Stay in the sun when the sunshine is gone, and you will find that the sunshine lives within you.

TEAM SUNFLOWERS

 

At Sunflowers we have an awesome team who work tirelessly to ensure that the Charity runs smoothly and meets the needs of many people. Each individual team member is dedicated to our cause and commited to reducing the number of suicides in our community. When you become part of Team Sunflowers, you become part of the family.

PETE'S FAMILY

Andy Morris

Grief Recovery Specialist & Bereavement Group Team Leader

ANDY MORRIS is Pete's Dad and has the following words:  "What can I say……… I know that my life has been so blessed and that I am so fortunate. For me my family is my treasure and is so precious to me. We are all individual but so intertwined that to be without one of us is so strange.  September 2016 was a catastrophic disaster like a massive volcanic explosion that shattered my life, feelings, emotions and spirit into millions of bits never to be as it was again. The whole foundation of my life was ripped from under me, leaving a state of numbness, disbelief, shock, grief and a life in unimaginable pain and heartache, that I felt I could not walk this path before me. The immense waves of darkness that engulf and cover like a heavy blanket being thrown over you, dragging you down into deep despair and anguish. This for me has been the experience of suicide first hand since Pete took his own life.  To walk one day at a time, try to move forward and continue, has been an effort that without my faith in a loving God and saviour would have been pretty near impossible, and without the love of friends and family, some of whom I call God with skin on! I will never believe what has happened to us an ordinary family, it will always walk with me like a little buddy on my shoulder. But trust and hope that life will go on !  Bex and I have trained in the Grief Recovery Method to try and help others, as well as ourselves to cope with loss.   Abbie and Emily have trained in ASIST to deliver courses on suicide intervention.  So a journey that none of us had imagined or would have wanted has started".

Wendy Morris

Finance Officer &

Bereavement Group Team Leader

WENDY MORRIS is Pete's mum and has the following words;   "Where do l begin? If l had been writing this pre September 2016 you would have had a run down of some of the things l have done in my life, my family and things that l am interested in, but my life completely changed in one day in September, the life l had, and the person l was, were subjected to what l can only describe as a catastrophic earthquake.  Sadly other people reading this may also know the devastation that suicide brings to those left. The loss absolutely engulfs every aspect of your life physically, mentally,  emotionally, and  spiritually. Managing  your emotions, anxieties and your thought life can be exhausting and a constant battle.   Slowly l am rebuilding  my life, l am not and never will be the same as before. At first you take a minute, then an hour at a time. The support of other people has been vital. Despite what the news sometimes portrays, people can be so kind, little do they know, they are part of the move to dismiss the stigma that surrounds suicide. When people aren't afraid to face me, even if they don't know what to say, they really don't know how much, that adds a brick to my self confidence.   l was thinking at this moment l would apologise that my writing may seem a little "heavy" but l won't as this is the reality of suicide in my life".   Wendy and Andy were foster carers whilst their children were small. Wendy then went on to work as a project co-ordinator for PATA prior to training as a Social Worker. She worked in this role for nearly 20 years in various professional settings. After Pete died she decided that she felt unable to return to this role. Wendy works incredibly hard behind the scenes for Sunflowers. Without her - we would not be able to run. From packing Christmas cards, to delivering, from supporting the fundraisers to giving her personal advice and experiences. Wendy also oversees the finances to ensure that the books are kept diligently which ensures the charity runs smoothly.

 

Diploma in Social Work

PABBS (Suicide Bereavement Training, 2018

Rebecca Mapp

Co-Founder, Grief Recovery Specialist & Volunteer Chair Person

REBECCA MAPP is Pete's eldest sister and Co-founder of Sunflowers and for this reason has first hand experience of the impact of suicide on everyone involved. She has come to realise that there is no 'quick fix' to grief, and it's so important to learn acceptance of feelings on a daily basis.   After the death of Pete, Rebecca received counselling through her job which she felt was beneficial in helping her. She has also privately funded and attended a sibling bereavement weekend through a national charity. Her children have attended Touchstones bereavement courses and have really benefitted from the work they have done together.   Rebecca feels that counselling can offer vital support when dealing with traumatic grief. But truly believes that support should always be offered from a qualified, specialised counsellor or resource. We are all individual and have very different coping mechanisms. Our aim to to support you on your journey and help signpost you to access the correct services for you if required.  Rebecca is a mum to three young boys. She has worked as a sexual health nurse, and health adviser for the last 10 years. She currently works as a health advisor lead within the NHS.  Prior to working in sexual health, Rebecca worked as a midwife and trauma nurse. She has attended various counselling courses in her professional career.  Both professional and life experience have given rebecca skills and knowledge to signpost others to gain the support required with loss by suicide.   Rebecca will be managing the support after loss for the charity. She is a Grief Recovery specialist.  This is not counselling or therapy, it is an education programme to learn skills to cope with loss. Rebecca has found this training extremely beneficial for her own grief and is incredbly enthusiastic that is can be used to help others learn to live with their loss.

 

Dip HE Adult Nursing

BSC Hons Midwifery

Certificate in Leadership

Certificate in Sexual Health and Contraception

Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, November 2017

PABBS (Suicide Bereavement Training, 2018

Abbie Warren

Founder, Charity Manager &

ASIST Trainer

ABBIE WARREN set up the Sunflowers charity and is Pete’s sister, so is fully aware of the traumatic impact suicide loss has.   She says; "after the death of Pete our world fell apart! It has been a confusing, unbelievable and very dark time. I developed anxiety and panic attacks - something I had not experienced before. I could not sleep - but was exhausted. I felt like the earth was falling from beneath my feet with no way to reach one another - or ourselves. We have been incredibly blessed with the support we have recieved from friends. They are like the beacons lighting up our darkness. Sitting with us, not afraid if we cry and not scared of how low we may be feeling.  I have attended professional counselling privately which has been extremely beneficial in helping me learn to live with my loss. Admitting that I needed help took a lot. My pride took a hit - but I am so glad that I reached out and found a very qualified and experienced Psychotherapist to work through the trauma and images I was suffering from. I have also privately funded and attended a sibling bereavement weekend through a national charity which enabled me to meet with others experiencing this deep grief. Setting up the Storms walks has been very pivital in me learning to cope. I find getting outdoors with others and walking in nature very theraputic. It has really helped me. I feel more support is needed for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, both to help work through the grief, but also the trauma".  Abbie originally qualified with a LL.B in Law. After finishing her degree she went on to work in various professional settings until having her two children. Abbie also worked for a time as a Youth Development Worker at The Door Youth Project in Stroud, before retraining in NEBOSH Health and Safety.    ​Abbie regularly attends the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum, working with other organisations to make our community suicide safer. She is qualified as a Living Works ASIST trainer to deliver workshops that will enable others to identify suicidal indicators and give them the skills to respond.

 

LL B Law

Youth Work

NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety, 2012

British Gymnastics, Child Safeguarding Training

Qualified ASIST (T4T) Master Trainer, November 2017

TRUSTEE BOARD

Prof. Harvey Sagar

Chair of Trustees

HARVEY SAGAR had a long career as a consultant neurologist and Professor of Clinical Neurology.  As a result, he has an understanding of the workings of hospital practice and the National Health Service. His specialisation in behavioural neurology, which includes changes in mood, personality and cognition resulting from brain disease, gave him an understanding of and sympathy for mental health disorders.

 

Harvey has his own personal experience of bereavement from suicide when his daughter took her own life five years ago. 

 

Harvey says, “I have a deep understanding of the personal trauma resulting from the loss of a loved one through suicide and the complex mixture of emotional reactions experienced, including grief, guilt, anger and simply how such an outcome could have been avoided.  One of my personal ways to deal with the aftermath was to write a collection of poetry, which I have self-published under the title Lines to the Lost.  If any of these poems help people in a similar situation, I would feel fulfilled.  Although the effects of bereavement from suicide never completely resolve, it is possible to readjust and the support of organisations such as Sunflowers is invaluable.”

“I feel passionate, not only about offering such support, but also to find ways to intervene and prevent suicide amongst those identified as being vulnerable and at risk.”

 

His previous charity experience includes being a Trustee and Member of Council of the Parkinson’s Disease Society UK, and volunteer at Citizens’ Advice, Stroud Food Bank and Rococo Garden, Painswick.

Millie Crook

HR Trustee

Hi, I’m Millie, an HR Manager based in the Forest of Dean, where I live with my husband and dog.

I first became familiar with Sunflowers when the organisation I work for chose them as their 2020 charity of the year. Sunflowers do fabulous work including offering support, delivering training and organising campaigns and events and we have since decided to support them again this year.

When I saw Sunflowers were looking for an HR Trustee to join their board, I jumped at the opportunity. I have relevant experience and really felt I could add value and support Sunflowers with all things HR (and hopefully more!). I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team, which will coincide with completion of my postgraduate diploma in HR Management. It’s a great charity, and one that I think very highly of.

Graham Foxley

Treasurer

GRAHAM FOXLEY  has been involved with Sunflowers since we gained registered charity status in 2018. He helps run our monthly support group alongside his wife Di. Most recently, Graham has taken on the role of Treasurr for the Charity and is working closely with Wendy to oversee the finaincial compliance.

 

Graham has worked in the IT industry for over 40 years.   Graham says "My family have always been everything to me.  When we lost our son Simon in 2011, our lives were changed forever and we have spent the years since trying to build new lives. I hope that my experience can be of some help to others suffering similar loss".   

 

SafeTALK Trained, November 2019

 

Paul Broad

Safeguarding Trustee

PAUL BROAD became a trustee of Sunflowers in March 2021, 2 years after his partner of nearly 40 years took her own life.  

 

After a career in secondary education as a Head of Creative Arts Faculty (Music, Drama, Art and Media Studies) he took voluntary redundancy to become a supply teacher, working in a range of over 20 different schools.  With the knowledge gained in education he has become the lead on Safeguarding for the charity.  He is keen to transform the painful loss of his wife to support others, with the aim of reducing the incidence of suicide.

 

He is keen on hiking, natural history, the creative arts, poetry, meditation, DIY and home brewing.

 

  • BA Hons Fine Art

  • Higher Diploma Fine Art

  • PGCE Art teachers certificate 

Katherine Turner

Secretary

KATHERINE TURNER helped co-found the charity. She has been a primary school teacher since 2003 and has three children who are eight, six and four years old.   Katherine says; "I first became ‘suicide aware’ after my best friends lost their brother in 2016.  It was an incredibly difficult and painful time for all involved and left behind by Pete who was creative, quirky, unique and such a huge part of his friends and families lives.  Pete was the second friend Katherine had lost to suicide within four months.  A year on and I have been asked to become a trustee to the charity Pete’s sister Abbie has set up in his memory.  I am dedicated to the cause and will endeavour to spread the word gaining support wherever possible.  My previous experience as a teacher has taught me kindness, patience and has gained me good communication skills with children and parents alike.  I am incredibly passionate about the urgency of mental health support and the huge impact it has on suicide.  I am honoured to take up the position and look forward to working as a team to gain more understanding about mental health and suicide but more importantly to help in any way I can to bring the currently huge statistic on suicide down".

  • BA Hons English
  • PGCE QTS
  • ASIST Trained, February 2018

LIAISON OFFICERS

Erica

Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer

Having experienced a bereavement by suicide within the family, I understand what a complex, scary and distressing time it can be for all concerned.

I feel privileged to be able to help families navigate their way through their anguish, to alleviate them feeling isolated, confused and often stigmatised.

Suicide Intervention Liaison Officer

Robin

ROBIN SMITH is our new Suicide Intervention Liaison Officer. This is a completely new role in the charity and Robin will be developing various new projects and networks. 

Robin has had various personal experiences of managing feelings of suicide, losing a friend to suicide back in 2010, supporting family members with their feelings of wanting to end their own lives as well as having periods of suicidal thoughts himself.

Robin says "Suicide can feel like such an overwhelming topic, something which feels unnatural to talk about and something that can be difficult to understand. For me the most important thing is to acknowledge is that we can’t seek to understand suicide in general terms, everyone’s experience of losing a loved one to suicide or dealing with thoughts of suicide are unique. Just because I have my own experiences doesn’t mean I automatically know what it’s like for somebody else. Being able to create spaces where people can talk openly, empathetically and without-judgement about how they feel and what their experience is like is absolutely invaluable.

Being able to take time for yourself and to truly prioritise your own self-care is really important and something that took me some time to learn. For me, being able to play and listen to music, play video games or to make the perfect cup of coffee all help me keep up my resilience. But no matter who you are or your background, it is always okay to ask for help when things get difficult to cope with and I feel privileged to be able support anyone who is struggling with their emotional health".

His previous charity work primarily includes work with the Samaritans being a listening volunteer, mentor and a trainer.

 

VOLUNTEERS

Carol

Charity Ambassador

Di

Bereavement Groups & Befriender

Lyns

SOS Suport Packs & Events

Alice

Newsletter, Fundraising & Events

Natalie

Online Groups (Creative Mindfulness)

Sarah

Designer

Natalie

Safeguarding  & Befriender

Jess

Fundraising, Instagram & Events

Sonny

SOS Suport Packs, Sunshine Boxes & Events

Ian

Memory Gardens

Beth

Events

Sarah

Volunteer Recruitment

Befriender

Befriender

Izzy

Administration & Fundraising

Quentin

Fundraising, Events & Office Support

Jo

SafeTALK Trainer

Gareth

New Projects & Database

Ellise

Work Experience Befriender

Lucy

Fundraising & Events

Becky

Fundraising

Liz

Volunteer Pastoral Support

TRAINERS

Emily Hudson

Co-founder , ASIST Trainer &

Chase the Sun Coordinator

EMILY HUDSON helped co-found the charity. She continues to be actively involved with the running of the charity and the direction that it moves in. Emily has suported all of the fundraisers and is in charge of our Chase the Sun event. She is also one of our ASIST Trainers and delivers the workshops alongside Abbie.  Emily has three young chldren of her own and has been a lifelong friend of the Morris family - she is like a sister to Rebecca, Abbie and Pete.  Emily has known three young men take their own life and has seen and experienced first-hand what a huge impact this has on the many people who knew them.  She says: "I have been qualified as an adult Nurse for 10 years and completed my degree in Community Public Health in 2014. I have  worked as a Health Visitor since then. I am aware how important having good mental health is and the role health professionals play in people’s willingness to engage in services to support them".  Emily is very passionate that everybody should have access to support when they are feeling suicidal; as well as ensuring there is support in place for family members traumatised by suicide. Emily is extremely hard working and has always been active in supporting and encouraging fundraising toward the projects. She is personable as a nurse and good at making people feel at ease quickly to enable them to open up about their feelings. Emily is an extremely valuable member of the team.

 

  • Dip HE Adult Nursing

  • BSc Hons Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

  • Qualified ASIST (T4T) Master Trainer, November 2017

Sara-Jayne Phillips

ASIST Trainer &

Sunshine Box coordinator

Coming soon

Yvonne Tester

Grief Recovery Specialist &

Creative Sessions Facilitator

SUPPORT TEAM

Lorraine Meylor- Warlow

Bereavement Group Facilitator &

1-2-1 Counsellor

LORRAINE MEYLER-WARLOW is an Accredited Counsellor who has recently taken over as Bereavement Group Facilitator.  Lorraine has lived in the Stroud area for over 28yrs.  She is married with two grown children and three grandchildren.  Having always enjoyed working with people, Lorraine started out working in social care, supporting older people in residential care and adults with learning disabilities. Qualifying as a social worker in 2001, she then went on to undertake a Post-Graduate Diploma in Person-Centred Integrative Counselling, working as a Counsellor within a Local Authority Occupational Health Department.  She then went on to work for more than 12 years at a local hospice, gaining extensive experience of supporting both patients and their families in coping with life-limiting and life-changing illness, as well as providing bereavement support both on a one to one basis and through the facilitation of bereavement groups.  During her time as Counsellor at the hospice, she had experience of supervising both volunteer counsellors and healthcare staff, as well as working in the hospice Education Department, co-facilitating educational workshops on bereavement.  In 2018 Lorraine felt she was ready for a new challenge, setting up her own private practice where she continues to support people with bereavement, as well as other wide-ranging issues.  Lorraine has also returned to supporting people within the Public Sector.  Lorraine says that she was delighted to be asked to facilitate the Sunflowers Bereavement Support Group, having facilitated bereavement groups for some years and had seen first-hand the amazing support and reassurance these groups can offer people who are going through such a devastating experience.  "The death of a loved one can leave people feeling isolated in their grief.  Spending time with others ‘who get it’ can offer much needed support and empathic understanding at what can be such a confusing and difficult time.  Lorraine hopes that the sharing of her learning and the many insights gained through supporting others through grief, will offer comfort and reassurance to those who are now having to walk this difficult path".

 

  • Registered and Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 

Liz Koole

Family Support Worker - Suicide Bereavement Practitioner

LIZ KOOLE specialises in working with children and their families following a bereavement by suicide and has 12 years supervised experience in this field. Liz undertakes both individual and family work and for many years ran residential groups for parents and children bereaved by suicide. She is a very experienced trainer on all aspects of bereavement relating to children and their families, especially bereavement by suicide. She has run workshops and been a keynote speaker at a number of conferences on suicide, both nationally and internationally.  In 2015 Liz was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research services for families bereaved by suicide in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. As part of the project she visited a range of services that specialise in support after suicide, child bereavement and mental health, and met with researchers in the field of suicide bereavement.  Liz is a registered social worker, with many years experience supporting vulnerable children and families, children with disabilities and in paediatric oncology. She worked for the child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish for 12 years as a Senior Practitioner, Family Services Manager and then National Team Lead, specialising in bereavement by suicide, homicide and military deaths.  "Listening to families who have been bereaved by suicide for so many years made me aware of how little support is available to those who find themselves experiencing this devastating loss. So I resolved to learn from best practice in other countries with the help of a Churchill Travel Fellowship. After all my travels I’m very pleased now to find myself working alongside Sunflowers as it develops its much needed service in Gloucestershire. I hope that my support to children and families will help them feel more confident to talk together about what has happened, find a good way forward, and become resilient for the future”.

 

  • B.A. Durham University

  • M.Sc. Oxford University

  • C.Q.S.W. Oxford University

  • Post Grad. Cert in Family Therapy. Institute of Family Therapy/ Birkbeck College. London University.

  • Affiliations: Winston Churchill Fellow

Andrea Berry