Our patrons

The Pear Tree Fund

The Pear Tree Centre

Introducing our patrons

Find out more about the Pear Tree Fund’s patrons.

Jan Etherington

Jan Etherington is a multi-award winning comedy writer and journalist who became a patron of the Pear Tree Fund in 2022.

Alongside her husband Gavin Petrie, Jan has written many long-running radio and TV comedies, including ‘Second Thoughts’, ‘Next of Kin’ and ‘Faith in the Future’, which won a British Comedy Award. Her most recent success is Radio 4 comedy ‘Conversations from a Long Marriage’, starring Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam. Jan also writes regularly for many publications, including a monthly column in Suffolk Magazine.

Jan moved to Suffolk 10 years ago and lives on the coast with Gavin and Jagger, her English Setter. She is a daily sea swimmer and a former tour guide at Southwold Lighthouse.

Jan’s play ‘You’ll Be Fine’ was written for the Pear Tree Fund and premiered at the Ink Festival in Halesworth, to which Jan regularly contributes.

“I discovered the Pear Tree Fund when I was asked to write a play for the charity,” said Jan. “Subsequently, my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the Pear Tree Fund has been wonderfully supportive. I am honoured to be a patron.”

Lois Hunt square

Lois Hunt 

Lois Hunt became a patron of the Pear Tree Fund in 2015.

Lois moved to Heveningham Hall with her husband and four children more 20 years ago, and has since restored the house and gardens while becoming more and more involved with the community.

Lois started Heveningham Hall Country Fair alongside representatives from Heveningham, Huntingfield, Cookley, Cratfield and Walpole. Together with an annual firework displays, Christmas market and Santa run, the event has now raised well over £1million for local charities, including £30,000 for the Pear Tree Fund in 2023.

“I wanted to become involved with the Pear Tree Fund after experiencing the amazing support and care that a close friend received when she had great need,” said Lois, who is also director and owner of Halesworth Golf Club, which supports the Pear Tree Fund's annual charity golf day.

"I've also seen what an essential and very welcome service it provides within the community.”

Elaine Murphy - Baroness Murphy of Aldgate

Elaine Murphy, Baroness Murphy of Aldgate, became a patron of the Pear Tree Fund in autumn 2020.

Formerly Foundation Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of London, Baroness Murphy has been a politically independent life peer since 2004. She was formerly the Chief Medical Officer’s personal advisor in her field and a UK advisor on mental health to the World Health Organisation.

Baroness Murphy has a wealth of experience of chairing NHS trusts and health authorities, and has a special interest in mental health and social care in the House of Lords. She is also a vice-president of the Alzheimer’s Society.

“I was delighted to accept the role of patron with the Pear Tree Fund,” she said. “The charity has some very impressive trustees and staff at its helm who work hard to support the community.”

Elaine Murphy

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The Pear Tree Fund's latest news

Learn what's happening in and around our fund.

Popular pub smashes through £10k target

Staff at the Queen’s Head at Bramfield are celebrating after smashing through an ambitious target to raise more than £10,000 for a much-loved local charity. The popular pub chose the Pear Tree Fund as its charity of the year in ... Read More

Pub pins hopes on charity bookshop takeover

A pub restaurant in Bramfield is set to convert its restaurant into a full-size pop-up charity book shop to raise funds for the Pear Tree Fund. The Queen’s Head selected the Pear Tree Fund as its chosen charity just under ... Read More

Extra support with long-term conditions

We are launching a series of eight-week lifestyle programmes for people living with long-term conditions. The first group starts this week and will use health coaching to help people improve their health and happiness and relieve symptoms, while also benefitting ... Read More

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