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.
Paul – Paul keeps an eye on the everyday operations at RISE:61. He is a qualified youth worker with 10 years experience in various settings. Paul spends most of his time with us grant writing, monitoring and evaluating our work and keeping policies up-to-date. However, he also loves getting out and about, speaking with young people and running creative based sessions.
“I am thoroughly enjoying working with RISE:61. Its vision is contagious and I am so encouraged to see the impact its work is having. I can’t wait to begin hearing and capturing the stories of young people on The Heath. When i’m not youthwork-ing you will usually find me being a star wars or book nerd”
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.
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.”