Meet the Team


Sadie Panter: Chairperson & HR Lead

Sadie Panter

I have over 15 years of Management experience working within the Financial Services Industry. Alongside that I have supported many charities mainly through fund raising and helping promote their identity. I am a firm believer in supporting the community and paying it forward when you can. We all have the hidden gifts that can help make a difference.

Having personally gone through some recent bereavements Wiltshire Treehouse were superb in their approach 'picking us up' as a family and providing some fantastic coping tools to help us along the way. Now it's my turn to pay it forward and offer the support back and help wherever I can.


Faye Auty: Treasurer

I have over 18 years' of research funding and the evaluation of its impact on both science, policy and practice.  I am excited to bring forward my transferable experience and skills to assist in raising funds for this special charity.  I have lived in Swindon for over thirteen years and have two children.


Helen Pepler: Safeguarding Lead

I have practiced as a nurse and then a midwife in Swindon since 1982, and have developed an interest in supporting those who care for others.

My counselling training is in Bereavement care. I was involved with running the Rainbow Club and am now supporting the development of Wiltshire Treehouse, and am excited at the prospect of being able to provide more support to more bereaved families in our neighbourhood and beyond.


Amanda McConaghy: GDPR Lead

I have worked within the Compliance department within a large insurance brokers for over 10 years.

Using my skills from this role I look forward to helping the charity raise awareness and funds.  

Previously working in the care industry I know how important it is to support others in their roles and where they have experienced bereavement. 



Kath Brownlee: Service Director

I have been working with children, young people and their families for over 14 years. I am passionate about supporting people in their bereavement journey. My aim is to work with our service users so that their loss doesn't become a barrier to enjoying and achieving in life.

I strongly believe in the power of bringing people together to share experiences and to learn from each other. This is why I am passionate about our CHYPS family group programme and our NEST programme for children in school yr 7+.

It is a privilege to be a part of so many people's journeys, and to be a part of the skilled and committed Wiltshire Treehouse team.


Sarah Bear: Business Director

Joining the charity in 2019 and with a wealth of community work expereince, Sarah has been helping develop our financial sustainability. Establishing links with corporate organisations and individual donors, Sarah also manages our relationships with trusts and foundations. All of which helps us to maintain our free services for the children, young people, and families that we support.

So, if you are a business looking for a team challenge, or a local person who wants to help raise awareness of children and young people’s bereavement please do get in touch. From sitting in a bath of beans, to skydiving or staffing one of our community events, we really could not do such a great job without your help!


Jeannie McLeod: Support Worker

Information coming soon.


Gemma Stanley: Administrator

With nearly 20 years experience of working for local and national charities, Gemma joined Wiltshire Treehouse in August 2019. She supports the Service Director and Business Director.



Sue Ward: Safeguarding Specialist Consultant 

mental health first aider

I am a midwife at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and have worked there since 2000 following my training in London; I love my job and am a volunteer for two charities in Swindon. 

I joined the Rainbow Club in 2003 as a volunteer and have a keen interest in supporting bereaved children and families. Over the years I have had the privilege of working with many amazing families which led me to volunteering with Wiltshire Treehouse which I feel fills a much-needed gap in support services for Swindon.


Liz Rothschild: Volunteer Specialist Advisor

(Former Volunteer Trustee Chair). I run Westmill Woodland Burial Ground and have received 2 Good Funeral Awards: cemetery of the year and the most significant contribution for understanding death. Through my work and in my personal life I have seen the damage that can be done when a family does not get the support it needs through a bereavement. As a celebrant I regularly conduct funerals and other ceremonies. Working within the Arts I have assisted learners with disabilities as part of Reach inclusive arts and was also a founding Trustee of Root and Branch and Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust. Having stepped down from my trustee role, I offer my knowledge and experience as a Specialist Advisor, watching the charity grow from strength to strength.


Tom Wilkes: Volunteer Grants Advisor

Tom Charnock 

Tom Wilkes is a retired teacher who enjoys helping groups with a social conscience to raise funds that enable them to pursue their goals.


Steve Henderson: Spiritual Support Advisor

I have worked as a pastoral specialist since 1983 in both the church and since 1998, full-time in the NHS. During my career, I have seen many occasions of bereavement and from time to time have reflected upon the more complex and painful impacts of grief when there has not been appropriate or effective support. It has been an inspiration and a source of real encouragement to have been connected with the inception and development to date, of the Wiltshire Treehouse Charity. I am very happy to be a part of this enterprise and see it as a privilege to be able to support the very worthy and compassionate work with bereaved young people. I look forward to giving all the assistance I can to see the work done to the highest professional standard and deliver supportive care and nurturing to young people wrestling with all the stresses and strains of life as they grieve and hopefully, eventually, regain their resilience.


Lys Kirby: Schools Specialist Advisor

Lys Kirby

I have worked in education for over 30 years, initially as a primary school teacher in the Middle East and Southern Africa, before returning to teach in the UK. For most of my teaching career I have supported school children of all ages, who face additional challenges - with their behaviour, learning or health.

In 2001 I began working for EOTAS (Education Other than at School). My role is to help children continue with their education whilst they are ill.

In both my personal and professional life, I have experienced the impact that bereavement has on the wellbeing of all concerned. I believe that we each respond to bereavement through our own experiences of loss.

I am honoured to be part of "Wiltshire Treehouse", and hope that together, with you, we can move forward from the adversity that is bereavement.


Copyright Treehouse Wiltshire © 2023. All rights reserved.
Registered charity No. 1159719

Registered charity number in England and Wales:
1040419 and Scotland SCO42910