Chris has been the CEO of Jessie May for the past 17 years. Originally a social worker, working primarily with vulnerable and troubled teenagers, he then spent many years overseas in Africa and the Balkans working on programmes protecting children in war and post-conflict situations.
Chris has overseen the expansion of Jessie May services into new areas, and is passionate about supporting children at home and giving a voice to children and their parents and carers.
In his spare time Chris coaches girls rugby, sings in a local choir and enjoys walks in the countryside. He lives in Bristol with his wife and two teenage children.
Director of Funding Development
Clare has over 25 years’ experience gained through senior management positions in the non-profit sector. Following her degree in Marketing and Economics from Surrey University she started her career at a small local charity in Gloucestershire as a Marketing Assistant. It was whilst working here that she gained a passion for fundraising and has since supported both local and national organisations to grow their income.
For 10 great years she worked for British Heart Foundation, and led a large team of fundraisers across the UK to raise funds from mass participation events. In the last 5 years of her career she has chosen to operate in organisations that require a refreshed approach, either to overall organisational approach or specifically to support fundraising.
As a foster carer herself she understands the importance of caring for the most vulnerable of children and is passionate about ensuring that at Jessie May we can provide support for children and families in their own homes.
Director of Care
Ken joined Jessie May in November 2020 on secondment from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS foundation trust (UHBW) to act as Nursing Care Lead. He is undertaking this role alongside his role as Lead nurse for the Children’s Community Nursing (CCN) team at UHBW.
Having worked in the field of Community nursing for over 10 years - prior to being Lead for the CCN team, Ken was a CLIC Sargent Oncology Outreach Nurse Specialist at UHBW. In addition Ken is Chair of the Royal College of Nursing Children and Young people steering committee for the Community and Continuing Care Forum.
Before joining Jessie May, Claire spent 10 years as a Staff Nurse on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Bristol, until she left and joined Jessie May in 2014. She has always had an interest in Children’s palliative care and caring for children with complex medical needs, and had heard about Jessie May and the work they did so when a post became available she jumped at the chance.
Being a Jessie May nurse is so rewarding. No two days are the same. One day Claire can be visiting a child doing nursing care and giving the families a break from the 24/7 care they provide their children, they may even be able to squeeze a visit to the park or have some fun doing some painting. The next they could be supporting a family through their child’s end of life stage, or carrying out a bereavement support visit, or even supporting a family whose child is unwell in hospital. All of the support and respite Jessie May nurses give to families allows them to have a much needed break and spend time with their other children, or even have a well needed nap! As one of the Care Team Leaders, Claire is responsible for a team of a Jessie May nurses, supporting them to do their job to the best of their abilities. Claire is also involved with lots of project work, more recently championing the importance of Jessie May being family led service and involving the families to help to develop the service.
"After originally finding out about Jessie May I went onto their website and watched a video of one of the nurses, and thought - I want to do that!!! I wanted to be able to build a relationship and trust with children and their families, which you just don’t get as much time to do on a busy ward. I feel extremely privileged to be a Jessie May nurse and I’m proud of how we as a team are able to support families of children with life limiting conditions."
Jayne joined Jessie May in 2007 and am one of the first points of contact to telephone callers and visitors to the main office in Kingswood. I have worked in the Corporate, Public Health and Third Sectors in the UK and New Zealand and have a strong administration background. I head the administration team who support the Jessie May Nurses in the preparation and planning of service delivery to the families we support. I enjoy attending both family and fundraising events and am proud to be part of the team.
Our Care Team
Care Team Leader
Steve has been a qualified nurse for almost 6 years (qualified in 2015), before he worked at Jessie May he was a staff nurse on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Bristol Children’s hospital. He always wanted to work with children who had complex care needs after a placement during his nursing training. He would have loved to have worked in the community from the moment he qualified, but there wasn’t a post available at the time. His time working in the Intensive Care Unit was so valuable, and provided him with the skills needed to confidently work in the community. He joined Jessie May in November 2016 as a nurse providing visit to children and their families.
He started off 'out on the ground', providing care to the children on our caseload and supporting their families, which is the main part of our work at Jessie May. He has since moved on to become a Team Leader, where part of his role now is in planning the care and line management of the nurses.
"I do still get to go out and provide care which is the best part of my job. I feel so privileged to be able to work for Jessie May and provide this type of care to children and families when they really need it. I do also enjoy working on developing the Jessie May service and working in partnership with other services to improve the care of children with complex needs."
Care Team Leader
Before joining Jessie May, Sam worked at the Bristol Children’s Hospital on the Renal Ward and PICU. She was passionate about supporting children with additional needs, and especially supporting children and young people with non-verbal communication to feel empowered during their time in hospital.
During her time there she would always see families walking out the ward doors, and wished that she could walk out there with them to help support them on the other side. She had heard about the support Jessie May nurses were able to give families at home, as well as in hospital, and jumped at the chance as soon as a position came up!
She started out on the Swindon and Wiltshire team, as the service opened in that area in 2016, and later transferred to the Bristol team, developing into a Care Team Leader after working across all areas.
Bereavement Team Leader
Helen joined the extended care team in 1999 following a move back to Bristol, where she had previously worked in a children’s hospice in Yorkshire. She was made aware of Jessie May and their work in community palliative care; and knew from the point she first met the staff that she wanted to join the Jessie May Team.
In 2008 Helen gained a position on the Core Care Team because of my previous hospice experience, and began to support the children who were at end of life, offering bereavement support to their parents after their child had died.
Helen’s current role within Jessie May is to lead the Bereavement Support Service, offering emotional support to parents and to support the Jessie May nurses in end of life care and support to the children they look after. The trusting relationships we build with parents when we start working with their child is so important to enable us to continue to support them when their child’s needs become more complex and when sadly, they die. The work we do throughout a child’s life builds the foundations of a trusted support service for the whole family for several years after their death.
We currently offer bereavement support to all of our parents for 5 years and all of the children we have supported since Jessie May began are remembered and celebrated during our annual Tree of Light.
"It is an honour and a privilege to be able to work with such special children and their amazing families alongside a team of passionate and dedicated Jessie May Nurses and Jessie May Staff."
Shirley previously worked with children with additional needs in a variety of settings for many years with a particular interest in communication which led to her training as a Makaton Tutor in 2003.
She began her Jessie May journey on the Extended Team in 2006, working alongside her post as Inclusion Support Worker and Portage Home Visitor in the Early Years Team at South Gloucestershire Council. The Portage role in particular, gave her a good understanding of working with children, many with complex needs, in the family home and in partnership with their parents.
She left these roles to take up a post at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children as a Play Specialist on the Renal Ward.
She joined the Care Team as a Jessie May (NNEB) Nursery Nurse in 2012, and was very happy to be a member of the team providing regular respite and support visits to families.
Her current role as part of the Bereavement Team sees her supporting families emotionally and practically after the death of their child through visits, phone calls, Purple Group and our annual Tree of Light Celebration.
She also currently works at Bristol Children’s Hospital as Disability Support Worker in the Paediatric Disability Team.
“I am still working at Jessie May 15 years later as it is a great privilege to work alongside such amazing children, young people and their families.”
Jessie May nurse
Before joining Jessie May, Lois was undertaking a palliative care rotation – she worked on the Oncology Ward at Bristol Children’s Hospital but always wanted to work in paediatric palliative care. She originally came to Jessie May with the thoughts of staying for a year before moving on but fell in love with the job and never left - having been here since 2017!
She is a Jessie May nurse working within the Bristol team. She works with families, offering specialist respite care, end of life care and bereavement support across our Jessie May catchment area. She loves being out and about on visits, building relationships and caring for children and their families and it’s the main reason that she came into this job. The role of a Jessie May nurse is wide ranging and varied and no two days are the same!
“I work for Jessie May because I love it! It’s an honour to be able to care for the children and their families and to be able to support them during the highs and the lows.”
Jessie May nurse
Andy qualified in 2007, and spent the first 6 years of his Nursing Career on the Peadiatric Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Having heard about Jessie May through the hospital, he joined the nursing team in 2013.
A multi-faceted role, his days see him caring for children with, sometimes very, complex needs, in the home and in the hospital. He is also involved in providing family support, including signposting to other services they may be able to access, and advocating for families in multi-professional meetings when trying to access further support.
“I work for Jessie May because of the privilege we have to be allowed to integrate into our families homes and lives.”
Jessie May nurse
Before joining the core team at Jessie May, Gemma worked as a Carer for Lifetime for 9 years. It was during her time at Lifetime that she decided to undertake a nursing degree. During the third year of her nursing degree, she came to Jessie May on placement and loved every minute of it. She joined the extended team soon after qualifying, with the intention of going to the hospital to work shortly after. In 2017, whilst on the extended team I got offered a full time position on the Core Team, which I accepted.
As a Jessie May nurse her role includes lots of different things. We provide respite to families at home and while the child is in hospital. During respite we take over all aspects of the child's care to give parents a break. This includes all clinical, emotional and personal care. We support children with a wide range of complex needs, including children who have tracheostomies and ventilated children. We provide end of life care, bereavement support for parents and carers for up to 5 years after the child has died. We advocate for and signpost our families to other services. Attend multidisciplinary meetings, complete wishes documents and funeral planning, alongside the family. And work closely with a number of different community services and other professionals involved in the child's care to ensure that the child's emotional and clinical needs are being met.
“I love my job because we are in the privileged position of getting to know the children and the families on our caseload very well. This enables us to provide care to them which is unique and individual to that child, based on their needs. We see children where they are their most happiest, in their homes surrounded by their families. This in turn enables us to support them during more difficult times too, such as when they are really unwell and in hospital. Having that continuity of care allows the nurses to really get to know the children as individuals so that parents feel confident that all of their child's needs will be met when we are supporting them.”
Jessie May nurse - Swindon
Mel’s nursing career began in London, where following completion of her training she remained and gained some valuable specialised paediatric nursing experience for a further 3 years. She then returned nearer to home and began working on the Children’s Unit in Swindon. During the 18 years she worked on the Unit, she nursed children with a wide range of medical, surgical conditions and children with chronic and acute conditions.
In 2017 she joined Jessie May where she now works as a nurse on the Swindon Team. During this time she has met lots of amazing families, and gotten to know even better some of the families she had previously supported on the ward.
“As a Mum myself I know that the most precious gift we are given in life is our children, and to be trusted with the care of children with such complex needs in the privacy of their own homes is an absolute privilege and pleasure, and something that I will never take for granted.”
Jessie May nurse - Swindon
Mary has been a Jessie May Nurse since 2017, and prior to this worked on the children’s unit at Great Western Hospital in Swindon as a staff nurse for 20 years.
She has worked as part of the Jessie May Swindon Team since its launch in 2016, and has been a huge part in developing the service into what it is today. As a Jessie May Nurse she completes respite visits, as well as assessments and paperwork, to enable us to provide these safely. She also supports families with meetings, applications and advice where possible, as well as signposting to other services. The role also includes bereavement support for families and End of Life planning where appropriate.
“Everyday is a different day and a new challenge and I feel privileged to work with all our young people and families.
Working as a Jessie May Nurse has given me the opportunity to get to know families extremely well, I feel honoured to be part of their world and to be given the access to their homes and lives. Each and every day gives me the opportunity to make a difference and this gives me a great deal of pride and job satisfaction.”
Jessie May nurse
Before she joined Jessie May, Bryony studied childcare at college and went on to work in a couple of nurseries, one of them being an on-site hospital nursery. She then started working for Jessie May in 2017.
As one of the Jessie May nurses, Bryony provides regular respite visits for the children, and families, that we support. She also currently works at Bath Royal United Hospital a couple of times a week as a Healthcare Assistant.
"I work for Jessie may as it’s a privilege to work alongside the children and their families. It’s so nice being able to support them when they really need it."
Jessie May nurse
Victoria worked on the Adolescent Ward in Bristol Children’s Hospital for 7 years, with a keen interest in oncology care. She trained in the administration of chemotherapy and successfully completed two degree modules in Oncology. Other areas of practice included orthopaedics, surgical, respiratory, gastro, neuro, and mental health. The Adolescent Ward was multi-speciality and so she was lucky enough to see a huge variety of diagnosis and treatments delivered. Over the years she has developed a passion for tissue viability and wound care management.
After an incredible 7 years with the Adolescent Ward having made some of her best memories and friends she moved to Lighthouse Ward where she received comprehensive training and education for the care of renal children. She is trained to deliver haemodialysis and became an independent nurse prescriber through further university study. It was also on Lighthouse Ward that she undertook her first master module in physical assessment and clinical reasoning of paediatric patients. She was lucky enough to experience all aspects of renal care from dialysis to a ward based setting, and had a short secondment to community whereby she realised that community care was definitely an area of interest.
"Having a young daughter myself I really understand how precious our children are to us, and since joining Jessie May it is a huge privilege to be welcomed into families homes to care for their children. Coming out of a hospital environment after 10 years has been a big culture shock, however I absolutely love working in the community and for Jessie May.
Being a Jessie May nurse allows you to see the direct impact of providing respite care and how incredibly valuable the service is - I feel very lucky to be part of it."
Jessie May nurse
Before joining Jessie May, Emily worked as a nursing assistant at the Children’s Hospital working on the Adolescent Ward, which is a multispecialty ward with a huge emphasis on mental health; and also on an Oncology Ward for 6 months supporting patients through treatment. Now carrying an ongoing post in both outpatient departments specialising in wound care and assisting families through clinic appointments. During this time she has successfully completed the Assistant Practitioner course.
Emily is part time whilst continuing her work in the hospital, a familiar face to some of our families!
“I am thrilled to be apart of the Jessie May team working alongside dedicated staff providing support and respite for families when they really need it. It is such an honor to be welcomed into families homes and to be able to provide individualised care for these patients in their own environments.
To be able to provide important respite for parents/carers is so rewarding, building relationships and allowing them to feel comfortable that their child will be cared for in their absence. This is so important to allow them to do the things they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do, like date nights.
I am so proud to be a Jessie May nurse!”
Individual Giving Manager
Kath is a tea drinking, Welsh rugby loving, bookworm based in South Wales.
She started her career in direct marketing at Golley Slater Group, working with commercial clients such as Aviva and Scottish Power and third sector clients such as Unicef, Oxfam and Tŷ Hafan.
12 years later Kath made the move to the third sector taking a post at Tŷ Hafan, the children’s hospice for South Wales in the fundraising team. During her five-year tenure Kath managed the delivery of exceptional Supporter Care, the Challenge Events portfolio, gifts in wills, fundraising campaigns and appeals, and the Community Fundraising programme.
With a steadfast passion for children’s hospice care Kath works for Jessie May as Individual Giving Manager, committed to growing the supporter base, delivering income growth and ensuring the supporters are cared for in the best way possible.
"When working with Unicef I learnt about the UNCRC. Every child has the right to a childhood. This is no less the case when a child has a life limiting condition or terminal illness. I am passionate about children’s hospice care championing this right with the child and the family.”
Trust and Grants Fundraiser
Lorraine has worked in the charity sector for 17 years, and has been fundraising for 9 of those. Over these years she has worked in a variety of roles for Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Westonbirt Arboretum and the Royal Osteoporosis Society.
As the Trusts, Foundations and Statutory Fundraiser at Jessie May, her job is to find grant-giving organisations who will give money towards Jessie May’s vital work. She spends a lot of her day’s writing applications for funding, writing reports on how certain grants have been spent, and on keeping in touch with the wonderful organisations who help to fund our work.
“I joined Jessie May in March 2020 because I knew I could make a real difference to the lives of children with terminal conditions. I’m so proud of the Jessie May nurses who look after the children and their families, and I love that the work I do, raising money, allows that to happen.”
Corporate Partnerships Officer
Before joining Jessie May, Lindsey worked in the security industry for many years, eventually fulfilling a dream to run her own company.
When she first joined Jessie May it was as a part of the administration team. She later undertook the Corporate Partnerships role, as part of the growing Fundraising Team. Her role sees her liaising with the many local and national businesses who choose to support Jessie May through various Fundraising activity and initiatives.
“I’m proud to work as Corporate Partnerships Officer for Jessie May, an incredible charity that supports so many local families. My role allows me to have conversations with businesses large and small throughout our service area, and I’m always amazed and touched by the willingness to listen and the level of support our Corporate partners offer.”
Community Engagement Fundraising Officer
A sport loving , dog walking, outdoorsy, cider drinking Somersetian. I will give anything a go once and will always try to convince others to come along for the ride!
Having graduated in Psychology and specialising in Learning Disabilities and Community Mental Health Services, I trundled back over the bridge to Bristol and found myself agreeing to a third sector position in Next Link & Missing Link. It was here that I realised that the community was really where I belonged and that engagement and fundraising really is the foundation of the frontline work I was there to do. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to support some of the most vulnerable women and families in the city. I then came across a maternity cover at Meningitis Research Foundation where I worked in the support team as community engagement officer, manning the helpline, organising member days and looking after our volunteer ambassadors and befrienders. This (albeit short) post confirmed my thinking and my passion for building foundations and funding within communities to support those who need it most. When this ended it was a slightly bumpy road to re-train and build my experience in a new field. Going back to my Somerset routes I managed an opportunity centre for young people with learning disabilities, where we raised enough for a brand-new industrial kitchen and set up a catering social enterprise. Having put my learning into practice, this gave me the confidence to land a regional post with Deafblind UK. As the area I covered expanded, I was yearning to come back to the area I love most and that’s when I decided to make the leap to Jessie May to look after the community engagement, fundraising, events and support our volunteers.
Each day is never the same in this job - and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I have been welcomed into the Jessie May family with open arms, which has been wonderful. I am truly honoured to build incredible relationships with the people who support us and the children and families that we all work to ensure have a positive journey despite the diagnosis they face. The team really do make such a difference and for that I am proud to be a part team Jessie May.
Marketing & Communications Officer
Before joining Jessie May, Charlotte worked in the Corporate sector, and has over 7 and a half years worth of experience in Marketing & Communications.
As Marketing & Communications Officer, she is responsible for the marketing function of the charity as a whole. Her day-to-day can consist of anything from social media and website management, to PR, running analysis and internal communications.
"When joining Jessie May, I didn't realise how much the word "family" would resonate. We really are a true family, and I am proud to be able to support the children and families that we help in even a little way."
Rebecca joined Jessie May in April 2021 as Executive Assistant to support the governance of the charity with secretarial and administrative support to the CEO and Board of Trustees. Rebecca has experience as an Executive Assistant across a variety of sectors in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Jessie May family and contribute to the wonderful work being done.”
Finance & HR Administrator
Rachael has a background in customer service, admin and Pensions Software Training.
Over the years she has had the opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam (totally threw me out of my comfort zone but such an amazing 18 months which I’m so grateful to have had the chance to work and live there as a resident rather than a tourist – I still get homesick for beautiful Netherlands!). On return to the UK, she decided to take some time-out from an office environment. It was then she became involved with volunteer and community work, sitting on the committees at her daughter’s pre-school and for a local park Friends group. More recently during Covid-19, she has been volunteering delivering meals for the National Food Service and becoming involved with the local area Covid Help, Support & Volunteering Group.
She joined Jessie May originally as a Care Team Administrator and has had many opportunities to communicate with our many of our families and children. Her current role in Jessie May is as the Finance and HR Administrator, where she works closely with the Admin and Office Manager to keep day-to-day records accurate and timely, supporting the nurses so they can go out and provide support to the families.
“I’ve been at Jessie May for 3 ½ years now and can honestly say I enjoy coming into work. I’m honoured to be a part of the Jessie May family and it always brings a smile to my face to hear about and see the children being children, having fun and laughing with their Nurses.”
Care Team Administrator
Mary-Anne has been with Jessie May since 2015, starting as Office Administrator and moving up to Care Team Administrator. She assists the Care Team with ensuring that all relevant paperwork for children/families is up to date and accounted for.
“I enjoy being able to support the nurses with the fantastic work they do, and having the opportunity to meet our wonderful children, and their families, at family events.