Meet the people that give their time to run the charity…

Celebrity Patron
Billy Pearce

Back in 2012, Billy Pearce became our patron and has since made a special appearance at our birthday tea-party to hear heart-felt family stories and how Yorkshire Children’s Trust support some of the most vulnerable children in Yorkshire. Through its four themes of support, covering the urgent financial and emotional needs of local children.

A television regular throughout the 80’s and 90’s after finding fame in New Faces, where he reached the final in 1986. Since then he has often been described as a supreme entertainer.

Billy has a busy schedule, and when not in tour he can be found at the Bradford Alhambra taking part in his annual famous panto where families flock from all over the region to see the best panto in Yorkshire!

Billy’s Official Website:
Billy on Twitter: @1BillyPearce
Billy on Facebook: Billy Pearce Official

Honorary Patron
Blake Meyer ‘Santa Blake’

In the run up to Christmas in 2016, Blake Meyer attended a festive jumper night out with friends, but instead of turning up in a Christmas jumper, Blake attending wearing a fancy-dress Santa costume.  After a surreal evening of posing for photographs and shaking hands, and receiving encouragement from friends he decided to become a free-to-hire Santa to raise money for local charities.

After a search for a truly local charity that supported children, Blake decided that YCT was the perfect fit and has worked with the charity to see children stuck in hospital over Christmas as well as visiting other grottos and schools with only a donation requested for the magical gift of seeing Santa Blake.

As of Christmas 2021, Blake has raised over £13,000 for the charity and has been given the honorary position of Patron for his fantastic support.

Santa Blake Fundraising Page: Santa Blake on JustGiving
Santa Blake on Facebook: Santa Blake’s Page
More information on Blake becoming Patron: click here to read more

Are you a local or national celebrity?
Would you like to support a local charity & become a patron?
Call Simon on 01422 72 80 80 today!

Tracey Gray

Executive Trustee

Tracey has a daughter who had a cancer diagnosis twice and met the Widdop family whilst their daughters were both receiving treatment at St. James’ in Leeds.

As a parent with children who have additional needs, Tracey is able to look at the support from the charity from the persepctive of a parent.

Helen Thackray

Executive Trustee

Helen is a teacher in a local high school and has a keen eye for detail and a professional approach when dealing with children.

She is passionate about ensuring that children get the help and support they need to get the best possible outcomes.

Jamie Ansbro

Executive Trustee

Jamie has a background in music and met the founders of the charity whilst taking part in a fundraising event.

He was so enthusiastic about the great work that Yorkshire Children’s Trust do to support local children that he became a Trustee and has quickly become an invaluable team member.

Simon Widdop

Charity Founder & Trustee

Simon and his family went through a great ordeal when his daughter was diagnosed with cancer when she was only five years old after she had already suffered various illnesses from birth.

Wanting to turn a negative into a positive, he undertook a hospital survey and found a gap in support offered to sick and disabled children in the region and created YCT to help support as many local children as possible.

Sarah Thompson

Social Worker & Counsellor

Starting with the charity way back in 2011, Sarah initially joined the team as a registered Social Worker to verify and process support applications.

It quickly became apparent that she had a real passion for supporting children’s mental health and undertook retraining to expand her skills to become a counsellor and now helps to support local children through a person-centred approach.

Rachael Hawkins

Financial Assistant

Rachael has a strong financial background as well as an interest in supporting children’s charities.

She came on board to support the charity and is responsible for ensuring the charity correctly allocate funds and that accounting records are kept up to date.

We would also like to thank our great team of volunteers and supporters
who help with fundraising and charity events