Emma Pearson

Chair & Co-Founder

Hi I’m Emma,

I am chair and co-founder of JOEL. The charity was founded in 2012 after the birth of our eldest rainbow Sebastian, where we found very little support for pregnancy and parenting after loss and now we feel passionate about offering support to other families.

Being part of JOEL makes me feel very proud. We have achieved so much over the last few years and I feel very fortunate to have met many inspiring and brave families along the way.

JOEL is a combination of the names Noel and James, our twin boys who fell asleep in 2011, who are guardian angels to their younger rainbow siblings Sebastian and Polly.








Sarah Lish


Hi I’m Sarah,

I'm a new member to the JOEL committee. 

I only recently discovered about JOEL after suffering my own loss of a baby. What I found the most shocking after my loss is that no one talks about it and there are plenty of help and support in place but we have to find it for ourselves. This shouldn't be the case. 

JOEL has allowed me to be part of a community who are dedicated to helping others so that you are never alone.

I am now pregnant with my Rainbow Baby and the JOEL community have provided me with so much support I can't put it into words. We all share our worries and our excitement and we can do this without feeling judged - it's completely safe. This is the reason I was so desperate to be a part of it. I also get to be the rainbow pregnancy "Guinea Pig" so I'm lucky to try and help develop some ideas to improve and help women going through their pregnancies.

We have so much passion and motivation to make JOEL work that I think we all buzz from it and I hope you can see that. We have so many plans for the future and it's so special to be even just a small part of it.








Tracey Vahey







Matthew Pearson


Hi I’m Matt,

Daddy to angels Noel and James, and rainbows Sebastian and Polly. 

As a bereaved father I know first-hand how devastating baby loss is.

Providing appropriate support and care to all families at this devastating time is so crucial, therefore I am passionate and dedicated to ensure that this is offered and delivered to all families locally and throughout the UK.







Claire Gresham


Secretary &

Family Support Pack Liaison

Hi I’m Claire,

I first met Emma and Matt at our local Sands group in 2011 after my daughter, Erin was stillborn at 40 weeks + 10. I attended our local Sands group whilst pregnant with my first rainbow, Noah, as I was in need of the support during this time. Emma and I became a great peer support for each other during our rainbow pregnancies. 

Our experiences highlighted the lack of help for families expecting and parenting rainbows. I joined the committee and became charity Secretary in 2013.

In 2016, I took on the additional role of Family Support Pack Liaison. I am incredibly honoured and proud to be part of JOEL and how we have grown over the last three years. To see the difference we make to families during some of their most difficult times, through the support we offer is my key motivation to be a part of JOEL and all that it can be in the future. I have 2 wonderful rainbows, Noah 4 and Olly 18 months.








Alison Palmer


Hi I’m Alison,

Although I have only recently become an 'official' member of the JOEL committee, I have been an avid supporter of the charity for many years after meeting Emma and her dad Ian Pickersgill back in 2013, as they were setting up the charity. I was blown away by their passion and commitment for supporting others, following their own loss.

As well as having a personal interest in the work that the charity does, I am confident that I can offer lots of strategic support to help give them a clear future vision for the direction of the charity. JOEL has grown tremendously in such a short time and it is time to develop a clear strategic plan as they go from strength to strength. My current role as Partnership Officer at Bassetlaw Community & Voluntary Service (BCVS) will allow me to ensure that JOEL is able to access the support which it will need to remain a sustainable charity to support people not only in Bassetlaw and the UK, but potentially worldwide. 


As well as being hands on with all aspects of the charity, I also bring a wealth of knowledge and life experience to JOEL, having been a Family Liaison Officer for over 10 years, trained in face to face bereavement support, whilst in the civil service for over 20 years. I am also a trained Bereavement Counsellor having received extensive training from Cruise & Bassetlaw Bereavement Care so I am adequately equipped to understand the effects of loss on families and the community as a whole having supported many families through their loss of a loved one.


I am really excited and inspired by 'Team JOEL' and the positivity which radiates through each and everyone associated with the charity and if I can be part of such a fabulous team then I look forward to being part of that dynamic.



Registered Charity No: 1158908

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