Meet our staff & trustees


We would like to introduce ourselves as newly elected and re-elected trustees.


Emma Stevenson

“My son Ben now 13, has been attending FCDC events since he was 6months old. He is profoundly deaf with one implant and one hearing aid currently enjoying mainstream school in Portishead. This will be my third year as trustee. I think it is hugely important for there to be somewhere for him to meet other children with the same needs as him. He also appreciates finding other children who are the same as him and has found good friends through various activities the charity had provided. I was previously a trustee for a local preschool charity and prior to that, worked closely with charities while working for the civil service. I am otherwise a nurse currently working at Southmead hospital. As a trustee, I am very keen to ensure the Family Centre can provide something for all deaf children”

Laura Orna (Secretary)

“My partner Henry and I have two children, Max is 5 years old and has bilateral moderate-severe hearing loss and wears hearing aids, Evelyn is 3 years old and hearing. I wanted to get involved with the Family Centre as firstly, I didn’t want it to close! I think it’s a great place for us as parents as well as our children, to socialise, share experiences and support each other”

Neil Curry (Treasurer)

“I was elected as a Trustee to the FCDC at the 2016 AGM on 20th Nov 2016. I live in Bradley Stoke and I am the grandfather of Savannah who will be 7 years old on Christmas Day this year. Savannah has had severe hearing impairment but could hear with the aid of her hearing aids but following re-assessment she was successfully transitioned to Bi-lateral Cochlea Implants which she received in May 2017. My wife, Janice and I, did not really know the impact of HI until it affected us as a family and naturally have been surprised and grateful for all the help that we as a family have received so far from the relevant support agencies. I can see that over the years Savannah will be receiving a lot of assistance and I feel that I would like to put back some support to show how thankful we are for that help. Hence me volunteering to be a Trustee for the FCDC. Since becoming a Trustee my role has expanded to also act as the Treasurer for the Centre”

Wilson McKelvie

I have three children of whom my two sons both have partial hearing loss and wear hearing aids.  My elder son, who wasn’t diagnosed until he was 6 years old, is now at university and has moved away from Bristol, but when they were younger both boys benefitted from the events and activities offered by FCDC.  They enjoyed these times and it was good for them to mix with other children with a wide range of hearing loss including BSL users.

Through their links with FCDC, both boys played for the South West Hearing & Visually Impaired Futsal Team, and the younger one is now looking to join Bristol City Deaf Football Team.

I became a trustee in 2015 as I felt I wanted to give something back to the charity that had done so much for my children.  Although we attend fewer events as a family now, I have remained in my role while the charity has continued through some challenging times.  We are now in our strongest position for quite a while and I am excited about future directions and projects.

Sonia Brewer

“I moved to Bristol in 2012 and now have 2 children. My daughter Zahina was born hearing but contracted meningitis at 3 months old. Thankfully she survived but was left with life changing conditions – a brain injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, visual impairment and profound hearing loss in one ear. She has had tremendous support from many wonderful charities and we are so grateful to them all. I want to be a trustee of the Family Centre as I think it’s vitally important that deaf children have the opportunity to meet other deaf children to encourage a sense of belonging. We have attended many of the FCDC events, all of which my children loved, and I feel in the years to come it will provide a safe, welcoming, inclusive space for them and for us.”

Laura Hunter

“I have two children and my eldest, George, is deaf and his younger sister, Grace is hearing. He was diagnosed as having Auditory Neuropathy (now known as ANSD), just after birth, through the newborn hearing screening programme. At that time, not much was known about ANSD and we had to wait to see how his hearing and speech would develop. He eventually had one cochlear implant when he was three, which he really benefitted from.

After going to our local mainstream primary school George is now at secondary at Fairfield School in Bristol, where he has a place in the HIRB (Hearing Impaired Resource Base). 

Over the years we have been to many FCDC events and it has been a good opportunity to meet other deaf children and for us to meet other parents in a similar situation. Both George and Grace have enjoyed activities run by FCDC, especially sign language classes and trips to Mojo Active.

What I particularly like about the charity is that it is for the whole family and hearing siblings are also included and supported.”


We are all committed to providing a network and a space for deaf children and their families and would like to work with everyone to achieve this.