Meet our friendly team

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!

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.

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 perspective of a parent.

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.

Sophie Middleton

Executive Trustee

Not only has Sophie supported the charity for many years at fundraising events, she has also previously produced a promotional video to help raise the charity profile.

Sophie now works at a local school helping to support children with additional needs which compliments her work at Yorkshire Children’s Trust as an Executive Trustee.

Paul Woodcock

Corporate Fundraiser

Paul has over 30 years experience of fundraising for charities, with a wide knowledge of grant making trusts, corporate and charity events.

Previously he worked with disabled young people offering work experience in an office environment as well as raising funds for mobility equipment to disabled children up to the age of 18.  Paul now  seeks sources of funding to help with various appeals for Yorkshire Children’s Trust.

Sarah Thompson

Child Psychologist

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. She is currently completing her masters in Child Psychology.

Rachael Hawkins

Financial Admin Assistant

Rachael has a strong financial background after working in the banking sector for many years and her interest in complimenting this with wanting to help support a local charity led her to join our team as Financial Admin Assistant.

She is responsible for ensuring that the charity keep accurate accounting records including allocating funds to the correct projects.

New Team Member!

You could be part of our team!

We are on the look out for enthuiastic individuals with a real passion for supporting children through our charity’s themes of support.

If you think you could help support the charity to meet the next milestones, why not drop you CV to

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