The Ambassadors

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Our amazing Parent Ambassadors are integral to our family of supporters and to helping our organisation grow.

Working closely with the Challengers Communications and Fundraising Teams, they represent us at all levels of our work.

Our Parent Ambassadors support Challengers in many ways, from speaking about their experiences with Challengers at events to organising local fundraising groups and initiatives. We hold monthly (term time) meetings at our Playcentres in Guildford and Farnham to hear about the work our Ambassadors are doing.  All our Ambassadors receive training sessions and inductions.

To find out more about becoming a Challengers Parent Ambassador or to request one to speak at an event you are running please contact the fundraising team or call us on 01483 230 060

All parents are welcome to join our monthly Parent Ambassador meetings.

  • Gail Bedding
    Gail Bedding: Parent Ambassador

    In life before disability I worked in the communications industry in Manchester, Liverpool and London and have carried the skills acquired into a new world since the birth of my son Fergus. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of families on the journey that they never expected to be on and now my career continues working in various roles in disability.

    As a family we have embraced Challengers as our ‘orange family’ and I have been an Ambassador since they started this amazing group of parents and a Trustee for over 10 years. We have walked, run, shaken tins, attended events at Westminster, No 10, Liverpool Cathedral, thanked lots of Challengers supporters and made lots of speeches – and every moment has been fun!

    I have made some lifelong friends and had the most incredible support from some incredible Challengers Ambassadors. Life would not have been the same without Challengers.

  • Nathalie Bellamy
    Nathalie Bellamy: Parent Ambassador

    When our son Sam was born with Down Syndrome and complicated medical associations, our initial coping mechanism was with immediate family, mainly grandparents. When Sam started school, his TA was recruited and I was told that he had been Challengers trained, a real bonus! It was then I was made aware of Challengers and then our coping mechanism grew to include so many wonderful young people, play workers who play with and entertain Sam.

    We made use of the charity for a few years, until I was made aware of Ambassadors. This is a great opportunity to understand the charity, how it works and how we can help develop and maintain the wonderful work they do for our special children. Being an Ambassador means I feel a little bit closer to the charity that makes such a difference to the whole of my family.

  • Fiona Blackley
    Fiona Blackley: Parent Ambassador

    Parent of 17 year old twins and a physically and mentally disabled 12 year old. Ex-Foreign Office, now full time mother, School governor for 4 years. Having lived in London and then overseas, we are now settled in a new build designed for our daughter’s needs. We have tried many different therapies and, with some surprise, realised that Challengers offer our WHOLE family some of the best ‘therapy’ we could ask for.

    Would hate to lose it now that we have found it!

  • Natasha Morris
    Natasha Morris: Parent Ambassador

    Challengers is very much part of our family! Being an Ambassador gives me the chance to support and give back to the people that has not only helped my son but also us as a family. My son Toby attended the Guildford Pre-School and is now attending the After School Clubs and the Playsscheme on the weekend and in the holidays!

    Challengers has provided us with a lifeline when things were very tough for us at the beginning of our journey with his diagnosis. Toby has autism and other complex needs in which he needs support most of the time. Challenges has provided us with respite care so we can spend time with our 1 year old daughter Lilly. It has enabled us to do things with Toby that we haven’t before due to the fact they have taught him so much and us. Toby is able to play in a safe and happy environment where is is accepted for who he is. Challengers support the whole family, not only Toby. They were there when we needed them the most and still do.

    Challengers has inspired me so much and I want to give back to the people that gave us our life back, to the people who always go the extra mile. I am passionate about Challengers and what they offer to families in the same position as me. When you’re at Challengers you feel very much part of the family. I want to help Challengers in what ever way I can and spread the word of how amazing they are. It is Toby’s happy place in life and I’m so happy that I can give back.

  • Charlie Murton
    Charlie Murton: Parent Ambassador

    My name is Charlie, and I have 5 children; my eldest India, Esme, Stanley and then twins Oscar and Jesse. The boys are 8 now and they love running around letting off steam. They have a 1:1 at the moment and they love their 1:1’s. They go to Guildford and Farnham Play and have gotten to love all the staff, which is amazing for us because with twins obviously it feels really hard at home not having anywhere to be able to take them when they were younger, so literally now we don’t even get a goodbye! They run into Challengers, and they are just off! It’s really lovely for us to not have to worry and the staff always say that they’ve had a great time, had loads of fun, its actually the only place that we feel we can leave them, and not be concerned and this is simply because the staff are just so fantastic. For the boys, it’s a home from home and just takes the pressure from us, just having to do everything from home.
    The fact is, that is it not just a rest for us, it’s just their happiest time of day when they are here, so its not just for me or just for them, it effects the whole family. My other three children worry about me looking after them a lot, they always say ‘Oh Mum, the boys have got Challengers today, what are you going to do? Do you want to go for coffee?’ So, it actually affects our whole family and it’s a lovely feeling when I look on the calendar and see Challengers on Sunday for both boys and I just know that they are going to love that. So it’s a lovely feeling for everybody, just a smile really, a really nice feeling knowing they’re coming here for all of us.

  • Alison Stenlake
    Alison Stenlake: Parent Ambassador

    My elder daughter has severe learning disabilities and autism, and needs one-to-one support for everything she does. Despite the difficulties she faces she is able to have fun – and no more so than when she is at Challengers, which she absolutely loves.
    Challengers is a real lifeline for the whole family. It gives us a chance to breathe, knowing our daughter is happy and safe, and lets us focus on her younger sister while getting a bit of a break from our caring responsibilities. I feel passionately about doing what I can to support this amazing charity which does so much for the children, young people and families who depend on it.