Meet the Directors

Start Well Trust is an integrated collective of Children’s Centres and Health Visiting, working across the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The founding partners are Home-Start Greenwich, GLL and Quaggy Development Trust.

Meet the directors

Start Well Trust is a collective Children’s Centres and Health Visiting partnership working across the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The founding partners are Home-Start Greenwich, GLL and Quaggy Development Trust.


The Board of Directors are responsible for the governance (steering) of Start Well Trust and our Clinical Director is responsible for the day to day running of the organisation.

Beverley Bernstein (Chair)

Beverley is currently the strategic lead for South Children’s Centres in Greenwich. She has a history of setting up and delivering integrated community projects and initiatives, coming originally to Greenwich in Sure Start times. Her particular experience is supporting partnership working – making great use of her understanding of the contribution all can bring; this is done by using data to inform ambitious planning for effective, area based and innovative service delivery.

Dawn Brown

Dawn has worked in the Voluntary Sector for over 30 years and in her current work role, is a Director of Quaggy Development Trust. Previous to this, she worked in various leadership roles, delivering a range of services aiming to narrow gaps in disadvantage for children and adults. Before her work focussed on children and families, she was Registered Manager of a Registered Care Home and Domiciliary Care service for adults, where she gained experience of leading good and outstanding rated services.

As well as volunteering on the Start Well Trust board, she is a Trustee of Metro, an Equalities Charity and a School Governor of a primary school in Plumstead.

Joanna Lawrence (Vice Chair)

Joanna has over 20 years’ experience in Early Years having trained as a nursery nurse and worked in a nursery class and Health Visiting team. For the past 17 years Joanna has worked for Quaggy Development Trust with a focus on the Children Centre, starting by running the Children Centre services and now having a strategic vision and direction for the Trust. Joanna’s role at Quaggy involves being the designated person for safeguarding.

Leann Cross (Treasurer)

Leann is the Director of Home-Start Greenwich a community-based charity in Greenwich, delivering Family Support, Befriending, Early Years development, Childcare and integrated Children’s Centre services.

Born in Greenwich and as a local service user to children and maternity services Leann is passionate about delivering seamless services shaped to achieve excellent service user experiences.

Leann has developed successful projects and initiatives to bridge gaps for parents, and under-fives groups. Working in various roles within Children Services and service development, Leann has demonstrated successful community engagement, strategic planning, and secured strong community and parental links.

Lisa Walsh

Lisa is the East Children’s Centres Strategic Lead for GLL.

Lisa has been working in early years and community development for over 35yrs, which included a policy development role with Sure Start in the Department for Education. Lisa joined the Royal Borough of Greenwich 17yrs ago at a pivotal juncture of their Children’s Centre development. Lisa has a strong positive approach to partnership working and determined to do as much as possible to support children and families in reaching their full potential. Lisa is particularly driven to overcome the immediate and longer-term effects of domestic violence on families and the increased risk this brings in terms of poverty and underachievement. Lisa is also a trustee for The Her Centre a charity empowering woman to move away from abuse.

Lisa is also the resident radio presenter for East Children’s Centre at a local radio station based in Thamesmead

Mirela Siminiceanu

Mirela qualified as an Early Years Teacher (QTS) in 2008 and in 2013, gained National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL). Mirela has spent the last thirteen years of her career dedicated to children and families in the local community and has held lead areas in

developing a cohesive and integrated offer of services in Greenwich Central Children’s Centres in her previous roles as Operational Manager of Family Support Service, Children’s Centre Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead. Mirela’s current role is the Head of Wellbeing and Safeguarding in Home-Start Greenwich.

Valerie Macqueen

Valerie is the independent director on the Start well Trust Board. Val is a nurse by background and held Director level post in primary and community care trusts until she went on to manage her own business. During this time, with a partnership business, she delivered a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary rapid review of Health Visiting services across 33 regional organisations in England. This included developing an integrated commissioning and delivery toolkit for the Healthy Child Program 0-5 years including both universal and specialist service elements.

Elizabeth Begley

Our Clinical Director, Elizabeth Begley, has joined Start Well Trust from Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust where she led the Health Visiting service.

Elizabeth Begley can be contacted at and is based at Brookhill Children’s Centre.

Kulvinder Gainda (Secretary)

Kulvinder’s experience includes being Secretary for the YPCP charity for a number of years and a trustee for GLL. With over 18 years of strong management, leadership and inward investment experience spanning the local authority, voluntary sector and the leisure industry, Kulvinder is able to demonstrate high level skills across different sectors.

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