Meet The Team
I have lived in Harrow for most of my life and have two grown up children. I am deeply committed to youth work, youth empowerment and advocacy, with a special passion for helping those affected by the criminal justice system. I have over 15 years operational and strategic management experience in the criminal justice sector and am always at my best when I feel I can make a difference to someone's life. Most recently I worked for a charity that supports foreign national's affected by the criminal justice system, but in the past have worked providing support and advocacy to detainees and ex-offenders within a custodial environment. Experience has shown me what can happen to youngsters when things go wrong ... but equally how important positive interventions are in helping young people to overcome barriers and turnaround their lives.
Senior Youth Worker
Francesca moved to Harrow from Gloucestershire in July 2019 and started volunteering with Ignite soon after. Francesca has 4 years of youth work experience and recently completed her Youth Work degree. Francesca oversees the day-to-day delivery of each project, taking an active hands on approach to her work. Her specialism is gendered support, providing tailored services to young women and girls; something she is keen to develop at Ignite.
Came to youth work five years ago with a passion to help fatherless young males make positive choices for their lives and to use his own story to bring hope for change and a better way of life. Hot on showing respect for females, hard work and healthy family values, Mike believes young people are our future, and therefore just wants to help, support and encourage them to success. Michael joined Ignite in 2013.
Nathaniel is a professional musician and entrepreneur turned qualified youth worker who’s been working with young people for over a decade. Fuelled by his passion to see young people change their lives Nathaniel has spearheaded many youth initiatives and continues bring his unique way of thinking to Youth Work. Although Brixton born and raised he now lives with his wife and 2 daughters in Watford.
Having supported ignite with various aspects of their work as both a volunteer and a part-time worker the past two years, I am happy to have joined the team as a full time gangs worker. I am very passionate about our vision to empower young people and am looking forward to putting my skills and experience to use with that vision in mind. I love sports and walk the suffering path of an avid Liverpool supporter!
Troy is an Employment Worker providing bespoke one to one support for young people seeking to access education or employment. He's lived in Harrow all his life and is passionate about making a positive impact on our young people. Troy works part time for Ignite and is also a Policy and Information Officer at Partnership for Young London. He has been working on the Youth Advisory Board training programme for Partnership for Young London and also the Children in Care Council. Troy has worked across a number of groups of young people both in formal and informal education settings and has also set up training across London on financial inclusion and debt.
Sacha is a resident of Wealdstone and a mother who is passionate about helping young people make positive decisions about how to spend their time. She is currently working closely with the gangs workers in detached and is supporting a group of young women who enjoy the boxing and music production sessions.
Finance & Administration
Jeremy joined the Ignite team in 2019 having spent a large amount of his career in food & health & beauty retailing in core business roles, and latterly in HR specialising in employee engagement and diversity & equality. He has lived around the North West London area for most of his life. He's been very involved in voluntary activities including being a school governor and a magistrate. A keen singer, Jeremy is associated with a local Choral Society and has sung with other choirs as a 'guest'. Given he has worked in food retailing, it is natural that he loves cooking as well as walking.
VANIA DAZA DURAND
From the distant lands of Peru, Vania came to London in 2016 and married in Denmark with her Irish husband. She has experience as a consultant and data analyst for several years back in Peru. Statistics and graphic design are her passion and she use her skills in her work. He loves cats, going to the movies and taking long walks with their dog named Bow.
Rachel first joined Ignite as a Youth Worker in 2008 after completing a degree in Youth Work. She absolutely loves working with young people 1:1 and in small groups, and is driven by seeing them discover more about themselves and what they can achieve. Rachel left Ignite in 2013 to train to become a Social Worker, and returned again in 2016 as the Fundraiser to help Ignite raise the all-important money it needs to run. When not working for Ignite Rachel loves spending time with friends and family and watching tv series on Netflix, but she can usually be found chasing lively toddlers around the house!
Social Media Coordinator
Becks used to work with us as the Female Development Worker, but then got pregnant and moved to Birmingham, making continuing the work tricky! Now she's survived being a mum for a whole year, she's started doing our social media and website updates from her sofa in the Midlands. Becks and husband Ben, and son Judah love their new life "up north", but definitely miss working with the incredible young people in Harrow.
Chair of Trustees
Lynne has been involved in Ignite since before the beginning! She wrote the first business plan for the charity and most recently she has been Director for almost 3 years. Her work with young people over the years has been as a teacher, a sports coach, a youth worker and as a Human Givens psychotherapist. She is passionate about improving the lives of young people who have not transitioned from education to employment smoothly. She is keen to improve access to mental health support and is responsible for the mentoring training and materials for youth workers that incorporate the cutting edge therapeutic techniques of Human Givens therapy.
John Hunter Brown
John has worked in financial services for over 20 years, in both banking and the charity sector. He strongly believes that everyone should be supported to achieve their potential and is inspired by the huge positive impact that Ignite has in the community.
His role is to work with his fellow trustees and the team on the numbers to ensure the charity remains on a firm financial footing. He lives in Kent with his wife and their 3 children, and when he’s not trying to get the kids to places on time, finding or stepping on bits of Lego or acting as referee to any sibling disputes, he likes to try and cook!
I've been a trustee with Ignite for a few years. In this time we have seen the organisation and lives of young people develop and grow. It is a great joy working with the amazing team who daily inspire and engage with the young people of Harrow.
Outside Ignite, I have spent 30 years in the entertainment industry, working for the BBC, ITV and EMI before spending nearly 9 years as MD at RLJ Entertainment a leading DVD publisher. I use my business skills to help the Trustees build strategy and vision for Ignite. My main interests are football, (a Watford FC Season Ticket Holder) and former manager off HT United, who trained at Holy Trinity, Wealdstone, where Ignite is based and music and once again I am building up my collection of vinyl.
I’m originally from East London and now serve as joint leader at Roxeth Community Church on the Rayners Lane Estate in South Harrow where I also live. I’ve always had a passion to see young people who find themselves overlooked, disadvantaged and dismissed, but who are often full or talent and potential, get the encouragement, support and chances they deserve. I love playing my small part with Ignite whose staff and leadership work tirelessly to make that happen. In my free time I try and keep myself fit; I’m working my way through the library of classic literature left to me by my grandad (who I suspect used the books as ornaments rather than actual books), and trying to persuade my wife that burger, wedges and beans is a grown up, healthy and appropriate meal for a 48 year old man at least 4 times week.
I love to see young people discover their strengths and fulfil their potential in all aspects of their lives and I admire Youth Workers who can often help them on the journey. I have worked in residential units with young people of potential who needed safe, settled and structured care and support. I have specialised in child protection and safeguarding work and after working as a social worker, manager and trainer around the country I have recently started to work as a Safeguarding Adviser with a Church of England Diocese. I am proud to be a Trustee for Ignite and to be able to support and encourage this committed and skilful team.
Trustee: Business Strategy
“We rise by lifting others.” Robert Ingersoll
As a Transformation & Technology Strategist, Ego is passionate about technology and its application to achieve global impact and practical transformation.
Over the last 20+ years, Ego has led several Technology Innovation initiatives across many sectors. Some of which include global Internet Infrastructure solutions in Emerging Markets; Mergers & Acquisitions Technology Integration strategies; Financial Systems solutions architecture and deployment
In her spare time, Ego is actively involved in coaching and mentoring programs with a particular focus inspiring underrepresented groups and is currently an Engineering Senior Program Manager at Google, based in London.
Trustee: Employability and HR
Simone is a dedicated Human Resources professional with over 10 years’ experience working within the public and private sector, in multiple functions such as recruitment, training and development, change management, and employee relations.
She enjoys coaching and mentoring young people with their career aspirations, college, life choices, as well as working with them to facilitate their personal social and development to enable them to reach their full potential. Simone also has an accredited qualification in management coaching and mentoring.
She is very excited to be a Trustee for Ignite Trust, and to contribute to the Trust's mission and vision of engaging, empowering and transforming the lives of young people.