Meet the team

Fiona Bishop 

Mentor Practitioner (SAFS)

Responsibilities:  As a SAFS Practitioner, my role is to help instil the confidence in young people to realise their potential and to positively engage with their education.

Previous experience: I have previously worked in schools for several years, initially as a Teaching Assistant in secondary then moving to a special needs school. I went on to work for the Behaviour Support Service as a Support Worker to work one to one with primary children in their schools and also as a Parent Support Advisor. I have a degree in Fine Art, I have found that creativity has been useful when working with many of the children and young people I meet.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I work with a team who are passionate about making a difference to young people. I love having time to listen to young people and encouraging them to realise their potential.

Good at: Drawing, using fitness to keep motivated and being caring.

Not good at: Being tidy, parking and singing!

Anna Brownell

Mentoring Practitioner (SAFS)

Responsibilities: To positively engage young children in education.

Previous experience: I trained as a complementary therapist at Bath College which led to working on a cruise ship in Australia for 9 months. I then worked at Ralph Allen School on a temporary contract saving for a possible move to Australia, and whilst working at Ralph Allen I realised how much I love working with young people and continued to work there for 4 years as an attendance officer.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: Love working with young people, families and I want to make a difference.

Good at: Talking, making people smile and seeing the good in people.

Not so good at: Numbers and heights.

Mark De’Lisser

Professional Mentor

Responsibilities: To support young people to thrive by providing one to one mentoring, role modelling and the opportunity to build resilience

Previous Experience: After graduating from Bath Spa Uni, I spent a number of years bouncing around retail and hospitality jobs. However, I always knew that I wanted to work with children and young people in some capacity.

I have been lucky enough to be employed by some incredible organisation in Bath, namely the Black Families Education Support Group where I worked as the Supplementary School Coordinator, and then at the Bath Area Play Project as a Community Play Support Worker. In both of these roles I was able to work with a diverse range of children and young people both one to one and in groups.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: the needs of young people are at the core of everything that we do.

Good at: Listening, making people smile, writing poems and handstands

Not so good at: Maths and early mornings

Meg Ely

Mentoring Practitioner (School Services and SAFS)

Responsibilities: A member of the SAFS team: empowering young people to access school, achieve their potential and assist them with improving their mental health and wellbeing. Supporting Kev with School Services: meeting and matching Mentors and Mentees.

I am also a Mentor!

Previous experience: After graduating university, I have worked in a majority of the secondary schools in Bath, in various roles. I have been a Teaching Assistant, Learning Mentor, a Pastoral Support worker and an Education Welfare and Attendance Officer. While I enjoyed working with students, I realised my skills were best placed with face to face and active interaction with young people outside of school.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: We are young person centred! We recognise and value the importance of differences in Young people and encourage them to realise their self-worth. It is wonderful to be part of a team who share the same outlook.

Good at: Being silly, sarcasm, getting into exceptionally cold but swimmable water with no hesitations and listening to those who need to be heard.

Not so good at: Keeping neat hair, maths and not smiling.

Becki Fox

 Project Administrator

Responsibilities: Providing administrative support to the Mentoring Plus teams and assisting with the co-ordination of projects and activities. Helping ensure that anybody coming to Riverside and working with us has a positive experience.

Previous Experience: Having relocated to Bath from Brighton 7 years ago, I ran the cafe at Bath City Farm and a community food growing/share project. I helped deliver large scale exhibitions and dance productions at Edge Arts whilst gaining a PG Cert in Arts management. During my placement with Creativity Works, I managed arts and health related activities to help inspire and empower mental health and wellbeing in local communities.

I’ve recently completed my 300hr Yoga teacher training and am passionate about making yoga accessible to everybody!  

Likes Mentoring Plus Because: It provides young people with the platform and audience to achieve their goals and create aspirations.

Good at: Eating crisps and roller skating.

Not so good at: Remembering to stock the office biscuit tin! 

Karen George

Senior Practitioner (SAFS)

Responsibilities: Supporting young people in school to achieve their potential and help them improve their well-being and mental health.

Previous experience: Many years experience of working with families and young people especially in a school setting including attendance and behaviour, as a Personalised Learning Mentor and as a Student and Family Support Mentoring Practitioner.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I am motivated by the positives and opportunities of working for Mentoring Plus, for the young people that I support and mentor.

Good at: Listening, being organised and setting a goal and achieving it!

Not so good at: Being concise, anything to do with the sea and having my photo taken!

Bunny Geraghty

Mentoring Practitioner (SAFS)

Responsibilities: To help young people in school to reach their full potential.

Previous experience: Managing restaurants and as a travel rep before working at the Longacre Community Hall, where I realised I wanted to work with young people. I trained as an HTLA and then worked at the Pupil Referral Unit in Bath, and when this closed moved to the Link School. I learnt to drive at the grand old age of 51! This then enabled me to take up the post of Reintegration Officer and now Student & Family Support Mentoring Practioner.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: It supports and focuses on the needs of young people .

Good at: Cooking and making people feel at  ease.

Not so good at: Being tidy and organised, and parking!

Helen Goodchild

Senior Practitioner – Volunteer Mentoring

Responsibilities: I work with our 11-21 year olds, gaining an idea of their best hopes and what they’d like to achieve through being involved in mentoring, then matching them with one of our amazing volunteer mentors. I support both the young people and their mentors; making sure their experience is as positive and fulfilling as possible.

Previous experience: I grew up in Wiltshire and then moved to Bristol after university where I spent several years working in Social Housing before deciding to retrain as a Primary teacher. I taught for 15 years, working with children aged 4-11,  including 10 years in a school which specialised in supporting children with ASD and their families. Now I have two young children of my own so life is always busy!

Likes Mentoring Plus because: We are passionate and committed in ensuring all children and young people have the best opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Good at: Going with the flow. Naming dinosaurs.

Not so good at: Remembering people’s names. Having a poker face.

Tim Griffiths

Mentoring Practitioner (Volunteer Mentoring)

Responsibilities: I work with our 12-21-year olds, matching them with one of our inspiring volunteer mentors. I support each mentor and help them look after their young person and track the relationship and progress as it unfolds.

Previous experience: I’m originally from North Wales, took a degree in Arts Management and worked at Christies Auctioneers. I moved to Bath to start a family and began a new career working with young people, and now have a diploma in youth work practice. Previously I worked in Bristol as an Engagement Worker, leading projects in schools and youth clubs and mentoring a diverse range of young people.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: of the positive impact it has not only on the children and young people but on its volunteers.

Good at: Keeping active, trying new things, building relationships and listening to others.

Not so good at: Being at my laptop for a prolonged time.

Chris Hart

Volunteer Co-ordinator

Responsibilities: To guide and support volunteer mentors through the application and recruitment process, and to support team members in making the process a really positive experience.

Previous experience: 5 years’ experience of volunteer management and over 20 years of working with young people in Somerset, Bristol and Bath. My work has mainly involved supporting young people in care and care leavers, in both education and community settings, to consider all their options and opportunities and believe they can achieve and make the changes they want.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: The whole team are so committed to the ethos of improving the lives of young people, and to supporting the amazing mentors who are involved in this.  My role combines my values and beliefs, and my working history perfectly.

Good at: Organising, listening and growing beautiful cut flowers.

Not so good at: Caving and fairground rides.

Ruth Keily

Chief Executive

Responsibilities: Keeping the home fires burning! Fundraising, budgeting, reporting. Making sure everyone is talking about Mentoring Plus, so that they volunteer as mentors and support our work. Running projects. Making connections with local businesses and organisations, arranging events, PR and social media.

Previous experience: Grew up near Bristol, moved back to the south west after uni and 12 years in London. 25 years working in marketing, across financial services, IT, publishing, home and garden businesses.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I love working with people who give their time and energy to others, like our volunteers.

Good at: Writing stuff

Not so good at: Technology rage

Kev Long

Head of Practice

Responsibilities: Overseeing our practice provisions and professional relationships, including: SAFS, Volunteer mentoring, Schools Services and Participation and to support Senior Practitioners in quality service delivery. I am also the Safeguarding Lead for the organisation.

Previous experience: I was a child of the forces so I grew up all over the place, but I’ve spent a majority of my time in Wiltshire where I have now settled. Several years’ professional experience in a variety of roles including counselling and drug, alcohol, mental health and homelessness support. I’m also a qualified Addiction Therapist.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: We’re focussing on solutions rather than problems!

Good at: Keeping an open mind and turning tragedy to triumph. I love sport: keen footballer, keen surfer and I’ll try most extreme sports!

Not so good at: Quitting, heights, hard labour, cooking, singing and dancing!!

Zoe McIntyre

Youth Practitioner

Responsibilities: Supporting young people and their mentors at Riverside to have a great time and helping to run youth club on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Previous experience: Studying psychology made me realise everyone deserved an opportunity to help their mental wellbeing. I then started working with vulnerable young people at Oldfield School which made me want to advocate for as many young people as I can.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I believe young people need as many opportunities as possible to reach their potential and Mentoring Plus allows me to do that whilst working with a team of passionate individuals who all have the young person’s needs at heart.

Good at: Making people laugh and reading books in record time.

Not so good at: Resisting stroking other people’s dogs when they’re on a walk.

Humphrey Pain  

Primary Mentoring Manager

Responsibilities: Developing a whole new project working with a whole new age range for Mentoring Plus. Working alongside Black Families Education Support Group and other local projects and schools to establish the best way to support Primary aged school children through in, and possibly out, of school mentoring. Also delivering 1:1 work in secondary schools.

Previous experience: A childhood in Dorset. Slices of work in Shropshire and Bath before discovering Mentoring Plus 14 years ago as a volunteer. Many years as Project Administrator and a couple more as Mentoring Co-ordinator…..and bringing up 3 boys!

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I love the relationships that are built up through the project. The best of people is really on show whether it’s through the young people, our amazing volunteers or professionals who really care.

Good at: Taking time with and having a laugh with young people and volunteers.

Not so good at: Remembering all the amazing stories that I hear daily.

Jenny Perez

Fundraising & Communications Manager

Responsibilities: My role is really varied, I cover lots of different fundraising streams, from grants and trusts to community, companies and also individual fundraising. My communications ‘hat’ entails keeping our social media channels up to date and sharing our news in many forms right across BANES and beyond.

Previous experience: I’ve worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years – I love it ! Originally based in London working for high profile national charities like Marie Curie & Shelter, I moved to the South West in 2003 and have been CEO of a children’s charity, run a literacy project in Bristol and laterally worked on mentoring programmes and facilitated a leadership programme for CEO’s and senior managers in the South West.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I admire the ethos and values of team members and young people are always at the heart of what we do.

Good at: Coming up with ideas & keeping connected with the outside world and using exclamation marks !!

Not so good at: Filing out those ‘Are you a robot’ questions on websites.

Rachel Sheahan Harris

Office Manager

Responsibilities: Processing referrals to our service and applications from volunteers, monitoring the mentoring journey, managing data, managing the money and answering the phone!

Previous experience: 15 years of being self employed: administration and book keeping for several graphic design companies and for a London based charity supporting young people in deprived London boroughs; and as a wedding dress maker!

Likes Mentoring Plus because: It offers me the opportunity to put my admin skills into action for a real purpose. To be working with an organisation that gives so much positive support to those who can often fall between the cracks is what gets me up in the morning.

Good at: Pinning down the jelly.

Not so good at: Making the jelly.

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