Our volunteer mentors are a the heart of the ReachOut team; without them we wouldn’t exist. They are the reason we’re able to run our projects and support the young people we work with.
ReachOut’s volunteers are from all backgrounds and walks of life – from university students to working professionals and retirees – they’re passionate about making a difference in their local community.
ReachOut Project Leaders are sessional staff who do amazing work facilitating our weekly mentoring projects.
Every Project Leader is part of our exciting Leadership Development Programme, a one-year scheme designed to support their professional development and provide direct experience leading groups of young people and volunteers.
Our experienced Senior Management leads the organisation and works closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure ReachOut is always delivering outstanding front line services, innovating creatively, and building for the future.
Our project team manages all of our projects – liaising with schools, supporting mentors and maximising the impact on students.
Our volunteer team leads in recruiting over 1000 mentors in our locations of London, Greater Manchester and Liverpool. They design and deliver our extensive mentor training programme and ensure volunteers have a fantastic experience at ReachOut.
Our partnerships team develops partnerships with companies, trusts and foundations and individuals.
Simon is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the UK Cyber Security Council and a Visiting Professor at Aston University in Birmingham. He has also worked as a Director at Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and City Year UK, an Assistant Director at The Children’s Society, and as a Trustee Board Member at ACEVO.
Mentoring has always been an important part of Simon’s life and career. Having left school with no substantial qualifications, Simon attended a further education college to train as a chef, where he later mentored and trained other young chefs entering the profession.
Simon went on to work with young people on bail throughout London, achieving a 100% success rate in supporting them not to re-offend. This work led him to a career in the charity sector and a passion for mentoring and supporting others.
As a trustee of the Four Acre Trust Marion got to know ReachOut from 2011, visiting the charity and learning what we do first hand. A former Director of Ohal Marketing Consultancy (a WPP company providing statistical modelling and consultancy to major companies in the UK, Europe and USA), her responsibilities included project delivery, recruitment, training and people development as well as sales and marketing.
Now retired she is a volunteer fundraiser for the NSPCC and a member of their senior volunteer committees as well as retaining her role as a trustee at the Four Acre Trust. Marion brings extensive operational experience of SME life and detailed understanding of ReachOut’s space in the charity sector to the board.
Zeynab joined ReachOut as a mentor in 2015, progressing to a Project Leader and leading an exceptional mentoring project through her 2nd & 3rd years of university.
She carried our her undergraduate research project on the factors that influence young people’s educational and occupational aspirations and after graduating became a secondary school Mathematics teacher.
She became a trustee in 2019 and helps the board with understanding and experience of our young people, their lives and also the challenges for teachers and parents.
Currently Director, Specialist Businesses at BT, James has held a variety of senior commercial and marketing roles globally across FTSE 100 companies covering consumer goods, durables and finance sectors, including at Hiscox, and Phillips, where he held various general manager and senior marketing roles over ten years.
An advocate of building businesses by committing to the success and well-being of people, he holds a 1st class degree from University of Bristol and the bilingual MBA from IESE Business School. James specialises in business growth, commercial development and marketing on our board.
Tom Edmonds is the Founder of Edmonds Elder, a digital creative agency that works with clients ranging from Deliveroo and Sky to ParalympicsGB. He previously ran the UK first’s ever digital election campaign, helping the Conservatives secure an unexpected majority at the 2015 UK General Election.
Since then, his work and focus has been on helping organisations use creativity to engage stakeholders and drive the results that really matter to them. He has been involved with ReachOut for nearly a decade.
Mona is a social mobility advocate, deeply committed to diversity, inclusion and social impact. She has a track record of driving change and has created award-winning initiatives that have raised aspirations, driven employability prospects and increased outcomes for young people, from low, socio-economic backgrounds.
She has set up complex, purpose-driven programmes for organisations such as the City of London Corporation, Department for Education and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. In 2020, Mona set up the Government-commissioned Socio-Economic Diversity taskforce and ran the secretariat. She was Director at LMP Action CIC and sat on the Senior Executive Board for the LMP Group. Mona is a Governor at the John Dewey Specialist College and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Mona is a Tottenham Hotspur fan, enjoys the theatre and in her spare time, directs plays. She lives with her husband and her cat Luna
Since joining ReachOut as a mentor in 2020, Steven has also become part of the Network Development Group, raising funds and awareness for ReachOut, and introducing it to his network in the City of London. With 15 years’ experience in the legal industry, he is a Regional Director of EMEA for an international legal technology company.
Steven also sits on local committees, volunteers with a homeless charity, regularly features as a public speaker, and is a committee member of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association.
Owen is currently Managing Director, Head of Group Procurement for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Macquarie. Having graduated the University of Manchester with a 1st class honours degree, Owen has developed over 15 years’ professional experience working at industry-leading global companies and is a fellow and international award winner at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
A passionate developer and mentor of people throughout his career, Owen is excited about leveraging his skills and experience to support ReachOut’s continued success. He lives with his partner, 2 daughters and 3 dogs. If not playing with his girls, Owen can be found using his free time to tackle an overly ambitious DIY project, watching sport or exercising.
Deepa is a Senior Finance professional, Trustee and NED in the Not For Profit sector, STEM Ambassador, mother of three and a leaseholder affected by dangerous cladding as found on Grenfell.
As CEO of Building Safety Crisis LTD Deepa is heavily involved in the Building Safety Remediation Scheme legislation with Government and winner of the Women in Fire Safety Awards 2022 for Education. She was Finalist for Brunel University’s Alumni of the Year 2023 and Highly Commended Fire Industry Woman of the Year 2023. Her aim is to make the residential environment safer for all; regardless of race, gender and social background.
Mentoring has always held a special place in Deepa’s heart and spends her free time delivering STEM sessions to children in disadvantaged areas of Leicester to encourage them to fulfill their dreams. By introducing children to Real Life Role models she believes children will be inspired to be what they can see. Joining ReachOut as Treasurer provides the opportunity to ensure support is continued into young adulthood and demonstrate why mentoring and coaching are instrumental to developing and bringing out the best of a mentee’s character.
Nigel is the Director of Strategy at the National Audit Office, with responsibility for organisational strategy development and implementation, corporate reporting, governance, policy and legal advice and support, and performance measurement and risk reporting.
Nigel studied at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics and has more than 20 years’ experience of project and programme evaluation in both the private and public sectors, including in financial services, as a consultant and within audit organisations with a focus on central and local government.
He has a long-standing commitment to volunteering, having mentored children and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to support them with educational and employment opportunities, lives with his family in South-East London and is often either supporting his children with dance and football or out on his bike.
By joining ReachOut, you’ll become part of a fun, tight-knit, supportive team where you’ll constantly be progressing and learning, whilst making a difference to the young people we work with.
“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”
Amy McCutcheon, Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester.
“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”
Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London
“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!
Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”
Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London
“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.
ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”
Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London