Meet our staff team members
- Menai Owen-Jones, Chief Executive Officer
Menai joined The Pituitary Foundation in 2009. Menai is from North Wales originally and is a fluent Welsh speaker. Menai has been involved with the voluntary sector for fifteen years, both as an employee and a volunteer. After graduating from Cardiff Law School she joined the fundraising team at a local hospice. Over the years Menai has gained a breadth of experience in fundraising, marketing, leadership and management.
Patient & Family Services:
- 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.
- Alison Milne, Endocrine Specialist Nurse
Alison was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. Alison attended nursing college in Aberdeen and has over thirty years of varied nursing experience, predominantly in Endocrinology. She currently works as a part-time Endocrine Specialist Nurse in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Alison has been running The Foundation’s Endocrine Nurse Helpline for six years, a role she thoroughly enjoys, and she hopes that the pituitary community continues to benefit from her nursing experience and knowledge.
- Rosa Watkin, Campaigns, Volunteers & Events Manager
Rosa joined the Foundation in March 2012. In the past, she used to volunteer for The Foundation. Rosa has always lived around Bristol, and has a BA joint honours degree in English Literature and History which she studied for in Bath. She has quite a few years experience working in the voluntary sector in various volunteering roles and was previously employed as Project Officer for a charity that supports the community sector with grants, research & training. Rosa's role includes projects and campaigns work, and helps to deliver The Pituitary Foundation’s patient support services such as events. She also manages the volunteering programme, alongside working with the Local Support Groups.
- 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.
- Sian Pitman, Events & Patient Services Administrator
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 and is delighted to be back in Bristol again permanently. Sian’s previous employment and experience has mostly been in various hospitality roles; the most recent being Assistant Manager at a local pub. Alongside this she has volunteered at various charity events and festivals. At the Foundation, Sian works with Rosa to deliver patient services events, assists with the volunteer programme, and provides admin support to the whole Patient & Family Services team.
- Jay Sheppard, Senior Fundraising Manager
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!
- Emily Mullen, Membership & Trusts Manager
Emily joined The Foundation in January 2016. She is originally from North Yorkshire but moved to Falmouth to study towards a degree in Photography. Upon graduating she moved to Bristol where she completed a MA in Fine Art alongside volunteering for various charities. Previous fundraising roles include working for Bristol Old Vic, the ss Great Britain and Action for M.E.
At the Pituitary Foundation Emily is responsible for raising income from Trusts and Foundations and managing the Membership scheme. She also looks after Individual Giving as well as the charities earned income activities (lottery, raffles and merchandise). When not at work Emily spends most of her time looking after her two children. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, running, baking and all sorts of arts and crafts!
- Fraser Cardow, Marketing & PR Manager
Fraser joined the Pituitary Foundation in 2016 to promote the growing work of the charity. Born in Scotland, Fraser brings a varied skill-set of marketing, management and journalism and to this role. Previous work includes four years with STV in Glasgow as an online producer and two-years of resort management in Fiji. More recently he worked as a charity project manager in the Scottish Highlands. In his spare time he enjoys adventuring with his young son, playing tennis and exploring the great outdoors.
Finance & Resources:
- Sarah Leighton, Head of Finance & Resources
Sarah originally qualified in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management and subsequently worked for hotels and catering establishments before finally returning to Bristol where she ran a small hotel with her business partner. After 10 years she decided it was time for a career change. She retrained and began a small accountancy services business originally based from home.
Sarah became associated with The Pituitary Foundation in January 2015 when her company was invited to look after the accountancy needs of the Foundation. Deciding to move on to pastures new, Sarah took up the opportunity of working with the Foundation on a full-time basis in December 2015. Sarah looks after the financial and resourcing aspects of the organisation and hopes that her broad work experience and experience of working with other charities will be invaluable in her role.
- Martin Cookson, Resources Officer
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.
- Danielle Cox, Assistant Administrator
Danielle recently joined the Pituitary Foundation in September 2016. Before joining the foundation, Danielle studied BSc Psychology at the University of Exeter for 3 years, where she was able to further her voluntary experience which spurred her interest in working in the charity sector. This included working with vulnerable children and adults on a mental health placement in Sri Lanka for 5 weeks. Danielle has since returned to Bristol, where she was born and raised, to work full time in the National Support Office. Danielle’s role involves carrying out a wide range of administrative activities to support the charity’s Finance and Resources and Fundraising departments.