Our Ambassadors

We are very fortunate to have the support of individuals from all walks of life. They have a shared passion for making a difference to the lives of those suffering trauma and loss. We are proud and extremely grateful to be working with such kind and empathetic friends and we thank you all

 

 

Greg Wise

We are thrilled to welcome Greg Wise, Actor, Author and Producer, as our Ambassador.  Greg has been an active supporter of our charity for a number of years and we are priviledged to have him on board.  Greg played the role of John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, which also starred Emma Thompson, whom he later married.  Greg’s sister Claire, sadly died of cancer in 2017 and he took over her blog when she was too sick to write and has since published her words into a book ‘Not That Kind of Love’.  Each year during National Grief Awareness Week, Greg helps us launch our event and talks passionately about the need to connect with others who are grieving, talk about our emotions and normalise grief.

Lee Pycroft

Lee Pycroft, make up artist is a highly regarded name in the beauty industry. She has worked with A-list celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Elle Macpherson and Laura Dern and her editorial work has extended to Glamour, Tatler and Marie Claire. and heads up the make up team for Britain’s Next Top Model.

Lee founded and runs a groundbreaking initiative called MY-Makeover that uses beauty and makeup as a form of self-care to help boost self esteem and emotional wellbeing in vulnerable sectors of society.

Denise Parkinson

Denise is Entertainment Director Global and UK at Telegraph Media Group. She is responsible for the entertainment sector; creating the strategy for revenue and reach. Her work also includes producing and developing entertainment partnerships, revenue growth, exclusive content and leading new products to market both in the UK and internationally.

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is Family Support Counselling Lead at the Fountain Centre. She offer one to one counselling for children and young people under the age of 18, as well as guidance and support for parents when counselling might not be appropriate. Julie also offers support for teachers and other healthcare professionals.“I love working with children and young people. They tell it like it is. If they don’t think it is working they soon let you know! I have lots of ideas for projects that the children and families can be involved in, and believe if we can work with young people early enough, the impact of cancer on their young lives doesn’t have to be a negative one. At the moment there is very little provision for children affected by cancer, and I think this will fill a vital gap in the excellent service already provided”.

Debbie Flint

Author & QVC Presenter

“There’s a lot of people suffering out there….think about the umbrella group, you’ve got the resources there that if somebody is actually bereaved they can find exactly the type of help that they need in that moment.”

Simon Sanderson

Simon has had a successful career in hospitality over the past 30 years, working with many of the key high street brands. In his current role he is busy travelling the UK as Operations Manager at YO! Sushi.

"I am passionate about people and love to see them develop while working alongside me. I am a massive supporter of The Good Grief Trust and extremely happy to join the team".

Simon has a true empathy for those suffering from grief and we are sure he will be an incredible support to us at GGT. We're extremely grateful to you for offering your time and expertise.

Dr Julie Alexander Cooper

Julie Alexander Cooper
PhD, MSc, Dip. L.C., Cert. L.C., Fryog, YMCA, MBBO, MBASES, MASO.
Julie is a highly respected and qualified health and weight management scientist, who has been actively involved in exercise, health and nutrition for over 18 years
She has helped many individuals reach their goals with programmes that are holistic and take into consideration each persons wellbeing and lifestyle and has been invited to present at several national and international conferences,

Charlotte Broadbent

Charlotte is a professional, qualified Personal Stylist, helping people to look their best to be their best through styling, colour consultations, body shape analysis and personal shopping. Former HELLO! Magazine Fashion & Beauty Director she works with corporate clients and luxury brands such as Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein and works closely with women and men across London, offering effective Personal Styling specialist advice, linking in with preferred partners.

Tommy Blaize

As lead singer of the BBC Strictly Come Dancing band, Tommy’s powerful yet sensitive performances have helped create some of the most memorable TV moments of recent times.  Singing live to a live audience every week, Tommy is the man with the golden pipes whose unique, soulful sound is etched in the public consciousness.

Tommy began his singing career at the tender age of nine with ‘The Blaize Brothers’ alongside siblings Tony and Darrin, where he first learnt to sing in front of a live audience, playing in clubs across the North-West of England for 6 years in the 1970s.

Tommy met Linda, our Founder at a fundraising event, shortly after the death of his father and it was then that he offered to help The Good Grief Trust in our work.

Catherine Huntley

Catherine is a television presenter on QVC, the shopping channel.  With a lust for learning Catherine has earned several certificates in beauty, is handy with a power tool and is currently learning sign language. Passionate about compassion, she is an advocate for mental health awareness and is an animal-loving vegan. A producer once summed Catherine up by saying, “if you cut Catherine open butterflies would fly out”. In short, she’s nice and she loves love.

Linda and Catherine worked together at QVC and it was there that Linda learnt that Catherine had sadly experienced the death of her brother, who took his own life when she was very young.  Her personal understanding of grief and empathy for others will be a huge asset to our charity.

George Armstrong

George was a child actor in the BBC iconic series, Grange Hill, playing Alan Humphries.  He and Linda worked together as children in 1978, as she played George’s girlfriend Susi McMahon.  He then continued his success in television playing Alan in the spin off series, Tucker’s Luck, with our Patron Todd Carty.  George went on to have a successful career working as a lighting designer at Italia Conti Academy of Arts and a theatre technician at a public school.

George has lost both his parents and is passionate to help others through their grief. He is currently supporting Good Grief with sound business advice and his valuable editing skills.

Miceal Murphy

Miceal Murphy is most well known for his work as a much loved presenter on QVC.  Miceal joined our team as Ambassador, after working with Linda, (our Founder), in their time together at the shopping channel, when she was guest presenter. Miceal sadly lost his brother to a heart attack and is keen to support our work and ensure we raise awareness of the importance of reaching out to help others.  He often posts about his mother and his own health challenges after the death of his brother, when he discovered he had a heart condition.  We thank Miceal for his passion for our charity and we look forward to working together.

Lydia Baker Bereavement Midwife

Luke was born in Hull and has two sons with his wife Lynsey. His boxing heritage goes back with his grandfather been an Irish boxing champion. Many of his relatives still live in Ireland.

In 2017, two weeks before Luke fought for the WBA and ring lightweight titles in America, his father sadly died, suddenly back at home in England. Luke didn’t tell anyone as he didn’t want it to affect such an important fight.   Speaking on this Luke said “I probably cried once a day. I had to try and shut my feelings off. After the fight I had a good cry. The only thing that kept me going is I know what my dad would have wanted for me.”

Luke is now ready to talk about his grief and he is passionate to help The Good Grief Trust in our work.  He will be opening a new gym in Hull in 2021 and we will be collaborating on a new initiative to support men’s grief through our Pop Up Cafes.

 

Jules Lewis

Jules Lewis is Lead Nurse, Swan/End of Life Care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust and is passionate to help improve EOLC and bereavement support for all her families.

Jules will be working closely with our Project Lead on the distribution of our Good Grief cards across all UK NHS Hospital Trusts.

She will help us to work with each EOL and Bereavement team across the UK, to ensure all staff are aware of the benefits of this one central signposting resource and that we plug the gaps that currently exist in the provision of early signposting for the bereaved.

Dr. Steve Marshall

Steve is based at King’s College NHS Trust.  As a clinical academic, Steve’s role combines research and teaching with clinical practice as a social worker in palliative care.

Steve is currently Co-Principal Investigator and lead researcher on a Marie Curie funded research project exploring the needs of children facing the death of a parent, known as the Supporting Children and Young People (SCYP) Project.

Steve’s research interests include the impact of life-limiting illness on the whole family; paediatric palliative care; the financial burden of illness; providing appropriate end-of-life care to the LGBT+ community; and improving pre-and post bereavement support.  His experience working with bereaved families within his Trust is invaluable to our work.

Mark Baxter

Mark Baxter played Duane Orpington in the BBC Children’s series Grange Hill between 1980-1984. He was a successful actor for many years including working in theatre as Oliver in the West End.  Our Founder Linda and Mark worked together as child actors and met up again for our GH 40th Anniversary events.

Mark has become a brilliant member of our team.  His passion to help others is infectious and he has supported all our fundraising events, building a network of new supporters through the Grange Hill fan base and Reunions.  Sadly Mark’s brother recently died and his experience of end of life care and bereavement support will be invaluable to us going forward.

 

Suzy Pelta

Suzy has sadly lost both her parents; In the aftermath of my bereavements, I searched online for support and help, (and just to feel like I wasn’t alone) and came across The Good Grief Trust. The real life stories and quotes were incredibly comforting and helped me to feel like everything I was feeling was absolutely normal.  I truly believe that the work that The Good Grief Trust does is so important to help those of us experiencing grief to experience it within a community of people who truly understand.

I am delighted to become an Ambassador for The Good Grief Trust. I love the Pop Up Cafe idea and I’m a big believer in the power of a cuppa and a slice of something sweet to help people open up, talk and share experiences.

 

Denise Waterman

Denise is part of the original pop group Tight Fit.  She had a No. 1 single with a cover version of The Lion Sleeps tonight and a top 5 hit with “Fantasy Island” in 1982. The band re-formed in 2010.  Denise has experienced the death of both her brother and more recently her father in 2020.  She is a key member of our team at GGT, always enthusiastic about bringing people together, hosting events, and raising much needed funds.  Her brilliant acting skills have supported our National Grief Awareness week stories, with the production of videos to share others stories through drama, during the campaign.

Dr. Amir Khan

We are proud to have the support of our new Ambassador Dr. Amir Khan.

Dr. Khan says; ‘In my practice in Bradford usually sends out condolence cards to the families of our patients who have sadly died.

After receiving a batch of cards from The Good Grief Trust, we began inserting them inside each condolence card.  The feedback was almost immediate, patients who had said they felt lost now felt as though where to go and who to speak with in regards to their feelings. They felt better supported and this has had a direct impact on their overall mental health which in turn, will have a positive impact on the work we do in the community’

 

Dr Nighat Arif

We are thrilled to welcome our new Ambassador, Dr. Nighat Arif, who is regularly seen giving sound advice on BBC Breakfast.

“In the pandemic so many patients have lost loved ones and families have been devastated. The ‘normal’ grief process has been the most difficult thing under lockdown. I have sent condolences cards with The Good Grief cards for my patients. This signposting has prompted them to consider contacting someone for support with their grief. No one should have to grieve alone. I fully endorse that the GP practices should add the Good Grief URL to their text facilities as another way of reaching the bereaved and supporting the mental health of our community”

 

Dr. Hannah Barham Brown

Dr Hannah Barham Brown is Deputy Leader of Women’s Equality Party, junior doctor, speaker, media commentator, blogger and social media stalwart. Her interests in include charity work, disability rights, medical ethics and law. 

Thankyou to Hannah for your passion for our vision and the need to reach out to all communities to offer early signposting to bereavement support.

Katie Shalka

Katie Shalka is our Young Ambassador and has been supporting our charity for almost 3 years.  She has performed in two musical theatre shows, directing and devising a fundraising evening for us at Southwark Theatre, with many of her West End friends.

We are grateful for Katie’s input and support, and know that her personal experience of losing her dad when she was only 15 years old will be a huge asset to our charity and those she supports.

Honor Morrison

Honor is one of our Young Ambassadors. Her father died when she was 15yrs old and she has been helping us guide young people through their grief since we launched our website. Honor has designed our Young People’s page and co-hosts our 18-24yr old Virtual Good Grief Cafes. These online meet ups have been running throughout Covid19 lockdown and have been invaluable to her age group.

Honor was pivotal in launching our Pop Up Cafes at Nottingham Trent University, both for staff and students in 2019.  She will now be embarking on a research project commissioned by us in collaboration with Pastoral and Chaplaincy teams let by Notts Trent and a number of other universities. The project will focus on developing a new bereavement policy to support students, with a view to rolling out the initiative to all UK universities.

 

Georgia Newman

Georgia is a new member of our team and currently co-hosts our 18-24yr old Virtual Good Grief Cafes. These online meet ups have been running throughout Covid19 lockdown and have been invaluable to her age group.

Georgia’s brother sadly died in 2019 and she was a student at LSE at the time.  She is now working with us to help improve bereavement support for students across the UK.  She will now be embarking on a research project commissioned by us in collaboration with Pastoral and Chaplaincy teams let by Notts Trent and a number of other universities. The project will focus on developing a new bereavement policy to support students, with a view to rolling out the initiative to all UK universities.

Georgia is also helping us to raise awareness of the support needed within the LGBTQ community for those who are grieving and she is organising an event planned to take place during NGAW20.

Luke Campbell MBE

Luke was born in Hull and has two sons with his wife Lynsey. His boxing heritage goes back with his grandfather been an Irish boxing champion. Many of his relatives still live in Ireland.

In 2017, two weeks before Luke fought for the WBA and ring lightweight titles in America, his father sadly died, suddenly back at home in England. Luke didn’t tell anyone as he didn’t want it to affect such an important fight.   Speaking on this Luke said “I probably cried once a day. I had to try and shut my feelings off. After the fight I had a good cry. The only thing that kept me going is I know what my dad would have wanted for me.”

Luke is now ready to talk about his grief and he is passionate to help The Good Grief Trust in our work.  He will be opening a new gym in Hull in 2021 and we will be collaborating on a new initiative to support men’s grief through our Pop Up Cafes.

Mike Pollard

Mike Pollard, 36 from Kent.

Bereaved Dad of 3 Boys, Harrison & Jake, Zach.

I founded the Sands United FC Kent football team, as an aim to help other bereaved Dads, to get more support than they were currently getting and to help break the silence around Babyloss. 3 years along the line and we now help over 50 Dads from all around Kent and continue to grow. We spread awareness everywhere we go.

In 2009 I lost my mother to a cruel long-suffering illness, which has also shaped the way I now see life. To lose her at the age of 23, but to also care for her from around 13 years old, meant I had to grow up quickly and deal with the grief this brings.

I hope to be able to help more men speak out about their grief and break the silence around this.

Connel Reid

Connel Reid

Connel is an Arts graduate who worked in special education before pursuing a career in the Metropolitan police, where he is currently a custody sergeant. He enjoys helping others and finding creative solutions to complex issues. When his daughter Thea died unexpectedly, Connel became aware of the difficulties many face when returning to work, he helped build a new support group (MPS Bereavement Support Group) Since then he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and improve the provision for colleagues experiencing loss, significantly increasing the membership and choice of resources available to the group. Working in partnership with the GGT, he established coffee meets for people who worked within the emergency services. Connel is a member of Sands Charity, Kent, and helps to promote and facilitate support for men dealing with still birth and baby loss. He is currently working to improve the options and flexibility compassionate leave.

Huge thanks to our Ambassadors for supporting our events