As a charity, Group B Strep Support has a Board of Trustees who have overall governance responsibility for our work. This includes making sure we’re focusing on our mission, meeting our objectives, and that we’re spending money wisely.
We are especially interested in people with expertise in
- Influencing Government and NHS policy and practice
- Income Generation / Fundraising
Susan Gregory – Chair
“I’m an International HR Director and I wanted to get involved because – having seen the devastation caused to so many people by the death of a baby due to group B Strep – I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent anyone else going through that.
I have a busy job and travel a lot and was worried initially about how much time I’d be able to give the charity. Also, whilst I have a husband and a dog, I don’t have children, so wasn’t sure what I could do.
I find chairing the Board of Trustees really rewarding. Knowing that there are babies who are alive and well today because of the work Group B Strep Support does makes me really happy.”
Dawn Abbotts – Treasurer
“I became involved with the charity a few months after my son, Alex, was born. Previously I had never heard of group B Strep and was extremely worried when I was told I was a carrier shortly after his birth. Alex was on intravenous antibiotics for the first week of his life. I now have a daughter (Francesca) as well and felt a lot more confident knowing that I was a carrier (I took another test to establish this).
What started as voluntary work for Group B Strep Support doing the filing, turned in to a paid administrative role and, when I returned to my pre-baby career (in financial services), evolved again so that I am now Treasurer.”
Robert Plumb – Secretary
“I work as a pension consultant. I have experience as a school governor, church treasurer and volunteer adviser for the Pensions Ombudsman. I enjoy music, history and gardening.
Jane and I founded the charity in 1996 after our second child, Theo, died of an infection we’d never heard of. More than 20 years later, there are still too many group B Strep infections in babies. I remain committed to reducing that number.”
“I am a medical negligence solicitor and came across Group B Strep Support when I was instructed in my first Strep B legal claim in 2007. Once I researched the condition and realised how many babies are affected by this, it became important to help as many parents and children as possible whose lives have been changed by this dreadful condition. I hope that by being a Trustee I can play some small part in preventing the infection spreading rather than only assisting those individuals affected after it is too late. The work carried out for so long by GBSS in publicising Strep B, amongst health professionals as well as parents-to-be, has been an extraordinarily worthwhile campaign.
In my spare time I try to combine cycling with bringing up my twin girls.”
“I have a professional background in Asset Management but became involved in GBSS after losing my daughter, Natalie, to a Group B Strep infection in 2017. It was a terrible time for my family, but was made all the more galling with the knowledge that her death would have been avoided if the UK had a universal screening program like most developed nations.
Since then I have endeavoured to help the charity in any way that I can. To date, this has mostly involved awareness campaigns, fundraising and finance.”
“I first became involved with the charity in 2001 when we lost a daughter to Group B Strep within hours of her birth. The charity was brilliant in providing my wife and me with the information and understanding we needed. We have two other daughters and the second (Katie) was born after our loss and was a textbook example of how this infection can be managed to produce a good outcome. We remained in touch over the years doing some fundraising every so often until the charity advertised for another Trustee at a time when I was looking for such opportunities and it seemed like a natural thing to do.
I have a broad commercial background across several sectors and have operated at Board level in a FTSE 100 company. More recently I have run my own consultancy advising small and medium-sized companies on a range of business issues but particularly specialising in dispute resolution, conciliation and advocacy. I have held a number of non-executive posts in small companies and also had an eight year spell as Senior Independent Director at the SE Coast Ambulance Service. I also have a number of other Trustee roles – notably with Age (UK) Sutton and as the recently appointed Chair of Abbeyfield Southern Oaks.
I like the fact that I can work at both ends of the age spectrum and am privileged by the commitment and professionalism of those around me on this Board.”
“I discovered I was carrying group B Strep late in pregnancy – I was given antibiotics in labour and my daughter did not develop a group B Strep infection. I didn’t realise how lucky I was until sometime after – a friend from school began posting updates on Facebook in memory of her daughter who had sadly passed away. I started to look into group B Strep a little further and could not believe that so many babies were dying from a preventable infection. I was so angry and wanted to do something to help.
I’ve worked for a number of charities and now manage media and parliamentary affairs for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations – I wanted to use my skills and experience to help prevent further unnecessary deaths.”
Jane Plumb MBE
Jane is our Chief Exec and founder:
“Following our middle child’s group B Strep infection in 1996, Robert and I found few answers to the questions we had. Luckily, we very quickly made contact with an expert in the field and, after he explained how preventable most group B Strep infection in newborn babies is – and how so few health professionals at the time were aware of good prevention measures – we decided to set up a charity.
The aims then (and now) were to raise awareness of how to prevent most of these infections in newborn babies both among relevant health professionals and families affected by group B Strep, support families and support research into better prevention and treatment.”