Julie Stokes founded the Gloucestershire-based child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish in 1992 to offer care and support for youngsters who had lost loved ones.

The charity provides face-to-face therapeutic support, along with a national Freephone helpline and online assistance, and its specialisms include deaths through murder and manslaughter as well as illness.

Over the years Julie has written various guides, including ‘As Big As It Gets’ and ‘Out of the Blue, for children and young people facing a future without important loved ones. Julie was closely involved with the running of Winston’s Wish for 16 years before becoming an executive coach working with large businesses, although as the charity’s founder patron she remains a firm supporter of its work, which currently involves 40,000 bereaved children and young people a year.

Julie’s achievements were recognised with an OBE in 2006.

In 2013 Emma husband Ronan died suddenly from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage Nothing can prepare you for the loss of someone you love deeply, a partner, child or parent.

Emma is a life coach and has spent the past twenty five years helping groups and individuals reconnect with what is important to them, inspiring them to move forward on their paths of self-discovery, encouraging them to have confidence in who they are and courage to be who they want to be.

Emma founded Ronan’s Trust to support other bereaved families, to offer them the support and practical help that is needed at this time and for many years following. 

It was working in the garden, continuing to grow vegetables and nurture it that gave Emma the strength to support her family and herself and continues to do so.

Jane worked as PA to the Headteacher of St Edwards School in Cheltenham for 8 years, responsible for admissions and working closely with pupils and parents. Jane also worked at Winston’s Wish (a charity for bereaved children) for 8 years as volunteers coordinator, recruiting clinical and fundraising volunteers - ensuring they felt valued and respected for their contribution to the charity.

Jane was born and bred in Northern Ireland and is a mother of 3 and Grandmother to 6, she loves travelling and trekking!

Following a career in accountancy both in practice and in industry, primarily aviation, Paul is now lecturing in Finance, Accountancy and Management at the University of West of England. Paul maintains his links with industry connections undertaking financial and business strategy assignments additionally Paul is also involved in Charitable and Social Enterprises  associated with the twinnings of Bristol with Hannover and Tbilisi and also the Age Diversity Forum which considers issues regarding the employment and training of the over 50s.

David qualified as a Lawyer in 1965.  After some years as Senior Partner in a provincial firm specialising in company/Commercial law but also dealing with various Charitable and Family Trusts, he has for upwards of 25 years held the office of H.M. Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton and also for Cambridgeshire until his retirement earlier this year.

Throughout this period he has also held a judicial appointment as a part time Judge presiding over Mental Health Appeals in England.

Jane has worked for many years in various roles in the NHS but most recently as a Lead Breast Care Nurse for Gloucestershire NHS Trust. She then went on to open up the Maggie’s Centre in Cheltenham offering emotional support and advice to anyone affected by cancer, running groups and offering 1:1 support whilst growing and developing her multi professional team and evidence based programme of support. She now continues to do some part-time teaching whilst enjoying more time at home catching up with family and friends.

Barbara has 15 years' experience working in the Voluntary and Community Sector, as CEO for Healthwatch Gloucestershire and Executive Director/Senior Manager for Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC).

She has specialist knowledge of project management and delivery within health and social care, media relations, partnership working, collaboration and bid writing. Before children Barbara worked for a number of Blue Chip companies in sales and was Group Advertising Sales Manager for a local motoring title based In Gloucester.

Barbara lives in Cheltenham and has one son, who is a professional squash player.

Mary trained in Bristol as a registered mental health nurse, specialising and enhancing her skills and qualifications to MSc level in dementia care and support. 

She worked for over 28 years in the local NHS where she developed the Dementia Education Pathway for the county in conjunction with the Clinical Commissioners and the County council. Mary has written articles on dementia care and her work has been published in the U.K and Australia. She has also written a play performed in Gloucestershire and which was introduced by Professor Alistair Burns NHS England Clinical Director for Dementia and OlderPeople’s Mental Health.

Since 2016 Mary has worked part time as a Lecturer for the University of Gloucestershire Health and Social Care departmental and as an Independent Consultant in Dementia care.

She has personal experience as a teenager of bereavement following the deaths of two of her siblings and is passionate about people receiving the right kind of support by the right people at the right time.

When not working Mary enjoys travelling, it is her goal to see as much of the world as she can, being at the finishing line to support her marathon running husband Kieran and brushing her skills up on painting!