Meet The Team

Say ‘Hello’ to our wonderful team of trustees and storytellers, without whom none of this would be possible.

We are currently looking to grow our Trustee team and would be especially interested to hear from you if you have financial or church leadership experience. Or just a passion for our work! [email protected]

Gemma Gillard
Founder & CEO

Back in 2015, I was commissioned by an Anglican church in South-East London to create and launch the TBT storytelling curriculum to breathe new life into their playgroup. After we moved to Poole and struck by the number of care homes in our area, I decided to launch a similar group in this setting. It absolutely confirmed that older adults are just you and me but… well… older! And that our need for joy, hope, fun, laughter and family never ends. Being a mum of three myself, I also know how important it is for us and our little ones to sing, story and socialise and I personally love the chance to have more fun with friends of all ages.

Bob Hartman
Patron

Previously a pastor for a Baptist church in Pittsburgh, Bob has been a famous children’s writer and performance storyteller for many years, travelling widely across the world. He’s a regular at festivals including Spring Harvest and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He’s the author of over fifty books for children including the best-selling Lion Storyteller Bible, Anyone can tell a Bible story and, most recently, The Act-Along Bible. Total sales of his books for Lion are now in excess of one million copies and we are honoured to welcome him to the Truth Be Told team!

“I am looking forward to serving this organisation that really wants to bring intergenerational ministry to life right across the country.”

Our Trustees

Hannah Lawford

I am the mum of three little people who I want to raise with big hearts and an understanding of how valuable and important every age in our community is.

As a family, we have loved being involved in Truth Be Told from early on and I am passionate about the positive impact it has on everyone who comes to share in the joy that storytelling together brings.

I am also passionate about the church, my work within children’s social care, about good gluten-free cake and the five fluffy chickens that live at the bottom of my garden.

Jackie Last

Truth Be Told connects everything that I have been passionate about during my work and personal life – family, direct caring, children and older people,  my underpinning Christian faith and Church life.

Storytelling, singing and activity provide an innovative and exciting way to engage both young and old together.  All involved can ‘belong’ and be part of community. I retired in 2013 as local authority Director of Children’s social care services, after 40+ years working with adults, or children and their families and more than ten years caring for frail parents. I am married to Richard and we have two children and four grandchildren.

Lwanga Chibamba

I’m excited to be part of TBT and love how It brings generations together to tackle loneliness in such a fun and interactive way. It’s such a privilege to be part of an initiative that brings so much joy and hope to older adults. I recognise the great need for TBT as I spend a lot of time with the older generation, working for my family’s home care agency.  In my free time I love to sing and play music and also spend a lot of time walking around the Jurassic coast.

Tosh Hales

I am husband to Carla, and we have a daughter Arielle who keeps us both very busy. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of Truth Be Told and the amazing team who makes it all possible. Jesus is this charity’s foundation. To pray before each meeting and to have the God of heaven and earth guide us in decision making is so wonderful and I pray more initiatives and businesses could adopt this strategy.

The trustees of Truth Be Told are collaborators in an amazing story which has been running since the beginning of time and together we want to show the love that God has for His creation to the young, old and everyone in between.

Ashley Liddington

I am a husband, dad to two amazing children, a Chaplain, and an ordinand within the church of England.

I am a passionate advocate for Spiritual, Pastoral, Social, Emotional and End of Life Care needs of older people within care, as I have worked in older persons chaplaincy for over 15 years.

I have a special interest in supporting older people with meaningful connections and having worked with TBT in the past, I was excited to be ask to join the trustees to help support this work at an exciting time.

Our Staff Team

Rachel Theunissen 
Operational Manager

As the Operational Manager at Truth Be Told, I look after the day to day running of the charity. I love getting things working more smoothly and efficiently!

When I’m not working, I’m a mum of four who loves storytelling, cooking and serving in my local church. I spend my spare time writing novels and running a publishing company.

 

 

Vicky Yeates
Partnership Development Officer

My role is all about building relationships with our partner churches, from our initial conversations, all the way through to getting a group up and running, where I will be on hand to help guide you through the process. I am passionate about the work TBT does enabling relationships to flourish between all generations.

I am a wife and Mum of two boys and in my spare time I enjoy visiting art galleries, and running.

Our Storytellers

Faye Davis
Bournemouth

I’ve loved the vision of TBT since hearing about the first seedlings over a cup of tea with Gemma in the early days! As a teacher, I’m passionate about the arts being utilised as a tool to support mental health and additional needs; with all the generations benefiting and feeling like they belong to a community of family and faith together.

I’m a Mumma to a little boy and we’re big fans of sharing stories and songs, amongst our many other joys of stomping across the outdoors, toasting marshmallows at campsites, splashing in seas and rivers and crafting science experiments or Lego!

Paul and Julie Barnett
Poole

We live in Poole and are a part of a local Christian Church. We both took early retirement – me from working with Dorset police and Julie from being a nursing sister in the NHS. We have children and now grandchildren whom we love – so it’s natural & kind to working with TBT alongside children, parents and our older friends, sharing Gods love with them.

Sophie Campbell
Christchurch

I am a wife and mother of four, part time squash coach, cleaner and charity Trustee! I had a brief encounter with nursing and midwifery, during which I loved the short season I had working with both the older generation and helping to bring new life into the world! I am passionate about family and I am excited to be involved with Truth Be Told , enabling children and older residents to build friendships and bring joy to one another all whilst having fun together. I love meeting people and some of my favourite things are puzzles, tea and Uganda!

Jill Andrews
Dorchester

I’m Jill and I love presenting TBT to the different generations. It’s so rewarding seeing them interacting with each other and watching their eyes light up. Our biggest delight was seeing a lady who suffers with severe anxiety join a session. That is just what we hope for in each gathering to bring love, joy, and peace into people’s lives. Running TBT is so rewarding for me, a widow with three sons and nine grandchildren. In my spare time I love singing, counted cross stitch, knitting and reading.

Susan Langwade
Surrey

I’m Sue and I’m thrilled to be one of the TBT Storytellers. Being a writer by trade, I am aware of the power of story to entertain, create connections and to release the imagination to run free, whether we have not yet learnt to express ourselves verbally or have perhaps lost the capacity to do so. I believe carefully crafted shared stories, songs and time together can have a powerfully uplifting effect and I love that TBT seeks to express God’s heart in drawing together all sorts and all ages to create a loving community where all are valued.

Yvonne Bright
Sherborne

Throughout my life I have enjoyed working with and around all age groups and so bringing them together as TBT does is an amazing project that encapsulates community. I am privileged to work for my Church as a children and families coordinator and as part of my role I run TBT sessions alongside the amazing Abbey View care home and also within toddler groups. TBT sessions give us the opportunity to share stories, build relationships, share the love of Jesus and the truths that knowing him bring to our lives.

Karen Priest
Bournemouth

I am a wife and mother of two little ones, and we all enjoy sharing stories, music and songs. I love hearing my 3 year old retell Bible stories and sing his own songs to Jesus, whilst my 18 month old ‘la’s’ along beside him or tries to copy his actions. Seeing them in the group with me, greeting friends of all ages, sharing cuddles with some of the other parents/carers and our older friends has been so precious. It encapsulates my heart for seeing all of the generations together like one big family. People from all backgrounds, all ages, with so many different life experiences and outlooks, all finding love, acceptance, friendship, joy and freedom together.

Mel Osborne
Brockenhurst

When I first started my role as Children and Families’ Worker at Brockenhurst Parish Churches, I was delighted God led me to Truth Be Told, as one of my passions is to find new ways to build community and the opportunity to work intergenerationally through the voice of storytelling and Jesus, has been incredibly enriching for all involved! Home life is made up of a patient husband, three teenage girls and a rescue cat (also a girl!). In my spare time, I love to paint, create music, read books and I am currently training as an Ordinand in the Church of England.

Andrea Madden
Northampton

I am a Children and Family Worker based in Northamptonshire and a mum myself. We love stories, creativity and sharing so TruthBeTold seemed like a perfect fit. As a church we want to create a sense of welcome to all. TruthBeTold has given us a practical tool we can use to create a sense of belonging by linking generations together. No one should feel isolated or alone.

Nell Cawley
Anna Chaplain, Wales

I am a mum of two busy boys and wife of a very understanding husband, who supports all of my new adventures!
I am an Anna Chaplain, offering spiritual support to those of faith or none out in our communities. I also run a preschool group and I’ve been wanting to merge the two but haven’t been sure how. I’m sure TBT is going to provide a foundation on which we can build lasting and meaningful relationships between the young and old. Exciting times ahead!