ECHO - Connecting the Children's Heart Community

Introducing our patrons, trustees and staff

Our people

Our people are committed to the ECHO community. Everything we do is focused on ensuring that heart children and their families get the best possible support.

Our patrons include highly respected cardiologists, experts in their field at a global level. We are also fortunate to include Ulrika Jonsson, herself the mother of a heart child, as a celebrity patron along with Phil Gallagher, a well-known entertainer on children’s television.

Our staff and trustees have a broad range of professional skills and expertise spanning medical, psychology, finance, social care, charity sector, the NHS, business, marketing and personal CHD. They come from diverse backgrounds but share a deep commitment to helping people touched by congenital heart disease.


Samantha Johnson

Chief Executive

Sam enjoys family, theatre and film! She sings loudly in her car, loves anything vintage and enjoys laughing at her own jokes.

Emma Orpin

Families & Community Lead

Emma is a fun, energetic whirlwind who loves to shop, eat, dance and drink diet coke. Her claim to fame is she can do the “worm”!

07715 208 077
(9am-3pm Mon-Thurs)

Kate Smith

Income & Trust Coordinator

Kate loves working for a charity, it’s all she has ever done! Took a “break” to have two children and now she is back and feeling great.

07715 027 259
(8am-4pm Mon, Tues, Wed) 

Vashti Macdonald-Clink

Impact and Network Coordinator

Vashti is a keen runner and foodie. When she is not pounding the streets, you’ll find her in the kitchen refuelling the tank. She has an ever growing collection of animals – alongside her three children…Pongo the Dalmatian is the best behaved!

(9am-1pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs) 

Tania Weekes

Youth Worker

Tania enjoys playing the ukulele, walking and has new found passion for birdwatching thanks to lockdown!

(9am-5pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri) 

Marie Taylor

Family And Volunteer Coordinator

Marie loves to eat good food, drink coffee, and consume cake whenever possible! She loves spending time with her family.

07517 860989
(9am-5pm Mon, Wed, Thur)




Professor Shakeel A Qureshi MB ChB FRCP


Ulrika Jonsson


Phil Gallagher (Mister Maker)




ECHO Ambassador

Singer-songwriter Charlotte Jane was inspired to join as an ECHO Ambassador after her nephew Archie was diagnosed with congenital heart disease, and their family was supported by ECHO. Her beautiful song, “All My Life”, was written about Archie and his heart journey. We are honoured to welcome Charlotte as an ECHO Ambassador, and excited to work together to raise vital awareness of congenital heart disease and continue ECHO’s mission to support families just like Charlotte’s.


Steve Wood

Trustee & Chair

When not on the golf course, Steve works in finance and spends his days delivering solutions to business and technology problems. A dad to 2 wonderful boys, he enjoys cooking, listening to music, and is not to be trusted with the answer to quiz questions.

Jane Ward

Trustee & Heart Mum

Jane attempts to make sense of very large numbers in her job as an accountant, and otherwise trying to keep track of her 4 children, husband, and cat.

Alex Bicknell

Trustee & Heart Patient

Passionate about disruptive technology and all things entrepreneurial, Alex loves mentoring, playing tennis and tries to go on holiday to warmer climates as much as possible!

Joanna Eyeson

Trustee & Doctor

When not spending a disproportionate amount of time “planning” to exercise, Joanna can be found fiddling on a computer, reading a good book or catching up on sleep!

Marc Harry


At work, Marc leads teams supporting large Government programmes and in his spare time he loves to spent time with his 3 boys on, in or under the water!

Sally Williams

Honorary Secretary

Sally’s greatest passion is motorcycling and travelling – usually combined, closely followed by her garden, walking and her family and friends.

Board Advisors

James Pincus

Board Advisor & Heart Dad

When not working and travelling, James enjoys trying to keep up with his 3 boys, all sports and a mug of tea with plenty of biscuits.