Current officers and governors


David Weaver

Vice Presidents

Professor Dame Sue Bailey
Luciana Berger
Jabeer Butt OBE
John Cowley
Nancy Rowland
Julia Samuel

Board of Governors

Our Governors are elected, appointed or co-opted to oversee our strategic direction and the management of the Association. Representing and accountable to our members, their role is to provide strong leadership, enhance our decision making and to make sure that we achieve our objectives.

Natalie Bailey, Chair

I first joined the Board to contribute to the necessary change in counselling access and counselling provision. After serving as a Trustee for three years, I was elected Chair of BACP in 2019.

I’m currently working as a further education college counsellor and in private practice while undertaking a doctorate in psychological trauma.

I started my counselling and psychotherapy training 12 years ago after working for a decade in financial services. My master’s research focused on the lack of support available to the families of children with autism. I have since worked extensively in various settings, including the NHS, and secondary and further education

Michael Golding

Michael Golding, Deputy Chair

Counselling has been a thread running through my life for the last 30 years. During this time I’ve also worked at senior management level within the not-for-profit healthcare sector and I continue to support NHS and other senior professionals as an executive coach.

I’ve been a CEO, board member and national advisor and have learned to appreciate the need to balance these multiple perspectives and that we must always be careful which we choose to privilege over the others. I’ve also established a private counselling and supervision practice in Essex. I joined the Board in 2020.

Sekinat Adima

Sekinat Adima

As an integrative counsellor, I’ve been working with vulnerable clients for many years focusing on the issues of domestic violence.

Currently, I’m working on a new Department of Work and Pensions initiative that focuses on emotional outcomes for children in low-income families who might not otherwise be able to access counselling, using a mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) model. I joined the BACP Board in 2020.

Val Elliot

Val Elliott

I’m a member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants with more than 25 years of finance and operational experience in international organisations. I was previously on the boards of youth-focused charitable organisations including Girlguiding.

I joined the BACP Board in 2017 and work with the Finance and Policy Committee and with BACP staff to bring greater understanding of financial levellers and areas for investment.

Neela Masani

Neela Masani

I’m an accredited counsellor, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor with 20 years’ experience, specialising in trauma. I’ve worked in a variety of settings including psychiatric and forensic.

I began to incorporate mind/body therapies into my work 11 years ago and qualified as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist. I currently run a private practice alongside my work in third sector organisations and am the founder of Yoga Shanta which runs classes and offers yoga therapy to groups and individuals. I joined the Board in 2019.

Julie May

Julie May

I began studying to become a counsellor in 1999, working on placements with several charities, before finding employment with a local authority and then an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). I launched my private practice in 2007.

In 2011, I founded the West Street Centre, a group practice providing facilities for counsellors to start up and develop their own businesses. I manage the practice together with my own caseload of clients and supervisees.

I was awarded a professional doctorate from University of Brighton in 2017, with my study exploring how clients choose their therapist and awareness of the profession’s regulatory status on this process. I joined the Board in 2019.

Heather Roberts

Heather Roberts

I joined the Board in November 2019. I wanted to ensure members were integral to the Board's decision making and BACP continued to uphold the ethics, principles and values on which it is founded and to ensure our profession meets the needs of members and continues to evolve.

Fifteen years ago, I established a private practice and also sought employment with several organisations, including the NHS, schools and charities and was the cinical lead for the YMCA . In 2018, I founded the Find You....Be You team comprising of trainers, supervisors, coaches and counsellors.

I now counsel, supervise and am employed as a trainer on a variety of courses, and work with HASAG, the Ministerial Counselling Service and volunteer for the Oasis Strategy Group. 

Moira Sibbald

Moira Sibbald

I was appointed to the Board in 2018 and chair the Public Protection Committee. My vision is to ensure BACP is trusted by members of the public as well as members of the profession. When someone seeks help from a member, they should know they’ll be assisted by someone who maintains high ethical standards and is a member of an organisation which upholds those standards.

I also sit sit on our Remuneration and Governance Committee and recently joined the Board of Castlerock Edinvar Housing Association.

Previously, I was a general counsel and company secretary with extensive executive experience in the financial services and housebuilding sectors. I’ve also sat on the Boards of several organisations in the public, private and arts sectors and am joining the board of a large Scottish housing association.

Kate Smith

Kate Smith

I started training as a therapist in 2006 and have been involved in the education of practitioners and therapy research since 2010. I’m now a career academic running a university department incorporating counselling, nursing and bioscience. I’m also a supervisor, practitioner and researcher in the pluralistic approach to therapy.

Originally from southern England, I’ve lived in Scotland for nearly 18 years. I joined the Board in 2020.

Vanessa Stirum

Vanessa Stirum

I have a fascination and interest in what makes people tick, and these drivers have resulted in a wonderful career, firstly as a probation officer, then as a trainer and supervisor and finally as a divorce mediator. They've given me the opportunity to find out about people’s lives, often in a crisis situation, and to play a very real part in their development.

I started my journey with BACP as a member of the Register Advisory Board. I was then invited to join the Board in 2017 as an appointed member. I’ve recently taken over as chair of the Audit Committee. My role is to look from the outside at the organisation so that it can be properly questioned and challenged, while also being supported.

Senior leadership team

The day-to-day management of the Association is delegated to Hadyn Williams, Chief Executive Officer, and his senior leadership team:

Hadyn Williams, Chief Executive Officer
Fiona Ballantine Dykes, Chief Professional Standards Officer and Deputy Chief Executive
Martin Bell, Deputy Head of Policy and Public Affairs
Grace Gardiner, Head of Member Services
Caroline Jesper, Head of Professional Standards

Suky Kaur, Head of Policy and Stakeholder Relations
John O'Dowd, Acting Registrar
Adam Pollard, Head of Marketing and Engagement
Chelsea Shelley, Chief Officer for Membership and Operations
Richard Smith, Head of Operations
Dr Clare Symons, Head of Research


We've established six committees to oversee the activities of the Association.

  • Audit, Risk and Performance Committee
    has delegated responsibility for managing our risk profile and audits our existing operational policies

  • Finance and Policy Committee
    has delegated responsibility for our financial strategy, budget processes and creating our operational policies

  • Membership and Professional Standards Committee
    has delegated responsibility for our membership and professional standards strategies, diversity within membership, membership services and standards, divisions, professional standards service and development of the Ethical Framework

  • Public Protection Committee
    has delegated responsibility for our public protection strategy, development of the BACP Register and professional conduct functions

  • Remuneration and Governance Committee
    has delegated responsibility for considering and determining the framework for the remuneration and benefits of our CEO and senior staff members

  • Research Committee
    has delegated responsibility for developing, informing and monitoring our research strategy, overseeing our research procedures, policies and plans, and approving and reviewing research projects.