Meet The Team
Co-Founder & Charity Manager
Sarah is the Co-Founder and Charity Manager at Peeps, and mum to Heidi, now 5 years old!
Along with her husband Steve (and thanks to the support of friends and family) she set up the charity to support others affected by HIE (hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy). The name “Peeps” actually comes from a nickname a friend gave Heidi when she was a baby, “Heidi-Peeps”. Sarah wanted a friendly feel to the charity name, and a link to Heidi, the driving force behind everything she does.
In any spare time she has, Sarah likes to blog (you can read her HIE journey here) and dream about how she would spend a lottery win (apparently the list is already quite long!).
Jade & Christian
We’re super proud to say our Ambassadors are Jade and Christian from Sign Along With Us.
Christian experienced a HIE event at birth, but despite the challenges, he has exceeded all expectations – communicating, walking and being the smiliest boy you could meet!
Jade taught Christian sign language from an early age, to help him communicate, and started to share this with others. Sign Along With Us was formed, and you may just recognise them as David Walliams’ Golden Buzzer winners from Britain’s Got Talent!
Co-Founder & Trustee
By day, Steve is a Commercial Insurance Broker – he is also Dad to Heidi, cycling enthusiast (when he finds the time), and always up for a crazy new challenge or two. Since having Heidi, he has taken part in several fundraising events for causes close to the family’s heart – the most impressive and gruelling one being the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride in 2017…960miles, 9 days on the saddle…ouch!
Chair of Trustees
This is Jen!
Jen works in Manchester as a solicitor and specialises in child brain injury work. She has worked with families affected by HIE for many years.
In her spare time, she can often be found climbing mountains or planning crazy challenging trips abroad. In 2019 she climbed Mount Toubkal in Morocco to raise money for Peeps. Most recently she climbed Kilimanjaro and despite the altitude sickness she is planning to head back to altitude again in 2021 for another trekking challenge.
Welcome to the team Jen – your adventures sound exhausting but we’ll be cheering you on!
Vicki is Head of Student Recruitment at the University of Salford. Here’s why she is involved in Peeps:
I’m Heidi’s godmother and a close friend of Sarah and Steve’s. I know when Heidi (their daughter) was first poorly, I had never heard of HIE and I watched Sarah and Steve find their way through such a challenging time with such bravery and courage. Having seen their experience first-hand, I believe firmly in the ethos of Peeps, in its intentions to spread the word about HIE and to support parents going through what Sarah and Steve went through.
Vicki is a regular parkrun volunteer which she loves doing. She says “If you have never experienced the joy of parkrun, get on the Google and find the nearest one to you. Heidi has done a fair few now and I never miss an opportunity to promote it! In my spare time, I enjoy all things parkrun, both running and volunteering and I love open water swimming too. It’s something I started doing recently and honestly, it’s amazing. It makes me feel so alive. I train with a personal trainer and enjoy a group session with fellow trustees Sarah and Anna each week. I also enjoy slightly less strenuous activities like reading and baking… hence the need for all the exercise!”
When asked to share an interesting fact about herself, Vicki’s response was “Errrrrrrrr…. let’s see, I was born on Friday the 13th, will that do?!”.
I’m Sue and am pleased to have been appointed as a Trustee for Peeps.
I retired following a fulfilling career as a Neonatal nurse (which included caring for Heidi, the little lady behind all of this, for a short while) and would like to use the skills and knowledge gained during my career to support and further the work and ethos of Peeps.
I am particularly keen to be able to work with health care professionals to raise awareness of the purpose of the charity in all stages of a family’s journey through the maze of health and social care.
My interests are fairly sedate, I enjoy gardening, knitting and sewing and am relishing my retirement.
Hannah joined our team of Trustees in May 2020 – here’s a little more from her:
“Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m very fortunate to currently be a stay-at-home mum to my two beautiful children Ethan our eldest and Evelyn our youngest. I’m married to Mike who works in Marketing.
Our first encounter with Peeps was in 2019 when Evelyn was born, she’s grade 1 HIE and very quickly after her birth our world collided with this incredible charity. A collision amidst adversity we were incredibly thankful for.
Having spent the last 15 years prior to the birth of my eldest child (now aged three) working in the third sector I feel I have a vast range of knowledge and experience that I can draw upon as a trustee to support the Peeps vision, team and legal position as a Registered Charity.
Aside from being ‘Mum’ I love to bake, in fact there have been some cake sales with proceeds raised going to Peeps, I’m sure they’ll be room for more of those alongside the charity governance. I’m looking forward to meeting you, and hearing your story over a piece of cake one day.”
Josie is Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Oldham College.
“I became involved with Peeps through my friendship with Anna (a former trustee), Sarah and Vicki –and have enjoyed/endured exercise classes and running and being “forced” into 5 and 10k runs by them. Through some of these torture sessions, and a Gin Masterclass I organised, we have managed to raise money for Peeps and other great charities linked to Sarah and Steve’s experiences of navigating the HIE world. I am so proud to be one of the original trustees and love being able to support the great work Peeps does to help others”.
Outside work Josie is Contest Secretary for the Lydgate Whit Friday Band Contest. For those of you who don’t know, brass bands are a big thing in Saddleworth. Despite being involved on the Committee she confesses to knowing very little about brass instruments and wouldn’t know her euphonium from her soprano cornet!
Other than that, Josie loves walking her dog Colin (named after the Manchester City legend Colin Bell) and occasionally sampling new gins!