The Team

Catherine McClen, Founder and CEO

Catherine may come from the hard-nosed world of finance but she has a way of understanding others and the things they go through. She became a young carer when her mother developed early onset dementia and this really opened her eyes to the threat of loneliness. She has also felt the impact of mental health and multiple bereavements in her family. These experiences, together with her six years of extensive voluntary work with marginalised groups, inspired her to start BuddyHub in 2014. The vision? To create a world where we can all happily grow older.

Alastair Campbell, Non-Executive Director

Alastair is all about growth and innovation. He helps us with strategy, funding and getting our ambitious growth plans off the ground. After an early career in technology with IBM and Accenture, Alastair spent ten years with PwC Consulting working on business growth, organisational change and innovation. Now he runs his own management consultancy specialising in growing businesses. Alastair also brings experience as a trustee and adviser with a number of charities working on various aspects of mental health, wellbeing and communities and is passionate about combining people skills with new technology and disruptive business models to improve the world.

Paolo Valdemarin, CTO

Paolo is a digital industry veteran, who has spent the past 28 years working with European and US start-ups. This includes health and wellbeing sector experience with Hello Tomo (focusing on positive mental health) and isoshealth (creating virtual clinics to achieve wellness health goals). Paolo is also technical director of boutique digital development company Activate Media, our technology partners.

Naailah Jummun, BuddyHub Connector

Naailah has a background in Biomedical sciences but realised that working in a laboratory just wasn’t for her! After taking a gap year to come to terms with a bereavement in her family, Naailah has volunteered extensively, including as a patient befriender on dementia wards. These experiences drove her to work at BuddyHub and play her own part to help us fulfil our mission. Work aside, Naailah loves travelling. Mauritius has a special place in her heart as she spent a lot of her childhood soaking up the sun and going to the beach there. She also likes to listen to live music and attend indie gigs as often as she can!

Sofia Pelucio, Operations and Marketing

Sofia interned for us after completing an MA in marketing communications. She did such a great job we decided to hold on to her, even after she swapped London for Brazil. Sofia has a background in journalism and worked for five years on a pay TV channel. She has been heavily involved in all aspects of the onboarding process as well as CRM and data management, but her core focus is on marketing and making sure we are reaching our members. For Sofia, the joy of BuddyHub is being able to help others while also getting to grips with the start-up sector.

Jhenielle Francis, Ambassador and former Connector

Jhen loved being a Connector at BuddyHub as it gave her the opportunity to meet and interact with so many interesting and lovely people. Jhen originally joined our team because she loves our mission to make this a world in which we all wish to grow older. During her time as a Connector, she used her degree in psychology to make great matches and also graced us with Jamaican food and culture! Now, as an Ambassador, she continues to champion BuddyHub and cheer us on from the sidelines whilst studying for a Data Science Masters degree.