The Help Hub Team
Board of Trustees
Ruth Chaloner (Founder and Chair)
Ruth trained as a therapist in 2004 in Cambridge. After some years, she followed her need for adventure and moved to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia where she worked in front line conservation for two years. Upon her return she moved to Oxford to continue both in conservation with the Pew Charitable Trust and also to develop her practice in West Oxford. She now has a flourishing counselling & psychotherapy practice. Ruth is Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abides by the BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy. She has a particular interest in supporting those who find themselves alone and works extensively with clients suffering from anxiety and depression.
Dominic Hare (Treasurer)
Dominic Hare was born in Liverpool and studied Law at Oxford. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, he spent the next ten years in corporate finance and investment banking (with Paribas and Barclays Capital), specialising in the media and telecoms sector. He is proud to have helped DJ Chris Evans buy Virgin Radio but also to have helped Bob the Builder buy both Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney the Purple Dinosaur. For 13 years, he served as Finance Director at Blenheim and is now the Chief Executive Officer at Blenheim. At Blenheim, he and the team are delivering an energetic vision of the evolved role of a landed estate today, not an historic anachronism but on the powerhouse of the local economy, custodians and innovators in carbon management and the heartbeat of local life. He joined The Help Hub as one of the founding Trustees in 2020.
Frances Stevenson worked in international humanitarian aid for over 25 years, managing programmes in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America for organisations including Médecins Sans Frontières and most recently, HelpAge International. She was a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute where she ran the Humanitarian Practice Network and she advised international agencies on policy and strategy as an independent consultant. She is now a producer and writer of documentary films with Franks Films. She joined the HelpHub Trustees in March 2021.
Caitlin has spent twenty years working as a researcher, manager or consultant in the third sector. From 2013 to 2016 she helped start up Prince’s Trust International, having previously led the fundraising events team for The Prince’s Trust. In 2017 she moved to Oxfordshire and worked for the Atlantic Institute in Oxford, and for Coram, the oldest children’s charity in the UK. She is now at the Ditchley Foundation, which she joined in 2018 as Campaign and Engagement Lead. Her early career was at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, working on policy reform and training programmes for the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. Caitlin grew up in France and read Modern History at Oxford University. She was a trustee of the Cardinal Hume Centre in London from 2010 to 2020 and chaired the board’s fundraising and communications committee. Since moving to Oxfordshire she has become a trustee of the Alliance Française of Oxford and she joined The Help Hub as a trustee in 2020.
Silvia Elsner, originally trained as a geneticist, developed her interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy through a variety of psychotherapy and counselling trainings in London and at Oxford. In the last 20 years, she has practised as a psychodynamic counsellor in the NHS, in secondary education, at the Oxford University Counselling Service and currently in her private practice. For some years now, she has been a tutor at the training programme for psychodynamic counsellors at Rewley House, Oxford. She is also a supervisor of counsellors working in schools and in private practice. Among her particular interests are the emotional problems of trauma, migration and cultural assimilation, the interaction of therapist and client with different native languages and cultures, the development of persistent depressive and anxiety states, and the question of compassion in therapy. She is accredited with the UKCP.
Gillian is a retired child psychiatrist, married with two grown-up sons and a founder trustee of Seesaw.org.uk. She trained in paediatrics and psychiatry before working as a consultant at the Park Hospital for Children in Oxford for 25 years. Gillian specialised in bereavement and provided staff support for the paediatric oncology team at the John Radcliffe Hospital and at Helen House Hospice for many years.
Christine Arjun comes to us with a background in Education and Human Rights. Originally from Fiji, Christine has worked for DFID, the Third Sector and most latterly the Statutory Sector. Prior to moving to Woodstock, Christine worked within the Welfare Rights Team, under the auspices of the Social Work Dept of Dundee City Council, in Scotland. Her work involved advocacy and support for a cross section of clients with physical and mental health issues struggling to navigate their way within society, the welfare benefits landscape and tribunal system. Her work was built on establishing trust particularly amongst clients who had histories of anxiety and depression and she worked with a variety of cross disciplinary teams to ensure her clients received holistic support.
Christine is committed to improving the lives of people who have been disadvantaged and discriminated against. The focus of her work has critically been in her work to alleviate poverty born of inequalities pertaining in the main to gender, mental health and socio economic status.
Karen is an experienced barrister specialising in the use of forensic science in the UK criminal justice system. From her original base at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) headquarters she was the national lead for prosecution policy in cases involving mainstream and innovative forensic sciences, expert evidence and disclosure issues. During and post Covid-19, Karen has specialised in assisting victims of Domestic Abuse, particularly coercive and control cases, through the family and criminal legal system. In June 2021 Karen was elected to the NHS Oxford Trust Council of Governors.