The JGFC Team

We are dedicated to providing a safe place and exciting memories for adults with learning disabilities,
We've been commited to this goal for over 25 years and hope to continue for many more.
Trish Charity

Chief Charity Officer

In 1997 Elaine and I were asked to volunteer for a new club that was being set up after consultation with an advocacy group for adults with learning disabilities. At the time I was working full time, helped in a family business and had four wonderful children to bring up….. I said no!!! Before the club started tragedy struck and we lost friends and colleagues including John the founder of JGFC in a devastating accident. Elaine and I then decided we would volunteer for a month to help get the club started …. And that’s where our journey with The Just Good Friends club began.
We started with a club on a Friday evening in Whitwell…. We were hooked. Along the way we have made some fantastic friends, worked with many fantastic people, and had many laughs.
This is not a job to me it is a passion….. How many people can say “they love their job!”... I do.
After working together side by side, through thick and thin!! When Elaine decided to retire I was gutted, I felt I was missing my right arm……but what a foundation she has left behind for us to build on in the future.
As for me away from the Just Good Friends Club… I am very happily married to’ J’ who is wonderfully supportive of everything I do; we have six wonderful children and 6 amazing grandchildren. We love going to music concerts, playing badminton, getting out on our Vespa and of course Millie our staffie.

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Sare Beecroft

Chief Operating Officer

In March 2016 my Daughter asked me if I would consider becoming a Trustee at the club where she had recently started working following completing some voluntary work there as part of her degree. I was unsure whether or not to become involved as it was an area I had never given any thought or support to previously. My Daughter assured me that they were looking for the contribution of my business mind etc I agreed to take part as I had seen how important the club was to my daughter and I wanted to support her, as always. April 2016 I attended the initial meeting to find out what the role was all about and to allow me to make an informed decision whether or not it was something I could productively invest my time in. Within that meeting I met a fantastic small team of individuals who are clearly passionate about everything they do. It was a great buzz and I immediately knew I could be a part of this team and that’s where I signed up to become a Trustee. Within any role I have been in I have always taken myself to the “shop floor” to see everything in motion so I know what I need to get right. It was right there that I really did fall in love with this club. Seeing the passionate staff and volunteers make such a difference to people’s lives. It really is quite an environment to find yourself in and again I immediately knew that I needed to be a part of this. I continued to be a Trustee and volunteered every week at the evening clubs and night club events. In November 2016 I was made redundant from my then employment and found myself assessing where I saw my future going. Then, as if by fate or magic, or something in between Elaine Bell announced that she was planning to retire from the club in the very near future. So I applied for the position of Support Worker & Development Officer.
It was very much a “Development Officer by Day” & “Support Worker by Night” set up! My role was to develop the organisation into a sustainable position within the next five years. Trish and Elaine have built a fantastic foundation and trusted network which means I have a brilliant opportunity to grow this into an even more successful and sustainable organisation along with charitable status. This enables us to provide a much needed service within the community. There aren’t many jobs that you get to see the full fruition of your hard work first hand. In the evenings I attended the social clubs. I was directly responsible for our Chesterfield Club on Wednesday evenings but still attended each other’s’ priority clubs to offer full support worker presence. We play games, drink tea, go bowling, go to restaurants and generally just enjoy socialising with a great bunch of people. I also took the role as organiser for our Chesterfield nightclub event at The Vibe which is always a great night

Now
In July this year I became Chief Operating Officer which is a whole new ball game!! It’s a very grown up job and I am delighted and humbled to be given this opportunity. I make sure all the bills are paid and ensure we have enough money to keep going, are the crooks of it! Although my employment now doesn’t include attending the social clubs I do still volunteer where I can as I am determined to keep a strong relationship with our members, the people who we do this for!! The people who rely on us making this difference!

Outside of Work
I am a mum, wife, step mum & Nana! We have 6 children and 3 Grandchildren, they all keep us busy between taxiing them to their social events and hobbies, university, teaching them to drive and babysitting! It’s all go go go in our home at all times, just how we like it! When we aren’t doing that we enjoy most motorsports, football and cricket.

Random Facts About Me
My husband and I once decided to go on a trip on the motorbike which resulted in riding through 5 countries in one day!! I was in a marching jazz band, we gained 3rd place at the World Championships!! At the age of 9 I had completed all Ballroom Dancing grading.

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Alison James

Grants and Funding Officer

I originally joined the Just Good Friends team in November 2016 as an admin assistant but more recently I have been appointed Grants & Funding Officer which means it’s my job to submit lots of funding applications in the hope that at least some of them are successful! The team here at JGFC are fab and I love coming to work. I also love seeing how much our members enjoy attending our clubs and events.

Away from work I've been happily married to CJ for 32 years and have three amazing children. In my spare time I enjoy music, dancing and going to the theatre. You will often find me at live music events or ballet performances.

3 Random facts about me: I am a fully qualified Holistic Therapist and Reiki practitioner. I learned to play the recorder at infants school and went on the learn clarinet and piano. I'm addicted to tea and will regularly drink 10-12 cups a day. I find tea tastes even better if accompanied by cake!

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Gemma Beecroft

Charity Coordinator

I joined JGFC in July 2017 as a volunteer after finishing university. I always wanted to get involved with the charity after seeing how amazing it was through the work of my sister Amie and Step Mum Sare who were both already involved. When I met the rest of the team, I knew that this was a place I wanted to be and was made to feel welcome from day 1. I initially volunteered at the Chesterfield club, the Fun Sports club and also the nightclub event whenever I could and was delighted when a few months down the line I was offered the role of lead support worker at Whitwell and Sports. When we opened our newest club in Dronfield in December 2019 I was honoured to be the one to run this club and I am so happy to see how our members have grown in confidence and have made it an amazing club. In September 2019 I was given another fantastic opportunity with the organization to be able to be involved in the office with all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make this club so great. I am the newest full-time employee of the club and I am loving my new role as Charity Coordinator! I cannot wait to see Just Good Friends Club continue to expand and reach out to more and more people to continue to make a difference.

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Marc Wade

Project Development Coordinator
Vibe Nightclub Leader

I've worked in the care industry for over 13 years both as one to one support and in a day centre. Although it wasn't a career path I ever expected to take,- previously working in retail- its one I thoroughly enjoy.
I'm a father to 5 and a 'Pops' to a perfect granddaughter.

I enjoy most sports. I love walking (with my dog called Spud) and hiking long distances, in particular I've enjoyed participating in 'The mighty hike' for charity, and I plan on doing a 40 mile hike for JGFC this year.

I have a weakness for strong coffee, cigars and espadrilles.
My sense of humour is fantastic, sometimes quite dry, and love pulling practical jokes on other staff members (which they love me doing).

My taste in music is perfect, not that my children agree, but they were all born in the 21st century, so what would they know? The only thing I do worse than sing is dance; I have been known to clear a dance floor with my dad dancing, but Ill never stop.
I started coming to JGFC while I supported a member that attended one of the clubs. The atmosphere and staff participation weren't like other places I'd been, and it made it a time I really looked forward to working.

When Trish and Sare offered me the position of Day Club Activity Leader, a new club that had been planned for a while, it was an easy decision, I couldn't wait to work here.
I really enjoy working in The Hub; and I use the word work in a very loose term. It is very much members run, their ideas and input, I just join in and go with the flow; It is perfect for my outgoing personality and has improved joke telling skills no end.

I have now taken on the role of Project Development Coordinator. In this role I'm hoping to bring in bigger activities into the Hub, and take the group into projects in the community, and develop their skills and abilities further.

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Billie Rodgers

Social Hub Activity Assistant
Lead at Bolsover, Pinxton and Clowne

I joined JGFC in May 2021 as a Club Activity Leader. This is a charity that is close to my heart and home.

The first day is started working for JGFC, I knew this is the right job for me.

More about myself:

Outside of work I love to spend time with my husband and 3 children and going on day trips together.

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Jamie Dunham

Social Hub Activity Leader
Lead at Chesterfield and Dronfield

Hi, I'm Jamie and I'm a Club Activity Leader with Just Good Friends Club. My role includes running the Whitwell and Dronfield clubs and helping out throughout the week in the office. I enjoy working at JGFC because I like to be there for people who need a little helping hand or need to someone to talk and to help them have a safe place to go other than home. In my spare time I enjoy photography and listening to music and I spend a lot of time out of the house going on walks and taking photos.

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