Sharon Trerise

General Manager

I joined Unite Carers in September 2014 on a 12 month contract to cover the Office Administrator’s maternity leave.  At the time I was also working in finance for Devon County Council’s local care home Charlton Lodge in Tiverton, having for many years worked as a Personal Assistant to the Customer Services Manager at a large insurance company.  Sadly, Charlton Lodge closed in 2015, the Office Administrator didn’t return from maternity leave, and I became a permanent member of staff for Unite Carers.  Over the years I have worked as an Activities Co-ordinator, along with my colleague Tracy, working with young carers on our Kids Who Care project.  I took on more hours and became Office Manager before taking up my role as General Manager in December 2021.  My role here is very varied and I enjoy working with our wonderful volunteers to support unpaid carers in Mid Devon.  I have two grown up children and a dog called Barnie and enjoy dancing and socialising.


Tracy Downs

Carers’ Services Manager

Hello, I’m Tracy!  I work in a hugely diverse and enjoyable role at Unite which includes supporting unpaid carers and volunteers, carers’ groups and services and handling our social media accounts. Some of you may already know me from my work as a Lead Practitioner at Devon Young Carers, Unite Kids Who Care and most recently with Young Carers Connected, a project I started for TTVS for young carers in North and Mid Devon, so I have been supporting young carers in some shape or form for around 6 years.  Before working with young carers, I was a Family Support Worker for South-West Family Support, 9 years as Assistant Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at Chulmleigh Academy and 15 years working for Reuters as Assistant Editor on the editorial desks and latterly as a Financial Markets Analyst.  I have 3 adult children and live with my partner in Nomansland. We look after 4 cats (2 feral), 1 dog, 2 retired ponies and 4 rescue chickens.  In my spare time I like to walk, cycle and run. I’ve cycled across Spain and Portugal with my brother and the C2C route from Whitehaven in the Lake District across the Pennies and into Sunderland. In October I ran the London Marathon in aid of Unite Carers.  I volunteer for The British Hen Welfare Trust, The Cinnamon Trust and Unite Carers and I’m also a registered unpaid carer.


Jenny Tower

Designated Safeguarding Officer / Safe Stop Group Facilitator

Hi, I’m Jenny!  I facilitate the Tiverton and Witheridge Safe Stop Groups as well as volunteering as Unite’s Designated Safeguarding Officer and volunteer facilitator for the Let’s Unite at No.4 Parent Carer Support Group for school-aged children with additional needs and the Parent Carer Group for those who care for adults and older teens with additional needs AND I’m also a volunteer befriender with Unite, so I’m kept very busy. I have been involved with Unite for about 18 years, initially supported by Judy Seymour at Unite as a carer for my husband John, for which I will always be grateful.  I then became a volunteer befriender for those coping with caring for a loved one with dementia and more recently, as a befriender for parent carers who have children with additional needs.  I have also been a Trustee and Chair of Trustees on the Board.  I have a professional background in social work, an interest in dementia and autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD.  It is a privilege to be involved with this creative and supportive charity for unpaid carers.



The Unite Board of Trustees


Bernice Philbrick

Chair of Trustees / Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer

My association with Unite Carers began when I became a carer myself.  I retired and moved to Willand after a fulfilling career in nursing.  I volunteered in the local community through Involve until life changed for me and I became a Carer.  The support I received from Unite Carers helped me through a difficult time.  I decided to volunteer for Unite and am proud to belong to the team keeping this charity vibrant and successful.


Jack Bukin

Trustee – IT Specialist

Jack joined the Board in 2022 and he has spent the past 10 years specialising in IT technical support, digital training and consultancy.  He is a Senior Digital Consultant and Director, supporting SMEs and larger organisations with digital transformation and software roll-out.  Jack is responsible for IT in his Trustee role and has experience of working with vulnerable adults.


Patricia Eardley


Patricia has been a Trustee at Unite Carers for several years and prior to retirement she was a vocational trainer for individuals with acquired brain injuries.  She has also been involved at a managerial level with adults who have learning disabilities.  While working in the care sector for the Thera Group South West she was employed as a financial advocate to ensure financial needs were met in supported homes along with the quality of care provided to everyone.


Paul Fitzmaurice

Trustee – Governance

I retired and moved to Devon 25 years ago after a career  in the oil industry which took me all over the world from Alaska to New Zealand.  Since then, I have volunteered as a trustee for a number of local charities and retired from this second career five years ago – Then I was persuaded!



Stephanie Hart


Now semi-retired, I was invited to join Unite Carers by a fellow trustee. My professional career has spanned many realms; from finance to teaching then educational leadership and consultancy to life coaching.   My skills set stems from careers both in education and formerly finance. I have a banking background although in my late 30s decided to go to university.  Having achieved a B.Ed (Hons) degree, I began work as a teacher before progressing into senior leadership and consultancy roles.   I have served as a designated safeguarding lead for young people and those affected by adverse childhood experiences. In observing people’s learning styles, my leadership roles have enabled me to build strong, loyal and effective teams.   I currently serve as a visiting professional tutor and lead mentor to trainee teachers whilst on placement within schools as well as running my own tutoring and coaching business. I am passionate about supporting both primary and secondary school children to fulfil their learning potential.   As a qualified and certified life coach I remain highly conscious of the mental health arena and need for people to guard their own emotional health; this being particularly pertinent when serving as a carer, in what can be challenging circumstances.  Being mindful is an importance life practice and to this end I paint and sell art. I also play (and used to teach) the piano, knit and crochet. My recent new hobby has been to take up calligraphy which supports some of my art compositions.


Tina Webber


I have volunteered for Unite Carers in various roles for 8 years and have been on the Board of Trustees since June 2022.  I have Multiple Sclerosis and felt the need to do a little giving back whilst I’m able.  I’m can’t work regularly but I enjoy doing what I can.  Now I mostly volunteer in the office but in the past, I’ve been a Befriender, a craft co-ordinator for Unite Kids Who Care and an office assistant taking phone calls, greeting people who come into the office and working on the database.  Our little charity gives me purpose and meaning.  I love helping people and that’s just what we do. We care because they care.  I live in Tiverton with my husband Chris and we have 3 boys and 4 grandchildren.