National children's charity WellChild is able to provide experienced spokespeople, comment and access to powerful human interest stories on subjects related to the needs of children and young people with serious and complex health needs in the UK.
For all media enquiries, including comment and spokesperson requests, please contact:
Matt James, Director of Communications and Engagement
Office Telephone: 01242 530007
Chris Hill, Communications and Publications Officer
Office Telephone: 01242 530007
WellChild is the national charity helping children with serious health needs to thrive – at home with their families, instead of hospital.
More than 100,000 children and young people are living across the UK with serious and complex health conditions. Many spend months, even years in hospital simply because there is no support enabling them to leave. Meanwhile those who are at home are constantly challenged by inconsistent and inadequate levels of support.
Through a nationwide network of children’s nurses, home and garden transformation projects and family support services, WellChild exists to give this growing population of children and young people the best chance to thrive – properly supported at home, together with their families.
- WellChild is privileged to have The Duke of Sussex as its Patron.
- WellChild has over 40 specialist WellChild Nurses working in leading children’s hospitals and communities in every country of the UK.
- Last year, WellChild Nurses supported over 2,300 children, young people and families.
- Last year, through its Helping Hands programme, WellChild volunteers transformed 37 bedroom and gardens into safe, accessible and sensory spaces for children living at home with serious health needs.
- Over 1,200 families are connected for mutual support and friendship through the WellChild Family Tree online network and family events.
- The annual WellChild Awards, regularly attended by HRH The Duke of Sussex and a host of celebrity guests, helps the charity shine a light on the needs of children and young people with serious health conditions.
- With less than 2% of income coming from statutory sources, WellChild is wholly reliant on the fundraising support of individuals and organisations.
Colin Dyer, Chief Executive
Colin was appointed Chief Executive of WellChild in 2010. Prior to joining WellChild, Colin spent five years heading up the Steve Redgrave Trust, a charity providing inclusion opportunities for young people across the UK. Colin is passionate about ensuring that children and young people have access to the best possible opportunities. One of his proudest achievements has been leading on a change in direction at WellChild from grant funding to the direct, practical support programmes, which are now proving so vital for thousands of families every year.
Tara Parker, Director of Programmes
Tara is a registered paediatric nurse with extensive experience across the UK. Her career in paediatrics has spanned both acute and community sectors and she has held senior positions within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS Acute and Community Trusts. Tara has specialised in commissioning of care for children with complex health needs and disabilities. Her move to WellChild will enable her to continue the important work of championing the rights of some of the most vulnerable children and young people and their families in the UK. Tara is mother to two children, one of whom who has complex needs and this has enabled her to gain a unique insight to both the lived experience and the professional challenges.
Matt James, Director of Communications and Engagement.
Matt joined WellChild in 2015 following over ten years in the technology industry. Matt leads the communications and engagement teams at WellChild, ensuring that the charity continues to punch above its weight in getting the issues faced by thousands of families across the UK firmly in the public eye. He has a keen interest in the transformative potential of digital technology for social good and was recently instrumental in kick starting a Comic Relief funded project into the development of a mobile app to help parents manage their child’s complex medicine requirements.
WellChild Parent Ambassadors and WellChild Nurses across the UK are also able to provide unique, powerful and expert insight into the needs of families and the reality of life caring for a child with serious health needs.