Staff Team

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Sarah Zadik
Co-Founder and Head of Operations

For more than a decade,

Sarah has worked to support vulnerable people

in the asylum process and those with insecure immigration status. In 2017, she co-founded Amma Birth Companions. 
 

As Head of Operations, Sarah oversees all volunteer activities and casework. She is responsible for ensuring the clients we work with receive safe, appropriate, and trauma enhanced support. 

Sarah also leads our monitoring and evaluation activities, helping to ensure Amma is achieving its mission and outcomes. 

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Helen Sheriff
Perinatal Services Manager

Helen initially got involved with Amma as a volunteer birth companion and quickly became an integral part of the team. Her strong management skills and experience as a birth companion led to Helen becoming our Perinatal Services Manager.

 

Before joining Amma, Helen owned a sales and letting business for 13 years. Previously, she worked in the retail, banking, and finance sectors.

 

Helen contributes extensive experience in training and staff development, as well as valuable expertise in GDPR and compliance issues.

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Abigail Stein
Team Administrator 

Abigail has extensive experience in the third sector. She previously worked for ChildLine and spent twelve years at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, where she was part of the management team.

 

Abigail has years of experience in corporate events and fundraising and brings strong project and people management skills to the Amma team.

 

She is a qualified hypnobirthing practitioner and currently training to become a birth and postnatal doula.

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Amanda Purdie 
Head of Strategy & Public Affairs

Amanda brings over a decade of experience in the not-for-profit sector to her role as Head of Strategy & Public Affairs.

 

Born in Canada, Amanda has worked for several charitable organisations in both the UK and abroad. Prior to joining Amma, she served as the Director of Marketing for a large national charity in Canada.
 

Amanda is responsible for shaping Amma's strategic priorities and leveraging our expertise to advocate for systemic change. She also leads all fundraising and marketing activities.

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Tariqua Gorrissen 

Postnatal Services Manager

Tariqua has more than 25 years’ experience of working with non-profit organisations, where she supported asylum-seeking minors, undocumented migrants, and survivors of trafficking. Over the years, her roles have included crisis advisor, holistic therapist, supervisor, and doula. 

 

Tariqua has extensive knowledge of child protection matters and domestic violence issues.

 

As a full-spectrum doula, she has supported over 300 births and been a source of strength for parents navigating infertility and baby loss.

 

Birth and Mother Companions



Our dedicated team of 25 volunteer companions are trained to support women throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period.
 

Together, they form a close-knit, compassionate and diverse group of individuals—each with a shared desire to help our clients achieve the best birth experience possible. 

 

Many of our birth companions originate from countries outside of the UK and are able to offer culturally-appropriate support in a wide array of languages that includes Spanish, Polish, Russian, Arabic, Kurdish (Sorani), Mandarin, Ibo, Yoruba and more. 
 

 

Mentors



Each one of our birth companions is overseen by a mentor. Our mentors have significant experience of supporting women through pregnancy and birth, whether that be as a midwife, doula or NCT practitioner. They are there to offer professional guidance and support and to ensure best practice. Our mentors also play an important role in educating birth companions through regular group training sessions. 

Group Supervisor

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Dr. Rachel Fraser

Dr Rachel Fraser is an experienced clinical psychologist based in Glasgow, and is fully registered with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

She has worked in multiple NHS contexts which include Mother & Baby, Community Mental Health, Psychiatric Crisis and Acute Inpatient settings. She has also some years’ experience as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for an expert witness organisation in the Family Court assessment of complex families in matters pertaining to parenting, trauma, development and family assessment.

 

Rachel trained to doctoral level in Clinical Psychology at the University of Essex/ Tavistock Clinic, where she undertook research at the Anna Freud Centre on the quality of the mother-infant relationship as part of their Parent-Infant Psychotherapy Programme under supervision of Prof Peter Fonagy. She is trained in Reflective Parenting, Mentalisation-based Therapy, Behavioural Family Therapy and the Emotional Availability Scales (parent-infant interaction).

 

As well as Clinical Psychology training, Rachel completed a Mental Health MSc at King’s College London/ Institute of Psychiatry with a specialism in psychodynamic psychotherapy.
 

Rachel is currently employed as the NHS Clinical Lead of a large pilot site for the Scottish Government-funded Distress Brief Intervention programme, an innovative service for those who present to services experiencing high distress.

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Legal

Amma Birth Companions 2020

Amma Birth Companions is a charity registered in Scotland (SC049280)

Amma is generously funded by: