FFBS welcomes dedicated Partnership Managers for new BBC Children in Need Programme

BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme

Image left to right: Paul McAfee, Laura Cope and Gemma Walker

Family Fund Business Services has appointed new partnership managers to support the recruitment, development and management of a network of professional referrers across the country, as part of its delivery of the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme, which supports families living in severe financial, health and social difficulties.

The three new managers will proactively develop relationships with a diverse range of professionals and organisations from the third sector, local authorities, health boards and other charities, increasing awareness and understanding of the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme, and ensuring the voice of the partner network is represented. The programme relies on the support of registered referrers making applications on behalf of the families they serve.

They join a dedicated team delivering both the administration and fulfilment of grants, worth £3 million a year, including beds, kitchen appliances, clothing and many other items and services critical to children’s wellbeing.

Laura Cope joins the team from Alzheimer’s Society, where she worked for a project linking care home residents with members of their local community. Laura has extensive experience managing community, social action and creative learning projects for both theatre and national charities. Laura says: “I’m really looking forward to getting to know our partners and encouraging them to apply for grants which can have such a huge impact on the lives of young people and their families.”

Gemma Walker, who previously worked as a Service Manager for the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund, also joins the team. Gemma says: “I’m very excited about the new role working for the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme. It’s great to be back working in the charity sector and making a difference to some of the most vulnerable families in the UK.”

Whilst working for the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund, Gemma worked with FFBS to provide emergency support and resettlement grants to help beneficiaries live independently in the community.

Finally, Paul McAfee, who has been with FFBS for the past year as a Business Development and Relationship Manager, assumes a new role as Partnership Manager.

Paul says: “I’m delighted that Family Fund Business Services has been appointed to deliver the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme. It is a great opportunity to work with such a wide network of professionals and organisations across the third sector, health boards and local authorities. Our hope is to increase the awareness of the programme ensuring we reach as many families and children in need as possible whilst representing the voice of our referrer network.”

If you are part of an organisation that supports families of young people and are capable of assessing their needs you can complete an application to become a registered referrer.

Approved referrers can complete applications via our webpage.

For any queries, or to talk to one of our advisors, please call 01904 550011 or email

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