Anna-Louise, from Cardiff, is the founder of ‘Believe’, a charity set up in honour of her husband and son to support and promote organ donation in Wales and beyond.
Originally a lawyer, Anna has put all her effort in to Believe since it began. In the process she has grown an interest and skills in broadcasting and presenting. In particular, Anna would like to use the media to support people just like she has been able to use it as a toll to raise awareness of Believe.
Anna’s husband Stuart and seven year old son Fraser were killed in a car crash in 2015 and the organs of her son, who they nicknamed ‘Fraser Bear’, went on to save the lives of four people. Through ‘Believe’, Anna-Louise aims to break down the taboo around organ donation and to get people talking about the wishes of their loved ones.
She has also spoken regularly to students and teachers about understanding organ donation and incorporating it into the curriculum. In 2016 she was named Fundraiser of the Year by the Pride of Britain awards.
From this she received a personal letter from the Prime Minister Theresa May which she deemed an honour that she believes in her and recognises our work is truly humbling.
By seeing the light in others helped her through the dark times and therefore being a Point of Light she hopes she can encourage people to volunteer and believe in themselves.
Trustee & Transplant Surgeon
Mike is a transplant and organ retrieval surgeon based at the Cardiff Transplant Unit, and the lead clinician for transplantation in Wales.
Working every day in this field he is continually amazed by the strength and courage of organ donors and their families, and Anna’s experiences particularly stood out. Her determination to make the world a better place and provide light at the darkest of times is inspirational.
His role in the charity is to offer guidance on the clinical aspects of organ donation and transplantation.
Trustee & Clinical Advice
Catherine is a lecturer in Adult Nursing at Cardiff University, where she tends to focus on post-graduate education. After completing her general training in the University of Greenwich, the first seven years of her career were spent working in Harefield Hospital, a cardio- thoracic centre on the outskirts of London. After completing her MSc in cardio-thoracic nursing at Imperial College she decided to return home to Cardiff and work in the University Hospital of Wales. A move that has seen her settle back into life in Cardiff, much to the satisfaction of her father. Catherine lives with her dog Norman, whom she blames for the early morning starts and frequent trips to the local pub.
Catherine was keen to participate in Believe’s activities because of her firm belief that organ donation is a difficult but worthwhile topic to discuss. Having known Anna-Louise for more years than she would care to consider, she knew that if anyone could get us all talking Anna-Louise could.
Paul, a retired entrepreneur, enjoyed 20 years working for UK and European companies with particular emphasis on Sales and Marketing strategies. He returned to Cardiff in 1983 and started his own company which he grew into a multi million pound international business by the time he sold it on retirement.
He is the grandfather of Fraser and has been involved in Believe, although in the background, since its formation. Paul believes his experience can assist in growing Believe into a long term business.
Ricky is a lecturer in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University. After completing his Nurse training in Cardiff Ricky spent a number of years working in Intensive Care during which he completed his MSc in Critical Care. Ricky then went on to work in Clinical Research prior to moving into academia.
He has been passionate about Organ and Tissue Donation throughout his career and has a particular research interest in how patients can improve healthcare systems. He has found the work of Believe to be inspiring and feels privileged to be associated with the charity.
This journalist and presenter met Anna Louise whilst producing a week in – week out documentary.
A friendship was formed both inside and outside the media.
Andrea, Anna and Mike Stephens are working on an American delegate scheme in November this year. With Andrea’s passion and interest in this subject we look forward to her views in developing the charity further.
Mike recently joined the team as Treasurer and brings with him both knowledge and personal experience of organ donation, together with a financial services background.
Mike’s youngest son Harry was diagnosed with a Chronic Kidney Condition at the age 3. At 5 his kidneys failed and he started dialysis, which they opted to manage themselves at home. In March 2019, Mike was very grateful to be given the opportunity to donate one of his own Kidney’s through a pooled scheme, in order for Harry to receive his life-saving transplant.
Through this very personal journey he has developed an excellent knowledge of kidney disease, the workings of the NHS and organ donation. He has since become a strong advocate for organ donation and written articles for various charities, and thanks to Believe, done some media work for Organ Donation Wales. Mike also provides education, advice and support to others through social media.
In his professional capacity, Mike is a Business Studies graduate and has spent his entire 25-year career in the financial services industry, including being Secretary to the Trustees and been involved in preparing financial accounts. Many of his clients over the years have been charitable organisations.
Nikki is the Charities co-ordinator and joined in July 2019. She has significant experience working in the charity sector and across Health, Social Care and Education. She was responsible for developing a brand new integrated and sustainable service for children with disabilities and their families, which is now a fully utilised model in Gwent Healthboard, and something she is incredibly proud of.