Steering Group Members

Sheri Lawal

Leah De Souza-Thomas

Dr Julie Hammond

Dr Geoffrey Ocen

Dr Datapwa Mujong

Asha Winifred

Asha is responsible for leading, developing, and overseeing the delivery of the Lambeth Together Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programme. The programme is aimed at reducing health inequalities within the London Borough of Lambeth, and it is delivered in partnership with health and social care partners.
Asha has extensive experience in both Adults and Children’s commissioning within both the NHS Continuing Health Care and Local Authority Social Care. She is a qualified L5 commissioner for wellbeing, with a focus on achieving the best outcomes for people and communities.
Asha has been involved with Inspire, where she supported projects in Lambeth. Currently, she assists co-chairs in expanding the program across London. She collaborates with lead partners to ensure that Black Londoners have access to equitable health outcomes through the London Inspire Programme.

Oveta McInnis

Oveta McInnis is from an educational background, having taught science for 40 years with 27 years in school leadership. As chair of Enfield Caribbean Association (ECA), she has sought to develop the charity to have an impact in the borough of Enfield. ECA provide services to black African and Caribbean communities in Enfield. She led the befriending service for two years before the pandemic. ECA also provide a weekly luncheon club and weekly exercise class for the elderly Caribbean community and friends in Edmonton. Participation has continued to increase over the past two years. The organisation run Black History month events and celebrate Windrush day. She has led the production of two books Windrush Voices:20 Stories of Determination and Triumph and Windrush Wonders: Stories of Travel and Triumph.  Oveta has worked strategically with organisation in the borough including public health, primary care and local community and faith groups in Enfield to develop and implement initiatives such increasing vaccine uptake in the black community and addressing the health disparities. She was an advocate for the vaccine take up, and participated in promotional videos, webinars and in the production of publicity flyers.

Lamide Kamau

I have been working in the NHS for over four years in various comms role, but have found my passion in health inequalities. Being part of the inspire steering group and working on a cause so close to my heart is not a privilege many are afforded in their career. I’m so excited about the amazing work inspire is doing and can’t wait to see how it is fully embedded within the NHS in London, so in generations to come the health inequalities we face in our community is truly a thing of the past.

Paula Bryan

Steering Group Member Inspire

Paula is passionate about wellbeing, community (local and global) and social justice. With over 30 years’ experience of delivering and managing services years Paula’s commitment and drive to improve wellbeing in our community grew from her early life as a young carer supporting her mother who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. Her lived experience gave her an insight into how health inequalities can impact individuals, families and communities and the desire to create change.

Specialising in the wellbeing of unpaid carers Paula is committed to creating an ecosystem where Black carers can thrive and lead fulfilling lives of their own alongside and beyond their caring role. Alongside her role at Inspire, Paula is the Founder and CEO of Carers4Carers, an award-winning social enterprise, Director of Men’s Walk n Talk supporting men’s health, Executive Board Member for the Open Minds Alliance supporting the mental health of African and Caribbean heritage communities and a Wellbeing Coach.

Sistah Stella Headley
Brenda Scotland

Brenda Scotland

Hi, I’m Brenda and I’m a Public Health Program Manager working in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. I’ve worked in various Public Health and Local Authority roles for the past 25 years, managing services and commissioning community led programmes of work. My main goals and focus is to strive for equality, fairness and empowerment within disadvantaged communities. Currently, I have a specific focus on reducing health inequalities for Black Caribbean and Black African communities. Supporting them to capacity build and position themselves stategically to influence decision making and change.

Outside of my working life I enjoy keeping active. Road cycling and body combat being my favourite activities. I also make time to be creative by sewing, crafting and professional upholstery projects. When I have time to relax, I love a good read and spending time gardening.

Dr Datapwa Mujong

Datapwa Mujong, GP in North-West London

“Health for all” is a linchpin for Datapwa. It led him to work with Africa CDC in the past, and as an Improving Global Health Fellow also in South Africa. In the UK, he pursues this as a General Practitioner in North-West London with Public Health roles. He led COVID-19 vaccine equity projects with Public Health England, and he currently leads primary care equity projects under the Legacy Health and Equity Partnership in London.

He enjoys trail running around the Thames, hikes, swims and most outdoor activities”

Dr Geoffrey Ocen

Geoffrey started his career in academia and over more than 20 years has held several senior executive roles in Local Government, the NHS and the voluntary sector. He was previously a governor at South Essex College, Ambitious College and a large secondary school in East London.  His current roles include Chief Executive of the Bridge Renewal Trust, co-chair of the Racial Equity Group in Health and Social Care in Haringey, North London and Associate Non-Executive Member at NHS Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board.

Geoffrey holds three master’s degrees and a PhD in organisational change.

Geoffrey is passionate about diversity, reducing health inequalities and addressing the wider determinants of health.

Dr Julie Hammond

Dr Hammond is a GP, advanced medical aesthetics practitioner, mentor and passionate advocate for health equity. She has a special interest in mental health and women’s health, and has obtained the DRCOG qualification and holds a BSc in Psychology from King’s College University. Her dedication to mental health advocacy and education is exemplified through her work as a trustee at the Sarah Agnes Foundation and West Kent Mind. She is committed to promoting and enhancing access to affordable counselling services for those in need of high-quality mental health support. Her advocacy efforts aim to eliminate barriers to counselling and psychotherapy, advancing the mission of equitable access to mental health support. Dr Hammond is passionate about effecting positive change in healthcare on both a national and global scale and has completed an internship at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland within the Mental Health Policy and Service Development Department.

She serves as a board member for multiple organisations dedicated to creating a more inclusive and representative healthcare system including the British Medical Association’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Group, and Black Female Doctors UK, where she holds the role of Events Director. Through her active involvement, she plays a significant role in shaping strategies and advocating for policy changes that support equal opportunities and improve the representation of black professionals in the medical field.

Dr Hammond has also been selected as a delegate for UN Women UK. She is part of a task force that is developing a data literacy tool. The tool aims to create opportunities for women to improve their earning potential, employment prospects, and access to vital information. This initiative has the potential to empower women and contribute significantly to achieving greater gender equality.

In addition to the above, Dr Hammond is a committee member of the PRUH Maternity Voices Partnership and is currently collaborating with the Kent and Medway NHS Integrated Care Board on a quality improvement project which aims to improve access and the maternity care experiences of women and birthing people from underrepresented communities and advance the goal of providing high-quality and equitable maternity care for all.


Leah De Souza-Thomas

Leah de Souza-Thomas BSc (Hons), MSc, MPH

Leah is a seasoned public health professional with 20 years of rich experience at national, regional, and local levels. Trained in biomedical science, epidemiology, and public health, Leah adds a unique blend of scientific rigour and holistic wellness to healthcare approaches. Her expertise extends to lifestyle medicine and nutritional therapy, showing a solid commitment to preventive care and wellbeing.

Leah is passionate about levelling the healthcare playing field and dismantling healthcare disparities. These are fundamental themes running through all her work, whether managing London’s cardiovascular disease prevention efforts, tracking drug resistance in gonorrhoea across the UK or leading workplace health initiatives for a London council. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Leah championed and led creative strategies to specifically meet the health needs of Black Londoners.

Beyond institutional roles, Leah is dedicated to individual wellbeing. Many of her clients seeking personalised health guidance belong to the Black African and Caribbean communities, valuing her culturally sensitive approach to healthcare. Leah strongly believes that understanding the uniqueness of each community is the key to addressing broader health inequalities.

As a member of the London inspire Programme Steering group, Leah is thrilled to contribute her wide-ranging skills and insights to make a lasting impact on public health, particularly for those communities that need it the most. She is particularly excited about the programme’s commitment to addressing healthcare inequalities in Black communities. She sees it as an opportunity to further meld policy, science, and community engagement into practical solutions for all.

Sheri Lawal

My name is Sheri Lawal and I was raised and attended primary and secondary school in the borough of Islington. I went to college in South London and lived in Brixton for 12 years.


Following a Positive Action Training in Housing (PATH) programme, I gained considerable community work experience supporting the aspirations of challenged and vulnerable groups, through a variety of roles, such as Social Services, Education Welfare, Social Housing and Community Development, employment, training and education. I also enjoyed a long career with various housing associations, which enabled me to make positive changes in the way services were delivered.


I am the Founding Director of a community Organisation called Choices (London) C.I.C Ltd, also based in Islington, which was incorporated in August 2010 following voluntary redundancy.


I am a passionate social justice advocate which has led me to sit on several community groups.

I currently chair the Black Leaders Alliance, which I set up in 2019, to address the historical social exclusion and marginalisation of Afro-Caribbean individuals and communities in Islington, to make a real difference for Afro-Caribbean people through a collective of complimentary services, and to make landmark changes to BAME inequalities around health, employment, education, housing, finance, and business.


I also chair the Islington Stop & Search Community Monitoring Group and sit on various key multi-agency boards, including the Safer Neighbourhood Board Executive Committee, Pan London Stop and Search Community Monitoring Network, Independent Office for Police Conduct Community Reference Group, and Islington Citizens Advice Advisory Board.


I celebrate my African culture and heritage at every opportunity I can and enjoy hosting events that unite us positively.