The JPK Project is led by Chair and Founder Jill Parker, MBE, and its Trustees, and benefits from the valued patronage of Dame Jane Whiteley, DBE, (formerly Jane Gow).
We have the support of several professional partners who are invaluable to the management and running of the JPK Project. They include Andrew Devon of Salvia Fundraising, Derek Kemp of CPL Architects and John Males of Watson Associates. We also acknowledge the support of further organisations, including Camerons Chartered Surveyors and 3VA.
Of course no charity exists without volunteers and the JPK Project receives incredible support.
Many individuals have been integral to our efforts from day one and we are indebted to their service and involvement. From sponsored cycle rides, runs and abseils, to fundraising coffee mornings and dinner dance events, our volunteers and supporters make things happen.
Jill Parker, MBE
Founder & Chair/Project Coordinator
I am extremely honoured to have been awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in Her Birthday Honours List.
My daughter Katie was my initial inspiration, along with her friends and their families who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through my journey to raise the profile and secure additional facilities for people with a learning disability in Eastbourne and the surrounding areas.
I could not have achieved so much without the support of my family, friends, colleagues and wonderful supporters over the years; you are all a part of this magnificent accolade.
I qualified as an SRN in 1965 and eventually specialised in Accident and Emergency and Cardio Thoracic Surgery. I am married to Patrick Parker and we have a son, John, as well as our daughter Katie.
Katie was born with a learning disability and autism. From that moment my life changed and I became involved in the voluntary sector, specialising in the needs of learning disabled individuals and their parents and carers.
I soon recognised gaps and shortfalls in the resources and services available locally for individuals and their families and initiated EAPAG (Eastbourne Area Parents Action Group) as a parent support group. We fundraised and set up services, including The Downland Farm Project based at The Chalk Farm Hotel in Willingdon, which continues to provide training placements and work experience for people with a learning disability.
In 2001 I started the JPK Project to address the shortage of suitable supported living accommodation in Eastbourne and the surrounding area for our vulnerable children and young adults.
No man (or woman) is an island.
I recognise my strengths but also acknowledge my weaknesses and I am therefore delighted to have recruited an experienced and professional Board of Trustees, who, along with our professional partners and supporters, are committed to seeing the JPK Project realise its aims to help those people who, through no fault of their own, cannot help themselves.
Business owner and Baker, Lead Role – Business & Centre Development & Training
I am very excited to be part of the JPK Project. With a younger brother who has Downs Syndrome I am well aware of the local need for the kind of residential and work environment the JPK Project aims to bring to Eastbourne.
Through David and his wide circle of friends, and my background as a business owner and employer, I’ve gained an insight into how individuals with different learning difficulties and disabilities can achieve a degree of independence, socially and in the workplace, enriching their lives and those of others given the right setting and support.
In my role as a Trustee, I am focused on the development of the Centre so that it can become a place where young adults can grow, participate, learn and enjoy life as part of the community. I hope to contribute wide-ranging business management skills to the JPK Project and draw on prior involvement with a local ski group too. Alongside coaching to enable children and young adults with varied and complex disabilities to experience the thrill of skiing, I also helped establish the organisation as a charity.
Dr. Patrick Parker
Retired GP, Physician & Carer, Lead Role - Corporate Governance/Charity Commission.
I have been involved in the field of mental health since 1959 having qualified as an RMN and SRN and served in the Royal Navy Medical Branch.
I later qualified as a Doctor and achieved the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander, before practicing medicine as a GP for 24 years with a special interest in learning disabilities.
As a parent carer I recognise the significant local need for a venture such as the JPK Project. Parents and carers get older and need the assurance their loved ones will be cared for in a loving and productive environment.
The aims of the JPK Project fulfil the needs of our vulnerable learning disabled and I wholeheartedly support this project in my position as Trustee with a lead role in Corporate Governance.
I am one of the founder members and Trustees of the JPK Project and parent-carer of my son John-Paul who has Downs Syndrome.
Like so many other parents, I am concerned for my son’s future at such time when I will no longer be able to take care of John-Paul. I also want to be around and able to support him during the enormous transition of leaving home to live independently.
I am acutely aware of the needs of our vulnerable dependents and the aspirations of parents and carers, and fundraise continuously driven by the aims of the JPK Project to create a supported living centre.
It will provide a unique setting within the local area, somewhere I am confident John-Paul will be well cared for, have opportunities, and be able to develop further friendships for his future life without me.
Management of External Professionals, Site Development & Health & Safety Risk Management Advisors
I first became aware of the JPK Project in 2005 in my capacity as Musical Director of Concentus Chorale, an Eastbourne-based choir. Having learned of the JPK’s aims and fundraising efforts the members of our choir unanimously took the Project to their hearts and we have been fundraising for the charity ever since.
In 2009 I was invited to become a Trustee and accepted readily. My background as a Fire Officer for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Project Manager within the construction industry means I can contribute knowledge and experience in this area. My goal is to see the protective and nurturing environment of our supported living centre come to fruition, so providing residents, students and visitors a space in which they can grow in confidence, develop their abilities and enjoy their rightful place in the community.
They are the catalyst, they will be realising ‘the dream’ of a future of security and certainty, both for them and others in the future.