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.
Head of Corporate Engagement
Lucy was working with one of Drive Forward’s corporate partners when she first heard about the work we do. In 2016, she got involved in organising Aim Higher Days and interviewing young people at HR Speed Dating events. Fast-forward time, she proudly joins the team as Head of Corporate Engagement in March 2018. Originally from Canada, Lucy has now made London and England her new home after completing her Certificate in Human Resources in 2016. Coming from a multi range background of Human Resources, Administration and Retail Banking, Lucy has a strong passion for making others smile and strives for others to see the best in themselves. Lucy’s number one passion is travelling and has recently explored her 30th country (including Scotland and Wales!). When not jet-setting, Lucy loves to cook, paint and bake all things to add a smile.
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.
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.
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!
After finishing her Master’s degree in American Literature in 2017, Nicholl has focused mainly on charity work and campaigning. She firmly believes in the power of young peoples voices and their ability to shape the world around them. When she isn’t at work, Nicholl enjoys reading, drawing, editing and exploring the city.
Fundraising & Communications
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.
Head of Mentoring
Rory has worked in Parliament, the Human Rights Sector and helped in the creation and running of a charity for homeless refugees in Paris. He enjoys working directly with young people and is always looking for ways for them to have their voices listened to on a wider scale. After finishing his Masters degree in Human Rights at Sciences Po Paris in July 2017 he is eager to help bring about real and meaningful change to vulnerable people’s lives. Outside of work, Rory is an avid reader and rock climbing enthusiast.
Youth Programme Manager
Francis has spent over 15 years supporting young people in a wide variety of settings, both statutory and third sector. As an adopted adult with early years care experience, he is passionate about supporting children and young people who are growing up, or have grown up, away from their birth parents. As a qualified NLP coach and trainer, he has managed to translate his own personal experiences of childhood, together with his years of experience as a youth worker, to develop a model of coaching that works at a deep level, helping his clients to understand themselves, in particular their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. This enables them to generate the results that they desire in life. Francis enjoys keeping fit, reading, eating out and likes nothing more than crashing on his sofa and watching old films that remind him of his childhood years.
Head of Youth Engagement
Megan’s background is in politics and worked as a researcher in Parliament prior to joining the team. Before that, she studied Sociology where she researched social inequality and learning projects for vulnerable adults in Bristol. Megan wanted to join Drive Forward so that she could put her passion for social change into action, motivated by the belief that all young people have the potential to achieve great things. When she’s not at work, Megan is most happy practising yoga, eating pizza or putting the world to rights at the pub.
Travon has known Drive Forward since 2015 when he first came to us looking for support. He has since been an engaged member of the ambassador’s group and our Policy Forum. He is a strong believer in the power of lived experience to drive change and progress; highlighting the struggles young people face under government protection. His own journey has made him so much more aware of the struggle and pain of others, but also of how society looks at care-experienced people. A word that’s often used in conjunction with the care-experienced is “resilience”. But Travon refuses to accept this term, as he believes that it adds to the many misconceptions, prejudices and stigmas attached to the tag “care experienced”. He uses his experience and passion to drive change to highlight the voices of young people in his capacity as Drive Forward’s Communications Assistant.