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Gloucestershire Business News

Four key appointments made by Cheltenham-based national charity

A national charity that supports seriously ill children has made two appointments to its management team.

Cheltenham-based WellChild have also added two new parent trustees to its network that offers support for children with complex needs and their families across the country.

Tara Parker has been appointed to the role of director of programmes. She will be in charge of the work WellChild do to improve the lives of children and their families.

Emily Henderson (left) and Tara Park have been appointed as directors of WellChild

Ms Parker will have responsibility for the charity's network of WellChild Nurses as well as looking after their Helping Hands and Better at Home programme.

A registered paediatric nurse, Ms Parker has worked in both acute and community sectors and held senior positions within Clinical Commissioning Groups.


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Her move to WellCheld will enable her to continue championing the rights of some of the most vulnerable children and young people, and their families.

A mother of two children, one of whom has complex needs, Ms Parker has gained a unique insight to both the lived experience and professional challenges.

Emily Henderson has joined as the new director of operations, a role that will see her put in charge of making sure the charity runs smoothly.

Ms Henderson has experience in business management and operational riles across various sectors, concentrating on the health, social care and charity sectors.

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: "We are delighted to welcome our new directors and trustees.

"They will bring a strong combination of lived experience and professional expertise to the leadership team and will be a huge asset in our work towards our vision to

WellChild's two new trustees are both parents with children with complex needs, helping to further strengthen the voice of parents in the leadership of the organisation.

Leanne Cooper is mum to three daughters, Erica, Sophie and Kyla. Sophie has cerebral palsy and multiple complex needs.

As a WellChild Parent Ambassador and campaigner, she has spoken at many conferences and events, sharing her experiences caring for her daughter and her passion for making a positive change to services and helping raise awareness of WellChild's work.

With four children, including Fraser who has Cerebral Palsy and a large amount of daily care needs, Craig Hatch has first-hand experience of the challenges facing families caring for a child with complex health needs.

As a WellChild Parent Ambassador, Craig has spoken about his experiences at a number of conferences and events shining a light on the reality of life behind closed doors for thousands of families.

He is Group Managing Director at global professional services firm, WYG Group. He is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of both the RICS and CIOB.

WellChild provides essential and practical support to ensure that the increasing number of seriously ill children and young people in the UK have the best chance to thrive - properly supported at home with their families.

The charity provides a team of WellChild Nurses who work with families to ensure that children with complex care needs can leave hospital and return home.

Through its Helping Hands scheme, WellChild enlists the support of volunteers to tackle practical projects in the homes of sick children.

In addition, the charity has invested more than £20 million in ground-breaking children's health research projects.

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