HRH The Duke of Cambridge
HRH The Duke of Cambridge has been Royal Patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009.
“Child Bereavement UK reaches out to people, working closely with families to provide support and counselling at the time when they most need it in their lives. It also offers vital guidance in this sensitive and incredibly delicate area to teachers and health professionals working with grieving families. It is so very special.”
Julia Samuel MBE
Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist specialising in grief, who has spent the last twenty-five years working with bereaved families. She has worked both in private practice and in the NHS at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington where she pioneered the role of maternity and paediatric psychotherapist. In 1994 she worked to help launch and establish Child Bereavement UK (founded as the Child Bereavement Trust), and as Founder Patron, continues to play an active role in the charity. Julia was awarded an MBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for services to bereaved children. Julia’s first book: Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving, was published in 2017.
British singer-songwriter and record producer Gary Barlow found worldwide fame as a member of Take That. Since forming in 1989, Take That have won eight BRIT awards, sold over 45 million records and over seven and half million concert tickets.
Very sadly, Gary and his wife Dawn’s baby daughter, Poppy, was stillborn on August 4th 2012. Gary and Dawn therefore wanted to support Child Bereavement UK; in October 2015, Gary performed at Banqueting House in London for the charity’s 21st birthday celebration.
Gary said: “I am delighted to help to raise the profile of Child Bereavement UK, a wonderful charity that provides vital support to bereaved families. Becoming a Patron is my way of saying thank for all the help Child Bereavement UK has given us and many other families going through the pain of bereavement.”
Jason Watkins is a BAFTA award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated stage, film and television actor. He recently appeared as Solomon Coop in Taboo, Tim Ifield in Line of Duty and Mr Humphries in the tribute to Are You Being Served. Jason is perhaps best known for playing Simon Harwood in W1A, Herrick in Being Human, Gavin in Trollied, and Gordon Shakespeare in the Nativity! film series; he also played the lead role in two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor of 2015.
In 2011, Jason and his wife Clara’s two-and-a half-year-old daughter Maude died of sepsis. He dedicated his 2015 BAFTA award to her and Jason has actively campaigned to raise awareness of sepsis and its symptoms.
On becoming Patron of Child Bereavement UK Jason said: “The physical and emotional trauma of losing your child is overwhelming, but Child Bereavement UK provide a touchstone that you can access, giving you practical tools to help you carry your loss with you as you move forward. Child Bereavement UK’s work supporting bereaved families is vital and I am delighted to help raise awareness of their important work.”
Mary Berry CBE
Mary is one of Britain’s best known and best loved cookery writers and broadcasters. She has published over 70 cookery books and has hosted several TV series. Mary is best known for her role as a judge on BBC’s Great British Bake Off. Mary was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in the Diamond Jubilee Year. Mary has supported many Child Bereavement UK fundraising events over the years and raised money for the charity on BBC2’s Celebrity Cash in the Attic. Mary has a personal affinity with the charity – her son William died in 1989 at the age of 19. Mary said: “When William died, there was little support available for bereaved families. Through my links with Child Bereavement UK, I have met families who have received and benefited from their services. I think it’s a wonderful charity and I am delighted to be a Patron.”
Daniel has been an actor in theatre, television and film for over 15 years. He is best known to people as Sgt Troy from Midsomer Murders. He is proud to become a patron of Child Bereavement UK after seeing how much help, support and comfort they have given to his dear friends Eleanor and Jamie Wroath and their son Samuel since the tragic death of their precious daughter Miranda in 2008. He has seen first hand what an incredibly important support network Child Bereavement UK provides to people during the most traumatic and devastating events in their lives.
Carol Clare has been a long-standing supporter of Child Bereavement UK, helping fund many aspects of the charity’s work, including our award-winning online learning for schools, and the expansion of our bereavement services beyond our original Buckinghamshire base.
Mike founded and is now non-exec President of the national bed superstore Dreams. Mike is no stranger to bereavement: his father died when Mike was 12, which had a great impact on his young life. In 1999 his elder (and only) brother died. The impact of seeing his nephew and niece grieving and coming to terms with their loss at a very similar age to when Mike and his brother lost their father, brought home many memories and deep emotions.
Lady Lucinda Dashwood
Lady Dashwood was delighted to welcome Child Bereavement UK to West Wycombe, where the charity had its base for ten years. The annual Snowdrop Walks and other events, including Dash for Dad, held in the beautiful West Wycombe Park have been a great success and she looks forward to supporting the charity for many years to come.
Alexander has been a supporter of Child Bereavement UK since the death of his elder son George in April 2000. Having raised the finance in 2001 for the charity to establish a bereavement support post in his native North East of England, Alexander is now working a number of projects to raise funds for Child Bereavement UK.
Jon and Simon Dyer
Jon and Simon Dyer are Directors of F.A. Albin & Sons, a high profile Funeral Directors with a 200 year heritage. Sons of our former patron, the late Barry Albin-Dyer OBE (middle), Jon and Simon have been with the family firm all their working lives. Staunch supporters of Child Bereavement UK, they have done a great deal to support the bereaved families they have served with such care, including regularly supporting the charity through Albin’s legendary annual Christmas Memorial Service.
Jon and Simon said “Our father was so proud to be a patron of Child Bereavement UK and was very passionate about the work that the charity does in supporting bereaved families and how important it is. He shared this passion with us on so many occasions and we share the same values. We are delighted to become patrons and to continue his great work.”
Camilla Geffen BA ACII CIB
Camilla worked for Lloyd’s insurance broker Willis for 30 years both as a Broker and as an Operations Director, ending by heading up compliance for the Energy, Financial and Executive Risk Divisions. She was a Trustee of Child Bereavement UK before becoming a Patron at the end of her Trustee term in 2018.
She lives in London with her husband, Robin, and her two sons. Her eldest son, Edward, died aged 8, so she has experienced at first hand the importance of supportive care following the death of a child.
Will Greenwood MBE
Will became a patron of Child Bereavement UK following the death of his son Freddie. Will said: “Being in the winning World Cup team has given me a higher public profile. It is a privilege to be a patron, and it would be a great waste not to do more to speak up for others. It also gives Freddie’s short life more positive meaning.”
Deborah has vast experience working with numerous charities over the past twenty years, including Birthright (now WellBeing) the fundraising arm of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists where she was the Deputy Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. Since then she has volunteered as a co-ordinator on events for Turning Point, Macmillan Nurses, the NSPCC and in 2005 ran the London Marathon for UNICEF. Between 2005 and 2010 she was a volunteer co-ordinator for the Outpatients Department of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
Deborah has been involved with Child Bereavement UK since its inception in 1994. She has been a tireless supporter of the charity, working on committees for events and conferences. She has been instrumental in the success of our London Carol Concerts and other major fundraisers over the years.
Sahar Hashemi started her career as a solicitor and went on to build Coffee Republic, the coffee bar chain and later Skinny Candy, the guilt free confectionery brand. She has written a bestselling book on entrepreneurship called ‘Anyone Can Do It’. Sahar experienced first hand the enormous benefit of bereavement counselling after the death of her beloved mother in 2008, and it was her counsellor who introduced her to the much needed work of Child Bereavement UK.
Patricia Hodge is an actress whose career spans over thirty years of continual involvement in all aspects of the media. She has been nominated for six major awards, and won an Olivier Award 2000 for her work at the National Theatre. She is an Honorary Graduate (DLitt) of Brunel University and one of the founder members of the Brunel Club.
Flappy Lane Fox
Flappy has been a great friend to Child Bereavement UK over the years and has played a pivotal role in organising many successful events including The Private House Polo Challenge and The Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials. She heads up the Christmas Carol Concerts at Holy Trinity, Brompton, and a dinner in 2010 at Windsor Castle attended by HRH Prince William.
Flappy’s book “A Heartbeat Away” is an anthology of writings on the themes of Grief, Bereavement and Loss, and Hope, Humour and Love.
Flappy’s son, Harry Sidebottom, had a fatal car accident in 1998 aged 24, and her step granddaughter, Molly Lane Fox, died of an inoperable brain tumour in 2008, aged only 5. Flappy said: “These two have remained my constant driving force, and have inspired me to help to ensure the continuance of this inspirational charity.”
“I lost my 10 year old sister, Dee Dee, when I was age 11. I was deeply affected by her death therefore have felt an overwhelming desire to help Child Bereavement UK to support families in bereavement. I now work very closely with the charity, volunteering in the Children and Young People’s groups and Fundraising.”
Operatic Soprano Natasha Marsh is a highly regarded classical recording artist and performer, with an impressive CV of high profile TV and live appearances. Her debut album Amour topped the classical album charts in 2007 and was nominated for the Best Album in the Classical BRIT Awards 2008.
Natasha, who lives in High Wycombe, has been a friend to Child Bereavement UK over the years and has supported several events, performing at our Christmas Celebration Concerts at Holy Trinity Brompton, the launch of the charity’s Precious Love Rose at Cliveden and at the Christmas Carol Concert at West Wycombe Church. Natasha said: “As a mother of three young children, I am incredibly aware of how important Child Bereavement UK’s work is. It is both a privilege and a pleasure to become a Patron.”
Victoria Milligan’s life was turned upside down in 2013 by a tragic speedboat accident in Cornwall. Her husband Nick and their 8 year old daughter Emily were killed, Victoria lost a leg, and the couple’s other children – Amber, then 12, Olivia, 10, and Kit, 4 – were injured. In 2014 Victoria organised The Milligan Bike Ride, pulling together a team of 125 cyclists to complete a gruelling 300 mile ride from Padstow to London, culminating in ‘Emily’s Fun Day’ in memory of her daughter. This has raised over £500,000 which has been split between RNLI and Child Bereavement UK.
Sir Michael Parkinson CBE
Sir Michael Parkinson has enjoyed an unparalleled career in journalism, radio and television. He was awarded a CBE in June 2000 and a knighthood for services to broadcasting in the 2008 New Year Honours list. Sir Michael became a Patron of the charity in 2009. Notably he was the creator and host of Child Bereavement UK’s ‘Ashes Golf Challenge’. This amazing golf tournament featured opposing Ashes cricket captains Ricky Ponting and Andrew Strauss, along with many of their cricketing team mates, battling it out for golfing supremacy. It attracted major media interest and raised over £75,000 for Child Bereavement UK. Sir Michael also made a speech to Child Bereavement UK supporters at a dinner attended by HRH Prince William at Windsor Castle.
Jill was formerly MD of Polystat Ltd and is now studying for a Diploma in Counselling. She has been involved with Child Bereavement UK from the start, when she spoke at a bereavement workshop about the death of her baby daughter Ellen. When Ellen died in 1979, no support was offered to the family, which is why Jill felt so strongly about supporting Child Bereavement UK. Jill has been a committed fundraiser, organising hugely successful balls in Henley with the help of her awesome organising committee “The Party Bags”. These events have funded many Child Bereavement UK initiatives including Ellen Poll Bursary places on a Diploma in Bereavement Counselling, the production of the book Farewell my Child, and the charity’s Family Bereavement Support Service, for which Jill is now a volunteer.
Mark Seldon FCA
Mark qualified as a chartered accountant in 1968 in Birmingham and then spent two years in Dallas Texas before returning to London. He then spent five years in industry followed by 10 years in commercial property, including acting as financial controller and Company Secretary for Wates City of London Properties plc and finance director of Arundell House Securities Limited. Since 1991, Mark has provided independent financial management support to small and medium sized businesses in a variety of different fields, including the charitable sector, the travel industry and both retail and manufacturing sectors. Mark served as a Trustee of Child Bereavement UK from 2002 to 2014.
Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL
Alan Titchmarsh, known to millions as a gardener, writer and broadcaster, has supported Child Bereavement UK in a variety of ways over several years and formally announced his Patronage of the charity in 2011. Most recently he represented the charity at a dinner at Windsor Castle hosted by HRH Prince William and gave a reading at the Christmas Celebration Concert at Holy Trinity Brompton.
Ray was invited to become a Patron of Child Bereavement UK in 2009. He and his family have received support from the charity following the sudden death of his wife Tina in 2006. Ray has spent his career in banking and is Chief Executive of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust International in London. He has two children.
Louise and Paul Woodbridge
Louise and Paul became involved with Child Bereavement UK following the death of their beloved two year old twins Betsy and William in 2004. They became patrons in 2006 and have continuously supported the charity, including organising St George’s Day Clay Pigeon Shoots and Memorial Planting Days for families at Hedgerley Park. They commissioned ‘Precious Love Rose’ for the charity in memory of their twins. Louise said: “It was Child Bereavement UK which had the lifeline to make our survival possible. We want that to be available to all families who need it.”
Antony Worrall Thompson
Having cooked up a storm for Child Bereavement UK at Jill Poll’s summer balls in Henley on Thames over many years, TV chef and restaurateur Antony has been very generous in nominating Child Bereavement UK on the two occasions he has won ‘The Weakest Link’, and when he filmed ‘Celebrity Cash in the Attic’. Antony said: “I have been a great admirer of the work of Child Bereavement UK for many years; they do fantastic work and I’m proud to be involved.”