Linda Parker - Chair of Trustees

My career within the NHS – as a clinician, service manager, commissioner and policy advisor – has always had a focus on how important it is for people to be cared for at home, surrounded by their families. My work with Children and Young People has shown me that being at home, being able to maintain friendships, and being able to simply be a child are all even more vital when children are affected by long-term illness or disability. This is what Jessie May supports families to achieve.

I am proud to be the Chair of Trustees of Jessie May. I am able to use my skills and experience to support the Trust to grow, develop and strengthen, so that more families, in more places, can be supported to care for their children where they want to be. At home.

Miranda McGinn - Finance and Operations Committee Chair

I held the position of Director of Finance and Corporate Services at Jessie May for 2 and 1/2 years. I applied for the position when the Finance Chair came to the end of her term, and was thrilled to be accepted onto the Board in June 2020.

Having worked alongside the nurses at Jessie May, I have seen personally the first-class care and support they give to Jessie May families.

I hope to be able to use my skills to strengthen our position to be able to grow and develop, continuing to support the current Jessie May families and help other families that may need us.

Laura McArthur - Fundraising Committee Chair

I first became aware of Jessie May in 2017 when my son was born prematurely and was subsequently diagnosed as having a life limiting condition, requiring round the clock care. All the nurses and staff helped us to come to terms with our new life and also to reclaim some of our old life back each time they visited. They are an extension of our family and our son adores them.

When the opportunity to become a Jessie May Trustee came about, I jumped at the chance. It’s my way of giving back for all the help they give us, being able to provide input from a Jessie May parent’s point of view. I want to ensure that the wonderful, unique work that they do is around for years to come.

Dr Anna Graham

I have just started as a Trustee for Jessie May, in February 2016. I work as a general practitioner in Bristol and wanted to use my skills in a different forum.

I am pleased to be given the opportunity to work with a charity able to provide such high quality support for vulnerable children at home.  I enjoy being able to provide longer term continuity for patients and am impressed with the way the Jessie May nurses are able to support the child, parents and siblings over time. With recent successful fund raising, it is possible to provide care for more children than ever before.

It is an exciting time to join Jessie May and I look forward to making my contribution.

Sarah Merritt

Sarah has enjoyed a long career in the National Health Service as a Registered Nurse and Midwife holding clinical and management posts across both community and acute healthcare. For 10 years Sarah specialised in Governance and Risk Management and attained her MSc in the subject. Most recently Sarah was Divisional Director of Nursing at Great Western Hospital in Swindon and currently is Head of Nursing and Midwifery in Bath. She has held a number of voluntary roles over the years including Chair of Governors of Hawkesbury C of E Primary School.

Julie Kembrey

My first introduction to Jessie May was in 1998 when my twin daughters, Francesca and Josephine, were referred to the service shortly after being diagnosed with a progressive life-limiting condition. Our girls made firm friends with their Jessie May Nurses, enjoying the play, singing, stories and laughter the home visits offered and giving me a much appreciated break from my caring role. At that time my husband and I had no concept of how much Jessie May would mean to our family in helping us to cope with Fran and Jo’s decline and in connecting us with other families. Francesca died aged 15 and Josephine aged 18, leaving an enormous void in our lives. Our busy home fell silent and we turned to Jessie May for the bereavement support they offer families for the first five years after a child’s death.

I am proud to be a Jessie May trustee and my knowledge of this charity in the context of caring for my own children and as a bereaved mother gives me a valuable and unusual set of skills. In 2010 I founded ‘The Purple Group’, a bereavement group for parents and carers on the Jessie May caseload and I run the group as a volunteer alongside Jessie May Bereavement Nurses. I also work closely with the Fundraising Team, sometimes giving presentations to support funding bids.

Charlotte Wardman

I am a CRI-focused banking solicitor, working in a Bristol based firm.

It was whilst volunteering pro bono through my firm that I first became aware of Jessie May and the amazing work it does. When the opportunity arose to become a trustee, I was delighted to be accepted to the Board.

Subject to certain statutory restrictions, running a charity is much the same as running a business and working in a corporate law firm where the majority of our clients are businesses, I am very aware of the importance of commercial considerations in running a successful business.

I am proud to be able to contribute to Jessie May, having experienced first-hand how profoundly important it is that people are able to be cared for at home, with their loved ones around. The work that Jessie May does and the invaluable support, guidance and reassurance nurses provide can make such a significant difference to not only the person in need of care, but their friends and families. I look forward to being part of the wonderful team of trustees, staff and nurses that help Jessie May to continue to provide laughter and light for families in what can be some of their darkest times.

Michael Legge

Jessie May is the first charity I have joined as a trustee and I am proud to be involved with such an amazing team of staff and trustees in a truly wonderful organisation.

I have worked for over 20 years in small entrepreneurial organisations, in the UK and internationally, and have founded four successful start-ups. I hope to bring a passionate energy and business acumen to Jessie May to help grow its reach and influence, so that more children and families can make the choice to stay together at home.

I have two children, and family is a hugely important part of my life. My children and family will be supporting me with Jessie May and I hope that we can help support other families along the way.

Tamsin Woodbridge

As a Community Paediatrician working in Bristol I have been able to see first hand the enormous benefit the Jessie May brings in to the lives and homes of our families. These families have challenges to overcome that most of us can not even conceive so the value of having the Jessie May team alongside them on their journey feels like a wonderful gift.  It is the relationships that the team develop with families that seems so precious and important in helping them enjoy the time they have together and supports them through their darkest times.

I have the privilege of being Community Paediatrician to a high proportion of children with life limiting illnesses and this experience helps me in my role as a trustee ensuring that the charities focus remains centred on the needs of the families and children. I am glad to bring my knowledge of childrens health services in the area as well as my clinical knowledge to the role and see myself able to be a very important link between the charity, the children and their families and the other health services working to meet the need of children. My understanding of clinical governance is also key in ensure the charity is run in a safe and effective way.

As I work part-time I am able to find time to commit to the Jessie May whilst my two children are at school and look forward to attending some of the family events with them.

Tiggy Robinson

I am honoured and delighted to join the Jessie May Board as a Trustee and be able to support the amazing work that the Jessie May team does.

I am a partner at Nine Feet Tall, a local management consultancy based in the South West. I first got involved with Jessie May when we were deciding who to select as our Charity of the Year for 2020. When I heard about the work the Care Team does with children and families, I felt instantly drawn to Jessie May and a desire to become more closely involved.

In my work as an advisor, coach and change consultant, I help organisations overcome their specific challenges to turn their strategies into actionable plans, which achieve real results. I have over 15 years experience working in non-profit and regulated sectors and I hope that some of this experience may be useful to Jessie May. My core values are about being passionate and authentic in everything I do and I place a real emphasis on listening first and building strong relationships. I know both will be important in my role as a Trustee.

Outside of work I have 3 children, one of whom has educational support needs and so, as a parent, I really appreciate how much difference charity and support services can make, to both your child’s life and your own.

Tom Selman

As a business manager within a large recruitment firm in Bristol, I am joining the board of trustees to offer my business acumen and networking capabilities. My motivation for joining Jessie May stems from the charity’s incredible support to my foster sister Mia.

Mia suffered from life-limiting conditions and required around the clock care, so when my parents welcomed Mia into our family, it was clear that additional support would be required. Jessie May were there to provide not just clinical support, but so much more. The support Jessie May provides to families like mine is incredible but also essential. I am delighted to be in a position to offer something back.

I am incredibly proud to call myself a trustee for Jessie May and am looking forward to adding value, particularly through a time where charities are feeling the pressure during a global pandemic.

Thomas Broad

I work in the London finance team of a Canadian-based investment bank. In 2018 and 2019 we supported Jessie May as our ‘Charity of the Year’ and from there I built a lasting relationship with the Jessie May staff. Seeing firsthand the amazing work that the charity is able to carry out on their respite days made me want to get more involved and I was lucky enough to be invited to join the Board of Trustees.

My role involves working on project work and sitting as the Treasurer for our charitable foundation. These are skills which I hope will allow me to become a valuable member of the Jessie May family.

Becoming a parent has given me a deeper understanding of how valuable the Jessie May service must be to families and I am proud to be able to offer my support to the charity in whatever way I can.