I’m Jan Burns, Charlie’s mummy and joint founder of Charlie’s Star Charity with Charlie’s daddy – my husband and rock - Baz Burns. Following the sudden and unexpected death of my gorgeous little boy, a week after his 10th birthday, I thought my whole world hand ended forever. I never thought I’d be able to move forward from the absolute depths of utter sadness and grief I felt following Charlie’s death. Together with Charlie’s partner-in-crime – his older sister Izzie (who he absolutely doted on), we all continue to travel a journey that will last a lifetime. As Charlie was so full of life, and invariably greeted everyone with his trademark cheeky smile, no matter how hard, we vowed we would find something to laugh or smile about every day. We decided in the early days that we needed to make the most of every single day, and we wanted to create a legacy that Charlie could be proud of. Over the last 7 years we have thrown ourselves into privately raising money for various charities resulting in raising in excess of £100,000, and making a huge difference to the lives of many people across the county. In addition to 25 years Customer Service and Management experience, my remit now includes a combination of 7 years employed and volunteered Community Fundraising experience including; events, challenge, budgets, project management, high profile public speaking, changes to national paediatric medical training and a personal understanding of the grief every bereaved family faces as they embark on the journey they will travel for the rest of their lives.
My name is Carol Musgrove and I met Jannie and Baz on the worst night of their lives. I was Charlie’s nurse in A&E the night he passed away. I can honestly tell you as a registered nurse this was the worst shift I had ever worked. I worked in a district hospital and sick children do not go to our hospital they go to the General Hospital in Southampton. They tell you as a nurse there will be a patient that you will never forget, well Charlie is mine. At the time Charlie died I was in the local Military Wives choir and unbeknown to them I organised fundraising for the family and their chosen charity. About 14 months after Charlie passed away Jannie and Baz made contact with me and wanted to get to know me. In this time I have helped raise awareness and fundraise for their chosen charity. I have made friends with the most wonderful family; Jannie, Baz and Izzie. I am absolutely honoured that they have asked me to be a trustee for Charlie’s Star in memory of their son.
An enthusiastic leader with strong strategy and governance skills and significant experience in motivating and inspiring people to support their local communities. Beth has substantial experience in the corporate sector, progressing to a senior level. Previously, Beth was Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community for an international energy company leading their fundraising and volunteering strategy for 7,000 staff and their local communities. She also led the strategic development and operation of their long-standing vulnerable customer programme - Health Through Warmth, providing a lifeline to people with long term illnesses, who are unable to fund repairs or afford new heating systems and have often been without heating and hot water for several years. More recently, Beth has been working for two charities: Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and Wiltshire Air Ambulance developing their fundraising strategies and expanding her local fundraising knowledge.
Claire Perry O'Neill
I’m Claire Perry – Baz, Jan and Izzie’s MP. It was a huge honour when Baz & Jan asked me to be the Patron of Charlie’s Star Charity as it has been a pleasure, as well as incredibly humbling, to work alongside them over the last few years - to help raise awareness of SUDEP amongst Parliamentarians, Healthcare Professionals and Parents so that other families do not suffer as they have, and that bright lives are not cut short. I’m sure everyone will appreciate it has been a gruelling few weeks and months in Westminster, but it is the opportunity to help amazing people like Baz, Jan and Izzie which makes it all worthwhile. It is so wrong that more people die from SUDEP each year, than AIDS and Cot Deaths – but so little is known about this silent killer. As many of you will know The Burns’ and their many friends have raised over £100,000 over the last few years, predominantly for SUDEP Action and Julia’s House Children's Hospice and it is fantastic that they are now focusing their energy and amazing skills on fundraising for Charlie’s Star Charity so that bereaved families will be able to enjoy fully funded holidays in Cornwall. Please support Charlie’s Star, you are helping to create hope and smiles for families who have faced the most heart-breaking tragedy of their lives. None of us can change what has happened, but together we can make their lives a little easier.
Damien was born on 11th May 1974 in Warrington where he spent the majority of his childhood. He attended Bridgewater High School where he passed several GCSEs. Being the youngest of three brothers with an appetite for the Army, Damien followed in their footsteps just after his 16th Birthday, enlisting in to the Royal Artillery in July 1990. Despite being from the north of England, Damien seemed to have settled to life on the south coast spending most of his Army Career based at Thorney Island, Hampshire. Damien met his wife Eileen in 2002 and married in Nov 2003. Together they have 3 children, Caitlin 16, Jack 14 and the latecomer, Lacey Aged 8; Damien also has a daughter from a previous relationship, Megan aged 20. Keen to finally gain some civilian qualifications, Damien graduated from Northumbria University in 2014 with a BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management, he also holds diplomas in Strategic and Human Resource Management. Damien has enjoyed an illustrious 29-year Army career to date which saw him appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Training Regiment Winchester before being awarded the Queens commission and the rank of Captain in 2015. In the small amount of spare time that exists, Damien enjoys mountain biking and course fishing, both no more than an enthusiastic amateur.
Sarah currently works for the MOD as a Civil Servant, delivering for a better future. Prior to that she worked with children and young people for several years supporting both the children and the families with various difficulties. Sarah is currently a mentor for the Civil Service and thrives from empowering others to develop themselves further. Sarah currently lives in the South West of England but was born and raised in Huddersfield. She became involved with charity work due to her eldest daughter Bethany, who attended school with Charlie Burns. Bethany wanted to do something to help the Burns family and since then the whole family, Sarah, Chris, Bethany and Natasha have supported the Burns family campaign.
Chairman of Trustees
I have been very, very blessed and incredibly lucky to be in good health but like everyone else in Cornwall and the South West know people who have used and been supported by the fantastic work undertaken by the charity sector. I have in business and at a personal level carried out fundraising to help support such charities, and I am very humbled and honoured to be a trustee for Charlie’s Star, where we have the opportunity to excel in raising much needed profile and funding. Throughout 25 years in retail I have learnt that being ethical and true to yourself are the cornerstones to achieving great results, something I will endeavour to continue in memory of my nephew, Charlie. This is another chapter in the journey of Charlie and it is with great pride and anticipation that we undertake these next steps together.
For the past 4 years I have been worked for the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity Julia’s House. Initially as a community fundraiser but more recently managing volunteers through recruitment, training and retention to support the charity. During this time, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jan Burns, as a colleague and both Baz and Izzie Burns who volunteered their time to support Julia’s House. As a close friend, I am now extremely proud to utilise my skills to be able to support their personal journey in order to start Charlie’s Star Charity, in memory of their gorgeous little boy Charlie. In addition to my charity work, my employment background includes event management, predominately for private and corporate functions in the hospitality sector. In my spare time I volunteer for an animal charity, I am a keen horse rider, and I enjoy walks in the New Forest.