Sarah Hand (née Godfree) joined AVERT in July 2014. Sarah has worked extensively across the HIV sector since the mid-1990s, initially in the UK and then internationally in countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, and the Eastern Caribbean. Sarah has extensive knowledge of HIV programming in areas including working with key affected populations, HIV prevention programming and impact mitigation. Sarah brings a passion and commitment to AVERT, and believes firmly in the need to continue to provide quality information resources on HIV to drive down new infections.
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AVERT's leadership team
Dr Simon Forrest was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and became Chair in 2012. Simon is an academic with a career long interest in HIV and AIDS, sexual health, gender and sexuality, with a particular focus on the role of education in prevention. He has written for both academic and general audiences on all these issues including contributing to some of AVERT's leaflets and website. Simon is committed to ensuring that people can access independent, expert and accurate information about HIV and AIDS. He prizes AVERT’s reputation as a leader and champion of the interests and needs of those affected by HIV, and people working with them. He works fulltime as the Head of the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University.
Lynne joined AVERT’s Board of Trustees in October 2015, with over 12 years’ experience working in digital content. She is currently leading content strategy for Watson IoT at IBM. Lynne specialises in developing strategic ideas and optimising deliverable online content (editorial and commerce) for improved user interaction, experience and conversion. Lynne is looking forward to working with AVERT to support them with their digital objectives to help more people access vital HIV and AIDS information across the world.
Sebastian is a senior finance professional with over 17 years’ experience in the consulting and international health development sector. Sebastian first became involved in the HIV response in 2002 when he joined the International HIV/AIDS Alliance working in a number of finance and compliance roles across the organisation for 8 years. Motivated by his commitment to support the ongoing HIV response and in particular the need to reach people with easily accessible practical information, Sebastian joined AVERT in July 2015. Sebastian currently works for Sightsavers as Head of Planning Performance and Reporting where he ensures sound financial planning across Sightsavers’ global programmes.
Emily Hughes has worked in the voluntary sector for 10 years, with a particular interest in supporting volunteers. She is currently Head of Volunteering at Parkinson's UK and studying for a Master’s Degree in Voluntary Sector Management at Cass Business School. In 2010, she spent a year in Zambia with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) to support peer education of young people regarding sexual health. Keen to continue to make a contribution to education to reduce the stigma of HIV & AIDS and the number of new infections, she became a trustee of AVERT in 2011.
Louis is a qualified accountant, and works with a mix of corporate and charity clients. Before joining AVERT in 2006, Louis specialised in the audit and financial reporting of a number of local and national charities while working for Crowe Clark Whitehill, an award winning national firm of accountants in the City of London. Louis was motivated to join AVERT’s Board of Trustees by the enthusiasm shown by the staff and the partnership work AVERT does in sub-Saharan Africa to help local communities.
Gemma Wood (née Lass) joined AVERT’s Board in 2003, following a year working on domestic violence and HIV in Guyana through VSO. Gemma brings knowledge and experience of charity fundraising, legislation, policy, research, strategy and HR. Her career to date has included fundraising, external affairs and influencing roles for Help the Aged, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Family Lives and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She is currently Head of Public Affairs for Engineering UK, focusing on inspiring the next generation of engineers; she also acts as a social media marketing consultant for small organisations. In addition to her voluntary role with AVERT, she has also been a trained volunteer with a large mental health support helpline.