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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 & Mentoring Practitioner Volunteer Mentoring

Responsibilities:  I am lucky enough to have two roles, which compliment each other perfectly! As Volunteer Co-ordinator I guide and support volunteer mentors through the whole application, recruitment and interview process, as well as keep in touch until they are matched with a young person. In my role of Mentoring Practitioner I meet and get to know the young people who have been referred for mentoring and then match them up with some of the lovely mentors we have trained. I then support the pair for throughout their year of mentoring and get to hear all the great stuff they’ve been doing!

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!!

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.

Lou Welch

Mentoring Practitioner – Volunteer Mentoring

Responsibilities: I work with our 11-21 year olds, finding out about them and linking them with one of our fabulous volunteer mentors. I go on a journey with the mentor and the young person supporting them every step of the way to ensure a positive experience for all.

Previous Experience: I grew up in Nottingham before moving to Bristol for University where I ended up putting down my roots. I initially worked as a Teaching Assistant in mainstream schools and realised that I enjoyed making a difference to young people’s lives, so I decided to train as a primary school teacher. I taught reception aged children in a mainstream school and subsequently taught for several years in a specialist unit supporting pupils with autism or social communicative difficulties and their families. In addition to this I also worked in an advisory role to support schools on how to include all children within their setting.

Likes mentoring plus because: As a team we are all passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people and we put them at the centre of everything that we do. We want all young people to celebrate successes and achieve their full potential. We are a supportive bunch!

Good at: Organising and looking after people. My friends call me the ‘Mother of the group!’ I also love motor sport and my passion outside of work lies in the social side of the American Car Scene and drag racing. My husband and I currently sport a few American Vans and in the past have built, worked on and raced a number of hot rod cars.

Not so Good at: Technology- my current personal mobile phone is over 20 years old, is not a SMART phone and is extremely basic!

Alexandra Bond

Primary Mentoring Practitioner – Volunteer Mentoring

 Responsibilities: I am part of the primary volunteer mentoring team, supporting our 7-11 year olds on their mentoring journey. We working with the young people to realise their potential and match them with one of our incredible volunteer mentors. I work with the mentors, supporting their developing relationship with our young people making sure the experience is as positive and effective as possible!

Previous Experience: I have worked for a socially focussed business for the past 15 years supporting local authorities, charities and youth organisations with their data, safeguarding, activities and volunteer management. I am a volunteer champion, supporting organisations to harness the power of their volunteers and drive long term impact – I have always volunteered and currently volunteer for Mentoring Plus, the Royal Voluntary Service as an NHS volunteer responder and I am a volunteer Member of a Multi-Academy Trust.

Likes Mentoring Plus because: we are solution focussed – Mentoring Plus has a positive energy which spreads across the whole organisation and to our partners, schools, volunteers and creates a lasting legacy for our young people. The young people are at the core of everything we do and that is a huge motivator!

Good at: Listening and hearing… Multi-tasking and organising. Being a manager to my 4 children, walking the dog and doing as much yoga and wild swimming as I can.

Not so good at: Heights and being anywhere underground – with the exception of the Tube when required!

Samantha Fountain

Practitioner – Professional Mentoring

Responsibilities: I am in the lucky position at Mentoring Plus of helping young people to find their feet in life and embrace new opportunities. As well as being a professional mentor, I work with families and stakeholders in order to help young people negotiate life’s challenges. I also have a role in mentoring the mentors; supplying training and helping with professional development to those that work here.

Previous Experience: I have been a secondary school teacher for over twenty years, in this country and in Germany. I have had taught History and the Social Sciences in large and busy educational environments and at Mentoring Plus I am able to focus on the welfare and well-being of the individual.

Like about Mentoring Plus: It is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of young people, which in the end results in building a healthier and happier community for the benefit of everyone in the area.

Good at: Seeing the funny side of life and advocating for other people. Wasting time outdoors, walking the family dog and enjoying the views.

Not so good at: Enclosed spaces, rooms without windows.

Jo Tucker

Activities Coordinator/Professional Mentor

Responsibilities: Delivering an activities group on Monday evenings for young people who engage in our volunteer mentoring programme; providing them with a safe place to grow in confidence and a sense of belonging. I am also a professional mentor and meet with young people on a one-to-one basis providing support and opportunities to flourish in themselves and in their relationships.

Previous Experience: I am a Bath girl so know and love this city well having attended the schools here myself before going on to do a youth work degree in Bristol. I have worked as a SEN teaching assistant in secondary schools, I have led youth work in both schools and churches in Bath and spent 7 years as a community youth worker in Weston. I now have a toddler and a baby, so I am kept on my toes at home!

Likes Mentoring Plus because: I love that this charity even exists! My favourite part of youth work is mentoring, and it is such a joy to work in an organisation that values one-to-one relationship building; valuing the privilege it is to be let into a young person’s world, even if only briefly. I have always hoped to work for Mentoring Plus one day and have heard about the magnificent work it has done over the years. I am proud to be a part of this passionate, caring, and fun team!

Good at: Singing, sewing, running, and making a room feel/look homely

Not so good at: rollercoasters, maths, lifts and getting the joke!

Sarah Quarren-Evans

Professional Mentor & Support Practitioner

Responsibilities: As a mentor I go into schools and spend time with young people, getting to know them and helping them achieve their best possible outcomes. As a support practitioner I make sure the practitioners and mentors in our team have everything in place before they begin working with mentees.

Previous Experience: My first job was with the Variety Club Charity as a junior fundraiser, I’ve also worked as promotional copy writer for in-store magazines and PR for an auction house before moving to Bath.  My commitment to young people’s mental health stemmed from my work in the pastoral team of a large boys’ school. Here I was privileged to work with boys and their families helping them find solutions to their problems. I am a trained mentor and halfway through a 4 year course where I am training to be a counsellor. When I’m not working, I’m a Mum and I also run sustainable fashion pop-up shops and events with my friend Julie.

Like about Mentoring Plus: Belief in the work we do. When young people are struggling, for whatever reason, they are often surrounded by a team of professionals in lots of capacities working together to help them. As one of those teams, Mentoring Plus has a wonderful role, in being able to connect with those young people in a really positive way, walking alongside them and allowing them space just to be themselves, have fun and to enjoy some precious time away from their worries. The Mentoring Plus team are all 100% dedicated and the ethos of the company is highly professional, focused and caring. The very best thing however, is the young people themselves, who never fail to impress me with their amazing energy, resilience and humour.  

Good at:  Having a genuine interest in people, keeping calm in a crisis, embarrassing my family with my over enthusiastic penchant for Disco music, appreciating the benefits of mindfulness, yoga, and nature.

Not so good at:  Flying, ironing and early nights.

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