About JIGSAW Thornbury
JIGSAW stands for Joining In, Growing Support, Awareness, and Wellbeing. We support families who have children and young people who are 0-25 years and have any additional needs or disability. This can be anything from learning needs such as dyslexia to complex disabilities or medical problems. Many children and young people who come have no diagnosis. Our staff and volunteers are passionate about working with families to empower them get the support they need. Our vision is that children and young people with additional needs or disabilities and their families are empowered to connect, fit in, and thrive as themselves.
Who are we?
We are a friendly team of staff, trustees, and volunteers who have a wide range of skills and experiences. We work together to offer a range of services that support and empower the families we work with.
Looking after our team’s mental health and wellbeing is important to us here at JIGSAW. We are a Mindful Employer and have signed the charter for employers who are positive about mental health. We even have a registered therapy dog, Albus, who is in the office a few days a week and attends services for our families from time to time.
JIGSAW Thornbury is goverened by a strong board of trustees who act as a critical friend, offering a balance of support and challenge to enable us to deliver our charitable purpose with as much impact as possible. We review the skills on our board annually to make sure we’ve got the right mix of experience to set us up for long term success.
Why do we help?
JIGSAW Thornbury was set up in 2013 by Tor Goodman and a group of her friends. Tor was a paediatric nurse so had supported many families through difficult situations, but it was having 2 children with complex needs herself that led to the development of JIGSAW.
The group of friends recognised that there was a need locally for support for family’s like Tor’s. She found that having children with special educational needs and disabilities meant her life was quite different to what she expected and what many of her friends were experiencing.
‘It feels such a short time since I decided to set up a support group in a church hall for parents who were in a similar situation of having children with additional needs in 2013; that was really all I had planned, honest! In my former life I had been a children’s nurse and cared for many children with additional needs and disabilities, so I thought I knew what it would be like when I became such a parent! How wrong I was! It can be a lonely rollercoaster ride with no option to get off! (A bit like setting up a charity really 😉!)’
Tor Goodman, Founder
How do we help?
We provide regular activities such as our lending library and support groups. We also run bookable events in the holidays and after school. These activities include forest schools, horse riding, therapeutic music sessions and dance classes. We also run training and awareness sessions for parents and carers and run a youth club and young volunteers scheme.
We help each other gain strength in an understanding and non judgemental environment. We are responsive to the needs of families, always looking to improve and expand what we do.
Meet the team
Vice Chair of Trustees
Hi, my name is Annie and I am a JIGSAW trustee.
I have worked as a senior A&E Nurse in London and a barrister based in Truro. I love long walks, the wild of an Atlantic storm on the north coast of Cornwall where I lived for 25 years until moving to Portishead just in time for lockdown, making Bramble Jelly and cooking great batches of chilli con carne and fish pie.
Important things to me are my husband Geoff, our families – all families, they are the heart and soul of our society – and volunteering.
Trustee and Safeguarding Lead
Hi, my name is Emma and I’m a trustee! I’ve lived in Thornbury for 11 years and teach History at Castle School. As well as teaching History, I am also a Head of Year, so a large part of my job is working to support students and families in school and liaising with other professionals like therapists, doctors, educational psychologists etc, as well as with our own Learning Support department.
I’m hoping to be able to bring this experience to my role as a Jigsaw trustee. I have three children, who are now technically adults (eek!!!) My eldest daughter is at university and I have 18 year old twins living at home, who go to college. I have been a member of Jigsaw for many years, as my son has autism and dyspraxia. He has really been enjoying the new youth club and I’m really excited that the work of Jigsaw is starting to move towards support for this older age group, while continuing provision for the younger ones. My son adores animals, dogs especially, and we were one of the families who got in quick when lockdown loomed in March and got a puppy! He’s a very lively black cocker spaniel called Monty, who is an joy to all of us, but absolutely adores my son.
I look forward to bumping into some of you while out walking Monty, as I know that many of you also have dogs! You can contact me regarding any safeguarding concerns at
I’m Steve and I’m a Trustee of JIGSAW. I have worked in Governance, Risk and Strategy roles for more than 20 years and am hoping that as a Trustee I can use that experience to support the growth and sustainability of JIGSAW as an organisation.
In my work in financial services, I am both a trained leadership coach and diversity campaigner, and I believe that the work JIGSAW does is vital to helping children and young adults, with additional needs and disabilities, get a fair chance to develop and create opportunities for themselves.
I first moved to Thornbury when I was seven, and now live here with my wife, Claire, a Children’s nurse, and two kids, Beth and Nick, both at Castle School.
To unwind I watch movies and run through muddy fields.
Helen is a chartered accountant with public and private sector experience in a variety of advisory and executive roles, where she has gained broad experience of financial strategy, financial reporting and control, and financial leadership, as well as building high performing teams.
Helen has two sons and lives in Thornbury.
Rob Cadman is an experienced financial advisor and respected local businessman and is volunteering as a trustee at JIGSAW Thornbury to help with all things related to business and finance!
The Management Team
Hi, I’m Hattie and I’m the Interim CEO at JIGSAW Thornbury. You might already know me as before stepping into this role I was Chair of Trustees and had been a trustee for JIGSAW since Sept 2020. Although a relatively short time, there has been a lot of change for our wonderful charity since I joined the team. We have gathered passion and ideas from staff, volunteers, families and other key stakeholders to form our first ever strategy and business plan. These capture the unique and brilliant impact of our special charity and set out how we will continue to build on our experience to bring benefits to the families we support over the next 5 years. I feel very fortunate to be part of this journey and to get to work with such an inspiring, dedicated team, as well as all the children, young, people and families who are my core motivation for everything I do in this role.
You can find me and Albus, my Cocker Spaniel who is JIGSAW’s registered therapy dog, at our charity’s home in the St Mary Centre a few days a week, or contact me by email at any time firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support and Activities Manager
I joined JIGSAW on its second ever session back in 2013. I came as a struggling, lonely, tearful mum to a child who was ‘different’. I found a warm caring and understanding group of parents.
Since then I became a volunteer and helped run the drop-in groups that ran initially from the Baptist church and then St Mary’s Church hall. In December 2017 I gave up my Critical Care Nursing role at Southmead Intensive Care.
In February 2018 I started working for JIGSAW. I am now the Activities & Support Manager. This involves something different on a daily basis and my job description is still evolving!
My JIGSAW colleagues are like family and I am blessed to be a part of the team. Please note I am always available for coffee or G&T!
Hi there I’m Catherine Miles, mum to a son who has cerebral palsy and I have been involved with JIGSAW Thornbury as both a parent and volunteer before becoming the Operations Manager.
I have previously worked in the motor industry, then completed my AAT accounting qualification at Volvo Truck and Bus before my son was born. Since my son was born very early at 26 weeks I have had a couple of bookkeeping roles and been treasurer for a local rugby club. I have also spent five years as a volunteer for the charity Bliss supporting parents in the neonatal unit and running a neonatal baby group.
I joined JIGSAW Thornbury to support the work the charity is doing. In my spare time I love crafting and playing rugby!
Volunteer and HR Manager
My journey with JIGSAW first started in 2019 when my daughter joined the Young volunteers scheme, this was to help increase her confidence and to work with other children with additional needs. This has experience has helped her find her own space and improved her relationship with her brother. We then joined JIGSAW as members to support us in the journey we are going through to obtain an Autistic diagnosis for our son. When the opportunity to work for JIGSAW arose I was very keen to join as Volunteer & HR manager as my background involves working as a support worker for a postnatal care charity and as a coach and trainer for a large Healthcare company. On a personal level the ethos of the charity and the protective factors it gives me in my personal life makes me feel like I’m part of a family.
I’m very excited for JIGSAW’s future and being a part of the journey.
What they have to say
“For years I’d unintentionally isolated myself. When I joined JIGSAW I instantly felt supported and understood”
“Benjamin feels at home in the base. He loves playing there and begs to go”
“Jigsaw has been a absolutely essential part of my mental health wellbeing over the last 6 months. I have been off work due to the stress partly of having a child with additional needs and moving to a new SEN school. The support from Jigsaw and its volunteers has been tremendous”
What’s on at Jigsaw Thornbury
Would you like to attend an event with your family? Find out all about our latest events and activities.