Patrons and Ambassadors


Sonya Cassidy, Actress
Our Lead Ambassador is Sonya Cassidy who is from Nailsea. Since attending RADA, she has become a talented actress with an impressive portfolio of work, playing at the Old Vic Theatre in London and alongside Robert Lindsay and Joanna Lumley. She is probably best known for her part as Clara in the BBC TV series ‘The Paradise’. She has also appeared in Vera, The Woman in White, Humans and more recently the American comedy drama Lodge 49.

“It’s a real honour to be asked to be an Ambassador for Springboard. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with young children with special educational needs and disabilities, so it’s something that’s very dear to me, and I’m very aware of the importance of a charity like Springboard. The work everyone has been doing here over the past 25 years is incredible. It’s a vital source of support, education and fun in a secure, understanding environment; and it’s so important for a child’s confidence, and for their parent’s too, ensuring that there are the same opportunities and experiences there as for any other child.”

Honorary President

Ann Ramsey

Ann co-founded Springboard in 1986 along with another group of mums who all had young children with disabilities. They could not find the support they needed during the early years of their children’s lives and initially opened Springboard for one session per week. Ann stepped down as CEO after 30 years in July 2017, but continues to help the charity in her role as honorary president by giving talks and helping at fundraising events.

Ann won the West Woman of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 for her work with Springboard.

“Springboard and all the other things I do are down to the big group of people and lots of other amazing women. There is no way I could have achieved anything all on my own, but it was nice to mark the end of my part of it with an award. Springboard has had support from all sorts of different people over the years. In our sector, we rely so much on the hard work of other people and their commitment. It is not about a single person – everyone makes a difference.”

When Ann stepped down, she said Springboard had shaped services for children with additional needs and disabilities in North Somerset.


Rupert Graves, Actor

Rupert Graves, the well known and versatile actor, who is from Weston super mare, where he attended school and launched his career, has been a Springboard Patron since 2006. He has visited our Clevedon and Weston Centres with his young family and takes a genuine interest in the work of Springboard and the community we support.

Jemma Cooper, BBC Presenter

BBC presenter Jemma Cooper kindly agreed to become a Springboard patron in 2011. Jemma presented the weather for BBC Points West and BBC Radio Bristol for several years. She has also co-organises the Portishead Carnival.