Our team and Programme Advisory Group

Our staff team

Robin Hewings – Programme Director

Robin Hewings is the Programme Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness. He was drawn to the issue because of the profound ways that loneliness can affect us while also being something that many of us can relate to. Before heading up the Campaign, he led our work on policy and research, directing programmes of work on the response to Covid-19 on loneliness, the psychology of loneliness, and refreshing the Promising Approaches framework. He also led the campaign team working in with the devolved administrations and in local areas.

Mhairi Grant – Community and Stakeholder Manager

Mhairi helps organisations to connect and share their experience and research in loneliness. Her work engages a wide range of stakeholders working on the issue of loneliness to create action focused dialogue and commitment to change. Mhairi joins the team with over 10 years’ experience in partnership development and community engagement in the charitable and not for profit sectors. Her interest in loneliness comes from her voluntary experience and her role within a community charity.



Picture of Helen MacIntyreDr Helen MacIntyre – Head of Evidence

Helen is an experienced mixed methods researcher who has worked within and beyond academia. Her recent academic work has focused on the importance of informal school contexts for children’s peer relationships, social development and wellbeing. Alongside this, she worked as Research and Learning Lead for Ageing Better in Camden, researching and writing about very practical solutions to tackling social isolation and loneliness among older people. From this combination of work, she brings a strong interest in and understanding of the importance of feeling connected, the detrimental effects of loneliness across the lifespan, and of methods for studying these issues.


Jenny Manchester – Communications Manager

Jenny Manchester has experience of managing communications for a wide variety of non-profit organisations including charities, local government and policy think-tanks. As well as working for leading charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care, she led the Press Office at the Equal Opportunities Commission and managed high profile campaigns on gender inequalities includin pregnancy discrimination.

Our Programme Advisory Group

Our Programme Advisory Board is a team of people with an expertise in working on loneliness and social isolation who provide strategic advice on the Campaign’s work.

They include:

Paul Cann CBE and Chair of the Programme Advisory Group 

Paul Cann has held senior roles in the UK voluntary sector for the last 30 year.  An English graduate of Cambridge University, he has been active in work to address ageism, poverty, social exclusion and dignity in care. In 2008 his Help the Aged team won 5 national charity awards for its campaigns which led to the Equality Act, and in that year he was awarded the medal of the British Geriatrics Society for an outstanding contribution to the interests of older people.  He was a Visiting Fellow of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing from 2004-2007 and the International Visiting Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology in 2016.  In 2011 he co-founded the Campaign to End Loneliness. He was appointed OBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.



Nancy Hey

Naomi Phillips

Professor Pamela Qualter 

Pamela Qualter is Professor of Psychology for Education at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Her research is focused on the importance of social relationships for emotional development and well-being. She has explored whether loneliness is related to peer relationship problems, investigated the causes and consequences of loneliness, and examined individual differences in the prospective profile of loneliness across the life-course. Pamela led the BBC Loneliness Experiment, the world’s largest survey of loneliness; she also works closely with the UK Government’s Tackling Loneliness Team to promote social connection and ensure interventions for loneliness are evidenced based.




Catherine Underwood

Catherine is Corporate Director for People in Nottingham, one of our Core Cities. She is the statutory Director of Children’s Services and Director of Adult Social Services. Her current portfolio of services includes: adult social care services, children’s social care, youth justice, education, early years and public health. Catherine studied psychology, began her career in mental health services and is a registered social worker. She has held various leadership roles in Local Authorities and in the NHS, working in Norfolk, Birmingham and Nottinghamshire. Catherine is very committed working in partnership to create change and to making a difference to the outcomes that matter to people of all ages. Outside of work she loves to spend time in the great outdoors, whether cycling,
swimming or looking after the allotment.