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Jessie May Trust

November 9, 2011

Jessie May is a Bristol-based charity providing nursing care at home for children and young people with life limiting conditions who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19.

Jessie May was established in September 1994 by Chris and Philippa Purrington, following the death of their baby daughter Jessica May. She died from a genetic condition known as severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was only 4½ months old.

Whilst the family were visiting relatives in Bristol, Jessica was admitted to the local hospital. It was here that the family learnt that the support they had received back at home in High Wycombe was not available to families caring for their child at home in the Bristol area.

Jessica was cared for by her family at home throughout her illness. She died peacefully at home in her father’s arms, in privacy, with dignity and surrounded by all those who loved her.

Jessica’s parents were determined to do what they could to enable other children with conditions like Jessica’s and their families to have support in their own homes and the choice to die at home when that time comes. After a lot of hard work and perseverance initial funding was secured, and Jessie May was officially launched in 1996.

Jessie May was initially based from one small office in Southmead Hospital, Bristol and in 1999 moved to larger premises on the Kingswood Foundation Estate, Kingswood, Bristol.

The Trust is almost entirely reliant upon voluntary funding, and encourages donations from individuals, corporate organisations, community groups and grant-making or charitable trusts. No charge is made to families using the services of the charity.

Since Jessie May was founded in 1996 we have supported over 170 children and their families in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area.


Our vision is a world in which all children and young people with life limiting conditions are empowered and able to access the support they want for themselves and their families. We aim to ensure that they have the very best quality of life possible and can exercise their right to live and to be cared for in their own homes with their families.


Our mission is to work in partnership with families and other agencies to deliver and develop quality respite and palliative care services in the home for all children and young people with life limiting conditions and their families who choose them and who live in our geographical area.


  • We believe that it is in the best interests of children and families that we work collaboratively and in partnership with the other agencies providing complementary services to children and families with life limiting conditions.
  • We believe that parents and carers usually know what is best for their child and we aim to work in partnership with them so that they and their children are empowered to choose how and when they want services delivered.
  • We believe it is important to focus on the child and not on his/her condition.
  • We strive to be open and honest in our communications with all those that have an interest in our work and our organisation.
  • We strive to be creative and innovative in order to meet the needs of families and to deliver excellence.
  • We believe that all children have equal value and all children have potential to be fulfilled no matter how short their life.
  • We believe that all children and families have the right to be supported at home and to choose how that support is provided irrespective of their ethnic, religious, cultural or other background.
  • We believe that all family members have a right to this support and we strive for a holistic approach.

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