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Our staff

Carolyn Brice – Chief Executive

Carolyn brice picI joined The Compassionate Friends as a member very soon after the sudden death of my nine-year-old daughter, Rosie in December 2004.

I found TCF, and the people I met there, a lifeline and continue to attend my local support group. I became a National Helpline Volunteer in May 2008 and in October 2012 began a role in the National Office, sharing responsibility for administration and finance and then taking on the management of Charity Operations. My previous varied working life – including positions in publishing, training, teaching and retail – has given me a range of skills and experience to bring to my current role as CEO of The Compassionate Friends in the UK.

I live in South West London with my partner, younger daughter and our cocker spaniel, Skye. I enjoy sailing, skiing and running – but I am equally happy curled up with a good book! People who know me say I am a motivated, enthusiastic and approachable person – so I hope you will feel able to approach me in the office with any questions you have or information you need.

 

Buz de Viliers

Carolyn brice picI joined The Compassionate Friends team in October 2012 when the national office moved to London where I live. I’ve had a daily meditation practice for over 20 years and try to spend some time on retreat each year when I can. This has become the core of my life and has led me to my real work, my vocation.

I support people and their families (and even organisations) facing life-threatening illnesses, death and bereavement, or tumultuous change and crisis of ‘death-in-life’ proportions. Journeying alongside people in these situations is my natural gift. To support it I’ve taken part-time jobs in administrative and office support roles along the lines of my job here at TCF.

I use what free time I have to do my vocational work part-time and currently I work on the wards of one of the main London hospices. I’m blessed with a large and close-knit family, but have had no children of my own, so I felt particularly honoured to be recruited by TCF where I aim to serve the organisation, and it’s members, and support the vital work being done by all as best I can.

I hope you will find me as helpful as possible when you need to get in touch with the office.

 

Charite Nkusi

Charite NkusiI joined The Compassionate Friends in early March 2015. Most of my adult life, I have been involved in charity and community work in support of causes which are close to my heart, and in different capacities, as I am a strong believer in giving back to community.

Although I am not a bereaved parent, I have been bereaved in many other ways. One thing I discovered on my journey of grief was the importance of a support network.

As a result, I recently started working with the bereaved services in my local community which allows me to walk alongside people who are grieving and providing them with support.

I am big fan of Jazz music; I read massively and globe-trot as much as I can, and I tend to go to a lot of Arts and Cultural events in my free time.

I look forward to getting to know the wider TCF community and to contributing my skills and abilities to the Finance and Administration team at the national office.

 

Ruth Mercier

Carolyn brice picI joined the TCF staff team in May 2015 as the Helpline Coordinator, working on a part-time basis from home.

My connection with TCF began shortly after the sudden death of our ten-year-old son, Joel, in January 2009. I realised very early on that I would somehow have to ‘survive’ Joel’s death and, alongside the support of friends and family, TCF offers me the opportunity to do so in a way where I feel less alone and better equipped to manage his absence from our lives.

I have many years’ experience in office administration and am also a trained, person-centred counsellor. I am easy going, level headed and have a good sense of humour, enjoying being there for people. I am hoping these combined skills will contribute to being a good team player, to maintaining an efficient, caring Helpline for new and existing bereaved parents and to supporting the wonderful volunteers who keep it going.

I have recently joined a local support group as a co-facilitator and continue to attend a support group.

Originally from Ireland I now live in Surrey with my husband and our daughter who is 19. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, love reading, cinema, theatre and travel, and much enjoy nature and walking. I’m increasingly appreciating the value of just being in the moment with life generally and look forward to contributing to the great work already being done by TCF.

 

Stephen Armstrong - Head of Fundraising

Stephen Armstrong

I joined TCF in April 2017. I am responsible for raising the funds that enable TCF to carry out its work supporting bereaved parents and families.

I have been a fundraiser for over 20 years having fundraised for organisations working in addiction, homelessness, international development and with vulnerable children. I came into fundraising via teaching English to business people and selling language and cultural awareness training to companies in London and the South West.

I live with my partner, a Finnish national. We do not have children, but our family is completed by our two Maine Coons: Sidney from South Africa and Bertie from South Norwood.

When not working, I love going to the theatre and reading (especially on the top deck of London buses!). We also love travelling, more frequently to Uruguay where we are working on our house, built in 1914, in the centre of Montevideo, the capital.

I have lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Spain, Finland, the Cook Islands and South Africa.

I am thrilled to have joined TCF and look forward to having communication with you in the future.

 

 

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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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