Meet Our Team
Martha has been working with disadvantaged young people for over 15 years. From Russia to the UK, she has worked with local experts and corporate partners to develop programmes that help young people live more independently. Martha founded the UK Genesis Programme in April 2010, which has since evolved into the Drive Forward programme. Martha’s entire diet consists of rocket, avocados, blueberries and 90% dark chocolate.
Anton has spent most of his career in operational roles in the commercial market, exiting his own sales and project management business in 2009 to pursue roles in the third sector. He then spent four years working in homelessness services, trying to motivate change in the most vulnerable to show that their past does not need to equal their future. He is happiest when trying to track down that elusive gem in second-hand record stores.
Rachel spent 13 years working within the corporate sector but was keen to use her persuasive nature to do something more rewarding. Interested in issues surrounding social equality and mobility, she was inspired to start a career in the charity sector. Since 2010 she has been a Programme Manager helping people at a disadvantage get into employment. Rachel is a huge fan of stand-up comedy and has an almost photographic memory for trivial historic facts. Although she has been known to take the odd Kickboxing, Zumba and tennis class she really is much happier in a pub with a roof terrace or log fire and a gin and tonic of an evening.
Heaven was born and raised in Eritrea, but came to the UK to study, graduating in Politics and International Relations. She has since gained work experience with legal advisors, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as working as an HR Manager for a school in London and fund-raising for her university. She loves Bollywood movies, savours Lithuanian cuisine and adores nothing more than a lazy afternoon listening to Jazz or reading a book about political humour.
Felix has a background in advice and guidance with charitable organisations and believes passionately in supporting people to achieve their full potential and engage positively with the barriers that hold them back. He loves listening to jazz and can play a decent blues on the saxophone!
Sam has a passion for engaging people from all walks of life who are heading for personal and professional progression. With a background of working in social care on various different levels, she has the ability to coach individuals to maximise potential. On her days off, she enjoys quality time with her family. Sam always has treats on her desk for anyone who enters the office.
Head of Youth Engagement
Miranda has three years’ experience of working with young people; acting as a Learning Mentor for one year in a Primary School in Hackney and most recently as a Programming Coordinator at Free The Children. Her belief that young people should have the opportunity to reach their potential led her to her current role with Drive Forward. When she is not at work, Miranda enjoys indulging her creative side; drawing portraits and visiting art galleries.
Head of Corporate Engagement
In 2015 Ruby completed her MA at King’s College London in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory. She is passionate about the possibilities of empowerment in regards to oppressed and marginalised groups of people. Originally from York, Ruby also works as a freelance writer and her favourite novel is Moby Dick. Long walks in the Lake District, wild swimming and whale watching are some of her favourite things.
Head of Mentoring
Lucy has recently re-joined the Drive Forward team after a leisurely nine months frequenting coffee shops on her maternity leave. She studied American Literature at the University of California, caught the travel bug and spent the following decade working in the airline industry. Lucy is passionate about motivating young people and is currently in the process of launching Drive Forward’s brand new Mentoring Programme. Her favourite things are 80s films, indie music, cheese and G&Ts.
Fundraising & Communications Officer
After graduating from the University of Vienna, Juno started working for a non-profit organisation which supports youth employment and training projects worldwide. She then came to London to continue her studies and decide to stay a little longer. As an avowed Francophile and humanist she strongly believes in liberty, equality and fraternity, as well as justice and solidarity. On the weekends you may find Juno running around London with her camera trying to find the 'extra' in ordinary.
Having initially joined us as a volunteer, Gemma looks after our external communications, social media and many aspects of our fundraising, including funding applications. She has a wealth of experience in the charity sector, particularly with smaller charities. Gemma lives by the sea, and when she prises herself away from her laptop, she can be found walking her dog on the beach, baking and working out (mostly on account of the baking!).
Saskia just finished her Masters at UCL in Education, Health Promotion and International Development and has a background in journalism. Being half-German, half-Sri Lankan, she has always been exposed to inequalities within as well as between nations and believes in the importance of collaborative and supportive environments for sustainable development. On her days off you'll find her doing what she loves most: planning her next trip, going for long-distance runs, and finding the best Thai spicy papaya salad in town.
Being a care leavers himself, Zachariah first came to Drive Forward as a young person. Experiencing our services and work for himself, he saw that the company’s ethos and vision to help young people was genuine and mirrored his own. Zachariah came to join our Youth Engagement team in August 2016, eager to encourage other young people to step up and take life into their own hands. The music graduate has a passion for good vibes, as well as occult history, vegetarian cuisine and social sciences. His many interests reflect his own Jamaican, English and Irish heritage, and it's this cultural diversity which makes him relate so easily with a wide range of people. Zachariah aims to instil confidence and self-determination in young people and make them see the positives in overcoming any obstacles they may face.
Helal has worked in the third sector for the past twenty years and is committed to social justice and empowerment of groups and individuals. He has sung with the Union Chapel Singers for the past two years and enjoys listening to an eclectic variety of music. Helal's favourite meal is a luxurious brunch at the weekend.