Meet The Team

Christine Singleton

Founder and Charity Manager (Volunteer)

In August 2003, Christine's world was turned upside down. Instead of holding her newborn baby, she found herself watching a fragile little bundle, ventilated and fighting for life in an incubator. Christine immediately found herself learning how to be a carer as well as a first-time mum. Her journey has been:

"Devastating, traumatic and frustrating at times, but my eyes and heart have been opened to a world of love and joy I previously knew little about."

Skiggle was set up in 2016 as a direct consequence of forgetting to pack some of her son, James', enteral feed because of her "busy mum" brain. Read the story behind Skiggle.

Before establishing Skiggle, Christine ran her own boarding kennels, cattery, and dog grooming business from 1991-2011 before having to retire due to James' declining health. She now works as a full-time carer for James and is responsible for the day to day running of the charity, including its continued growth and development.

Juggling busy family life with her husband and three children; school runs, hospital visits, homework, sports days, concerts and running a home, Christine also promotes the work of Skiggle at events up and down the country. She manages the charity's social media engagement and makes much-needed cups of tea.

In her spare time, Christine loves walking, running, gin festivals, singing along to 80s pop music and skiing.

Paul Turner

Trustee & Treasurer (Volunteer)

Introducing Skiggle’s newest trustee, Paul Turner.We’re really pleased to welcome Paul to the charity and here’s a little insight into our newTrustee:By day, Paul, from just outside Preston, is an Engineering Sales Manager and by night, he’sfinding the time to be Skiggle’s newest Trustee.That’s no mean feat when you consider Paul is also part of the team that operates thehugely popular St. Michael’s & Bilsborrow Car Boot, which attracts people from all overLancashire, and is manager of St Michael’s Airfield where he’s been working toward hisNational Private Pilots Licence (NPPL) for microlight flying.Paul was actually aware of Skiggle before the charity was first conceived. He says he knew itwouldn’t be easy for one woman to get it off the ground, but then again that verydetermined woman was Christine Singleton!“I’ve known about Skiggle for a number of years,” said Paul. “So, it wasn’t completelyunexpected when Christine asked me to become a Trustee. It was a privilege I couldn’t turndown and I’m proud to be a small part of the charity.“Skiggle is filling a need and is doing something quite unique. The SOS service is for peoplewho are in desperate need of something, so it’s about connecting that community of peoplewho are all in a very similar situation, to be able to help one another. In this day and age, weall need to help one another as much as possible. There are people looking after very sickchildren or young adults who need so much more support than they’re getting. Skigglecould be just one crumb of help that could make a whole world of difference to someone.”Managing time for charity work – even without a watch!Paul is no stranger to helping people. As a teenager, he was a youth leader and spent twoyears volunteering as a missionary and teaching in a secondary school in Zambia, Africa inhis early 20s. “That was a fantastic experience where I met some brilliant people andamongst other things, it gave me a real appreciation of time,” he says. “They don’t wearwatches and I’ve never worn a watch since I got back! It gets light, they get up, it goes dark,and they go to bed. That pace of life away from the rat race is lovely – don’t get me wrong,they have a tough life – but I hankered after going back for a long time.”That ‘hankering’ led Paul and wife, Yolande, to set up a UK-based safari travel companyorganising safaris in East and Southern Africa, while raising their two children, Michael andIsobel.Paul’s life experience: from volunteering to running a business to organising events, giveshim a good grounding when it comes to being involved with Skiggle. He is looking forward tosupporting Christine in driving the charity forward in Lancashire and throughout the rest ofthe UK.

“Christine has been involved since the very beginning and is rightly very proud of howSkiggle has grown,” said Paul. “However, with any charity, it’s always important to havepeople like Trustees that can take a step back for a more detached look at the charity andhow it operates.“I’m looking forward to coming up with some different ideas about how to do things andlooking at different ways to get the message out about Skiggle.”Charities depend on vital ongoing supportSkiggle, like many charities, relies solely on the generosity of individuals and businesses’fundraising efforts, donations, and grants simply to be able to operate. In addition to theeveryday running costs, not many people realise the charity incurs charges every timesomeone in need sends an SOS. When you consider Skiggle members have been increasingby an average of 130 every month over the last 12 months, and SOS requests havesubsequently tripled, this obviously drives costs up on a daily basis.“Getting people to donate is difficult and times are tough, which is part of the reason whymore people are turning to Skiggle for support,” says Paul. “We want to keep growing thecharity and increasing member involvement as much as we can to help take some of thepressure off Christine. Skiggle offers such a great service and the more members we have tolet people know about the charity, the more long-term support they could bring in.“We’re also trying to bring forward important environmental issues. There’s a lot of wastewithin the medical industry and Skiggle – through the marketplace - is offering a way ofreducing that waste as well as supplying people with what they need if its available.”

Jayne Chester

Secretary & Trustee (Volunteer)

Meet Jayne Chester, Skiggle’s new Secretary and Trustee

We’re thrilled to welcome Jayne to the charity and there’s no doubt her wealth of experience in the NHS and charity sector makes her the perfect fit for Skiggle. A busy mumof three, Jayne spends a lot of her free time being ‘mum’s taxi service’ and enjoys spinningsessions and walking to keep fit and unwind.

Find out more about Jayne here:

For more than 30 years, Jayne Chester from Leyland has been a children’s nurse in both theacute and community setting. Her entire career has been devoted to helping people –including Skiggle founder, Christine’s, son, James. As James’s children’s community nurse for around five years prior to overseeing his transition into adult care, Jayne has always known about Skiggle and in the early days was curious to learn more. “When I first came across Skiggle, I was intrigued”, said Jayne. “I asked a lot of questions - “What is Skiggle, thecharity? What does Skiggle do? How does Skiggle do what it does?” As such I’ve always been a big advocate for Skiggle. I would put charity posters in the parents’ room on the wards and if I was visiting a patient in the community, I would tell them about Skiggle. I’ve given outlots of details about the charity and many people I’ve looked after in the community haveused Skiggle.”

Such was Christine’s belief in, and respect for Jayne, she had been trying to formally involveher in the charity for several years. “Skiggle has always been there in the background forme”, added Jayne, “but the timing hadn’t been right until now as I was fulfilling othertrusteeships. However, I felt very honoured when asked to be a Trustee and delighted I’mnow in a position where I’m proud to accept.”

Dual responsibilitiesAs well as being a Skiggle Trustee, Jayne’s role will also include being the Charity Secretary.Her experience in, and knowledge of the charity sector will be hugely valuable to Skiggle,ensuring all legal responsibilities are fulfilled and Skiggle’s administration and complianceremain faultless. “I’m very organised and Christine knows she can rely on me to keep bothher, and Skiggle on track”, says Jayne. “We’ve built a great trust.”

The right help at the right time in the right placeFor Jayne, the relationship with Skiggle runs deeper than a solely professional one. She hasseen first-hand over the years how the charity can help and support people and also with avery disabled sister, fully understands the challenges faced in the disability sector. “It’s verypersonal to me,” said Jayne. “It’s about making sure those people out there in thecommunity can get what they need when they need it through another source that isn’t justthe NHS. If someone can’t easily get to a hospital to get a nasogastric tube (NG tube) butcould get hold of one from a Skiggle member down the road, which is much more accessiblefor them, I’m all for that. It’s about doing what we can to make someone’s life a little easier.“Skiggle is getting people that right help at the right time in the right place that doesn’tnecessarily have to mean a trip to the hospital. The charity can support people to get thebest care they can, and the equipment needed to provide the best care for their children orother loved ones. Rather than panic about where they are going to get something from,

Skiggle is there. It’s a supportive charity and it’s a way of giving extra help to people in thecommunity. They get help at the click of a button without the worry. It’s keeping people outof hospital and giving care closer to home. Just recently there was a mum on the ward whohad only come into hospital to get a gastrostomy feeding tube extension. I told her aboutSkiggle and when she looked on the Skiggle marketplace, she could have got one from aSkiggle member around the corner from where she lived – saving her a long trip to thehospital! Right help, right time, right place.”

Helping Skiggle to dream bigJayne is also the Clinical Educator in her nursing role at the moment, which means she is inconstant communication with a lot of people; from NHS Trusts in the North West to workingwith palliative care nurses at Derien House. “I very much see this as an opportunity to talk toconsultants, to commissioners, to ICB’s (Integrated Board of Communities) to let them knowSkiggle is out there and how they can also utilise it if they’ve got equipment they no longerneed. It’s that full circle approach,” she said.“My vision for Skiggle is to let it flourish. What’s to stop the charity going worldwide at somepoint in the future? It might be a long way off, but it’s an absolute dream. It would givefamilies more confidence to travel as Skiggle offers an extra safety net. If someone was onholiday abroad, they could still use Skiggle. Build it, let it flourish and grow and keepwatering the garden so the charity will quite literally fly.”

Very useful website. Nice and clear information regarding SOS request. I've tried once only but just after 30 minutes, I had a response about the items I was asking for. Life-saving website."

K Kostecka (Facebook Review)

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