Party Parlimentary Group for Bereavement and National Grief Awareness Week.
  • Member of the Child Bereavement Network and National Bereavement Alliance.
  • Charity member of the Association of Child Death Review Professionals.
  • Working group member of the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) 2022 SUDIC Thematic Review and member of their Public Engagement Network. Former memebr of the UK SUDIC Registry Steering Committee, led by Peter Fleming CBE.
  • Member of ISPID (The International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death).
  • Member of the UK Baby Loss Alliance. 
  • Member of select local Child Death Overview Panels
  • Member of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition
  • Member of The Fundraising Regulator

We aim for all collaborations to support tangible progress or resources. For example, this video produced in collaboration with NCMD, supports GPs caring for affected famlies.