PATRONS & AMBASSADORS
Our Patrons and Ambassadors believe in a world where babies don’t have to be born too soon. They are amazing advocates and fundraisers for our vital research on premature birth.
Will Greenwood, MBE
Borne is a cause close to Will’s heart, after the loss of his first son Freddie, who was born at just 23 weeks. One of our most loyal and active advocates, Will works tirelessly in Freddie’s memory to build a world where no parent has to go through what he did.
As well as being central to our regular fundraising events, he has literally gone to the ends of the earth for Borne (trekking to the North Pole in 2018, and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process), as well as climbing Kilimanjaro, and this year committing to a huge Costa Rica Coast-to-Coast Challenge.
Writer, blogger and mum of 4, Caro Tasker speaks truthfully and passionately to her wide follower base about her experience as a parent.
As well as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Borne in 2014 and being consistently involved in our fundraising events, Caro is a continuously vocal advocate for Borne on her popular social media channels, raising vital awareness about premature birth and offering comfort and hope to many.
Sophie is a mother of five boys (we salute her!), two of whom were born prematurely, and became an ambassador for Borne after Mark Johnson delivered her earliest and smallest baby, Kit, who weighed just 2lb 6oz when he was born. She says: “We should do everything we can to stop premature birth and give every baby the best shot at life by keeping them safely inside for 9 months.”
Comedian, games journalist and one-half of the double act Scummy Mummies, Ellie Gibson became an advocate for Borne’s work after her son Joe was born nine weeks early.
Together with her comedy partner, Helen Thorn, Ellie ran the 2021 London Marathon and raised thousands of pounds for Borne’s work. She continues to use her voice and platform to raise awareness of the impact of premature birth.
“Like so many women, I had no idea I was at risk of having a premature birth. And until it happened to me, I had no understanding of how underfunded and underresearched this area of healthcare is. I am very proud to support Borne and I am in awe of the amazing work they are doing.”
Professional golfer and father of two, Francesco Molinari was introduced to Borne by Professor Mark Johnson. Francesco supports Borne’s work through events, including our annual Golf Day and Borne to Dine, as well as nominating Borne to benefit from competitions like Metlife Match Up.
He says: “Being a dad is the greatest feeling. But when your child is born too soon, joy turns into anguish. This needs to change.”
Michael Nunn, OBE
Alongside Borne Patron Darcy Bussell, he has helped to raise thousands of pounds for Borne by hosting two incredible Borne to Dance events . Taking place at the Royal Opera House, these spectacular evenings of dance performances exceeded all expectations and raised vital awareness and funds for Borne.
“I know from personal experience how life-changing it can be when a child is born with a disability. Preterm birth is linked to many lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and other debilitating conditions. This evening is about supporting Borne’s life-saving research on preterm birth, and shining a light on this overlooked and underfunded area of need that leaves many children with a disability.”
Alistair and his wife Lucy experienced the harsh reality of preterm birth when their twin boys, Brodie and Cal, were born at just 30 weeks. There was a very real possibility the boys would not survive, but, after an agonising two and a half months in the NICU, Alistair and Lucy were able to go home with two babies, who are now healthy 18-year-olds.
As well as regularly attending Borne events, Alistair is an active advocate for Borne on social media, and has orchestrated numerous crazy challenges to raise awareness and funds for preterm birth, including being pushed into a pool of ice-cold water by fellow actors Rupert Graves and Tom Stoughton.
“Other people, right now, will be in the position that we were in,” says Alistair. “People will lose their children – because of something that had nothing to do with them. And so, when asked the question ‘Why did it happen?’ – for no one to be able to turn round and say ‘It was because of this’ – that has to change.”
Borne Ambassador Francesco Mazzei was born in Calabria, where he was raised with a passion for food. Starting as a child, he often baked bread in the family kitchen and made pasta with loved ones. His first taste of professional cooking came when Francesco worked with his Uncle, mastering Italian cakes and gelato at the age of nine. His passion grew, and he then met renowned Italian chef Angelo Sabetta, who encouraged him to nurture his talent.
In June 2015, after gaining a wealth of experience around the world, Francesco joined D&D’s restaurant Sartoria as Chef Patron, then opened Fiume in Battersea in 2017, inspired by southern Italian flavours. In 2019, President Sergio Mattarella awarded him the OMRI (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) for everything Francesco had done for Southern Italian cuisine.
Francesco is an awarded chef and has made several TV appearances throughout the years. His most recent venture is a charity based in Cairo, supporting young people of the Oasis of Mercy, a home built to accommodate orphaned and abandoned children and women under the care of the Bambino Gesù Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which will benefit from an innovative cooking school following the building of a new kitchen facility. The hub will offer cookery classes, qualified professional training, and employment opportunities under the leadership of Chef Mazzei. He will provide skills and education around healthy eating and give those who need it, the opportunity to find employment as a chef or cook.
Dame Darcey Bussell, DBE
An extremely passionate patron, Darcey has contributed to the raising of thousands of pounds by hosting two incredibly successful Borne to Dance events alongside fellow Borne Ambassador Michael Nunn OBE. These spectacular evenings of dance performances exceeded all expectations and raised vital awareness and funds for Borne.
“Dance illustrates the beauty that humankind can achieve, given the opportunity. By supporting Borne, a charity close to my heart that is funding vital research to stop babies from being born premature, we can give so many more the opportunity to reach their full potential, unaffected by disability.”
Yoga instructor and mum-of-two Hannah has been a passionate supporter of Borne since 2018. As an ambassador for Fierce Calm, Hannah rallied the yoga community to fundraise in aid of Borne, leading a global livestream from the Gratitude Festival in June 2019.
Hannah continues to support Borne by raising awareness of premature birth and our research to her 368,000 followers.
A premature baby himself, born 2 months early, Foxy is an active ambassador for Borne. In 2018, he took on a gruelling expedition to the North Pole, raising thousands of pounds and enabling us to fund a pioneering new research programme, taking us one step closer to preventing premature birth.
Shanyan has been an invaluable partner to Borne, supporting our arts events with knowledge and expertise about the art world. Hosting two memorable art evenings in aid of Borne at Unit London’s trendy gallery in Mayfair, London, Shanyan raised tens of thousands of pounds for premature birth research.
“I am delighted to support Borne, a charity that is very close to my heart. Premature birth is the biggest killer of children under five, and we simply do not know enough about what causes it or how we can stop it. Borne has the vision and determination to become the leader in the field of premature birth research and help more babies have the chance of a healthy and happy life.”
Dean & Sarah Mumm
Dean and his wife Sarah are parents to six children, but only get to raise two. Because of the tragic circumstances arising from their premature births, their four beautiful babies Sophie, Henry, Ella and Grace didn’t survive longer than the first few days of their lives. Dean and Sarah now tirelessly devote their time to supporting Borne, and have founded Borne HMRI – a collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute in Australia. They raise vital funds locally to support pioneering research into preterm birth.
“You expect pregnancies to go well and it didn’t for us,” says Dean. “There were a lot of questions about why this had happened and why it happened to us.”
Erin O'Connor, MBE
Erin experienced two complicated pregnancies, but thankfully now has two healthy (and adorable) children. She says: “We were very fortunate to come out the other side, but thousands and thousands of babies are born preterm every year and we don’t know why… we just simply still don’t have the answers.”
Erin is an extremely active ambassador for Borne, using her wide reach on social media to raise awareness – most recently, launching a virtual fundraising campaign, her ‘Home Catwalk Challenge’, which raised over £2,500 for Borne.
Former British number 1 tennis player, Greg Rusedski and his wife Lucy are longstanding supporters of Borne, having been introduced to the charity after experiencing the pain of multiple miscarriages. He says: “For many people the journey into parenthood is not easy or straightforward. This is why the research Borne funds is vital to the future of children, their parents and families.”
Greg is a great champion of Borne’s work; representing the charity at corporate charity days, donating prizes and spreading awareness through his social media channels.