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.


Kelly Carter

Business & Development Manager

Kelly is a bereaved parent having lost her daughter Esme in 2010.  She first attended a SLOW support meeting in 2011 and then began working voluntarily for SLOW two years later. In 2015, she took on the role of Business and Development Manager and her current remit for SLOW includes planning and developing new services, grants and fundraising, marketing, operations and finance.

Kelly worked for 13 years in the Telecoms and Media Industry at News International and BSkyB in a variety of management roles, primarily in marketing but also in project management and operational roles. After her daughter’s death, she also raised over £125,000 for the HR Trust for scientific research into the disease, HLH.


Nikki Peterson

Bereavement Support Services Manager

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.

Nikki runs two other businesses (TigerBee Coaching, her coaching practice and Motherdom, a media platform that supports maternal mental health). 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.


Maude Watkin

Clara Francis


Clara, lost her two-year-old daughter, Maude, tragically and unexpectedly to Sepsis in 2011.  Clara attended numerous support groups and has raised thousands for SLOW through inspiring fundraising events. Clara is an actress as well as a designer of exquisite intricately-beaded jewellery and also runs O’Pioneers, a British clothing label.

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.”

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. 

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”.

Larry Ward, Michael's brother

Michael Ward

SLOWsibs 18+ Facilitator

Michael is a bereaved sibling, and the middle of three brothers. Michael’s older brother Larry passed away four days after a knee operation, from a pulmonary embolism on 24th April 2015 at the age of 51.

Together with Shushma Jain, Michael co-facilitates our adult sibling support groups which started in 2021.


Philippa Murray

Chair of Trustees

Pippa joined SLOW 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 has been a Trustee of the Brain Tumour Charity since 2008, chairing its Information and Support Sub-Committee and serves 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 has taken a career break since 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. 


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.

Samara Stevens

Samara Zendera


Samara is a chartered accountant with a 12-year career spanning financial services, transport and the NHS. She also brings a diversity lens to the charity’s operational and strategic goals. She was drawn to SLOW due to the loss of her best friend at a young age and her continued relationship with his bereaved parents. She was matched with SLOW through The Big Alliance, an organisation that matches individuals to charities based on skillset and interests.

Cicilia Wan

Cicilia Wan


Cicilia works for a bank in the City of London as a Human Resources Executive. 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.

Cicilia has a background in Human Resources, and her career has taken her all around the world. As a mother, Cicilia has deep appreciation for the lifeline that SLOW extends to bereaved parents and is proud to support the work 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 works at The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial conduct regulator, in the International Division focusing on crypto policy and operational resilience. She has a background in technology, policy, and finance, has also 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.


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.