Our Board of Trustees and Volunteers

Jon Rust – Chairman / Trustee

With a number of our trustees, Jon is the drive behind setting up Tyler’s Friends. Jon is in a unique (if not unenviable) position of not only being a bereaved parent himself but also a experienced Funeral Director and Funeral Celebrant. This gives Tyler’s Friends board of trustees a very balanced view of expectations and knowledge whilst ensuring that other bereaved parents are safe in the knowledge that they are talking to someone who has experienced their grief.

Kirsten Rust – Trustee, Events & Fundraising Coordinator and Memorial Consultant

I have been a funeral director for 16 years and gained my diploma in 2011. During my time in this profession I have had the privilege but emotional job of looking after bereaved parents. As funeral directors we are able to cover the costs of a funeral but there are some external costs that we have no control over and I found some of my families found this a financial struggle. Setting up Tyler’s Friends Charity will now enable us to help families with these costs. I had the honour of looking after Tyler when he passed away and was pleased I was able to help Heidi and Lee give their little man the funeral he deserved and carry out their wishes. I was then involved in organising and participating in the quiz night and clarendon walk that raised funds to pay for a headstone for Tyler’s final resting place.

Steve Richards

Steve Richards – Treasurer and Trustee

Steve is a qualified Accounting Technician with more than 37 years experience in Banking and Finance, and a natural choice for the role of Treasurer for Tyler’s Friends. As a professional independent celebrant, Steve has experience of meeting with and talking to bereaved families, and is adept at striking that delicate balance between empathy, for grieving parents, and practicality, by helping them when it is most needed.

Micheal Weston – Vice Treasurer

Dealing with various policies and HMRC refunds, amongst other important duties within the charity.

Louise Christopher

Louise Christopher – Trustee and Events & Fundraising Coodinator

I have worked in the care industry for 25 years. Alongside this I have been chairperson of PTA’s for the last 9 years, working with Upton Juniors and Lytchett Minister Schools. I have also supported Forest Holme and Bournemouth Hospital. I am very honoured and privileged to be involved in Tyler’s Friends and very excited to see where our journey takes us.

Karen Ratcliffe – Website Content Management

After experiencing some very tough and emotional challenges in my own life, it gives me nothing but pleasure to volunteer my time to such an amazing charity. Kirsten and Jon, in my opinion, are a truly amazing couple and even as they face heartbreak on a daily basis in their own careers, they are prepared to make something incredible like this happen in their own time! I’m extremely proud to be part of it!

Ali Haesler – Tyler’s Friends Team

I have worked as a clerical officer at Poole Hospital since 2014. I am married to Steve and we have one Daughter, Chloe. I got involved in Tyler’s Friends as it was put together by my best friend Kirsten and her Husband Jon. I have participated in many of the events over the last 18 months, but I draw the line at running! Kirsten has even dragged me out of bed at 5am to help raise money for Tyler’s Friends, which I am happy to do providing a coffee is supplied. I look forward to helping this amazing charity grow so they can continue providing assistance to bereaved families.

Lauren Christopher – Tyler’s Friends Team

My name is Lauren and I’m 17 years old. I attend college and I am hoping to follow on to Uni to study to become a social worker. Outside of college, I am also a brownie leader and enjoy helping others. I have supported a few charities over time, mainly due to watching my Mum getting involved in charity work through my childhood. I first got involved with Tyler’s Friends after my Mum became a Trustee in 2018.  I have enjoyed volunteering at various events over the past year and helping to raise money for such a wonderful charity who supports families in such sad circumstances. It is wonderful to be a part of such a great team and I am looking forward to seeing where our future takes us.