Meet the management team

Our management team makes sure every penny donated works hard for children who need it most and that all the efforts of our incredible medical and support volunteers have the maximum impact.

Emma Scanlan, Chief Executive Officer

A demanding role for a charitable organisation, Emma’s role involves building relationships with the centres in which we work to ensure we are meeting our beneficiaries’ needs in the right manner. Much of her role is spent building bridges with governments and decision makers in the field as well as building working relationships with international NGOs and funders.

It is such a  pleasure working with such a fantastic team and inspirational people, from the patients to the hard working staff and volunteer fundraisers, working with the Chain of Hope family is a privilege and an honour.

Mariam Gadelrab, Office Manager and PA to the CEO

With a Masters in Information and Library Management, Mariam is the perfect person to manage the ever busy office environment of an international medical charity. An excellent people’s person Mariam is often the first port of call for beneficiaries and benefactors alike. Mariam assists the CEO with the key governance, HR, financial accountability issues and charitable legislation.

Having volunteered for children’s projects in Kenya and Ghana, Mariam joined Chain of Hope in 2012 and manages a number of key administrative systems whilst currently putting her skills to good use developing Chain of Hope’s new database.

As the lynchpin of the organisation, Mariam is the key initial contact for general enquiries, diary management and anything relating to our CEO, Emma Scanlan.

It’s wonderful to be part of a team which supports the volunteers, medical professionals, trainees and hospitals in their hard work of achieving one common and joint aim of providing access to heart treatment for children. It is amazing to be able to play a small part in the process.

Lucy Ossack, Overseas Operations Manager

Having been with Chain of Hope since 2009, Lucy has a wealth of knowledge of our overseas operations and manages a huge portfolio of medical missions, training programmes and equipment acquisition. She also plays a vital role in forming the long term strategy of our service delivery, including development of projects and identification of new countries for us to grow our support within.

What is most rewarding about working with Chain of Hope is you really see the difference that the charity makes to individual children. You see them sick and you see them physically get better. They might arrive in the UK unable to play or run around like healthy kids, but leave happy and healthy. It’s also incredible to work with medical volunteers who are at the very top end of their field using their skills so selflessly to help children around the world.

Jilliane Lewis, Missions and Equipment Co-ordinator

Jilliane joined our team in 2015 with a wealth of expertise to offer, having recently completed her Postgraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare Technology Management at City University, London. Jilliane offers broad administrative support to the Overseas Operations team, working closely with Lucy to ensure that the medical volunteers are prepared and ready for specialised training missions and that the hospitals that we work with have the equipment they need to operate. She is also helping to co-ordinate the equipment procurement for the new Cardiac Unit at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Jamaica.

Growing up in Jamaica, I’ve witnessed first-hand the struggles the health sector faces due to the lack of resources. It gives me so much pride to be a part of such a fantastic organization helping my home and much of the developing world improve local paediatric cardiac care and eventually enabling them to stand on their own feet.

Lisa Yacoub, International Child Referral Programme Manager

As International Child Referral Manager, Lisa ensures the smooth transfer of patients waiting for surgery to come to one of the hospitals within Chain of Hope’s network. A demanding role, there is no-one better than Lisa to act as each child’s advocate to have access to urgent medical treatment. From Baghdad to Banjul, Lisa liaises with cardiac doctors worldwide who refer children for treatment through the charity’s Medical Board who assess each child’s viability for treatment. Once the child is in the UK, Lisa works closely with a team of volunteers to manage the child’s care and safety.

A key aspect of Lisa’s role is to build strong relationships with NGOs and medical teams around the world. It was through Lisa’s dedication and passion that Chain of Hope supports a major project in Ethiopia to create an entire cardiac centre.

Lisa is also an avid fundraiser for Chain of Hope and has taken part in two London marathons as well as fundraising in the community.

For me, it is utterly uplifting to feel that you are part of a team that can save the life of a child. Every person in the Chain of Hope team can make a difference.

Jennie Wightman, International Child Referral Programme Assistant

Jennie assists the International Child Referral Programme, working with partners and referring physicians from around the world to help gather all of the essential medical and social information required to organise the safe transfer of children travelling for surgery. She also helps Hannah and our team of volunteers to support each child and their guardian whilst they are in the country. She previously worked for seven years in Production Management for various Documentary Production Companies, including the CBBC where she travelled to countries across Africa and Asia. This brought Jennie face to face with the suffering and inequalities experienced by many people in developing countries and inspired her to work towards redressing this through working with Chain of Hope.

Working alongside the incredible team of volunteers and medical staff involved in Chain of Hope is a real privilege. It's an amazing feeling to know you are working together to save a child's life.  Seeing the transformation from when a very sick child arrives in the country to when they return home happy, healthy and full of life is so rewarding and beats any scale of job satisfaction!

Hannah Scotten, Child Referral, Volunteer and Host Family Co-ordinator

Hannah works within our International Child Referral Programme team, recruiting and supporting our host families, support volunteers, drivers and translators. All of these volunteer roles help a child and their guardian to adjust to being in the UK for the life-changing heart surgery, as well as to communicate with the medical teams and to stay in a friendly, welcoming environment whilst they recover. Hannah previously worked as a project manager for an international charity, where she was responsible for volunteer recruitment and managed our international volunteers.

I am so happy to be working with Chain of Hope and feel passionate about the work we do to mend little hearts. The best experience so far has been meeting so many amazing people and I look forward to meeting many more!

Rachel Saunders, Fundraising and Communications Executive

Rachel joined Chain of Hope in 2012 with a first class degree and a wealth of travel and volunteering experience. Rachel works with our Ball Committee and helped the CEO form the Corporate Advisory Board as part of our development of the charity’s funding streams. Her ever-expanding role includes managing our communications, our community fundraising, working with our donors and across our events. She project managed the development of our new brand and matching website and takes photos of our little patients and the medical teams at work to show our supporters. She has even run the marathon to mend little hearts!

I feel honoured to be a small link in the 'chain', helping to connect donors, doctors and children, to give health and hope to families in developing and war-torn countries. I love to meet and get to know the children that Chain of Hope treats, and I am reminded each time that every child we watch recover is a world that has been restored.

Tim Aseervatham, Accountant

Tim joined us on a maternity cover contract and has been doing a fantastic job of keeping our finances in good shape. Having spent 10 years as the Finance Manager at Disasters Emergency Committee, he has a wealth of experience in the charity sector. Tim tracks our expenditure and income, liaises with the bank and our auditors, and has weekly catch ups with our Treasurer to ensure that every penny is accounted for and spent wisely.

I am extremely proud that I am part of an organisation that fundraises tirelessly for children with heart conditions in developing countries and co-ordinates intervention and immediate aftercare by enlisting the support of eminent health professionals so that these children live a normal life.