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The FiG Team

Nice to meet you!

The team is made up of five part-time members of staff, all of whom have direct experience of bereavement. The team is ably supported by a  growing group of FiG volunteers drawn from a range of professional backgrounds.

You can contact us by calling 01271 447960 (Mon to Friday, 9 to 5) – if you leave a message we will always come back to you.  Alternatively, please email [email protected] and we will  be back in touch.

Prefer to meet in person?  You can find us at Families in Grief, Castle Lodge, North Walk, Barnstaple EX31 1DF.  We hope to see you soon!

New CEO of FiG, Naomi Jefferies

Naomi Jefferies, CEO of Families in Grief

“I am a trained organisational and occupational psychologist and have worked with a range of NHS teams. I am also a qualified teacher and SENDCO with many years experience of working with children, young people and their families in schools across North Devon. I have personal experience of how the death of someone you love can have a profound effect on every aspect of your life as I lost my twin sister to cancer at the age of 28.

It is such a privilege to lead the FiG team and volunteers into the next chapter of our exciting story and to continue to develop our services, providing vital support to bereaved families when they are at their most vulnerable. We will all experience grief at some point of our lives and having the right people to support and understand you is an important part of processing and moving forward.”

Naomi works 30 hours a week, usually Monday to Thursday.

Rebecca Symonds, Family Support Officer

“I have been married to Michael for 27 years and have two grown up boys. And a crazy 2 year old springer spaniel called Kobe!  I first became aware of FiG in the summer of 2006 when it was in its infancy. My parents hosted one of the first-ever fundraisers in their pub in High Bickington. At the time my mum was  very ill with cancer and sadly died within weeks of the event.

As a family we were immediately supported by Sue Williamson, a founding member, who lived in the village. After some time had passed, I attended a group with my children and I was blown away by the impact it had on all of us. So when I was asked if I’d like to come on board, I jumped at the chance.  I took a break after my father died in 2016 but have always tried to keep up to date with any FIG news.  I am very happy to be joining this amazing team, and to be supporting bereaved families again.”

Bec works 25 hours a week, usually Monday to Thursday.

Etelka Moon

Etelka Moon, Family Support Officer

“I am a qualified counsellor, specialising in trauma and neuro diversity within children and young people.  I have extensive experience within the safeguarding of young people and have worked pastorally in a variety of settings, including primary and secondary schools for over 15 years.

I understand the emotional impact of having someone you love die, both as an adult and as a child. As I child, I experienced the death of a close friend at a young age and then my grandfather, who was my main carer, as a teenager. Having been a child in care, I have lived experience of the care system and the complexities of trauma that can be associated with this. My aim is to provide the compassionate service for young people that I so desperately needed myself as a child.

It is such a privilege to be in the role of Family Support Officer and to be alongside the young people and families who request support from us here at FIG.”

Etelka works 25 hours a week, usually Monday to Thursday.

 

Jo Bradford, FiG Administrator & Volunteer Coordinator

“I am a mum to two super girls, two guinea pigs and six crazy chickens and am still a ‘grockle’ having only lived in North Devon for three years. I hope, one day, to be accepted as a local, as I truly feel I’m where I was always meant to be.

As I wrote on my application for this role, I am unnecessarily excited to be working for FiG and really glad that I can bring my 20ish years’ of administration experience to working for such an important charity. From my own personal experience of trying to help my children through a family bereavement that had a significant and long-lasting impact on them, I am aware of how little support is available and therefore, how vital the support of FiG is to families. I wish that there had been a service like this to help me and my family and feel so privileged to now be able to contribute to helping others who are grieving.”

Jo works 22.5 hours a week, usually Monday to Thursday, 9.30 to 2.30

Clare Maynard, Comms & Fundraising

“My background is in communications and working with corporate charitable foundations.

FiG means a lot to me as I was bereaved as a child (back in the Middle Ages!) and at that time, there was no bereavement support available – it just wasn’t thought about.  I can see how the right help at the right time can make a huge difference when you’re young and struggling with grief. So, I’m particularly proud to work for a charity that sets about being a true friend to grieving families when they need it most.”

Clare works 22.5 hours a week, usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Tracey Elliott, Chair of Trustees

“I became Chair of Trustees in December 2020 after volunteering for Families in Grief for a few years, mainly with the Teens group and Parents group. I have worked in my day job with teenagers for many years, firstly as a youth worker in my early 20’s and then as a nurse on a teenage cancer unit in London.

I moved to Devon in 2008 and worked as a specialist nurse in palliative care at North Devon Hospice;  in my 14 years there, I saw first-hand how valuable FiG is to bereaved families.  Through my role as Chair, I have absolutely loved helping FiG grow from strength to strength.  I have loved working with the wonderful staff and volunteer team who – through dedication, hard work and buckets of care – give much needed support to bereaved families. I am so proud to be a part of FiG.”