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
Alice – is our Director Robin’s PA, but she’s also kind of every team member’s PA as she does all the behind the scenes practical stuff, enabling all our groups and sessions to run smoothly. She’s super on it with all things that charity’s need to run, and she’s also an incredible baker making our team meetings such a treat to be at.
“Life as a mum has very much changed my view of the world and has driven me to want to help solve issues facing my local community and support them. My own battles have prepared me for my work with Rise, and my faith in God has helped me stay strong and pushed me out of the dark times and back into the light.”
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!”
Active Hub Manager
Ben – Ben is our Active Hub Manager, overseeing detached youth work and our Active Club. His role involves engaging with young people, wherever they are, and discovering new projects to serve the young people in our community.
“I really love working for Rise:61, I’m excited to engage and get alongside young people in the heath! When not working for Rise:61 I am a Personal Trainer, and enjoy working with others to help them reach their healthy lifestyle goals, and training myself!”
Mark – Mark works one day a week in the community garden teaching young people about carpentry. 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. “
Co-founder and Head of Operations
Mike – Mike is a Co-Founder of Rise:61 who now works as Head of Operations. With a Business degree, Social Work masters and a background in social enterprise, fundraising and youth work he brings many skills together to support the operations of Rise:61 to run smoothly.
“It has been amazing being part of the team that has seen Rise:61 grow and develop since the start. I passionately believe in the potential of young people in this community and it’s great to be able to help practically once again through this Head of Operations role. I mostly work remotely and visit every couple of months as I now live in Cornwall with my wife Ayelet and 3 young kids.”
Joe – Joe came and did some placement youth work with us at the beginning of 2022, and clearly couldn’t get enough of the Heath as he went for new youth worker the job, and moved his life here. Joe is currently in his final year at Moorlands College doing a Theology degree alongside Youth & Community Work training.
“I’m super excited to have started working for Rise:61, I love being able to come alongside young people and hear their story and encourage them to reach their goals and potential. When I’m not working you can usually find me climbing or mountain biking with my wife or alternatively in a coffee shop with a good book.”
Beth – Beth is one of our two new Youth Workers. She has been working with youth since she stopped being one! She loves working with young people and getting to know their story. She is a big fan of anything classified as fun, whether that be climbing, swimming, pottery making, painting or sitting in cafes. Beth is particularly passionate about mentoring young girls/women and finds she often inspired by their courage, joy and strength.
“I’m so chuffed I get to join the Rise:61 team. I love working with young people. I love the energy and excitement for life that so many carry. To be a part of coming alongside some of these guys to get that one step closer to achieving their dreams is such a privilege. I’m also a big fan of Jesus who has shown me what it is to care deeply for those in your community, he’s my big inspiration. If I’m not hanging out with young people quoting strange TikTok videos I’d like to think I’d be winning a game of Monopoly Deal against my husband, Joe…or drinking coffee…or both.!“
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.
“For me being part of Rise:61 is infectious, I love to see the young people and how they grow. It’s always lovely to bump into young people at events who have grown up and moved on but still com and find me for a chat. It is such a privilege to have been part of their lives”.
Chair of Trustees
Andy- Andy leads the trustee team and brings a wealth of skills in finance, people management, youth work and safeguarding. He is the Chief Executive of SMASH Youth Project in Swindon.
“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.’
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.”