Our Founding Chairman, Stelio Stefanou OBE, DL, stepped down from The For Baby’s Sake Trust Board at the end of the Trustees’ Board meeting on 8 December 2022. Dame Lin Homer is now Chair and Adam Shutkever is Vice Chair.
Stelio Stefanou established the charity in 2008 with a vision to protect and improve the life-chances of babies who are at risk and unable to tell others. Evidence about the scale of domestic abuse, and about how babies are particularly affected, led Stelio and the charity to focus on empowering parents to break cycles of domestic abuse and give their baby the best start.
Alongside an extraordinary philanthropic commitment, Stelio’s visionary leadership has been central to the Trust’s achievements in the past 14 years. Shaped by Stelio’s determination to tackle root causes, his commitment to cross-sectoral partnership working and the values he instilled, the charity created For Baby’s Sake to work with both parents and the whole family. The academic team evaluating For Baby’s Sake found it to be the first known programme to overcome existing limitations of whole-family responses to domestic abuse.
Stelio’s innovative flair was also instrumental to the creation of the nationally-available For Baby’s Sake CONNECT delivery channel, quickly spotting that positive experience of delivering the programme through video and audio calls during lockdown meant that a team could work with families living anywhere in the country.
During his tenure chairing the charity, Stelio was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. In 2016/17, he served as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire and during that year found creative ways to further cross-sectoral partnerships and relationships, notably to enable the courts and other agencies to build mutual understanding and develop Hertfordshire’s response to domestic abuse.
Mindful that succession planning is vital for all charities, Stelio concluded that the time was right in 2022 to step down from the Board, as the Trust moves into the next phase of its development.
In stepping down, Stelio paid tribute to the value of everyone’s contribution and the power of the team effort, which he credited for “making For Baby’s Sake such a powerful tool for tackling domestic abuse and intergenerational trauma”. Addressing trustees, senior leadership and all our teams, Stelio said:
“It has been such an enormous privilege to work with so many people who are all intent on doing the right thing with an open heart. I know you will go from strength to strength – because those babies and parents need you. Through your work, you really are making the world a better place.”
On taking as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dame Lin said:
“The Board and staff are deeply grateful to Stelio Stefanou for his vision, innovation, commitment, generous philanthropy, strategic wisdom and leadership, which have brought the Charity successfully to this point, and are grateful that he will continue to be a valued and important supporter of the Charity.”
Addressing Stelio, Dame Lin added:
“Stelio, since first meeting you decades ago across a negotiating table, I have always found you ambitious for people, fearless, honest and full of humanity. You inspire me with hope for the future.”