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We have a wide variety of professional experience and expertise on our board of trustees. When appointing the trustees, we felt it was important to have a strong team of medical professionals given that our work supports families in hospital but also advocating to improve training of health professionals on childhood cancer.


Andy Vaughan

Andy has 16 years’ experience in the world of recruitment and corporate HR. He is currently a Talent Acquisition Manager for UL Solutions, a global safety science provider. 

He brings expertise in HR matters, leadership and management, whilst also being our designated minute taker during Trustees Meetings! 
Outside of work, Andy enjoys spending precious time with his wife Anna and his son Brandon, who incidentally was Sophie’s boyfriend. He is a fitness fanatic, cycling and running 100s of miles per week and regularly takes part in our charity events. 

Andy is passionate about Sophie’s Legacy and feels privileged to be a part of something so meaningful.

Maria Edwards

Maria qualified as a Doctor in 1992.  Initially she started  training  as a GP and then fell in love with Paediatrics in New Zealand where she lived for a couple of years. Maria completed her postgraduate exams and became a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 1998. She then  worked around Wessex area - including as a Registrar in Oncology in 2001. Maria has worked as a community paediatrician including child protection for Solent NHS trust since 2004. Charlotte met Maria when she was Adoption Medical Advisor for Southampton which she did until 2016. Maria was also the doctor that brought Sophie's first ceramic in hospital for £10 which gave her the idea to start selling them.


Karen Kirkpatrick

Karen has been qualified as a paediatric and adult nurse for 20 years.

She has worked as a sister in the Emergency Department at Portsmouth Hospital and Southampton General Paediatric Cardiothoracics and PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care). For the last 4 years, she's been working in a primary care GP practice as an Advanced nurse practitioner/prescriber. 

Karen is mum to Summer-Rose (Sophie's best friend) and Harrison. 


Andrew Saunders

Andrew Saunders, a seasoned entrepreneur with two decades of thriving business experience, is not only a devoted husband, a parent of three, and a grandfather but also an avid water enthusiast residing in Hill Head. Whether on his Fliteboard or navigating the waters of the Solent by boat, Andrew finds solace. Introduced to Sophie's Legacy last year, he demonstrated his commitment by leaping out of a plane to raise funds for the cause.

Andrew aspires to contribute a unique perspective to the Trustees, leveraging his extensive business background to bring fresh insights to the table.


Fred Birkett

Fred served in the Royal Navy from 1992 on various vessels and locations including Gibraltar, the Middle East, and the Falklands. After leaving the Navy in 2000, he settled in Fareham with his family, where Fred has been a Borough Councillor for 7 years. He works as the Programme Manager at L3 Harris ASV, building Autonomous vessels

Sophie’s Legacy was one of the charity’s Fred supported during his Mayoral term within Fareham Borough (2022-23), and where he very much fell in love with the charity’s work, dedicated team and difference it makes to so many people.


Edward Butler

Ed has worked in the charity sector for the last 5 years having spent two decades in the private sector. He knows first-hand what it’s like to be a parent of a child in hospital as his 7 year old has spent over a year in various hospitals. He has a wealth of experience acting on behalf of charity committees.

Away from work he is a devoted husband to Fiona and a father to 3 young sons. He plays golf to a relatively good standard and has recently taken up the hobby of metal detecting where he finds a sense of solitude in the beautiful Sussex countryside. 

Ed is eager to bring his lived experience of having a child in hospital as well his extensive trusts and foundations experience to Sophie’s Legacy.


Sara Bryant

A Chartered Certified Accountant in her previous life, Sara was a Trustee of a small, local charity before shifting priorities when she became a Mum and pursuing a career in Education. 


Sara was lucky enough to know Sophie from a very young age, as her youngest son, Oliver, was born just ten days after Sophie. Sara was part of her classroom team when she started school, so experienced Sophie's drive and determination in her early years first hand.


Sara went on to support a number of children with special educational needs and disabilities. She now manages a secondary school library where her focus is to promote reading for pleasure to support children's mental health and wellbeing.


Sara understands how important a holistic approach is to supporting children's needs and feels privileged to be part of the trustee team for Sophie's Legacy.

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