What We Do
Registered since 2011, Forward Facing is a charity that provides activities and events for families suffering long-term illness and bereavement in the Sussex area. Our events come in all shapes and sizes. We put on small events that focus on individual families, medium size events for small groups and large events to which all our families are invited.
Our mission is to provide fun activities that make our families happy. We want our children to have special, unique experiences, where their confidence can grow, where their carers & families can relax and most importantly where they can make some really special memories.
We listen to our families. We work with them to develop events so that they meet the specific needs of children dealing with serious issues. It’s really important to us that every child in need has the opportunity to come to a Forward Facing event. Our work is funded solely from donations and we work diligently to keep the funding coming in so that we can continue to support our families.
Forward Facing is led by Candice Konig with support from the charity trustees, a small admin team and many volunteers, for whom we are truly grateful.
Our Founder Tasleen Carstairs
Talented make-up artist Tasleen set up Forward Facing in 2008 as a Community Interest Company to make a difference to the lives of those suffering from self-image issues. Her mission was to use her training to show people how they could apply make-up to help them build confidence. She worked with those suffering congenital disfigurements as well as those who had been affected from scaring due to illness or accidents. In 2013, Forward Facing was nominated for The Argus’s “Beyond The Call of Duty” award and Tasleen was named an Argus “Local Hero”.
“We work with some of the most vulnerable groups in the community. Some of the children we work with are so poorly and don’t have many opportunities to do fun things, and the parents are pretty isolated as well. It’s about trying to do something for all of them. We really do see a transformation. I think by showing someone that you believe in them, it helps them to start believing in themselves.” Tasleen 2013, The Argus
Tragically Tasleen suffered with her own health and passed away from an aggressive form of cancer in May 2014. One of her main worries during her last remaining days was whether Forward Facing would be able to carry on without her. Stepping up, her best friend Candice Konig vowed to continue Tasleen’s amazing work and has headed up the charity ever since.
Jane Lodge: Chair
Originally a mentor to Tasleen when she started the charity, Jane became a trustee in 2014 and is now Forward Facing’s Chairperson. Jane’s previous experience as Chair of a national charity, along with her organisational and strategy skills help the charity to grow and develop. Jane lends her time at our events and loves working with us because she knows she’s helping to make a difference to families who find life challenging.
John Phillips: Trustee
As Tasleen’s partner, John helped set up Forward Facing in its infancy. Inspired to continue her legacy, John is still an active trustee. With a background as a teacher and IT developer, John helps with administration and lends his knowledge and support whenever required.
David Eglington: Trustee
David is the Managing Director of The Montefiore Hospital in Hove and has worked in the local healthcare community for over twelve years. He became involved with Forward Facing when one of his senior nurses told him about the support she had received from the charity. Since then David has provided invaluable business and operational advice and his team at The Montefiore continue to raise valuable funds for the charity.
Our Forward Facing Team
Candice Konig: Managing Director
Taking the reins from Tasleen in 2014, Candice has dedicated herself to running Forward Facing with tenacity, warmth and love ever since. The families that she helps mean the world to her and she works tirelessly to provide fun events and put smiles on faces. As well as steering the charity, Candice also project manages each event, works with the families and fundraises relentlessly.
“I absolutely love what I do. Seeing those faces light up is the most amazing feeling and I’m so proud of the work we all do. It can be tiring, and I could always do with more help and more money, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything, it’s my life now.”
Claire Stibbs: Fundraising Officer
When Claire was a Social Worker at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, she heard first-hand from families how valuable Forward Facing was to them. She learnt how much they enjoyed their Forward Facing events and how much they appreciated the friendships they made there. This inspired her to join the charity as a fundraiser. We thank Claire for all the hours she puts into our funding & grant applications.
Kelly Verstappen: Bookkeeper and Admin Assistant
After volunteering as a costume maker for Forward Facing in 2017, it wasn’t long before Candice recognised that Kelly had other skills to offer. With a background in finance and admin, Kelly was hired as our bookkeeper in 2018 and her role has since grown to offer further admin support to Candice and the charity.
Ambassadors and Volunteers
Our amazing team of Ambassadors and volunteers give up their free time to help run our events. We really couldn’t survive without their generosity. Ambassadors come from all walks of life: some are parents & carers whose families attend our events, some are professionals who’ve worked with us in the past and now just want to help and others are members of the public who kindly donate their time just because they want to help make a difference.
If you’d like to help then please contact us, we’re sure to find you a way to help.
Long Term Supporters and Sponsors
Forward Facing have been blessed with the help of some remarkable organisations who have donated their services for several years. We would like to say a special thank you to the following:
Forward Facing champions since 2013, the staff at Enterprise Rent-a-Car Brighton are truly dedicated supporters and raise funds for us year on year. From individual staff members who jump out of planes in our name, to huge group participation in challenging events such as Tough Mudder and the London to Brighton Bike Ride, their commitment is incredible. We are also extremely grateful to their staff for nominating us to receive sizeable donations from the Enterprise Holding Foundation for the past 2 years.
Joe Holland of Enterprise is currently raising money for us by shaving his beard. Check out his event on JustGiving here.
The staff at the Montefiore have been incredible. From organising in-house fundraising, offering their professional expertise, donating equipment and actively helping at our events, they’ve achieved a tremendous amount for Forward Facing. We are extremely grateful for their support and for making us their chosen charity.
The Albion In the Community Foundation have helped us put on some great sporting event over the years. Last year they managed to secure joint funding for 9 Forward Facing events. AITC tailor events to the specific needs of our children and their staff go out of their way to make sure everyone is involved and has a great time. Thank you AITC!
We couldn’t run our Memory Making day without the brilliant team at the Dome. As well as donating the venue to us, their staff are always on hand to help with the planning, our endless requests and by volunteering on the day. Thank you for looking after us so well!
For the third year running, we’re working with Pebblebeach who are supporting and guiding our fundraising efforts. They’ve kindly designed our Cause For Support document and continue to offer us great advice and practical help. Thank you Pebblebeach!
We are very grateful to Richard Place Dobson, who continue to support us with their financial services and guidance.
We are very grateful to Mindlab who have supported us for years. Along with giving us lots of lovely donations and sponsoring events, they’ve also generously donated computer equipment.
Another fantastic supporter, Virgin Money Brighton have been extremely generous and have helped us provide some wonderful experiences for our families. Their smiley staff can be often be found volunteering at our events and we’re very grateful for their involvement.
OS & B