The Team

Our Staff

Penny Mansfield CBE – Director

Penny MansfieldPenny is a sociologist specialising in qualitative research on marriage and couple relationships and on evidence-based practice and policy. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and a regular contributor to both print and broadcast media.  She is a member of the Department of Health Expert Group for the Healthy Child Programme and of the Department for Work and Pension’s Ministerial Steering Group for family support services. Penny was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year honours list for her services to children and families. Selected publications include ‘Relationship Difficulties and Help Seeking Behaviour’, with J. Ramm, L. Coleman and F. Glenn, 2010, How Helping Works: Towards a shared model of process, with D. Braun, and H. Davis, 2006, and ‘Better partners, better parents’, in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 2005.

Jan Mitcheson – Deputy Director of Innovation

Jan MitchesonJan Mitcheson worked for 13 years as a public health practitioner before becoming a teacher and practice innovator. Jan designed OnePlusOne’s e-learning programme and has contributed to a number of government initiatives including Preparing for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond and the Healthy Child Programme. Jan teaches on the MA in Leadership and Innovation and the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing at University Campus, Suffolk.  Her publications include  ‘Families: Financial Crisis’, with L. Coleman and F. Glenn, in Community Practitioner, 2010 and ‘Empowerment or control’ with S. Cowley in International Journal of Nursing Studies, 2003.

Verity Glasgow – Deputy Director 

Verity Glasgow

Verity joined OnePlusOne in 2011 from the Terrence Higgins Trust where she ran their national face to face and online HIV Health Support Service.  A qualified PRINCE 2 Practitioner with extensive experience of service delivery, Verity oversees all our projects and contracts, digital and otherwise.


Dr Lester Coleman – Head of Research

Dr Lester Coleman gained a PhD in Psychology before working for seven years at the Trust for the Study of Adolescence prior to his current appointment at OnePlusOne. In his 20 years of research experience, he has published 30 papers in peer review journals and six books or book chapters including ‘Improving relationship satisfaction–Qualitative insights derived from individuals currently within a couple relationship’ in The Family Journal, 2011.


Jonathan Devereux – Head of Finance

Jonathan qualified as an accountant (CPFA) in 1995. He was a Finance and Planning Manager at English Heritage from 1998 to 2003 when he moved to Arts Council England as Assistant Director of Finance. He led its 30-strong national finance team as Interim Finance Director from 2008 to 2010.

Board of Trustees

Erica De’Ath OBE – Chair

Erica De’AthErica has been a Trustee at OnePlusOne since September 2009 and Chair since July 2013. She has brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from years working in the social and health care sectors, research funding bodies and government departments.

Past roles include Chief Executive of National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations (NCVCCO) and Chief Executive of National Stepfamily Association. Besides her work with OPO, Erica is also Chair of the Cranfield Trust, Fellow of Centre for Social Policy and member of NCVO Nominations Committee. OBE, for services to children, 2000.


Elizabeth Mills – Treasurer

Erica has been a Trustee at OnePlusOne since November 2004 and is also the Chair of our Finance Sub Committee. She studied at Brunel University and is a qualified accountant.

Liz is currently Global SME Financial Planning and Reporting at Eli Lilly & Co Ltd, a leading pharmaceutical company, they look for answers to some of the world’s most urgent medical needs, discovering and developing products through rigorous testing and in accordance with the highest scientific and ethical standards.

Ruth Kennedy

RKennedy_picRuth has been a Trustee at OnePlusOne since August 2006. Ruth studied Geography at Cambridge University; her former employment includes the No10 Policy Unit, Department for Education, Guardian News & Media and she now leads ThePublicOffice team. Ruth is passionate about public service transformation that prioritises the citizen experience and leads to both improved outcomes and efficiencies.

Ruth has worked with some of the nation’s leading politicians, with senior teams from central government, local government and health, and leaders of the largest companies supplying the UK public sector. Previous clients include: Kings College London, RSA Public Services 2020 Commission, City of York Council, Swindon Borough Council, Essex County Council, and London Borough Croydon where she led the award-winning Total Place programme.

Ruth is a Senior Associate of Innovation Unit, an Enabler for Local Government Leadership and vice chair of governors at her local primary school.


Emma Ries

ERies_picEmma Ries, has been a Trustee at OnePlusOne since May 2009. She studied at University College London and is an experienced specialist family lawyer, collaborative lawyer and mediator and has been working in this field since 1998. She is committed to helping couples reach practical, cost effective and lasting agreements that work for them and their families. Emma currently works as a Family lawyer and business owner – Ries Solicitors and Mediators since March 2009.

Emma is part of Family Law Chambers, a group of international specialist family solicitors, collaborative lawyers and mediators that work together and has campaigned and worked with both the Law Society and the European Women’s Lawyers Association on changes to the law both here and in the EU.

She has helped to write several precedent books on family law aimed at specialist family lawyers. Published titles included Cohabitation Agreements and Consent Orders. She has also lectured, written articles, and commented in the press on family law and related issues both here and abroad.


Jayne Hilditch

JHilditch_picJayne joined OnePlusOne as a Trustee in September 2014. She has worked in the social housing sector for over 20 years and is currently at Thames Valley Housing Association as the Corporate Services Director with remit covering ICT, Communications, HR, Policy & Performance.

Jayne qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy (CIPFA) and has a BSc in Economics from Warwick University.


Dr Axel Heitmueller

Axel nowDr Axel Heitmueller has been involved with Imperial College Health Partners since its conception in 2011 as an Interim Director and joined the partnership full-time in August 2013 as Director of Strategy and Commerce. As of mid-April 2016 Axel was appointed as Interim Managing Director.

Prior to joining the Partnership, Axel was Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He brings a broad range of experience from academia and central government where he was Deputy Director and Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office and No 10. Whilst working in government Axel primarily focused on family policy.

Sarah Healey


Sarah Healey was appointed Director General at the Department for Exiting the European Union in July 2016.

Before that she was Director General at the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Director for Private Pensions in DWP, and Director of Strategy and of Education Funding in the Department for Education. She began her career in the civil service in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office.

Sarah has also led cross-government work on gender diversity in the Senior Civil Service. She has degrees from Magdalen College, Oxford, and the LSE and has three children.


Josephine Richardson

JRJosephine Richardson has been a trustee and member of the finance committee for One Plus One since January 2016. She is a finance professional, working at an international investment bank. She spent 11 years as a credit trader, and is now Executive Director running the global credit valuation control group.

She took a sabbatical in 2015, and worked as investment manager for a social investment fund, helping charities and social enterprises with their financial planning.

Jo is also trustee for The Stuart Low Trust, an Islington-based community mental health charity.

She holds an MA in Maths and Management Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge University.


Katharine Landells

Katharine LaKLndells joined OnePlusOne as a trustee in autumn 2015.  She is a family lawyer at Withers LLP, an international private client law firm.  She deals with cases across the whole spectrum of family work including divorce, financial claims, cohabitation and children matters.

Katharine’s practice is solution driven and she works closely with clients to help them reach a positive outcome.  She is a collaboratively trained lawyer but she is a strong advocate of all alternatives to the traditional court process, if it is right for the client and the case.  In her practice she works hard to help clients communicate effectively with their spouses and she is a strong believer in the importance of communication to a positive parenting relationship, even after a separation.

Of her role as a trustee of OnePlusOne, Katharine says: “being involved with a charity concerned wholly with supporting relationships has given me a brand new perspective. Looking at relationships from the other end of the telescope not only helps me to think about how I do my job but enables me to use some of my experience to help One Plus One do theirs.”



Professor John and Dr Margaret Bowker
Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
Michael Buerk
Dame Judi Dench
Lord GowrieProfessor
Sir Michael Rutter
Maggie Rae