Senior Management Team
Peter Blackwell, Chief Executive
Peter Blackwell became Chief Executive of ReachOut in May 2015. He joined ReachOut in 2004 after volunteering with the organisation whilst studying Mathematics at the University of Manchester. He ran ReachOut’s London operation, working with just 20 young people in 2004, to over 450 per year in 2014. He has been heavily involved in all aspects of the organisation’s progress throughout, from strategy, finance and fundraising to IT and infrastructure development in both London and Manchester.
A Hackney resident since 2004, Peter is an extremely active member of the local community, particularly in the borough’s education and sports sectors. He is a member of the Hackney Football Partnership, representing youth football and also founded (and remains Chairman) of a voluntary youth football club, ReachOut FC, est. 2007. He served as an LEA governor at Southwold Primary School for four years, and is now a Foundation Governor since 2014 at Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools. He sits on the Gatekeeper Committee for Leadership through Sports and currently serves as a South East Committee Member for BBC Children in Need. He is a PRINCE2 Practitioner and an FA Level 2 football coach.
Peter has been shortlisted several awards, including for the Beacon Prize for Young Philanthropists in 2010, Team London 2014 Awards for exemplary contribution to volunteering and the Hackney Sports Mayor’s Award in 2014.
Frances Ellis, Director of Operations
Frances joined ReachOut in 2009. She has been involved in volunteer recruitment, training and management as well as delivery of the ReachOut Club primary school mentoring programme which she developed across the organisation. She is now responsible for Finance and HR and is the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Frances is currently studying for the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Prior to ReachOut Frances studied Engineering at the University of Cambridge then joined Aecom where she spent 18 months as a graduate civil engineer. She plays rugby for Barnes RFC and is a trustee of children’s charity For Jimmy.
Alison Braybrooks, Director of Fundraising and Impact
Alison joined ReachOut in September 2015 after two years on the ReachOut Board of Advisers. She has had a career spanning fundraising at Macmillan and Shelter, corporate responsibility at EDF and UBS and consultancy as Director of the London Benchmarking Group. She now heads up our fundraising team and is developing our approach to impact measurement. Alison studied Managerial and Administrative Studies at Aston University.
Chloe Spencer, Manchester Manager
Chloe is the Manchester Director at ReachOut and has been passionately involved in the charity sector for many years, focusing on education, youth and inequality. Before joining ReachOut Chloe developed Chapter 1’s first learning hub for homeless vulnerable adults and young people in Manchester. She is a former teacher and strong advocate for young people. Chloe is a graduate from the university of Brighton (business with marketing) and MMU (PGCE in Secondary Education).
Chloe Holness, London Manager
Chloe joined ReachOut in December 2013. Having expanded the ReachOut Academy programme from Hackney to four London boroughs; she now heads up the project delivery team supporting 400 young people in partner primary and secondary schools. Previous to this, Chloe worked at a literacy charity managing a team to support secondary school students who struggled to read and write. Chloe has been working directly with young people since she was 16, including mentoring for Chance UK, supporting young people volunteering at Stepney City Farm and leading groups of children through outdoor activities at scout camps. Chloe has a passion for food (eating it) and supports Arsenal FC through thick and thin!
Hester Gartrell, Project Manager
Hester joined us as Project Officer in September 2016. In this role, Hester supports Project Managers with volunteer management and project delivery. Hester has previously worked at The Scottish Cot Death Trust and The Children’s Society, and has recently completed a MSc in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. In her spare time Hester likes to take on a challenge – over the last couple of years she’s taken up gymnastics and acrobatics, and she’s just started running 10ks.
Ruby Richards, Project Officer
Ruby joined ReachOut in February 2017. Previously to this she worked in a Secondary School in north London as an Intervention Tutor; this experience opened her eyes to the needs of young disadvantaged people living in the city and caused her to decide against training to teach. Ruby is passionate about social reform and has a genuine desire to see progress in the young people that she works with. In her spare time she enjoys consuming books and food, going to gigs and meeting new people.
Shcara Strudley Smith, Project Officer
Shcara started working for ReachOut as project Officer in March 2017. She leads projects across London and works with the project team to recruit volunteers and support project leaders. Shcara graduated from University in 2014 with a degree in Dance and has worked with children and young people from a range of ages in both education and youth work, teaching sports, creative arts and core subjects like English and Maths. Shcara recently received a certificate in counselling skills and has a passion for Art therapy. In her spare time she likes to boogie and see the world!
Keisha Tomlinson, Project Officer
Keisha joined ReachOut in March 2017. In her role as Project Officer, Keisha delivers projects across Manchester as well supporting both our Project Leaders and volunteers. Since graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2013 with a degree in History, Keisha has worked in the youth charity sector with a focus on support and intervention for young people with complex needs. In her spare time, Keisha attempts to battle the elements and undertake open water swimming in the lakes and seas of the North West!
Ben Holland, Project Officer
Ben joined us in March 2017. His role is to deliver projects running across Manchester as well as taking a lead role in supporting our Project Leaders and recruiting volunteers. Since graduating from university in 2008 with a degree in Spanish, Ben has spent most of his career to date working in education, both in primary and secondary schools, delivering sport and languages. In his spare time, Ben likes to be active and plays a lot of sport. He enjoys running and will be taking part in the Manchester 10k this year.
Nadieh Broekhuis, Intern
Nadieh joined ReachOut in February 2017. Her internship includes working on workshops, mentoring, doing research on various aspects of ReachOut and supports with data and impact measurement. Prior to this she studied at Maastricht University and got a Cambridge Advanced English certificate as well as a certificate in Mental Coaching. She studies applied psychology in the Netherlands and has a passion for powerlifting and football, especially her favourite team Arsenal FC.
Felicity Lewis, Fundraising Officer
Felicity joined ReachOut as a Fundraising Officer in March 2016. Prior to ReachOut Felicity worked as an account manager in the Global Transaction Banking arm of Deutsche Bank for 4 years and in ABS/MBS at BNY Mellon before that. She studied Law at Bournemouth University and has joined ReachOut to manage and expand our corporate partnerships. Felicity loves going to festivals and travelling.
Matt Harper, Fundraising Assistant
Matt joined ReachOut as Fundraising Assistant in September 2016 after a year in South Africa. After previously living in Denmark and The Netherlands, he has returned to the UK to join our fundraising team. He studied Economics and Politics at Lancaster University, which meant he only had to travel 1 hour every second week to watch Manchester United with their 20th league title.