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 28 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 Kent

Chief Charity 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. In 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

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 & Nana! We have 6 children and 4 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 ex-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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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

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 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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Sam Young

Social Hub Leader in Clowne

From leaving school I have had a wide range of jobs including sales positions and bar mangement
until 2007 when I was made redundant. I had just passed my driving test and my friend said I would
be a fantastic carer so I applied for a community position in my local area, I got the job and enjoyed
every moment as we assisted a wide range of people to live independently in their own homes.

I moved into working in a care home after the birth of my daughter as the hours were more
suitable to my family and that's where I became an activity coordinator and where the love of my
job came to life. I assisted residents to have a voice, a choice and more independence along with
having fun and making friends. From there I went to work as a team member at a local charity / day
centre for young people part time while studying at college to complete a teaching asistant level 2
and 3 course with SEN. When I started my job search for a Teaching Asistant role I came across Just
Good Friends Club advert for the HUB Leader and straight away I just had to apply! I got the call for
an interview and to say I was over the moon was an understatement! The mission statement was
everything I loved about assisting people to be independent, gain new skills, make friends and have fun...

Some none work bits about me; I'm a mum of 2 children - 1 boy 1 girl. I bought my 1st house at 19
and am now on my second forever home. We have 2 pets, a Staffie dog called Fosters and a rabbit
called Raymond. Our family is very important to us and we have some great close friends who we
love to socialise with and spend time with. Our favourite place to go on holiday as a family is Butlin's at
Skegness and in the summer we love long weekends in the garden and camping.

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Chloe Beedall

Social Hub Assistant
Lead At Bolsover

I've worked within the care industry for over 6 years, something I always wanted to do.

I got offered the position of social hub activity assistant in 2021. I was looking for a new chapter, a challenge, something I could excel in and completely be myself.

This is honestly the perfect job for me. Everyone is amazing and so passionate about the work they do at JGFC. I started by doing 3 days in the Hub and within 3 weeks I was up to 5 days. Just before Christmas I also took over Bolsover evening club and became the leader. Everyone was so welcoming to me joining the hub and the evening club.

The atmosphere in the hub is amazing. Everyone does what they enjoy with a smile on their face while doing it.

Here's a little bit about me;
I recently married in October 2021 and we have 2 gorgeous baby boys, by boys I mean our dogs, Bailey and Bear. They both have so much love
to give but definetly keep us on our toes.

I have a passion for baking, making cakes, brownies, cookies, etc. I think my husband is probably sick of being a taste tester!
I enjoy long drives, listening to all kinds of music and spending time with friends.

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Lauren Kent

Social Hub Leader

Like most people here I started as a volunteer. Yes, I am one of Sare’s daughters!
I was one of the youngest volunteers at 16 and loved every minute of it.
I’ve supported trips, evening clubs and I’m part of the furniture at Vibe night!
I’ve always wanted to be more involved with JGFC but school, college, other work commitments always said otherwise. Then…. the planets aligned and I was available when a position became available and now I am Social Hub Leader at Ripley. I am so excited to take this position and looking forward to supporting Marc with the new project… even more so I’m looking forward to it becoming mine and putting my stamp on it to make it amazing for the members there.

About me:
I enjoy dancing, spending time with friends and going on long drives.

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Mel Bridges

Social Hub Assistant

I recently joined the JGFC team, having started as a volunteer shortly after the Ripley Hub opened this year.

I am enjoying getting to meet so many wonderful members, and being involved in a variety of activities with them – no 2 days are the same!

Before working here, I worked as a Teaching Assistant in a special needs school. I am a creative person, and did a degree in Creative Expressive Therapies at the University of Derby (Art Pathway).

Outside of work, I am involved in a local church, and volunteer at a Food Bank. I enjoy walking in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, baking, and spending time with my family.

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I started working for JGFC in 2022 but I have been raised alongside the organisation since it began, many of the members know me as 'Trish's daughter'.

When the Friday night Whitwell club started, I often volunteered to help... Well, I was 5 years old so maybe not volunteer but I just loved to join in the fun with the members. Through the years I have watched it grow into what it is today.

I first started working in pubs whilst I carried out an apprenticeship to become a nursery nurse. From then I moved onto working as an admin assistant in various transport company's before leaving to work for the local authority as a Team Co-ordinator for Children's services. Finally in 2022 I was looking for a job at the perfect time, JGFC were advertising and here I am ready to watch it grow and support what my Mum helped to start.

Outside of JGFC I am a Mum to a crazy little boy named Oliver and an extremely naughty puppy named Jessie.

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