Meet our staff team members!
- Menai Owen-Jones - Chief Executive Officer
Menai has been CEO of the charity for seven years and originally joined the organisation in 2009. She is a qualified director, with fifteen years' experience in the charity sector and is a Trustee for the charity ACEVO. Menai is passionate about making a difference to help pituitary patients and their families. She greatly enjoys working for The Foundation and leading a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
Patient & Family Services Department
- Pat McBride - Head of Patient & Family Services
Pat began her link with The Foundation back in 1995, as a Volunteer Area Co-ordinator, launching Liverpool Support Group in 1996. Pat's pituitary condition of pituitary abscess, DI and high prolactin was diagnosed in 1986 resulting in craniotomy surgery and Pat takes all replacement hormones to this day. Pat started as a Regional Co-ordinator working with Local Support Groups and on the Early Awareness Project (EAP). In August 2006, Pat became the Patient Support Manager (and likely, those of you who have been around for a while will have noticed her making her mark) with responsibilities including the National Helpline, Pituitary Life editor and our Telephone Buddy service.
- Sammy Harbut - Patient & Family Services Coordinator
Sammy became involved with The Pituitary Foundation in 2010 after being diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. Following transphenoidal surgery, she now takes hormone replacement medication daily. She volunteered as a helpline volunteer for over four years before being appointed to her current role in 2015, but has held several other voluntary positions with the Prince’s Trust, at an adult education centre, local primary school and as a Samaritan.
Originally from North Wales, Sammy studied at Manchester, Birmingham and Bournemouth Universities, gaining BA (Hons), B Sci (1st Class Hons) Dip SW and M Soc Sci qualifications. She trained as a Social Worker specialising in Probation, working as a Probation Officer for 17 years. Recently she qualified as an Occupational Therapist, and in this role she is passionate about helping to improve the lives of pituitary patients and their families. She can often be heard saying "Doctors can save your life, Occupational Therapists will help you live it!" Sammy will be assisting Pat McBride in all Patient and Family Support activities.
- Pauline Whittingham - Endocrine Specialist Nurse
Profile coming soon.
- Siân Pitman - Events & Volunteers Manager
Sian is originally from a small village in Dorset, and joined The Foundation in April 2016 after graduating from Bournemouth University where she studied MSc Events Management. Previous to this she has studied BSc Psychology & Sociology at the University of the West of England.
Sian’s previous employment and experience has mostly been in various hospitality roles; including as an Assistant Manager at a local pub. Since joining The Foundation she has been in various administration roles across all three departments, but most recently has been promoted to manage the charity's Patient & Family Services events, as well as managing and delivering the volunteering programme.
- Megan Foster Flaherty - Patient & Family Services Administrator
Megan recently moved back to her hometown of Bristol after finishing a Journalism BA Hons degree at Kingston, London. During her final year at university, she decided that she wanted to use what she had learnt to help people as she suffered severely from ME whilst growing up. Alongside her youngest sister having a very rare mitochondria disease leaving her disabled, Megan wanted to work with other organisations that help people the way that charities have helped her and her sister. Megan has since made a full recovery from ME and graduated in July 2018. She began doing marketing freelance for another Bristol-based charity before joining The Pituitary Foundation in October 2018. Megan will be working closely with Sian in the Patient & Services Department.
- Jay Sheppard - Head of Fundraising
Jay joined The Foundation in January 2013. Jay himself had a rare brain condition when he was just 15, having just a 10% chance of survival. It is this experience of living with a rare condition that makes him so passionate about his work. Jay has a burning desire to increase public awareness of The Foundation so that no patient need suffer in isolation. After his illness Jay dedicated his life towards fundraising through volunteering and fundraising on a personal level before finally realising his dream of working within the sector. He brings with him a wealth of experience and is always willing to take on any challenge, endurance challenges have always been favourites and highlights include 5 marathons and a triathlon. Jay is always receptive to new ideas or suggestions and would welcome your call!
- Miranda Payne - Senior Foundation Administrator
Miranda grew up in Southampton before moving to Bristol to study BSc Chemistry at university. During the final year of her degree, Miranda volunteered in the National Support Office one day a week for 6 months as a Fundraising and Marketing Intern. She graduated from university in July 2018 and started working for the Foundation full-time in August 2018. Miranda works closely with Gabrielle and Jay, providing administrative support to the Fundraising and Finance & Resources departments.
Finance & Resources Department
- Martin Cookson - IT & Systems Manager
Martin was born and raised in Lancashire before studying Applied Biology at Bradford University. After gaining a Masters degree in Computing, he spent twenty five years working in the IT industry, most recently as a freelance database developer working in the insurance and defence sectors. Martin joined The Foundation in October 2012 and works four days a week at our National Support Office in Bristol. He is mainly responsible for keeping our membership database up-to-date and processing the orders we get for our merchandise, alongside IT support and other admin duties.
- Gabrielle Welland - Office & Finance Manager
Profile coming soon.