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WAY Ambassadors


WAY Ambassadors are members who have been chosen for their exceptional commitment and dedication to the charity and have volunteered to represent WAY's diverse membership. 

Being a WAY Ambassador is a really important role that will help us to reach new people and forge meaningful relationships at a national and local level. Ambassadors will champion equality and diversity, raise awareness of WAY and promote an inclusive environment.


Georgia Elms 

Georgia joined WAY in October 2006, four months after being widowed aged 36 when her husband Jon died suddenly from Meningitis – leaving her with 1-year-old Daisy and finding out the next day that she was pregnant. Georgia joined the WAY committee in March 2009 and was the Chair of WAY from March 2010 to 2018.  She has featured on TV, in press and radio and continues to campaign at the highest level on behalf of WAY.   Read more...


Shalini Bhalla-Lucas

Shalini joined WAY in 2018, 18 months after being widowed. She was 40 when her husband Jeremy died from a rare form of renal cancer.  Shalini has spoken openly about being a Hindu widow, mental health, grief and empowerment through the arts. A published author, she has worked on photography and TV projects, along with running JustJhoom!  which promotes wellbeing though Dance, Mindfulness & Meditation, Nutrition and Healing.  Read more...


Norman Smart

Norman has been a WAY member for almost six years. Norman’s wife, Helen, died from CPM, a type of locked-in syndrome.  Norman has volunteered as an Area Contact in Berkshire for five years and was the 2018 Mandy Burrows Award winner for outstanding services to WAY.  As well as raising funds for WAY recently by shaving off his lockdown locks, Norman has also developed ‘Man Cave’ – a Facebook Group specifically for male WAY members.    Read more...


Maria Margetts

Maria has been an active WAY member for five years, and an Area Contact for the West Midlands for most of that time. As an Ambassador, Maria will help to help represent the LGBTQ+ community as, along with her grief journey, Maria has also been very open with sharing her transition from Daren to Maria. Maria has shared her story in the past with the media, and now feels ready to be open about her transition more widely.  Maria has also been a supportive member of the new LGBTQ+ WAY sub-group. Read more...


Karen James

Karen has been a WAY member for 19 months and will have been widowed for 2 years in November. Karen’s husband died from butterfly Glioblastoma and they had been together for 19 years.  
Karen has recently become part of the Area Contact Team for Merseyside and has experience of working within the health sector.  Read more...


Orlanda Bryars

Orlanda was widowed 15 months ago when her partner died suddenly on holiday while she was pregnant with their first baby.

Since joining our network, she has seen the power of WAY and is now one of its biggest supporters. Read more...

 


Lisa Aldridge

Lisa was 35 and married with three children when her husband was suddenly killed in a tragic accident. 

Lisa has been a WAY member for over 6 years and in that time has shown continued support for the charity and its members.  She is an Area Contact for two Kent areas and has also been a key fundraiser. She also regularly shares social media posts and raises awareness for the WAY. Read more...


NEW APPOINTEE: Diane Stuart

Diane lost her partner in 2010 to suicide. At the time, she was 41 and had three children who were then aged 11, 7 and 6. She joined WAY in 2011 and since then has become the Area Contact for Lancashire. As a media volunteer, she has talked about WAY's work on BBC Radio 5 Live and on BBC Look North West. Read more...

 


NEW APPOINTEE: Julie Leeper

Julie joined WAY in February 2013, six months after her husband Paul died of bowel cancer. Her two sons were 9 and 12 when he died. She now balances a career in HR working 4 days a week with a small counselling practice – a qualification she obtained after being bereaved. Read more...

 


NEW APPOINTEE: Kathy Ford

Kathy joined WAY in December 2018, two weeks after losing her partner of 19 years, Keith, to a sudden heart attack. In June 2019, she attended parliament to give evidence as a witness for the Work and Pensions Select Committee review into reforms of the Bereavement Support Payment system. She is also an Area Assist, welcoming new members to our WAY family in Cheshire. Read more...


NEW APPOINTEE: Emma Charlesworth

Emma joined WAY in June 2020, just under two months after being widowed at the age of 39 when her husband Stuart “Charlie” Charlesworth died of COVID-19 at the age of 45. She has one daughter, Rebekah. 

She told us: "I am proud to be an Ambassador and to raise awareness of WAY to help others feel less alone. I am adamant that Charlie will always be more than just a number or a statistic – sharing our story in podcasts, documentaries, local and national media.” 

Read more...