How We Started
A message from the Founding Trustee, Jane Bell

Gutsy Gastros was finally launched on 18 September 2014 after a stop and start journey caused by my mixed feelings; I have always wanted to give back something to the system that keeps my son alive and after a few years of being at home, I knew I wanted to do something to help other families in our position.

In 2012 Albert nearly died due to line sepsis (one of the many complications of TPN) and I realised that he and I had made many friends at his school, but even though we saw each at the school gates, I had kept the desperate state of my son to myself.

As a teacher, I felt I owed the parents the opportunity to inform their own children about Albert and his precarious life. The entire class was very supportive and kind and one parent – JC Twort, came forward and asked to run the London Marathon for Albert. Initially, I wasn’t keen as I had always felt that doing something like that would mean Albert would not be here much longer, so I declined the very kind and generous offer. A few weeks later, I realised I would be missing an opportunity to achieve my dream of giving something back and, with my backing, JC raised £4,000 for Gutsy Gastros and so the journey began. Thank you JC.

Joanna Gregg, the mother of Albert’s girl friend, also ran and raised money for Gutsy Gastros and is now on the Committee. Jane Garaway – also a Trustee – helps with literature, event posters and advertising and her husband David was roped in to design our lovely Gutsy Gastro logo and brand. Thank you Jo, Jane and David.

Numerous life-threatening admissions with my children and my inability to understand the world of finance, tech and law, meant that when Paula Reid generously bought Gutsy Gastros’ domain name and website, I stalled once more! Paula and I met again to discuss her aim of a) skiing to the South Pole and b) her wish to help, both of which spurred me on to give launching a much needed and wanted charity some serious thought.

Paula is now a Trustee as well as my dear friend and our Gutsy Gastro tech expert, Tiffany St James. Thanks ladies.

As with most incredible business ideas, it was on the golf course that our ‘driving force’ behind Gutsy Gastros listened about my dream of this charity. Barely a week later, Fiona Pollard, arrived on my doorstep armed with a bottle or two of champagne, a large baguette and some cheese, and by midnight we were toasting the official birth of Gutsy Gastros! Thank you Fiona.

Jane Bell