Meet Our Team
Grief Encounter is a registered charity established in 2003 by founder Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, to provide information, guidance and support to bereaved children and those who care for them.
As well as the hard work put in by our dedicated management and clinical team here at Grief Encounter, we have also had unwavering support from our founding patron, Kevin Wells, alongside some celebrity friends.
Shelley, now a mother of four had had first-hand experience of bereavement as a child, losing her mother at the age of 4 and her father at the age of 9. She understood how the loss of a loved one can have profound and potentially devastating effects on everyone involved, so in response Shelley has dedicated much of her adult life to working with troubled children who had suffered the loss of a parent or sibling. Firstly as a counsellor, then a trainer and now as a Doctor, Shelley has made it her mission to ensure that today’s bereaved child will have somewhere to turn in their moment of need.
Shelley has a wealth of personal and professional experience and academic expertise working with bereaved children and their families. Her overwhelmingly nurturing nature has been acknowledged by a number of awards including Daily Mail Inspirational Woman of The Year.
In 2015, together with her charity, Shelley is working to raise public understanding of the emotional distress young people experience following such a devastating loss. Her vision is to ensure that every child and young person across the UK receives the correct support, information and advice following the death of a loved one, whether that be at school, at home or with friends and family.
Founding Patron – Kevin Wells
During the summer of 2002 the nation followed the tragic story of two young girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who were murdered in the town of Soham, Cambridgeshire.
In 2004 Shelley Gilbert sent a copy of her Grief Encounter Workbook along with a letter to Kevin and Nicola Wells, the parents of Holly, in an attempt to help them and their son through their grief. Later, the family commented that they could have cried “tears of relief” upon receiving the book.
Kevin Wells has since come a patron of The Grief Encounter Project and regularly attends the charity’s events.
Regarding Grief Encounter Kevin says, “It is of course the kind of help we all hope that we will never need to consider. Sadly the reality is very much different. I was genuinely overwhelmed when my wife and I found out a charity like Grief Encounter existed and I am now proud to be their Patron.” He continues, “The grieving process excludes no-one. Grief Encounter addresses the issues of coping, interacting and nurturing children through bereavement. We can’t escape the feelings of loss, but we can embrace the rest of our lives in a positive fashion.”
We are very lucky to have Kevin and his family on board with us and we appreciate their long term support.
Grief Encounter Team
Here are some members of the Grief Encounter team and a little bit of information about them and what they do:
Richard Fogelman - Chief Executive Officer
Richard attended Birmingham University, graduating with a Law Degree. With a unique numerical ability he pursued a career in the city, spending several years working across investment banks including UBS and Credit Suisse. He then chose to opt for a route out of the city and spent four years in the post of Finance and Operations Director working for the FTSE100 Company Hammerson (based at Brent Cross Shopping Centre). Richard joined Grief Encounter in 2013 as COO, and became CEO in October 2016.
Fun Fact: "I have a unique talent where I am able to count the number of letters in a sentence within a few seconds...strange but true!"
Liz Dempsey - Clinical Service Director
Having just completed 11 years with ChildLine, NSPCC, where she was most recently the Service Manager for their London base, Liz was inspired to take up the role of Clinical Services Director here at Grief Encounter in May 2017 in order to progress and build on the wonderful work and reputation the organisation has achieved to date.
Carly Moosah - Senior Fundraising Executive
Graduating with a Psychology degree from UCL Carly followed a career in media, working for a television production company, before starting at Becca Barr Management as Becca's assistant and then Talent Agent. After 8 years managing various TV personalities, social influencers and experts, Carly went on to manage 2 of the most demanding, rewarding clients, her own children. The juggles of motherhood led to a change of career and Carly begun working at Grief Encounter in Sept 2017 as Senior Fundraising Executive.
Fun fact: I played Prince Harry's girlfriend Chelsy Davy in a Sky One reconstruction documentary and I can nap anywhere!
Claire Richman - Communications Executive
With experience in publishing at Profile Books, and nearly 8 years PR at Midas Public Relations, Claire has worked on accounts including number one bestselling crime writer Peter James, Galaxy British Book Awards, Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and The London Book Fair.
Claire joined Grief Encounter in January 2014 and is responsible for all social media outlets, internal and external communications, PR and corporate partnerships.
Fun Fact: "One of my favourite moments ever was meeting Richard Attenborough and him kissing me on the cheek!"
Laura Sloma - HR and Clinical Administrator
Laura graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in PR and went on to work in the fashion, fitness and beauty industry before having her first daughter in 2012. She joined Grief Encounter in May 2016 after having her second daughter and due to her fabulous organisational skills (!), she has taken on the role of HR as well as supporting the Clinical Team with their administration.
Fun Fact: Probably not such a fun fact, but I love spreadsheets and admin! Not at home though...nothing is in any order at home 🙂
Laurenne Goldstone - Fundraising Co-Ordinator
After a successful career as a Fashion buyer for Marks & Spencer, Laurenne left the retail industry to move into the charity sector and joined Grief Encounter in the summer of 2012 as Fundraising Co-Ordinator. Laurenne's organisational and people skills ensures that all the events she co-ordinates; from the larger projects such as the Shopping Day through to individual events such as marathons and triathlons run smoothly. She makes sure that all of the fundraisers and volunteers have everything they need to make their event or sponsored challenge as successful as possible. She can be found at most events, clipboard in hand – coordinating!
Fun Fact - I once had lunch with Elton John and while we were eating he got the call about his first solo number 1 single.
Louise Harris - Fundraising Assistant
After working for many years as a PA for an Accountancy practice, Louise decided to change careers and joined GE in 2016 working in the Fundraising Department.
Fun Fact: Entered 'Pop Idol' Charity Show and came 3rd!! Loves cooking. More famous for chocolate rocky road, than singing!!
Samantha Fogelman - PR and Marketing Manager
Samantha attended Birmingham University before beginning her career in PR & Marketing at a major publishing house. With over 10 years experience agency side, her background is in lifestyle, beauty and wellbeing PR for global brands; with a specialty focus on social media management, celebrity partnerships and copywriting. She has worked on various CIPR and PRCA award winning campaigns.
She began freelancing for Grief Encounter in 2014. Currently on maternity leave.
Stacey Hart - Trauma Specialist
Stacey Hart has been a counsellor and trainer for over 15 years, always working with child focused organisations. She has a wealth of knowledge on child bereavement, specialising in critical incident and working with trauma. Her advice has been sought by many and has led to numerous appearances on television, radio and in print journalism.
Fun fact: Stacey loves musical theatre
Sue Goodwin - Clinical Support
Sue has been with Grief Encounter since the very beginning when she had a wide ranging role. This has developed to working in the clinical team as the family/counsellor liaison person, taking referrals and arranging assessments. She also matches appropriate counsellors and therapists to clients and invites Grief Encounter's growing number of families to all the clinical events that happen each year.
Fun fact: Sue has a wire haired dachshund called Cosmo, who ensures she gets two daily walks, whatever the weather
Susie Slattery - Trusts and Grants Manager
Susie is responsible for the management and operation of raising funds for the programmes undertaken at Grief Encounter, working closely with the CEO and Clinical Service Director. She has a degree in Philosophy from Warwick University and a Post Grad in Museum Studies. Previously experience as a Project Manager, working inside the Natural History Museum.
Fun fact: I previously worked for Grief Encounter and just couldn’t keep away, the team is so lovely!
Toni Lewis - Family Liaison
Toni began her career working in telecommunications as a fraud analyst; she then moved on the serve long tenures working in the education sector at a leading language school in addition to running her own childcare business. Toni works as a client liaison officer and is enjoying being part of a great team.
Fun Fact: I lived in New York for 2 years and went to Art College.
Vicky Baruch - Fundraising Manager
Vicky has a 2:1 Bsc in Psychology and after graduating from university began a career in PR. Vicky has worked for Grief Encounter for 13 years. Being bereaved at the age of 14 Vicky is passionate about the work they do knowing what a difference Grief Encounter makes to the lives of today's bereaved children. Starting as Head of PR Vicky worked closely with the charities Founder & President to get Grief Encounter on the map by encouraging more open conversations about death. Vicky is now a key member of the fundraising department working across all events as well as working to secure corporate partnerships.
Fun Fact "I was nearly the GMTV weather girl but was told i was to young and should continue my education.....they must have known i hate the cold weather!!!!"
Grief Encounter has an esteemed board of trustees who we call upon for consultation and guidance throughout the year.
|Harold Gittelmon (Chair)||Shelley Gilbert MBE||Leanne Mattey Zola|
|Judy Englender||Bernie Myers||Paul Walters|