Meet our team


Dawnette Fessey

Chief Executive Officer

I have had a long career working the voluntary sector and having been a carer myself, fully understand what it means to be part of the invisible army supporting a loved one.

Becoming a carer can happen to absolutely anyone, anywhere, anytime – it does not discriminate.  So I do what I can because I want all those caring for a loved one, to know that I am here to support them.


Sally Willsher

Counselling Coordinator

I started out as a home start volunteer and various courses caught my eye – one of which was counselling – after 5 years of training I became a qualified counsellor. Part of the course was to  to gain practical experience with ‘counselling hours’ and my placement was at Southend Carers. The Carers Counselling Service has now been a part of Southend Carers for 9 years incorporating one to one therapy sessions, groups for carers and placements for local students.


Joan Brown

Adult Carers Support Coordinator

I was previously employed by Citizens Advice Rochford & Rayleigh and have had hands on experience caring for relatives alongside paid employment and a busy family life.  I enjoy using my knowledge of carers rights and local services to help adult carers find practical solutions to the issues which arise when caring for a loved one.  I travel throughout the Southend Borough attending community events, giving talks to groups and distributing leaflets and information to raise awareness of the importance of identifying carers and directing them to the support available.


Samantha Lee

Young Carers Support Coordinator

I joined Southend Carers after almost 30 years working in both the corporate and charity sectors in London.  I am a qualified counsellor and passionate about mental health.  I love walking and completed the #walk1000miles challenge last year.


Louise Christie

Gateway Coordinator

I have been working in the voluntary sector for five years with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Healthwatch Southend and Southend Carers.

I have been a Carer and am passionate about my role in the organisation and committed to supporting unpaid Carers.

To be able to help Carers make their lives in any way easier or ease any of the pressures of their role is what is important to me and it’s why I do what I do.


Siouxzanne Prior

Administration Officer

I have worked in the charitable, private and public sectors, as well as running my own business in the past and am proud to be back working in the charitable sector again.  It is important to me to be able to use my experience in accounts and administration as a way to contribute to society.



Kate Prentice

Young Carers Sessional Worker

I am Kate, the young carers seasonal worker, I joined the team after working for a few years as a volunteer with Sycamore young carers. I find it a very rewarding job and I love being able to make a difference to the lives of the young carers.


Meet our trustees


Angelina Clarke


I am an Experienced Chairman and have been a member of the Trustee board for 12 years + with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and social organisation Industry

Skilled in Crisis management, cancer treatment, Nursing management, performance improvement and social enterprise with a 28-year work history within the NHS

A strong entrepreneurship with a BSc focused in Criminology and Forensic Investigation

As an unpaid carer as well to a family member, Angelina is able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the pressures and demands of a caring role and able to support service users accordingly.

Having sat on many strategic boards within the local Council, I have a clear strategic view of the needs of carers in Southend and actively speak to promote their needs and concerns to effect change within the borough that benefits the community our carers reside in.


Daryl King


I’ve had a long and varied work life, spending time on reengineering projects in the insurance industry, before working as a technical consultant and training manager for a software house, then on to a long career as an HR director in a global financial services organisation, latterly as EMEA head of OD and Coaching. I left financial services in 2016, after 16 years in the City, to establish my own consultancy business, specialising in organisation and leadership development, individual and team coaching. My passion is creating safe spaces for people, enabling them to consider work, organisational and personal challenges that are of concern, and to think, feel, discuss and plan strategies for managing them. I hope that the experience I have can benefit both the Southend Carers team and the carers they support.


Andy Pestell


I have over 30 years experience in the field of public sector procurement and contract management, working across the public, private and third sector organisations. I am passionate about public sector services and the benefits that it can have, to improved life outcomes.

Serving as a trustee with Southend Carers, I will contribute my knowledge; experience and commitment with regard to improving the governance and ensuring the strategic outcomes are delivered in a manner that makes life easier and fairer to carers in the Southend Borough.


Richard Wyatt


I was born, bred and educated in Southend and have been married for 10 years. Having a degree in social work I have had a varied working life, working as a probation service officer for 17 years as well as working in the city, Bedfordshire, Essex and for the Affinity Trust supporting people with learning disabilities.

I have a keen interest in people and especially people who have to care for others.  I am a member of Southend Lions Club and my main hobby is caravanning.


Tim Watts


My professional background is in IT project management within central government. My last position there (last year) was Head of Project Delivery on the IT Management Board within the Ministry of Justice. As expected, this involved contributing to strategy, budget and delivery management, promoting the organisation and leading/developing the staff within it.

I am a member of the Lions club of Leigh on Sea and so am regularly involved in charity fund raising plus organising, running and supporting local community events inc Disabled Sports Days and local festivals. Most recently, this involved the Leigh Regatta where I was responsible for booking, assessing and marshalling the attendance of 30+ commercial, craft and charity concessions at an event attended by over 5000 people. This involved a lot of work assessing risk, reviewing insurance and communicating to and managing a range of parties.


Eloise Martin


I recently moved to Southend from Surrey and wanted to volunteer with a charity locally. Impressed with Southend Carers’ work and seeing that there was a trustee vacancy, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get involved.

I have experience working in the charity sector; working in both regional and international charities. I am currently working as a Digital Fundraiser for an international development charity, but have also worked as a community fundraiser for a children’s health charity.