About Us


About us

The Cornerstone  Partnership  is  a  social  enterprise founded in 2014 by Helen Costa and Claire Brasier  based  in  London  with  a  mission  to  improve  the  lives  of  children  and  families  touched  by  the  care  system.

We  are  a  team  of  social  innovators  who  seek  out,  develop  and  test  effective  solutions  to  some  of  society’s  big  challenges.

Cornerstone  has  pioneered  the  world’s  first  VR  experience  for  fostering  and  adoption  services  as  well  as  immersive  therapeutic  support  using social  Virtual Reality  to  help  children  in  the  care  system.

Cornerstone  VR™  harnesses  the  power  of  VR  to  change  behaviour  whether  the  goal  is  to  improve  enquiries  and  conversion  rates  through  to  stabilising  placements  by  generating  “emotional  understanding”  and  empathy  resulting  in  a  positive  impact  on  the  relationship  dynamic  between  the  adult  and the  child.  With  a  more  resilient  adult  child  relationship,  families  can  be  kept together,  and  placement  breakdowns  can  be  avoided.

Cornerstone is chaired by Anthony Douglas of CAFCASS and our management team is supported by our Executive Advisory Group which includes leading experts in the field including The Maudsley, Julie Selwyn and CoramBAAF.

Have questions about a specific Cornerstone programme?  Whatever your enquiry, we’ll help direct you to the right place.
Email us at enquiries@thecornerstonepartnership.com
Or use our contact form


Helen Costa

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Helen Costa has 10 + years sales and marketing experience in pharmaceuticals followed by a 15-year career in senior public sector roles across central Government, regional Government and as a Board member for a large NHS hospital trust.
Helen is known for her innovation and drive to deliver results and has led a number of high profile projects from the decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear liabilities to overseeing the Model Health Enquiry and leading Ken Livingstone’s globally renowned climate change programme for London.
After adopting her 2 children, Helen decided to focus her energy on addressing the issues within children’s social care bringing an end user perspective and the drive to see change. Helen developed and launched Cornerstone with co-founder Clare Brasier in 2015 as part of the first wave of Innovation Programme funded projects under DfE.
The success of the Cornerstone adoption support model led to Helen developing a suite of services across adoption and fostering and in a short space of time Helen has led the organisation to become a leading provider of social innovation to children’s services. Cornerstone’s mission is to improve the lives of families touched by the care system and Helen is a personal champion for that mission.

Gulnar Hasnain

Chief of Staff

Gulnar previously served as Head of Environment and Sustainability Strategy for the Mayor of London’s economic development agency where she worked on some of London’s largest regeneration projects. Gulnar also has over 15 years in the private sector in marketing and strategy roles in both B2B and B2C. She received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has an MSc in Development Studies from Birkbeck University, London and an MEng in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London.