Emma Marston, Director – Works 30 hours a week, usually Monday to Thursday
“When I was a young person my best friend died. It was a devastating experience but motivated me to join Families in Grief. I was particularly driven to help young people and so created the group Teens in Grief in 2013. It’s incredibly heart-warming to see the positive difference our support makes. I am proud to say that we now help many more bereaved children and their families feel better and less alone than when I first started in 2012.
My job is very rewarding but tough at times, and so I do lots of sea swimming and running to unwind!”
Abi Mandeville, Family Service Coordinator – Works 20 hours a week, usually Monday to Wednesday
“Supporting young people is my passion. Life can be particularly hard for teenagers, and so experiencing a death on top of the other challenges they face can be overwhelming. When the job at FiG was advertised I was working with young adult carers for another charity. FiG has a great reputation for the support they offer and they were in a position to grow as a service which I found really exciting. Having had a bereavement as a teenager I feel strongly about helping young people to build resilience and thrive despite any challenges that they have to overcome.”
Rebecca Symonds – Family Service Coordinator – Works 20 hours a week, usually Wednesday to Friday
“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.”
Clare Maynard – Combined Administration & Communications Officer – Works 30 hours a week, usually Tuesday to Friday
“I started out as the marketing volunteer for FiG and now I’m a member of staff – it’s fantastic! 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.”
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 now work as a specialist nurse in palliative care at North Devon Hospice; which means I have seen first-hand how valuable FiG is to our bereaved families. These last couple of years have been hard work but also so wonderful. I have immensely enjoyed helping FiG to grow and 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.”
Making an online donation to Families in Grief couldn’t be simpler. Please help us be there for grieving families.