We are a diverse group of experienced and caring individuals dedicated to transforming the life chances of marginalised children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.
“It is a privilege to be part of a growing group of hard-working, enthusiastic colleagues making lasting change” ~ Jacob
Annabel joined Unlocking Potential in Summer 2017 and is proud to lead a team of committed colleagues who make a difference in the lives of marginalised children and young people across London every day. She is an experienced educator and school leader, who originally trained as a teacher of modern languages in her native Scotland. Annabel is passionate about the transformational difference that can be made when like-minded people and organisations work together to support children and their families. She works closely with our dedicated board of trustees to drive forward our strategic plan. She thrives on developing and leading a strong team of colleagues – who work with integrity and transparency, while focusing on constantly improving the work we do. Annabel loves music, running, seeking sunshine and thinking about causal chains.
As a local Singaporean, fluent in Chinese and English, Audrey worked for Singapore Airlines and the 5* hotel industry for many years before switching to the charity sector. Audrey now lives in London and joined Unlocking Potential in 2015 as a Finance Officer.
Research & Evaluation Officer
Avalon has served as the Research and Evaluation Officer for UP since October 2017. Before joining UP, Avalon taught Ethics and Religious Studies at King’s Academy, a private boarding school in Madaba, Jordan. She then worked in the NGO sector for two different charities in New York City before moving to London to complete her Master’s Degree at SOAS, University of London. An avid practitioner of yoga, mindfulness, and all things zen, Avalon has a deep passion for supporting social-emotional well being among young people.
Carina is Director of the Schools Programme and is responsible for the smooth running of the service,currently operating in schools across London. She is a qualified social worker and after 10 years working in Child Protection in social services she moved into the voluntary sector continuing to work with marginalised children and their families. Carina is passionate about providing children and their parents with the support they need when they need it and believes that a school based service is able to do exactly that. She is very much looking forward to developing the service in Brent.
Cassie is a UKCP registered Integrative Arts Child Psychotherapist and has worked with children, young people and their families in schools, children’s homes, charities and private practice. She served as a trainer on the Wellbeing in Education Course and a supervisor for the Diploma in Child Counselling course at the Institute For Arts in Therapy and Education. Cassie has provided reflective practice to staff teams in schools and training and supervision for mentors in schools for many years. She currently serves as the Service Programme Manager and a supervisor for the Schools Programme at Unlocking Potential.
Cat is a is a registered member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and graduated from The University of Bath with a degree in Addiction Therapy. For many years, Cat worked with children and young people whose lives had been impacted by parental substance misuse. As the lead caseworker at Unlocking Potential, Cat hopes that her years of experience will enable her to respond to the emotional and practical needs of the young people in our service, supporting them to a brighter future.
Chris is responsible for the recruitment, induction, placement and support of volunteers within the organisation. To support the volunteers’ ongoing development, Chris delivers workshops, including training on how to manage children’s challenging behaviour. Chris has worked with young people for over 15 years supporting children at risk of school exclusion in East London and managing an after-school activities programme for children aged 4 – 11. Our team of volunteers at Unlocking Potential bring an enormous amount of skills, enthusiasm and energy to the organisation and Chris loves working with them.
Speech & Language Therapist
Emily is an HCPC qualified Speech and Language Therapist with extensive experience working with children with a wide range of speech, language and communication needs. She is passionate about helping children and young people and those that support them, to achieve their communication potential and improve their quality of life. Emily has particular interests in autism, social communication and mental health and enjoys working as part of a strong multidisciplinary team.
Emily works as part of the Schools Programme therapeutic programme as a Team Manager at Hoxton Garden Primary school. Emily works with a ‘Person Centred’ approach with her clients, which helps them to find their own solutions. Outside of work, you can find her chasing around after her son.
Fran works as a Team Manager, coordinating the therapy service delivered in a primary school in St Mary’s Primary School in Battersea. In addition to co-ordinating the service, Fran provides short-term directive interventions, a self-referred drop-in service and runs creative clubs for children with emotional, social and behavioural needs. Prior to working at UP, Fran delivered 1:1 and group art psychotherapy to children and adolescents with complex emotional and behavioural needs and/ or learning disabilities within CAMHS as well as mainstream and special educational settings in London. Fran has a particular interest in working therapeutically with children who have experienced trauma and PTSD.
Gerry works as a Team Manager in Sacred Heart Primary School. Gerry holds a Postgraduate diploma in Clinical Supervision, a Professional Diploma in Person Centred Therapy and a BA Degree in Object Relations (BACP Accredited). Gerry is particularly passionate about researching best practice in holistic interventions for the whole family.
Clinical Strategy Lead
Helen is a qualified Occupational Therapist registered with the HCPC and RCOT, with experience of working with children, young people and their families to enable them to reach their potential and improve life chances. Helen is particularly interested in diverse settings for Occupational Therapy and student development. She has delivered sessions to Oxford Brookes, Brighton, Brunel, Liverpool, LSBU and Essex Universities to inform students about the diverse emerging opportunities within occupational therapy. Outside of work, Helen does yoga incredibly poorly, runs slower than a tortoise and constantly thinks about undertaking more study.
Helen is a Team Manager at Shaftesbury Park Primary school as part of the therapeutic Schools Programme. Helen trained as a Child and Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, completing her professional master’s degree at the Tavistock and Portman in July 2017. Helen really enjoys working within the school environment and being available to support both the children and their parents/carers to work together around their individual needs.
Ibrahim is a Chef at Unlocking Potential. As well as providing delicious food for all of our young people, Ibrahim also takes part in projects and loves to help young people learn to cook. Ibrahim previously worked as a Hospitality Chef at Baxter Storey and Elior Catering company.
Injah is the designated Safeguarding Lead for vulnerable adults within Unlocking Potential. Injah is a qualified Social Worker with a BA in Social Science and a diploma in Social work with a focus on children and families. In her spare time, Inajh serves as a panel member on an Adoption and Permanence Panel.
Lead Community Organiser
Driven by a love of community and culture, Jacob is a keen activist for collaboration and public welfare. Having spent over a decade living in various countries across Southern Africa, Jacob brings an attitude of adaptability and enthusiasm into his work. As well as attaining a First Class Management Degree, Jacob has spent several years across the third sector helping support a variety of organisations.
Lorraine Anderson-Birch works as an Outreach Leader at Unlocking Potential. Lorraine worked in schools as a mentor and a Teaching Assistant for over 15 years. Her journey of understanding, listening, patience and empathy, drive and passion to help young people continues today. Lorraine finds working with and around young people invaluable, rewarding and fulfilling.
As a Team Manager, Lucy coordinate’s the therapy service delivered in Osmani Primary School in Tower Hamlets. She also provides short-term interventions and a drop in service for children in the school with additional social and emotional needs. Prior to joining UP, Lucy gained extensive experience working with children and young adults with complex learning disabilities both in residential, educational and family settings. Whilst training for her MA, Lucy also completed 2 years of placement in hospice settings. Lucy has a particular knowledge and interest in working therapeutically with illness, loss and bereavement, as well ass effective cross-cultural clinical work.
Michelle is a Team Manager for the Schools Programme service at John Burns Primary School in Battersea. She is a UKCP registered integrative psychotherapist with a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological studies, an MSc in Psychobiology of stress and stress management, and a BSc in Psychology. Michelle is passionate about promoting the need for a service which looks after the mental health needs of primary school children. She enjoys working with teachers to understand the children in their class in a way that highlights their individual needs and differences, but also promotes the importance of ‘education’, and the huge value teachers add to every child’s life.
Monica works as a Team Manager in Malorees Primary School in Brent and is a registered Art Psychotherapist (HPCA) and BAAT member. She has more than fourteen years experience working with children and adults in different settings. Her professional interests include Dyadic Art Therapy, Eco Art Therapy and Mindfulness.
Nishan works as the Employment Coordinator at UP. He supports young people into their chosen career pathway, which involves working alongside employer partners to deliver advice and guidance, teaching employability skills, and finding and leading taster days and work experience opportunities. Nishan’s favourite part of his role is joining the young people on thier the journey from start to finish, eventually seeing them develop into a successful professional within their roles. Nishan has been working in the education and employment industry for over 10 years and loves working with individuals to achieve their goals.
Pat is the HR Manager for UP. She supports and advises on HR procedures and employee relations issues to help to make Unlocking Potential a great place to work. Pat is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and has worked in HR for over 30 years in various organisation from City Insurance Brokers to HR consultants and foster care agencies. Pat enjoys working in an environment which helps support children and young people.
Student & CBF Manager
Paul is a strong believer in the power of a positive relationship. In his role as our Student and Confidence Building Friend Manager, he focuses on matching our 18-25 year olds to a suitable mentor/befriender and supporting their relationship as it develops. The volunteer mentor/befriender role very much underpins the work of our charity through the empathetic and non-judgemental support our volunteers provide to our young people. Paul worked extensively in the social housing sector before moving into the charity sector in 2015. He is due to complete a diploma in therapeutic counselling from City Lit in July 2018.
Sema is the Team Manager in Orchard Primary School in Hackney. She is a qualified Child Psychotherapist, Systemic Family Practitioner and Trained parenting group facilitator. She also has a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Psychology. Sema has worked for various children’s charities in different roles and has extensive experience of working in multiple BEM community organisations, particularly with political refugees, women, and trauma and domestic violence survivors. Outside of work, Sema enjoys writing therapeutic children’ stories.
Clinical Placements Manager
Tammy interviews, inducts and places students in our schools programme. As well as liaising closely with training bodies, supervisors, and students, she also works clinically in one of our schools. Tammy trained as a play therapist and has been working as a play specialist working with sick children and young people in a hospital in Brent. Tammy really enjoys the balance and variety in her working week.
Tanitta is the Operations Officer at Unlocking Potential. Tanitta is the first point of contact for the charity. Even though he job is office based, Tanitta enjoys the variety of her work and always says that no two days are the same.
Finance & Operations Director
Tracy qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton in 1988 and has worked in the charity sector since 2005. Tracy joined Unlocking Potential in April 2016, leading an integrated finance and operations function, comprising HR, facilities and IT. Tracy works closely with the CEO and Board of Trustees to lead the implementation our strategic plans. Tracy enjoys working in an organisation striving to grow and improve in order to provide better opportunities to transform the lives of children and young people.
Welfare & Development Coordinator
Tyler spent the last 10 years working with young people in various settings such as social services, youth clubs, and school projects which support young people at risk of school exclusion, care leavers, and ex offenders. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys fitness and leads a running club in Hackney which has around 30 runners. Tyler is a firm believer in a healthy body makes a healthy mind and he likes to get the young people that he works with moving around as much as possible. Tyler has been lucky enough to work across three of our services, supporting young people trying to navigate themselves through various systems which have been blocking their development and well-being.
Executive Support Manager
Venessa has spent most of her career working in administration in the educational sector, ensuring the smooth running of different schools. She has also worked with the wellbeing and achievement of young people in her previous role as a learning mentor and facilitator. Venessa is an advocate for the wellbeing and development of the community and feels blessed that she is able to use all of her experience and networking skills at Unlocking Potential to provide transformational support for marginalised communities.
Complex Case Psychotherapist
Zoe is an integrative Child Psychotherapist, UKCP. She has a firm belief that therapy should be available to all. As such, Zoe has chosen to work predominantly in the charity sector where she has had the honour and privilege to work with a diverse and culturally rich client group. Zoe has extensive experience in working with children and adolescents who have experienced developmental trauma.
We are supported and governed by a highly skilled and committed group of trustees who have significant experience in the charity sector.
Brian was a founder partner of Cinven where he worked for 30 years and the founder of 2nd Chance a charity helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their education and sustain employment. Following the merger of 2nd Chance with Unlocking Potential in November 2016, Brian became Vice Chair of Unlocking Potential. Brian is also a trustee of Resources For Autism.
Chiku is an Investment Director at Impetus-PEF, the UK’s pioneer venture philanthropy foundation, which she joined in 2010. Her focus has been on improving the employment prospects of disadvantaged youth, by backing the best non-profits in the UK, who are committed to this cause. She works closely with the Boards and the Senior leadership Team of her partner charities, to help them do more and do better. Prior to joining the social sector, Chiku had a 15 year career in strategy consulting at the Boston Consulting group, as well as with start-ups, Panthea and Eden McCallum. Chiku has previously held a trustee role at NPL, a sexual health charity based in London. Chiku has an MBA from Kellogg Business School and a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University.
Emily is an independent consultant with two areas of focus: 1) leadership development and organisational effectiveness and 2) working with social sector organisations in setting strategy, designing and operationalising programmes that enable disadvantaged young people to significantly improve their life outcomes. She was previously the HR Director for Eli Lilly UK, and the Director of Development for The Private Equity Foundation. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the MBA programme at INSEAD.
Stuart Roden is Chairman of Lansdowne Partners. Prior to joining Lansdowne in 2001, Stuart was a Managing Director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM). Stuart started his career in the City in 1984, joining SG Warburg & Co.
Stuart is Chairman of Unlocking Potential, the Non-Executive Chairman of the Investment Committee of Marylebone Partners LLP and Chairman of The Jewish Care and Oxford Centre of Jewish and Hebrew Studies investment committees.
Stuart received a first class honours degree in Economics (BSc) from the London School of Economics.
Tatty Amory has a decade of experience at a senior level within children’s charities in the UK. She has worked in corporate fundraising, volunteering and directly managing therapeutic programmes. Prior to Unlocking Potential, Tatty worked in the finance sector and spent 3 years working in Romania with orphans and children living with HIV.
Tom Bible co-manages the Bondi Foundation, a US-based foundation supporting grass-roots initiatives that seek to empower communities in Sub Saharan Africa and inner city areas of US/UK to find solutions from within and then partner with them in capacity building measures.
With a background in journalism, Tom specialises in producing human interest stories which he then syndicates into European and Australasian publications.
Earlier Tom studied Classics at University of Bristol, UK (1985-88). He also recently completed a Masters program in Ecological Economics at Schumacher College.
Tom is a trustee of the Barrow Foundation UK (a UK based charity) that acts as the international fund-raising and education arm of the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, Arizona.
We are growing a committed team of colleagues who are dedicated to working together to deliver our mission. We update this page regularly with vacancies so please keep checking back in!Find Out More