Meet The Team - Peeps - HIE Awareness & Support

Meet The Team


Sarah Land

Co-Founder & Chair of Trustees

Sarah works part-time in HR, full-time as mum to Heidi, and whenever she can as co-founder of Peeps! Along with her husband Steve (and thanks to the support of friends and family) she helped to set up the charity to support others affected by HIE. 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!

Rachel Kay


Rachel is the Head of Economics at an international school in the Netherlands. Here’s why she is involved with Peeps:

My gorgeous niece Heidi is affected by HIE and I want to contribute to Peeps, giving much needed information and support to other families and friends who find themselves in a similar situation.

Rachel has also done charity events before – once taking part in a sponsored “dechox” – giving up chocolate for the month of March to raise money for The British Heart Foundation. As a self-confessed chocaholic this was apparently Rachel’s equivalent of running a marathon!

In her spare time, she enjoys anything craft-related and is the master of a vinyl cutter (very handy when it comes to adding the Peeps logo on to things) and is also learning Dutch.

Anna Patra


This is Anna!

My day job is that I work in HR and have done for more years than I care to remember.  Current role is with a law firm but that’s all about to change to join the freelance/interim world.  Have had long experience of working in education in HR – further education, universities as well as two spells working in commercial law firms.

I’m involved in Peeps as I thought it was a really good way of supporting my fab friends Sarah and Steve to help them to spread the word about HIE, using their experiences over the last few years with lovely Heidi, and the various professionals they work with along the way to help other parents and families face the future with greater knowledge and confidence.  It’s good to have someone there to share experiences, get help and advice from one who knows and this is something Sarah and Steve are really committed to doing.  I was delighted to be asked to be a trustee to play a small part in supporting this really important venture.

I’ve previously been a school governor for a primary school in Tameside and like to think that some of the experience I’ve had in the commercial world can also be useful in a voluntary capacity too.

In my spare time, I’ve just discovered a new hobby of sailing.  It has introduced me to a completely different language – I thought ‘tacking’ had something to do with sewing …  This fits in well with my favourite hobby of travelling – anywhere and as often as possible!  I’ve previously been called ‘Judith Chalmers’ – non-too flattering maybe but there’s nothing better than exploring what the world has to offer – both near and far.  Not surprising therefore that my pic is one from Lugano in Switzerland on a great trip with my intrepid elderly mother and my sister.  It was a hot day and I couldn’t resist the fountain!

I also love walking in the hills above Saddleworth – my favourite mental picture is the hillside full of pinky-purple heather – just perfect – uplifting and soothing at the same time.

I’m an avid football fan – most people look at me a bit funny when I say that but I follow the Red team in Manchester and had a season ticket for many years.

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?!”.

Peeps Updates

For updates, stories, volunteering opportunities and more please sign up to our newsletter.

By registering you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use.

Peeps on Twitter

Charities are playing a crucial role in the fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need.

It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time which is why I've announced a £750million package of extra funding. Click for more info.

Absolute belter of a day ☀️Loving time with my girl and also got some answers to some questions that have been eating me up for a very long time. Thank you @PeepsHie I appreciate the support & chat 🙏🏼

Twitter icon View more