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Our Trustees

Dr Cecilia Hughes (Chair and Safeguarding Lead)

I am a retired Paediatrician who worked in Surrey for the last 27 years. My job has mostly been working with children with additional needs, either physical or developmental. I have come in to contact with children who have life-limiting conditions and children and young people who have been bereaved or suffered other losses resulting in them needing to be looked after by the local authority.

I was also the designated medical officer for special educational needs and disability for the Surrey collaborative Clinical Commissioning Groups and this has given me a good understanding of services available to support children and their families. I continue to be a multi-agency trainer for Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board, which keeps me up to date with safeguarding issues.

I live in Crawley and outside of work enjoy watching sport, being a Crystal Palace season ticket holder, a keen England cricket fan and an enthusiastic cyclist. I have also volunteered for Jigsaw for the Doctor’s Spot at the groups.

Debbie Springford (Volunteer Lead)

I am a business professional having worked for Unilever for most of my career. I have enjoyed global roles in Marketing, Consumer Insight and Learning and Development and have breadth of experience in strategy, innovation, brands and consumer behaviour.

I joined Jigsaw (South East) as a volunteer on their six-week Grief Support Groups, having felt compelled by my own family’s bereavement experience to try and make a difference to children and young people in a similar situation. It is a privilege to witness the transformation families undergo as they journey through the Jigsaw programme.

I live in East Horsley but hail from the North and I have a daughter and a son who are at university. I love gardening and interior design and occasionally waste my money watching West Ham try to play football!

I am thrilled to be on the Board of Trustees and aim to use my business experience and my personal insight to make a strong contribution to the sustained growth and success of Jigsaw.

John Dean


I have worked in the world of employee benefits and wellbeing for over 25 years. In recent years my great passion has been to reduce stigma around mental health and start looking at how we can all improve mental fitness.

Having suffered bereavement as a child I care passionately that all children are provided with the highest quality support to help them thrive as they become adults.

We can and should support children and their families to cope in such tragic circumstances.

Emma Smith Trustee

Emma Smith

As a dedicated charity professional, I bring a wealth of experience to my role as a trustee at Jigsaw South East. With a career spanning various facets of fundraising, including Marketing, Strategy, Insight, and Customer Experience. I’ve had the privilege to serve at Cats Protection and The British Red Cross as both a member of staff and volunteer. I truly understand the value that each individual brings to organisations making a positive impact on society.

My motivation to become a trustee is deeply personal. Having experienced the loss of my father during my childhood, I am passionately committed to helping Jigsaw South East realise its vision. I am here to play my part in ensuring no child or young person will be alone during their bereavement journey.

Michelle Pittman

As an experienced Operations Manager combined with previous Trustee experience I bring a wide variety of skills to my role as Trustee with Jigsaw South East. I have a passion for fundraising and events in particular.

I am based in East Grinstead, where Jigsaw became known to me and having lost my dad at 13 I am incredibly passionate about the charity and doing anything I can to help children and their families get the support they need.

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