Jessie May team standing in a huddle holding arms up to the air in celebration

On Thursday 1st September, Jessie May held a special celebration day at Bristol Zoo. Joined by families, supporters, trustees and staff, it presented a fabulous opportunity for a first in-person meeting since COVID and a chance to give thanks to this unique charity.

The event marked the retirement of CEO Chris Roys after 17 years at the helm, and gave new CEO Daniel Cheesman the opportunity to set out the new 5 Year Strategy for the charity.

Jessie May provides specialist palliative care in the home for children who have terminal and life-shortening conditions. The charity has family at its heart, and that family spirit was ever present on the day.

New CEO Daniel Cheesman described the celebration event as being like a family coming together,

“Having just completed my first month, I’m really enjoying getting to know this amazing charity and I have been so impressed with the passion and commitment shown by the whole team. We have launched a very strong strategy, with big aims to support even more families, through innovative new projects as well as expanding the geographical reach of the charity – I am looking forward to working to fulfil this over the next few years.

I have been so appreciative of Chris’ guidance over these last few weeks, as he graciously hands the reins and responsibility of Jessie May over to myself. I hope that myself and the team can continue to do him proud, and take his achievements and steady platform from over the last 17 years”

Outgoing CEO Chris Roys was thankful for the opportunity the event gave,

To be able to have the opportunity to say goodbye in such a public way, to a group of individuals who I have collectively known for over 17 years, was a difficult but incredibly heart-warming moment. It was made particularly special with the attendance of some families and children that we have supported over the last 25 years, seeing them interact with their Jessie May nurses and the beaming smiles on their faces is exactly what makes this charity so special.

Knowing that Jessie May has been passed over to Daniel, who has such a sincere motivation and passion for seeing the new strategy through, allows me to leave with the confidence that Jessie May will continue to thrive and grow.”

The new 5-year strategy ‘No Place Like Home’ sets out the 2022 – 2027 aims for the charity and encompasses 6 key objectives. The overarching vision for Jessie May is that all children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions are supported to have the very best quality of life possible, and to choose to live, and to die, in their own homes with their families.  To read or download your copy below.