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Meet Our Board of Trustees

Our trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing Aiming Higher and directing how it is managed and run.

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Paul Jebb OStJ MA BSc(Hons) DipHE RN

Chair (2022– present)

Paul qualified as a nurse in 1996 and worked in numerous posts within nursing, operational management, and a national role within NHS England.

In December 2016 Paul returned to an NHS Trust and is now Associate Chief Nurse Experience, Engagement & Safeguarding at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS FT.

Paul has been involved and led on numerous quality improvement initiatives throughout his career, and has gained several awards and accolades, in 2021 was the PEN NHS Patient Experience Manager of the Year.

Paul is also a member of an NMC Professional Standards advisory panel, and has represented the Royal College of Nursing at local, regional, national and international levels, currently with RCN Nurses in Leadership & Management Forum steering group as well as a member of RCNi Editorial Advisory Board.

Paul was also previously chair of the board of Trustees at Blackpool Carers Centre, and is a passionate supporter of Cavell Nurses Trust.

Hilary Ainge

Treasurer (2011– present)

Parent Volunteer

I have a college degree in art. I also gained 10 O’ levels many years ago. I have worked for the Church Commissioners, Croydon Health Authority and Private Companies, all in the Finance Departments using Account Management and Accounting Records using Quick Books Pro Accountancy Software.

At this present time, (since 2008), I am treasurer of Blackpool Tiggers, a charity that provides out of hours leisure provision for children on the Autistic Spectrum and their families. I am also treasurer of Aiming Higher. I am practised in grant procedures, ring-fencing, accounting for grants spend, monitoring and reporting. I also ensure that all expenditure achieves the best value. Critically, it is central to enhancing the lives of disabled children and their families to who we are accountable.

I am a parent of 5 children, the youngest of which is severely autistic. My third child also has moderate learning difficulties, and my 4th child has Asperger’s and a mental health diagnosis. I have eight grandchildren, 4 of whom have additional needs. I have been involved in the Blackpool Parent Forum since its inception and have gained invaluable insight into how families of disabled children can be helped and what their needs and requirements are.

John Child MBE

Former Managing Director Sandcastle Waterpark (2013 - present)

John was the managing director of one of the top water parks in the world, John himself is the European representative on the board of the World Water Parks Association.

His expertise in establishing that success sees him regularly head hunted by park chiefs abroad, particularly in the Middle East. John  managed the Park for 16 years and was always looking at ways to extend the business. Nevertheless he is proud of his teenage years spent working at the Pleasure Beach (as his mother had) and later studying geology at university he feels it put him in good stead.

He ensured that the Sandcastle Waterpark  won countless awards for customer service. Most notably for winning national acclaim three years running, for their access policies. The park  won the Lancashire tourism customer service award as judges declared: “The customer is number one and staff forever exceed expectations.” Treating his staff well is very important to John.

Another of John’s passions is helping local charities and involving the staff team. Combining these winning qualities makes John an exceptional trustee for Aiming Higher.

Anthea Dawson

BSc Development Studies (2011 - present)

I am a parent of 4 children, including a daughter with Dravet Syndrome. I am involved in the Parent Forum.

I am a School Governor of Thames School in which one of my duties is being The Special Needs & Inclusion Governor.

I have completed Governor training with Blackpool Council on Special Needs in schools, The Green Paper, Volunteering within a schooling/educational environment.

My educational qualifications include a Vocational qualification include Level 1 British sign Language, Basic sign Language & Baby Sign. Administration of Buccal Midazolam June 2012.

Alison Gilmore

Retired Hospitality Manager (2016 - present)

Alison managed the prestigious Imperial Hotel in Blackpool for 18 years (with the exception of 18 months where she trained as a sparky-but that’s another story!). Hotels have been her life for many years and she trained in hospitality in Blackpool before taking her first hotel management position in Cardiff. Her career has taken her all around the country until she ended up back in her beloved town. Her business acumen has been recognised on numerous occasions, being awarded “Hotel of the Year” in her previous company, and “General Manager of the Year” in her role at the Imperial.

After 37 years in the business, Alison has stepped down from her role to spend time with family and friends doing things the wonderful business of hospitality does not always leave time for.

Alison is honoured to be supporting Aiming Higher in her role as trustee.  She says “We have a small but incredible team who pull out all the stops to support local families in so many ways.  Seeing first-hand how much this support can change lives makes me realise how crucial a charity like Aiming Higher is to our local area.”

Jason Bailey

Operations Manager (Waterpark and IT), Sandcastle Waterpark. (2022 - present)

Jason Bailey has worked in the Leisure and Tourism industry for over 15 years. He is an RLSS Trainer Assessor and has trained over 100 lifeguards to a very high standard, to operate in one of the top indoor waterparks in the world.

His current role as Operations Manager for the Waterpark and IT allows him to combine 2 of his passions in his job role – I.T. and working with the public.

Jason is an Accessibility Champion, which allows him to deliver courses on accessible tourism, to improve the knowledge of the people within businesses, who welcome guests with disabilities into their establishments. Before becoming an Aiming Higher trustee, Jason worked closely with the charity both through the Waterpark, as well as assisting them with their I.T. before officially being brought on board as a Trustee.

Faye Atherton

(2022 - present)

Faye is passionate about childhood and the importance of supporting families to be the best that they can be.

From Nursery Nurse beginnings to leading teams of exceptionally dedicated social workers and support workers, Faye has worked across the north west within the charitable and education sectors in frontline and leadership roles.  Through working with children and families and also within the criminal justice field, Faye has a wealth of experience in safeguarding children and vulnerable people.

Following 11 years at Blackpool Carers Centre (2011-2022), working with young carers and families affected by mental ill health and substance misuse and in senior leadership, Faye now leads an exceptional team working hybrid between home and London alongside unpaid carers with start-up company Mobilise.

Catherine Bell

Senior Finance Manager at BAE Systems (2023 - present)

I’m Catherine, wife to Tony and mum to two, not so little boys, Oliver and Jack. I work full time as a Senior Finance Manager at BAE systems and head up a fundraising group Jack’s Belles raising money for charities in my spare time.

Jack has Dravet Syndrome, ASD and global development delay. He’s 16 now and we’ve been supported by Aiming Higher since he was little so I wanted to give something back and use my knowledge and skills as a Trustee supporting where I can.

Ged Mills

Content Creators Blackpool (2023 - present)

Ged currently owns Content Creators Blackpool – A digital marketing and content creation agency which provides paid advertising, videography and social media content creation for businesses and organisations.

Ged is also a shareholder of local DAB radio station Coastal Radio DAB and presents the breakfast show Monday – Friday 6-10am.

In the past Ged presented the Radio Wave Breakfast show for 10 years, worked at numerous BBC stations and national radio stations Talksport and Talkradio.

His passion for Aiming Higher came when he, hosted one of the first Aiming Higher Balls after the funding was cut to parents with disabled children in Blackpool, from then he became an ambassador for the charity, championing Aiming Higher to various organisations and is now proud to become a trustee.

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Latest News from Aiming Higher

Around the World in…6 hours!

Posted on 11th October 2023

Tickets are now on sale for the Aiming Higher 2024 Charity Ball. The theme for the event is “Around the World” and the fundraising activities will have an international theme.  Hosted by Coastal Radio’s Ged Mills, the ball will feature live music, a drinks reception, a three course dinner and plenty of entertainment and fundraising […]

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Coastal Radio Local Business Award Nominee – please vote!

Posted on 19th February 2024

We are thrilled to announce that Aiming Higher Charity has been shortlisted for the Not For Profit Award at the Coastal Radio Local Business Awards! This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and the impact we have made in our community. But we still need your help! If […]

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Advent Calendar

Posted on 22nd November 2023

We’ve created an advent calendar with photos from throughout the year. Check back every day from 1st December to view!  

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Happy Halloween!

Posted on 30th October 2023

Wishing everyone a spooktacular Halloween tomorrow! These photos are from our under 5s Halloween Party this morning. As the family event was photographed professionally by Pit Stop Portrait’s these may take a little longer but we will share those as soon as possible. If you attended either party you can provide us with feedback by […]

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