How It All Began
Started by a family, for families, and now shaped by families - learn more about how and why Jessie May was established
Jessie May is a Bristol-based charity providing nursing care at home for children and young people with life limiting conditions who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19.
Jessie May was established in September 1994 by Chris and Philippa Purrington, following the death of their baby daughter Jessica May. She died from a genetic condition known as severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was only 4½ months old.
Whilst the family were visiting relatives in Bristol, Jessica was admitted to the local hospital. It was here that the family learnt that the support they had received back at home in High Wycombe was not available to families caring for their child at home in the Bristol area.
Jessica was cared for by her family at home throughout her illness. She died peacefully at home in her father’s arms, in privacy, with dignity and surrounded by all those who loved her.
Jessica’s parents were determined to do what they could to enable other children with conditions like Jessica’s and their families to have support in their own homes and the choice to die at home when that time comes. After a lot of hard work and perseverance initial funding was secured, and Jessie May was officially launched in 1996.
For reasons of safety and security, all Jessie May Care Team personnel are employed through University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBristol), and these posts are fully funded by Jessie May. All administrative personnel are employed directly by the charity.
The Trust is almost entirely reliant upon voluntary funding, and encourages donations from individuals, corporate organisations, community groups and grant-making or charitable trusts. No charge is made to families using the services of the charity.
Since Jessie May was founded in 1996 we have supported over 175 children and their families in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area.