Meet our staff

Our small, tight-knit team brings together a group of dedicated staff and volunteers who are passionate about helping mums and giving their babies the best start in life.

“As a small independent voluntary sector organisation with a big vision, MumsAid is making a huge difference in the field of Early Intervention in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.” Mirela Siminiceanu, Brookhill Children’s Centre Lead & Senior Family Support Worker

Staff and counselling team

Miriam Donaghy – Founder and Chief Executive. Miriam is a psychotherapist with almost 20 years’ experience of specialising in perinatal mental health. Before setting up MumsAid, Miriam managed parenting projects for Greenwich Mind as Clinical Director and for the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR), developing services for new mothers and delivering ‘PMH Awareness’ training for other professionals. She was also an Associate Counsellor for the Tavistock’s Parenting Together Service and developed the Baby and Me programme for mothers with complex needs. Miriam has won two community awards from Greenwich Action for Voluntary Services; ‘Significant Contribution by an Individual’s in 2012 and ‘The Most Effective Voluntary and Community Sector Representative’ in 2016.

Anila Destani – Finance Officer. Anila has a BA (Hons) in Maths from Tirana University and is qualified in accountancy and business administration.  She worked as a maths teacher in Albania before coming to London in 2000 and first began supporting MumsAid as an admin volunteer at the end of 2013.  Anila is our financial administrator and also oversees our monitoring and evaluation processes. A mother to two teenagers, Anila works part-time and is also a private maths tutor.

Jessica Svejdar – Service Coordinator. Jessica has a BA (hons) from University College Dublin and many years’ experience of working in the private sector, before relocating to London with her family in 2011. Jessica joined MumsAid in early 2015 and as the service co-ordinator, is the first point of contact for our clients and integral to the smooth running of the organisation. She is a trained Mental Health First-Aider and regularly represents MumsAid at community and nationwide events. Before joining MumsAid Jessica was a committed volunteer at the Bridge Community Centre and at her daughters’ school.

Lucy Ward –- part-time Administator. As well as strong admin and organisation skills from her previous work in customer service for a large private company, Lucy has lived experience of postnatal depression and of being a young mum with the valuable insights and commitment this brings to her work. She has 2 girls and is currently studying for an Open University degree in Business Management.

Sarah McGuiness – Psychotherapist (YoungMumsAid). Sarah is an accredited therapist by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy with over fifteen years’ experience of working in mental health. She started out as a volunteer for The Samaritans before training as a psychotherapist and working as a volunteer counsellor at Mind. Sarah began as one of the original volunteer therapists at MumsAid before being employed as a senior psychotherapist for YoungMumsAid in 2014. As well as working in private practice, Sarah continues to be the lead therapist for YMA and provides clinical supervision for some of MumsAid’s volunteer counsellors.

Caroline Sutcliffe is a senior psychotherapist for our YoungMumsAid service, she is a UKCP registered psychotherapist with an Msc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. After working as a teacher with young people excluded from mainstream schools she moved on to work with people with substance misuse problems working on the frontline in both voluntary sector and NHS services for more than 10 years. Caroline has particular experience of working with complex depression personality disorder and self harm and is currently training in Transference Focussed Psychotherapy at The Maudsley.

Helen Elane Heffernan MBACP – Psychotherapist (YoungMumsAid). Elane trained as an integrative therapist and previously worked for six years as a counsellor in further education with a diverse group of clients, including many young mothers. Prior to her training Elane worked with refugees, migrants and homeless young people.  Elane began working with MumsAid as a volunteer and is now employed as a senior therapist in the YoungMumsAid service. She has experience in working with issues of depression and anxiety, survivors of abuse and relational trauma, displacement and relationship problems.