Meet the Trustees
The Friends and Families Trustees are a team of professionals that come from a range of backgrounds including Social Work, Youth Work, Counselling, Law, Finance and Corporate Hospitality. Alongside the Trustees are partners from Health, Education, Social Care and the Voluntary sector who help to ensure that we offer a multidisciplinary approach and a broad range of services.
Chair of Trustees
Much of my working life has been spent in Social Care, Training and Employment and running my own businesses. I gained a Post Graduate Business Degree at Plymouth University. I am married to Michael and have four children, one of who is profoundly disabled and requires full care. I am a founder member of Friends and Families and have been involved in campaigning, developing and shaping national and locally strategy and provision for families with disabled children.
I am a Chartered Surveyor with over 23 years’ experience in commercial property. My career has encompassed roles in both private and public sectors in the south west and across southern England. I returned to my hometown of Plymouth in 2004 and after working for local practices, I am now the Manager of the Bruton Knowles Plymouth office.
I was educated at Plymouth College and subsequently the University of Glamorgan. I am a former Chairman of Plymouth Round Table and still involved. I enjoy playing cricket and racket sports. Sadly widowed, I have a grown up son.
I was proud to become a Trustee of Friends and Families in April 2019. I am a Partner in local law firm Gard & Co and practice family law and have done since I qualified. I have two young boys so in my spare time we like to explore and swim as much as we can……hunting for dragons is always a winner!
I have over 25 years’ experience working within law enforcement. I have spent the majority of my service within investigative roles and have significant experience of leading safeguarding enquiries and working within safeguarding partnerships across the South West.
I was born in Plymouth and following a period travelling with my father’s work, returned to the city and attended Plympton Grammar School. After studying for A levels I attended Essex University and gained a degree in Economics and Government. I then spent a short spell working within the licensed trade before returning once again to work in Plymouth.
My wife Gill and I have three sons, aged 12 to 18. In my youth I was a keen racing cyclist, but now restrict myself to more leisurely bike rides both on and off road. I also enjoy watching my beloved Plymouth Argyle and listening to live music. I also have a particular affection for strong coffee.
My eldest son has cerebral palsy and he, and indeed the whole family, has benefited greatly from participating in the range of activities available through Friends and Families.
I’m a mum of 4 gorgeous boys, married to an amazing man called Leigh and we live in Plympton with our beautiful family, and an array of pets too.
Originally from Brighton, I joined the Navy just after leaving school and trained to be a Chef and met my husband onboard my first ship.
Our boys are all incredible in their own individual ways. We allow them to be their true selves, and we embrace every challenge that gets thrown at us.
Having 2 boys with additional needs hasn’t always been easy, but we endeavour to fight for what they need, and for what the other 2 boys need, to ensure they have a well-balanced life, with experiences and memories they will treasure for a lifetime. Friends and Families helps us with that which is why I want to give something back and I was thrilled to be asked to be a Trustee.
I am self-employed and love reading and swimming.