Meet the team
Our staff and trustees are an amazing bunch.
Co-Founder and Director
Robin – Robin is Co-Founder and Director of Rise:61. It is his passion, expertise and commitment that drives the charity forward and ensures we provide the very best for young people. Robin has lived and worked on the estate for over 10 years and has been working with young people since 2005.
“I love helping young people grow and develop, as well as just hanging out with them and having fun. I am passionate about following Jesus and the difference he makes in people’s lives and I love being part of a local church. When I’m not working I enjoy going for walks, runs, swims and bike rides with my beautiful wife Emma and dog Alfie. I believe there is so much potential in this community to see positive life-giving clubs, activities and even businesses grow and I feel so lucky to be a part of that.”
PA to the Director
Helen – Helen has lived in the area for over twenty years and lived on Bemerton for some of that time. Helen started working in a career in retail but left to raise a family and pursue volunteering opportunities with the NSPCC, Splitz Support Service and she continues to volunteer as a presenter once a week at Castledown FM (a community radio station). Helen now lives in Salisbury with her husband. They have four children and two grandchildren. Due to having a disabled daughter Helen continues to be involved in various campaigns for carers’ and disability rights both locally and nationally.
Bike Hub Manager
“During my time living in Bemerton Heath I have met some amazingly creative and energetic young people, and it’s been great seeing young people thrive through their involvement in the Bike Hub. When I’m not fixing bikes I love listening to and playing music, sharing meals with friends, trail running, and playing board games.”
Creative Hub Manager
Becks – Becks has been a youth worker since 2009, and especially loves walking alongside young people through mentoring and small group work. She has an ingrained belief that there’s real hope for anyone in a tough situation, and that with a little help from someone who genuinely cares, troubles can be turned upside-down. In her spare time Becks is often found designing and creating things – whether it be taking photos, Typography-type illustration, dreaming up making a space beautiful, or simply doodling on a scrap piece of paper…therefore combining both passions of youth work AND creative stuff is simply lush!!!
“I’m buzzing to be part of the RISE:61 team! When I’m not working or doing creative stuff my happy place is running after my two small sons, ideally in the sunshine, with a coffee in hand with music playing loudly somewhere nearby! My family and friends are a big deal in my life also. If you’re from the Heath I can’t wait to hopefully get to know you one day soon!”
Youth Work Lead
Ben – Ben is our Youth Work Lead, overseeing detached youth work, and you’ll probably see him around the Heath. His role involves engaging with young people, wherever they are, and discovering new projects to serve the young people in our community.
Mel – Mel has been part of Rise:61 from the very beginning, helping run one of our original youth clubs: Exodus. At present Mel helps with the Admin and you can usually find her behind the scenes at events making things happen. Mel’s background is in nursing, specialising in learning disabilities and care for the elderly and has years of voluntary experience with young people.
Chair of Trustees and Co-Founder
Mike – Mike is the Chair of Trustees and Co-Founder of the Charity. With a Business degree, Social Work masters and experience in fundraising and youth work he brings his many skills together to lead the charity forward.
“In 2014, I left my job to set up Rise:61. It was an exciting but scary journey as my wife and I started with just £300 and a belief in the amazing potential of young people in this community. God has been so faithful and as we’ve pursued the vision we’ve seen people generously give of their time, money and skills to help see young people do amazing things in Bemerton Heath. I now live and work in Cornwall with my wife Ayelet. We love the outdoors so you’ll often see us surfing, kayaking, cycling or walking whenever we have the chance.”
Bike Hub and Enterprise Trustee
“I believe businesses can have a powerful impact in transforming communities, and solving social and environmental issues. The RISE:61 bike hub is a great example, as it brings trade to Bemerton Heath, recycles waste, provides affordable goods to people on low incomes and offers young people a place to learn skills in an uplifting and positive environment. I believe the young people who engage in these kinds of projects have the potential the change the world in which they live for the better, which is why I am passionate about creating more positive and sustainable environments for young people.”
Lisa – Lisa is our safeguarding trustee and also mentors a couple of young people for Rise:61. She is an incredibly warm and generous person and comes to the charity with a huge amount of experience of working with young people.
“I’m married, have 5 children, have lived in Salisbury all my life and my husband grew up in Bemerton Heath. I have always worked in care and support since I was 15 due to being a teenage mum twice and having worked to support my children. I have worked with young people as a youth worker and since 2013 have worked as a project worker at a supported housing project. I love to encourage, give hope and come along side young people in their lives. I know God hears our prayers and sees our heart to want each young person to discover Jesus for themselves though the work we do and love we show.”
“I grew up in Salisbury and am delighted to be able to support RISE:61 with their incredible support and investment in young people. As a youth worker for approaching 20 years, I love their commitment to the area of Bemerton Heath and believe passionately in the team and they work they are engaged with.’
Mark- Mark is a trustee who also volunteers at the community garden, so he provides a link for the trustee team to the work on the ground. He is a registered nurse but used to work in the coffee industry, designing and building new cafes, so also brings a wealth of experience in marketing and launching new projects to the team.
“I grew up in Salisbury and finished my schooling on Bemerton Heath, I was a user of many youth projects available to young people which are sadly no longer in place. I’ve enjoyed seeing RISE:61 bring ideas, hope, and aspirations to the surface of not just the young people but all involved. I still live in Salisbury and love bicycles and have far too many. “
Liz- Liz works in investment management and was a founding trustee of the Trussell Trust helping develop its network of foodbanks across the UK. She endeavours to help RISE:61 with its governance and writing grant applications.
“It’s a privilege to be a trustee of such a dynamic charity and to work alongside ex-Trussell Trust colleagues who have seen the need to build relationships and hope across Bemerton Heath. They are brimming over with God’s love for the community and are passionate about seeing lives changed and hope restored.”