War Child staff in child-friendly space in Iraq.
Who we are

Our people

War Child employees, Senior Leadership team, Board of Trustees and ambassadors, all share the same passion to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children in war.

War Child believes in bringing together the most dedicated and creative minds to have the greatest impact for children living in conflict.

The Leadership Group

The Leadership Group is charged with leading WCUK, designing and implementing our strategy and delivering our annual plan. Each Director looks after an area where they are a specialist.
Image of Helen Pattinson, War Child CEO.

Helen Pattinson

Chief Executive Officer

Image of Helen Pattinson, War Child CEO.

Helen Pattinson

Chief Executive Officer

Inspired by a belief that we can all make the world a better place, Helen has committed her career to protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Helen has worked for UNICEF, Christian Aid, and ActionAid and was Director of Fundraising and Communications for War Child until 2023. In January 2024, she took on the leadership of WCUK. She has got a track record of transforming programmes and increasing net income. She is particularly passionate about storytelling to inspire others to act and has travelled extensively across Asia, Africa and the Middle East to meet people whose stories need to be heard. Helen lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three young children. 

Image of Charlotte Nimmo, Fundraising Engagement Director.

Charlotte Nimmo

Fundraising Engagement Director

Image of Charlotte Nimmo, Fundraising Engagement Director.

Charlotte Nimmo

Fundraising Engagement Director

Charlotte studied Psychology at University, with a special focus on child development. She went on to work as a Business Consultant for Accenture before moving into cultural events. She worked at Somerset House for over seven years, starting as a freelancer managing guest lists, becoming a project manager and finishing her time there as Head of Live Events. Charlotte oversees War Child's music, creative industries and communications teams - believing strongly in the fundraising potential of the industry advocates, high profile individuals and Ambassadors War Child works with.

 

Image of Kam Natt, War Child People & Culture Director.

Kam Natt

People & Culture Director

Image of Kam Natt, War Child People & Culture Director.

Kam Natt

People & Culture Director

Kam Natt is a senior HR professional with over 25 year’s generalist HR experience in the commercial and third sector. Having worked with senior leadership teams to provide strategic input, HR operational management and technical advice. She has expertise in employee relations, recruitment, policy development, reward, and talent management.  Kam started her career joining Unilever’s fast-track graduate development programme and has undertaken a range of senior HR leadership roles in FMCG organisations and in the catering and hospitality industry.   Kam is a trusted advisor, reliable, good humoured, and a driven leader who likes to make a tangible difference in her function and across the organisation.  Kam is a trained volunteer Childline Counsellor at the NSPCC and is passionate about supporting children and young people with their mental health and giving them a positive start in life. It’s a privilege for her to lead the People & Culture function at War Child and work with such passionate and wonderful colleagues focused on supporting children in conflict. 

Image of Carol Barrett, War Child Finance & IT Director.

Carol Barrett

Finance & IT Director

Image of Carol Barrett, War Child Finance & IT Director.

Carol Barrett

Finance & IT Director

Before joining War Child, Carol was Interim Chief Finance Officer at The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT) the UK’s largest dedicated fostering charity.  Prior to TACT Carol was Director of Finance, Support and ICT at the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY). A charity dedicated to supporting everyone involved in childcare and early years to provide high-quality services, information and advice to children, their families and carers. Carol additional experience was volunteering as a school governor for many years which included the role of Chair of the Finance Committee. Her role as a school governor was a rewarding role that offered the opportunity to make a difference for children in the community.
 

Yvette Leavy, War Child Philanthropy & Partner Engagement Director

Yvette Leavy

Philanthropy & Partner Engagement Director

Yvette Leavy, War Child Philanthropy & Partner Engagement Director

Yvette Leavy

Philanthropy & Partner Engagement Director

Yvette is a fundraising professional with nearly 20 years of experience, specialising in philanthropy and partner engagement. Her prior fundraising roles have been within organisations focussed on children and health. At War Child, Yvette is responsible for leading the fundraising strategy across philanthropy, trusts, institutional donors, corporate partnerships and gaming. Yvette is passionate about expanding her impact through innovative fundraising strategies and cultivating lasting relationships to generate vital resources that safeguard the well-being of children affected by conflict. 
 

Laura Johnson, War Child Supporter Engagement Director

Laura Johnson

Supporter Engagement Director

Laura Johnson, War Child Supporter Engagement Director

Laura Johnson

Supporter Engagement Director

Laura has been working in the Individual Giving not-for-profit space since she was 19, starting out at a sector agency where she managed campaigns and charity clients, before joining Unicef UK's Direct Marketing team. After delivering a wide range of campaigns and channels driving regular giving recruitment, she moved to ActionAid to manage their DRTV programme. She later become their Head of Acquisition, ensuring the recruitment of thousands of new regular giving supporters each year. Laura looks after War Child's Individual Giving, Data, and Supporter Care functions and is passionate about the power of great storytelling and supporter relationships. 

Our Trustees

War Child’s Board of Trustees is made up of a number of experienced individuals who make sure that the organisation operates effectively, and that we achieve our charitable aims. Meet our Trustees below.
John Fallon.

John Fallon

Chair of Trustees

John Fallon.

John Fallon

Chair of Trustees

John is the former CEO of Pearson, the world's learning company, where he spearheaded a major digital transformation, bringing its purpose - of empowering people to progress in their lives through learning – alive. Prior to his appointment as CEO, John served as Chief Executive of Pearson’s International operations, working most extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He has also worked in a variety of public policy and communications roles, in global business, local UK government, and the Westminster Parliament. John is now an independent adviser and non-executive director, working with a range of organisations that are changing the future of education and work for good. He also advises companies and teaches in business schools, around the themes of leadership and digital transformation. 

Caroline Browne- Trustee

Caroline Browne

Treasurer

Caroline Browne- Trustee

Caroline Browne

Treasurer

Caroline is currently the Group Finance Director at the Watches of Switzerland Group PLC, where she was helped the Group through its recent IPO. Prior to this she was the Group Financial Controller at Next and has previously held senior Finance roles at Boots.  Caroline started her career in Audit and reached the position of Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, in Australia and UK, before transitioning into the private sector.  Caroline brings a wealth of experience across the full breadth of finance gained through 20 years of practise.  Caroline is also an Ambassador for the Retail Week “Be Inspired” programme, which aims to drive progressive change and equality in the UK retail sector. 

Cleo Blackman- Trustee

Cleo Blackman MBE

Trustee

Cleo Blackman- Trustee

Cleo Blackman MBE

Trustee

Cleo is a Project Director at DAI and is currently Associate Director Operations for the Centre for Disaster Protection. Cleo has worked on international development for 14 years, including managing large portfolios of donor-funded programmes. Prior to joining DAI, she was Director of Programmes (Coexistence) at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, overseeing innovative programmes aimed at generating evidence on how to build resilience to conflict and extremism. Cleo spent 10 years in the UK civil service, working for the Department for International Development and Cabinet Office in policy and programme roles including overseas in Afghanistan and the DRC. Cleo has a Masters in Development Studies from the University of London, Birkbeck. 

James Briggs- Trustee

James Briggs

Trustee

James Briggs- Trustee

James Briggs

Trustee

James is a fundraising specialist and entrepreneur who has worked in the sector for over 20 years. He co-founded and still leads two specialist companies that deliver creative, strategic and payment services to charities in the UK and abroad. As well as developing award-winning campaigns for a wide range of household names, James has been a pioneer of mobile fundraising – helping to shape both the technology and regulation that underpin this vital form of giving. In addition to his board position, he also sits on the Advisory Committee for War Child's The Right To Dance initiative. 

Shruti Mehrotra- Trustee

Shruti Mehrotra

Trustee

Shruti Mehrotra- Trustee

Shruti Mehrotra

Trustee

Shruti Mehrotra serves as Executive Officer for George Soros and his Open Society Foundations.  At the Foundations, she has led a series of initiatives including the first ever program on global economic policy, a $500 million impact investment commitment, and a new cross-cutting initiative on climate change. Previously, she worked with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair leading the development of his work internationally and served as a Special Advisor to two sitting Heads of State on his behalf. She has also led a number of public-private initiatives, including the World Economic Forum’s inaugural work on climate change and a critical piece of President Obama’s PowerAfrica. Shruti was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar by former Presidents Bill Clinton and G.W. Bush and a Global Leadership Fellow by the World Economic Forum. 

Siobhan King- Trustee

Siobhan King

Trustee

Siobhan King- Trustee

Siobhan King

Trustee

Siobhan is a child protection and safeguarding specialist with 20-plus years of national and international experience. She has had a diverse career working for several different organisations including Barnardo’s, Government Social Services, UNICEF and the British Council. At the British Council, Siobhan established and managed a global child protection/safeguarding function.  

Siobhan is currently an independent consultant and collaborating with GCPS Consulting and Social Development Direct as a senior associate and a registered consultant with the Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub. Siobhan has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Nottingham and is a UK licenced social worker with Social Work England. Siobhan has a personal connection to the mission of War Child having grown up in Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’ and from also witnessing the impact and legacy of war whilst working with child victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam. 

Head shot of Maria Panayi - trustee

Maria Panayi

Trustee

Head shot of Maria Panayi - trustee

Maria Panayi

Trustee

Maria is a highly awarded member of the creative industries, with 15 years' experience across Global brand and culture marketing. Maria has worked with some of the world's leading brands and now finds herself at the heart of an organisation helping change the shape of the music industry and artist engagement, having joined TikTok in 2020. In her role she leads music marketing and strategic partnerships across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, helping TikTok connect with the industry and the audiences it serves. 

A passionate campaigner for diversity, equality and inclusion, Maria feels strongly that tech and music must use their influence to build and shape a more inclusive future for the industry and is President of Women @ TikTok Europe.

Maria is a member of the Women in Music Roll of Honour - recognised for the longstanding impact made within the music industry. Maria is also part of the shesaid.so Power 100, an accolade awarded in acknowledgement of her work to support the global community of women and gender minorities in the music industry.

Head shot of Tara Rajah - trustee

Tara Rajah

Trustee

Head shot of Tara Rajah - trustee

Tara Rajah

Trustee

Tara is General Counsel, Corporate Risk and Head of Business Integrity at WPP where she advises on legal and regulatory risks, ensures that WPP’s governance promotes an ethically robust work environment and, as a member of WPP's Risk Committee, works with WPP’s management to set and steer risk appetite, monitor and mitigate WPP’s risks. Prior to WPP, Tara was Counsel at Allen & Overy where she worked in London, New York and Bangkok, advising on corporate and commercial matters including governance, restructurings, strategic alliances and cross-border acquisitions and disposals. Tara also works pro bono and projects have included drafting model legislation to facilitate disaster management through the International Federation of the Red Cross and developing finance modules for non-profit organisations through A4ID. Tara has a MSc in Finance and Financial Law from the University of London and a Law degree from Newnham College, Cambridge University.

Our ambassadors  

We’re proud to work with some amazing public figures and celebrities across a range of industries who share our passion to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children in war. They are:

  • Carey Mulligan – Global Ambassador 
  • Marcus Mumford – Global Ambassador 
  • Vanessa Kirby – Global Ambassador 
  • Miles Jacobson OBE – Industry Ambassador 
  • Jack Savoretti – Music Ambassador 
  • Gillian Anderson - Ambassador
  • Ross Stirling - Creative Ambassador

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Child plays cats cradle at War Child child-friendly space.

Our network and partners

We work with a number of passionate, creative and forward-thinking partners, agencies, brands, corporates, trusts and foundations to ensure we have the greatest impact for children living through conflict.

Children play with skipping ropes outside War Child child-friendly space in the CAR.

What we stand for

Wherever we work, we are guided by our values and are committed to reaching children who need us most, when they need us most.

A child in Bosnia.

Our history

War Child was founded in 1993 by filmmakers David Wilson and Bill Leeson, along with social entrepreneur Willemijn Verloop, who were horrified by the violence and ethnic cleansing they witnessed in Bosnia. Learn more about our story.