Meet the team

Nicola Whitworth

Founder & Facilitator

Nicola Whitworth has been facilitating groups and working with individuals as a creative therapist for over 30 years.  She studied at the Institute of Group Analysis in Group Dynamics and holds a Certificate in Counselling Skills from Birkbeck College, University of London. She more recently trained at the national Child Bereavement UK charity in ‘Advanced Facilitation’ Skills for Bereavement groups’, in ‘Traumatic Grief,’ and in ‘The Impact of Suicide on Families’.

Following the death of her daughter Naomi Grace in 2005, Nicola Whitworth co-founded SLOW to support bereaved parents.  Nicola facilitates the North London SLOW support groups and provides training on parental bereavement to charity and healthcare professionals.  As well as her work for SLOW she is an honorary member of the National Child Death Helpline volunteer staff and as a Grief Support Practitioner at Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and Rosie’s Rainbow.  Nicola is a member of the Mindfulness Practitioners network.  She teaches Mindfulness and has developed a Mindfulness for Grief programme.

Bella Hanson

Susie Hanson

Founder & Facilitator

Susie founded SLOW with Nicola Whitworth to support bereaved parents after the death of their daughters, Naomi Grace and Bella Patricia. Susie nursed and tended to her daughter Bella’s many complex health issues till her death. 

With three other children of varying ages, she greatly understands the complexities of severe childhood illness and the impact of a child’s death within the family.  She has been facilitating SLOW groups for many years and has presented to professionals in the field of bereavement on the impact of child bereavement in families. 

Susie trained with Great Ormond Street Hospital Child Death Helpline to work on their helplines and has a certificate in counselling skills from Birkbeck college. Susie has worked in the voluntary sector for many years and passionately supports the industry.


Nikki Peterson


Nikki is incredibly passionate about supporting individuals through their grief. She is an ICF trained coach who specialises in Grief, Loss and Change coaching. In 2006, Nikki went into very premature labour at 23 & ½ weeks, her daughter Rosie lived for 6 days, she was too little and too poorly to survive. Rosie continues to be a big part of Nikki’s family and she has shaped the work Nikki does today.

Alongside Nikki’s SLOW work, she runs her private coaching practice (TigerBee Coaching), where she works predominantly with parents who have experienced baby loss, at any gestation or age.

She is married to Nik who was a huge support at the time of their daughter’s death, even though they grieved so very differently. They have two living daughters, Tiger and Betsy, and a son, Bruno.

Shane Stewart

Erica Stewart


Erica Stewart is a bereaved parent and mother to Baby Shane who died following major heart surgery at eight weeks old in 1983.

Erica has 25 years’ experience working with bereaved parents and families at Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity).  She started working as a volunteer on the Sands Helpline in the mid 90’s, and after 2 years was employed by Sands and worked her way up to Bereavement Support and Awareness Specialist working across all Sands teams.  During Erica’s time at Sands she also co-facilitated the South East London Sands support group.

Erica trained at CBUK in Advanced Facilitation Skills and is a qualified Counsellor, and says that she “hopes to bring all her skills, knowledge and experience to SLOW”

Theo Deards

Hattie Deards


Hattie is a bereaved parent having lost her son Theo in 2012 to SIDS. She also works for space2grieve, a local bereavement charity, supporting bereaved clients on a one to one basis and managing the client referrals as they come in to the charity. Hattie previously worked for Cruse Bereavement Support offering face to face support to individuals and working on local referrals. 

She has been trained by Walking for Health and the Ramblers Association to run walking groups for bereaved people, and is on the fundraising committee for Child Bereavement UK.    

Hattie spent over 15 years working in the food industry, and was compelled to change her career path after the loss of her son, wanting to help other bereaved people and offer the support she was given when she needed it. 

Amber Dobinson-Evans

Amber Dobinson-Evans


Amber’s one-year-old son Freddie died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2017 – he had Dravet syndrome a rare genetic epilepsy. Finding SLOW not long afterwards was hugely important for Amber to navigate life as a bereaved parent and make connections with others. She was a long-time attendee at in-person and online support groups before becoming a facilitator herself.

With an ongoing interest in genetic testing and improving rare disease diagnosis Amber joined the Patient, Parent & Carer panel for NHS North Thames Genomic Medicine Service Alliance in 2021. Her role helps inform decisions across development and organisational work. She’s also part of the advisory group led by Genetic Alliance for the NHS Rapid Genome Sequencing (RGS) testing programme for critically ill children as it begins nationally.

For many years Amber worked in the creative arts mostly with independent filmmaking training, participatory film projects, film festivals and events. After her son’s death, she made a slow shift in direction wanting to offer support to other families like her own – she now has certificates in Advice and Guidance and Peer Mentoring through City Lit College, London.

In recent years she’s combined experiences and worked on creative and exhibition projects linked with wellbeing and grief including at Hackney Museum and St Joseph’s Hospice. At Shoreditch Trust she worked with the wellbeing support programme ‘Peace of Mind’ as well as their ‘Bump Buddies’ peer mentoring scheme for vulnerable new mums in East London in partnership with local NHS teams.

Patrick Walsh

Kate Walsh


Kate is a bereaved parent and mum to three children including Patrick who died aged 15 in January 2020 of SADS (Sudden Arrhythmogenic Death Syndrome).

Kate volunteers as a peer support befriender and is an ambassador for SUDCUK for whom she recently organised a charity Snowdon climb. She is founder and Chair of a grief support community group in her local area which hosts monthly pop-up cafes to support all bereaved people and provides a library of grief books.

Kate’s other work is as a School Business Manager and she is also a trained parenting group facilitator.

Kian Gill

Sian Gill


Sian is a bereaved parent and mum to two boys: Carter the eldest and Kian who is 18 months his junior. Kian died on the 15 th May 2015, following a collision with a car whilst riding his bike in the countryside.

Sian’s background was pastoral care in a busy high school, however after losing
Kian she joined Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ‘Child Death Helpline’ in 2018
to support bereaved parents and their families. This gave her preliminary
training in this field, which led her to pursue a career in counselling. This
involved retraining over four years and establishing her own clients.

Sian also works as a ‘Personal Assistant’ with adults who struggle with mental
health difficulties. This work compliments that of the training she has undergone, and she has found it is very rewarding and worthwhile.

Alvaro Aviles

Gabriela Avilés


Gabriela is a bereaved mother who lost her 22-year-old son Álvaro unexpectedly, in 2020. She first attended SLOW groups that same year and has been a participant since then. SLOW’s support has been crucial to her, and she now embarks on a journey as a facilitator.

Gabriela is an advocate for community support and her ongoing interest in the
field has taken her to work and volunteer in non-for-profit organisations for more than 20 years.

Her background in Social Communications allowed her to embark on opportunities in education and the arts, and she most recently trained in Transpersonal Arts for Health and Well Being at Tobias School of Art and Therapy, in West Sussex. She currently lives in London with her family and dog companion.

Emma Cross

Neil Cross


Neil is a father to three children including his 20-year-old daughter Emma whom he lost in 2017. Emma was born prematurely with Noonan syndrome and a number of other medical conditions that limited her physically. She died suddenly at home. He has been regularly attending SLOW support groups since 2017 and became a facilitator in 2023.

Neil also volunteers as a facilitator for, a bereavement group for
fathers in the Thames Valley region, who meet monthly face to face, to chat
and walk whilst supporting each other.

He previously worked in media and advertising and spent 25 years in the print
and packaging industry.

Arvind Jain

Shushma Jain

SLOWsibs 18+ Facilitator

Shushma is a bereaved sibling.  Her brother Arvind, who had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, died from medical negligence in 2009 at the age of 13.  Shushma attended her first SLOW group with her mother shortly afterwards.

Shushma was a Learning Support Assistant and then a Special Needs teacher, in the same school for 19 years, a role she loved. She left that post to home educate her daughter in 2020.  

She was previously a trustee and volunteer sibling contact for The Compassionate Friends (TCF), where she supported bereaved siblings via phone/email, edited the sibling magazine and ran supportive retreats. She continues to facilitate the TCF adult sibling groups voluntarily.

She recently said, “SLOW held my hand during my darkest time and gave me hope, something I now want to do for other bereaved siblings”.

Rob and Sarah Gosling

Sarah Gosling

SLOWsibs 18+ Facilitator

Sarah is a bereaved sibling after her older brother died following a car accident at the age of 18. In response to the lack of support on offer to bereaved children back then, Sarah has been keen to find an opportunity to help others who find themselves in a similar position.

Sarah has spent the last 13 years working in the sportswear industry. However,
after reflecting on her own personal experiences she felt a strong desire to
take a more human-centric approach to design, so decided to undertake her
master’s in design for Health and Wellbeing. Her main focus within this course is on conducting design research aimed at improving products and services for the community.

Sarah is married to Paul, and they have three young children
Esmé, James and Alex.


Philippa Murray

Chair of Trustees

Pippa joined SLOW as a Trustee in 2012, initially taking on the role of Treasurer for two years. She has a background in central government, having held a number of senior posts in HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs. Pippa was also a member of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Transformation Board between 2008-2012.

She was an Emeritus Trustee of the Brain Tumour Charity having served as a Trustee between 2008-2022, chairing its Information and Support Sub-Committee and serving as a member of the Research Sub-Committee, having a degree in Biochemistry. She is also a non-executive director of Dasic Marine Limited, a marine engineering business based in Hampshire. Pippa took a career break when her 15-month old son, Lawrence, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She cared for him until he passed away in September 2007 aged 3 years 9 months. She was an early member of SLOW.


Tim Whitworth

Secretary and Facilitator

Tim has many years’ experience working with the public sector and supporting and advising new and small enterprises. A qualified training practitioner and executive coach, he worked with the Office for Public Management for over 9 years and now has his own consultancy and training practice running master classes in political and stakeholder engagement, doing more with less, commercial awareness and innovation skills for a number of large local authorities & NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and providing team and performance coaching for health and local authority senior management teams.

In addition to facilitating SLOW groups, Tim has used his personal experience of the diagnosis and loss of his daughter Naomi in running a bereaved dads support group, since 2011.

Cicilia Wan

Cicilia Wan


Cicilia has worked as a Human Resources Executive in the Financial Services industry for over 20 years. Her career has taken her all around the world, but she is now settled in London. She was introduced to SLOW through The East London Business Alliance, which connects local charities with workers at major institutions with an interest in volunteering.

As a mother, Cicilia has a deep appreciation for the lifeline that SLOW extends to bereaved parents and is proud to support the work that they do.


Paresh Pithiya

Paresh Pithiya


Paresh was looking to get involved with a charity where he could make a long-lasting difference, and when he came across SLOW, he felt very passionately about what they were doing. He was drawn to the lifeline SLOW provides when parents and siblings cannot see how to move forward with life. Paresh understands the trauma of losing a child having lost his daughter in 2014 and how this impacts bereaved parents. Paresh joined SLOW as a Trustee in December 2021 to help the charity grow and reach more people who are suffering from their loss of their child or sibling.

Elise Soucie

Elise Soucie


Elise is the Global Director of Policy and Regulation at GBBC Digital Finance.  She has a background in technology, policy, and finance, and previously held roles in other charitable organisations, and aims to utilise this experience as a SLOW trustee.

Throughout her life she experienced loss of her cousins as a child, nearly losing her own brother to cancer, and loss of a close friend to overdose while in university. These experiences with bereavement drew her to the mission of the organisation when she was introduced to SLOW through The Big Alliance.

Lizette Nolte

Lizette Nolte


Lizette is a Clinical Psychologist, lecturer and researcher who connected with SLOW initially when University of Hertfordshire became their research partner.

She has worked clinically and in her research in areas of loss, bereavement, parenting and family wellbeing all her career and is proud to be involved with SLOW.

Lizette is a bereaved sibling, and bears witness to the impact on her parents and wider family since her sister, Anli, died in 2003.


Jason Watkins & Clara Francis


Our patrons, Jason Watkins and Clara Francis, lost their two-year-old daughter, Maude, tragically and unexpectedly to Sepsis in 2011. Jason and Clara, have attended numerous support groups and have raised thousands for SLOW through inspiring fundraising events.

Jason is an award winning British stage, film and television actor and he dedicated his 2015 BAFTA to Maude. Jason is also a Sepsis Trust ambassador raising awareness of Sepsis to prevent further deaths.  Clara is an actress and designer of exquisite intricately-beaded jewellery.

Clara recently said, “SLOW is a place that offers practical help and huge support to people when they need it the most.  I will forever be indebted to SLOW and the incredible work they do”.

What our members say

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“Being part of SLOW has been a gift not a chore. I have loved every minute and am immensely proud of the amazing organisation it has become, from such humble beginnings.”

Former Trustee

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“I went through the website and I read all the bios and I felt these people have had their personal losses, they know what they’re talking about. It’s their experience, so I felt I’ll give it a try. And I gave it a try and I felt welcomed and I just felt very supported.”

SLOW Member

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“The people leading the group, I think they are doing an amazing job, every session has that element of support and unconditional time.”

SLOW Member

Support SLOW by donating today

Your donations help us provide continued emotional support for bereaved families.