Meet The Team - Peeps - HIE Awareness & Support

Meet The Team


Sarah Land

Co-Founder & Charity Manager

Sarah is the Co-Founder and Charity Manager at Peeps, and mum to Heidi, now 5 years old!

Along with her husband Steve (and thanks to the support of friends and family) she set up the charity to support others affected by HIE (hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy). The name “Peeps” actually comes from a nickname a friend gave Heidi when she was a baby, “Heidi-Peeps”. Sarah wanted a friendly feel to the charity name, and a link to Heidi, the driving force behind everything she does.

In any spare time she has, Sarah likes to blog and dream about how she would spend a lottery win (apparently the list is already quite long!).

Steve Land

Co-Founder & Trustee

By day, Steve is a Commercial Insurance Broker – he is also Dad to Heidi, cycling enthusiast (when he finds the time), and always up for a crazy new challenge or two. Since having Heidi, he has taken part in several fundraising events for causes close to the family’s heart – the most impressive and gruelling one being the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride in 2017…960miles, 9 days on the saddle…ouch!

Hannah Walker


Hannah joined our team of Trustees in May 2020 – here’s a little more from her:

“Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m very fortunate to currently be a stay-at-home mum to my two beautiful children Ethan our eldest and Evelyn our youngest. I’m married to Mike who works in Marketing.

Our first encounter with Peeps was in 2019 when Evelyn was born, she’s grade 1 HIE and very quickly after her birth our world collided with this incredible charity. A collision amidst adversity we were incredibly thankful for.
Having spent the last 15 years prior to the birth of my eldest child (now aged three) working in the third sector I feel I have a vast range of knowledge and experience that I can draw upon as a trustee to support the Peeps vision, team and legal position as a Registered Charity.

Aside from being ‘Mum’ I love to bake, in fact there have been some cake sales with proceeds raised going to Peeps, I’m sure they’ll be room for more of those alongside the charity governance. I’m looking forward to meeting you, and hearing your story over a piece of cake one day.”

Jen Cawthorne

Chair of Trustees

This is Jen!

Jen works in Manchester as a solicitor and specialises in child brain injury work. She has worked with families affected by HIE for many years.
In her spare time, she can often be found climbing mountains or planning crazy challenging trips abroad. In 2019 she climbed Mount Toubkal in Morocco to raise money for Peeps. Most recently she climbed Kilimanjaro and despite the altitude sickness she is planning to head back to altitude again in 2021 for another trekking challenge.
Welcome to the team Jen – your adventures sound exhausting but we’ll be cheering you on!

Josie Elson


Hi, I’m Josie and I’m super-proud to be a PEEPs trustee. My day job is Assistant HR Director at Manchester Metropolitan University. I’m responsible for People and Organisational Development and this includes equality, diversity and inclusion. One of the things I’m most proud of in my job is creating the ‘Bridging the Gap’ scheme for Special School students. We provide them with an academic year’s worth of work experience. It really helps build their confidence and is a springboard into work or further study.

I’m involved with Peeps through my friendship with the other Trustees which originally came about through exercise classes and running. I’ve been “forced” into 5 and 10k runs by Anna, Sarah and Vicki over the years and through some of these torture sessions we have managed to raise money for great charities linked to Sarah and Steve’s experiences of navigating the HIE world.

Outside work I’m Chair of the Board of Governors for a fantastic Primary School in Clayton, Manchester which I’m proud to say achieved Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ status last year. I’m also Contest Secretary for the Lydgate Whit Friday Band Contest (!) For those of you who don’t know, brass bands are a big thing in Saddleworth. Despite being involved on the Committee I know very little about brass instruments and wouldn’t know my euphonium from my soprano cornet!

Other than that, I love walking my dog Colin (named after the Manchester City legend Colin Bell) and occasionally sampling new gins!

Vicki Hennessy


Vicki is Head of Student Recruitment at the University of Salford. Here’s why she is involved in Peeps:

I’m Heidi’s godmother and a close friend of Sarah and Steve’s. I know when Heidi (their daughter) was first poorly, I had never heard of HIE and I watched Sarah and Steve find their way through such a challenging time with such bravery and courage. Having seen their experience first-hand, I believe firmly in the ethos of Peeps, in its intentions to spread the word about HIE and to support parents going through what Sarah and Steve went through.

Vicki is a regular parkrun volunteer which she loves doing. She says “If you have never experienced the joy of parkrun, get on the Google and find the nearest one to you. Heidi has done a fair few now and I never miss an opportunity to promote it! In my spare time, I enjoy all things parkrun, both running and volunteering and I love open water swimming too. It’s something I started doing recently and honestly, it’s amazing. It makes me feel so alive. I train with a personal trainer and enjoy a group session with fellow trustees Sarah and Anna each week. I also enjoy slightly less strenuous activities like reading and baking… hence the need for all the exercise!”

When asked to share an interesting fact about herself, Vicki’s response was “Errrrrrrrr…. let’s see, I was born on Friday the 13th, will that do?!”.

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Our best wishes go to this family, and all the team looking after them!

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