Meet the Trustees

The Friends and Families of Special Children 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.

Kay O’Shaughnessy

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 of Special Children and have been involved in campaigning, developing and shaping national and locally strategy and provision for families with disabled children.

Jonathon Morcom


I was born and educated in Plymouth. I am a Director of Eventwest, a Company running Plymouth’s closed road running events, Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon, 5k and 10k, Great South West Sportive and the Devon Business show. For 18 years I was the joint owner and Director of The Duke of Cornwall Hotel, previously I set up from its Inception a 24 bed-roomed hotel in Wells Somerset, Food and Beverages Manager at Plymouth Pavilions and The Royal Western Yacht Club before the Management Buy Out of the DOCH in 2001. I am married with two sons and I have been involved with the charity since its launch and engage with fundraising and organising social events as much as possible.

Ashleigh Phillips


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.

Amanda Lyons


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!

Steve Parker


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.

Gwen James


Born and educated in the Plymouth area and although I have mostly lived here, I also spent some time living in Cumbria and Portsmouth. Married with 3 children, 3 grandchildren and two dogs. My background is in Banking where I worked in a wide variety of roles for more than 30 years.

Following redundancy, I had 18 months spending more time with my family before returning to work in a part time PA role. During this time, I was also able to become closer to the FAF charity helping in a small way with fund raising. Delighted to have been asked to become a Trustee and hope that I can bring my organisational skills and enthusiasm to good use.