As well as being a mum, daughter and sister to three precious family members who lost their lives in Tunisia, Suzy is also a dedicated campaigner for safety in the travel industry. She has worked as a travel and tourism lecturer for more than 20 years and before that, was a travel agency manager.
She decided to set up SmileForJoel so that Joel, Ade and Pat could be remembered in a way that made real change for families affected by murder and terrorism.
Suzy is increasingly active in pushing for greater security, safety and accountability in the hotel industry. She is spearheading a ‘Safety before a sale’ campaign and continues to work with key decision makers in the UK and beyond. These include police forces and tourism organisations.
Owen was just 16 when he lost his brother Joel, granddad Pat and Uncle Ade in the Tunisia terror attack. He’s currently studying sports science at the University of Worcester.
Owen is proud to help lead SmileForJoel and to see the difference it makes for those facing the toughest and darkest of times.
He says: “My life has totally changed because of what happened. I know too well how hard these situations can be and to be able help really makes me feel like something positive that Joel, Ade and Grandad would all be proud of too.
Karen is MD at renowned accountancy firm Blackthorns. She has extensive experience in important areas of the profession for corporate and individual clients throughout the Black Country and Midlands.
Karen has been a massive help to SmileForJoel, right from guiding us through the charity registration process.
She says: “I was delighted to be asked to be a trustee and as a qualified accountant I am able to bring both financial and commercial skills to the Board of Trustees.
I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Joel, Ade or Pat.
“I am proud to work with Suzy, Owen and the other trustees to ensure that SmileForJoel goes from strength to strength in their memory to help others when they need it most.”
As the founder and director of Route 39, Steve is a respected West Midlands company director with a bursting contacts book of sporting stars, past and present.
Steve brings decades of business acumen and events expertise to the charity and is an important source of wisdom to take the charity forward.
He says: “It’s an absolute privilege to be a trustee of SmileForJoel and to see the work it’s doing in conjunction with Victim Support is incredible. Thank you to everyone who supports our SmileForJoel events, we are very grateful for the significant amounts raised for all of those who benefit in such heartbreaking circumstances.
Louise brings a wealth of experience in the travel industry as well as skills and knowledge borne out of a key NHS position, leading more than 200 staff across 7 hospital sites in the Black Country, to her role as a SmileForJoel trustee. Louise is Facilities Manager, at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which delivers services in mental health. She is also Suzy’s best friend.
She says: “Joel meant the world to me and my family; he was a truly wonderful young man who we will miss always. Pat and Ade were loved and respected by so many, their unfailing love and support they gave to Joel and Owen was endless. I was privileged and honoured to be asked to become a trustee of SmileForJoel. To help others and make smiles in the face of such horrific trauma is extremely rewarding and I hope to be part of this amazing charity in many years to come.”
Manda was one of the first people to learn of the beach terrorist attack from best friend Suzy – and to witness, first hand, the dreadful consequences inflicted on so many.
Manda has worked within the travel industry all of her adult life. She began with a local travel agent and worked her way up to senior management positions with Unijet, Tui, First4Cruising and Travel Indochina. She then became a consultant to leading travel firms.
Manda is well placed to represent SmileForJoel in our ongoing efforts to improve the 'Safety before a Sale' strand of the charity.
Manda was quick to volunteer as a trustee for SmileForJoel.
She says: “I became a trustee to show my solidarity with Suzy and Owen to join the effort to ensure that other victims of terrorism and homicide can receive the necessary short term financial and mental support needed.”
Dave was CEO of an Employee Benefits Consultancy until its sale to a global business in 2017 and now works as a Non Executive Director, Coach and Mentor. He hopes to bring his experience in the corporate world to help the charity to continue to develop and move forward.
Dave is also a trustee of a mental health charity, Sporting Minds UK, so brings further experience in the charity sector.
He says: “I feel privileged and honoured to have been asked to become a trustee of this fantastic charity. Having known Suzy and the family for over 30 years it was a devastating blow to our family when the tragedy occurred and I hope that I can assist Suzy, Owen and fellow trustees in educating to prevent similar tragedies and supporting those who themselves have suffered.”
Marc said: “I am honoured to be an ambassador for SmileForJoel. The charity is so important to my family as my wife, Chloe lost her mom Sue Davey and Sue’s partner in the attack in 2015. We will continue to provide support in anyway we can, we personally know that families need the vital support #smileforjoel provides after such an horrific tragedy.”
Marc said: “I met Suzy & Owen when presenting #Runforjoel and was very honoured to join Marc as an ambassador. This amazing charity was formed after such an horrific event and the vital support they give to families is so needed and so heartwarming. I’m so proud to be part of it.”
If you wish to know more about SmileForJoel, or have any questions, please use the contact form.
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