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Here at Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity we have a team of dedicated and passionate individuals. 

Find out more about our team below:

Laura Barnett – Chief Executive Officer

Laura became CEO in January 2020.

She has been involved with Rays of Sunshine since the charity formed in 2003 and been highly instrumental in its growth. With a background in Public Relations, Laura worked as a volunteer for seven years prior to joining the team in the office in 2010. Since then she has held various roles within the organisation overseeing the communications and development of the charity. Prior to taking over as CEO she was the General Manager and Director of Communications for two years.

Laura has been involved in some of Rays of Sunshine’s most high profile events, partnerships and wishes, including Lauren’s wish to meet a ‘real-life’ mermaid.

She is passionate about Rays of Sunshine and wholly committed to brightening the lives of our brave and inspiring beneficiaries.

To contact Laura, you can email: laura@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call us on 0208 782 1171.

 

PR & Communications:

Sarah May Kershaw – Head of PR & Communications

With over nine years in the PR industry, Sarah May previously worked at consumer PR agency, Frank PR, before joining Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity as a part of the PR and Communications team.

Sarah May is responsible for press and marketing enquiries, both reactive and proactive, campaigns, and celebrity engagement, helping to grant wishes.

To contact Sarah May, you can email: sarahmay@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call 0208 782 1171.

Fundraising:

To contact a member of the fundraising team, you can call the team on 0208 782 1171.

Amber Madden – Corporate Partnerships and New Business Manager

Amber is responsible for securing long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships between the corporate sector and Rays of Sunshine. She has over 8 years of experience as a business development specialist in both London and Dubai. Amber is a passionate fundraiser and having recently transitioned into the third sector, is keen to utilise her business acumen and tenacity to strengthen relationships between corporate supporters and Rays of Sunshine.

To contact Amber, you can email: amber@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call 0208 782 1171.

Helen McNicholas – Corporate Partnership Account Executive

Helen looks after a number of Rays of Sunshine’s largest corporate partners, supporting and engaging employees to help them achieve their fundraising goals. Since joining Rays of Sunshine in 2017, she has worked on many exciting projects, including the award-wining two-year partnership with Deutsche Bank.

Joanne Benisty – Challenge and Sporting Events Manager

Since starting her fundraising career in 2011, Joanne has developed great experience in managing lots of fundraising events. Joanne has joined the Rays of Sunshine fundraising team to help grow and develop the event calendar and to bring the best experience to our challengers by providing support throughout their journey and encouraging them to raise as much as possible to help grant more magical wishes.

To contact Joanne, you can email: joanne@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call 0208 782 1171.

Joshua Dickinson – Community Fundraising and Support Engagement Officer

As part of the fundraising team, Joshua works with Rays of Sunshine community fundraisers, volunteers and supporters. He enjoys helping people find all sorts of exciting new ways to fundraise within the community and loves meeting supporters all over the UK.

To contact Joshua, you can email: joshua@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call 0208 782 1171.

Olivia Fox – Events Manager

Olivia joined Rays of Sunshine in 2016 bringing with her a wealth of event management experience. In her role as events and fundraising manager she is responsible for the charities largest fundraising events and nurturing relationships with major donors and patrons.

Service Team:

Jo Early – Head of Services

Jo joined Rays of Sunshine in 2019 and is responsible for managing the service delivery team including wish, hospital liaison, engagement team and volunteers. She has 15 years operational and management experience within the criminal Justice sector and with the London Ambulance Service and has also worked as a freelance child protection trainer, including the effective investigation of child deaths, reaching over 50 different UK police and child protection agencies.

You can contact Jo on joanneearly@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call us on 0208 782 1171.

Hayley Allan – Chair of Wish Appeals Committee

Hayley began her career in advertising. After the birth of her son, Jake, she began voluntary work in wish granting charities and in 2003 became a co-founder of Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. From its outset Hayley was responsible for granting many of the charity’s earliest wishes. Hayley continues to be committed to brightening up the lives of seriously ill children by granting wishes and chairing the Wish Appeals Committee.

Wishes:

To contact a member of the wish team, you can email: wishes@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call us on 0208 782 1171.

Mandy Lee – Wish Manager

Mandy has been working with Rays of Sunshine since the charity was formed in 2003. After working as a volunteer for 12 years Mandy joined the office in June 2015 and is now a Wish Manager. Her role includes granting wishes, organising events and co-ordinating the team of wish granting volunteers.

Sarah Osbourne – Wish Manager

Sarah recently celebrated her 12th work anniversary at the charity and is proud to have granted over 700 wishes! During this time she has seen the positive impact having a wish can make and as part of her role as Wish Manager she gets to deliver the good news to families.

Harriet Hemmings – Senior Wish Granter

Harriet joined the Rays of Sunshine team in early 2018 as a Wish Granter after graduating from university with an International Development degree.  She has granted over 100 wishes to date and also loves helping out at the charity’s Hospital Activity Days.  Now as a Senior Wish Granter, Harriet continues to grant wishes and helps to support the team.  Her wish highlights include Emilia’s wish to be a doctor for the day and Fredi’s wish to design his own trainer!

Beth True – Wish Granter

Beth joined the Wish Team at Rays of Sunshine in June 2018. Before becoming a Wish Granter, Beth worked as a travel consultant, inspiring her to follow her dreams by embarking on an 8 month solo backpacking trip across the world! Her focus is now to help others achieve their own dreams and create memories of a lifetime. Beth loves to get creative, so imaginative wishes where the child can forget about their illness and be whoever they want to be are her favourite, especially if it’s to be a sparkly princess!

Ella Baker – Wish Granter

After completing a Psychology degree, Ella went on to work in a Primary School which supports Rays of Sunshine. After learning about the amazing work the Charity does, Ella was keen to get involved. Ella joined Rays of Sunshine as part of the Hospital Liaison Team before joining the wonderful Wish Granting team. Ella loves her job and enjoys granting wishes which reward the bravery of the whole family and allow siblings some much needed fun time together. Favourite wishes include anything Disney and personalised wishes such as Alexander’s Caledonian Sleeper Train Wish.

Faye Reeves – Wish Granter

Faye began as a volunteer for Rays of Sunshine in 2017 and quickly progressed from Office Administrator to her dream job as a Wish Granter! Alongside her role on the Wish Team, Faye is proud to be Choir Mistress for our Children’s Choir following her career in theatre, which included performing in London’s West End and singing on the X Factor. Faye volunteered for 2 years at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and has sung to children at their bedsides in over 72 different hospitals and hospices. Faye loves to be creative with wishes and enjoys supporting the charity any way she can whether it’s raising money with her singing group or taking on the UK’s highest freefall abseil! She is known for being a giggler and loves that her role at Rays of Sunshine allows her to spread smiles and sunshine to children and families every day!

Jenny Porter – Wish Granter

Jenny joined Rays of Sunshine in March 2018. Before starting her dream job as a Wish Granter, Jenny was living and working in sunny Australia. Jenny has a History degree and has previously worked for the NHS and an Advocacy Charity supporting vulnerable people. She loves animals, so one of her favourite wishes was arranging for a young girl to be a Vet and a Guide Dog Trainer for the day!

Lucy Froggatt – Wish Granter

Lucy joined the Rays of Sunshine team at the end of 2019, after working in the travel industry. She has spent 4 summers working in America and 6 months working in Sri Lanka for a volunteer organisation. She can’t wait to get started on granting lots of wishes in the new year!

Sophie Escobar – Wish Granter

Sophie became a Wish Granter for Rays of Sunshine in late 2019.  She is looking forward to getting to know families and excited to make lots of wishes come true!

Hospitals:

Claire Kelly – Hospital Liaison Manager

Claire joined Rays of Sunshine in 2015, after 9 years in the Training sector. During this time, she was heavily involved in fundraising for the company’s Charity of the Year, which ignited her passion for charity and doing more to help people. Wish highlights include Poppy’s wish to meet Boy George, Abi’s wish to Disneyworld Florida and any wish that indulges her Harry Potter geekiness!

To contact Claire, you can email: claire@raysofsunshine.org.uk or call 0208 782 1171.

Melissa Vandermolen – Hospital Liaison Executive

As the Hospital Liaison Executive, Melissa is responsible for expanding and maintaining our relationships with our valued referrers in hospitals, hospices and other charities in the north of the UK. During her time in her role as Hospital Liaison Executive, Melissa has visited hundreds of hospitals hosting Hospital Activity Days and for special events. Melissa loves to see the positive impact that our visits to hospitals have on children undergoing treatment and makes it her priority to create a distracting environment in which stress and anxiety are reduced.

Sally Levy – Hospital Liaison Executive – North West

As the North West Hospital Liaison Executive, Sally is responsible for expanding and maintaining our relationships with our valued referrers in hospitals, hospices and other charities in the north of the UK.

Finance:

To contact our finance team, you can call us on 0208 782 1171.

Usha Radhakrishnan, Finance Manager