Free to Be is built upon the dedication, skill and committment of its volunteers. We benefit from many thousands of hours of freely given volunteers' time annually. We have a core team of experienced and skilled volunteers who form our key support group, many of whom also have existing qualifications in related disciplines.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please visit our Volunteering page to find out more and complete an application.
The charity is led by a small Leadership Team with approaching 35 years combined experience in designing and running residential projects for vulnerable children, and backgrounds in social work, therapeutic work with children, residential project work and operational management.
Rachel has been working with disadvantaged young people for over 12 years, in residential, community & school settings.
She has a strong background in operational management, having overseen the delivery and running of large scale youth projects for two national charities, as Head of Clinical Operations at Kids Company and Youth Development Director at Common Purpose. She was also Head of Summer School Operations for a large international education provider, overseeing the planning and delivery of summer programmes for around 3000 young people from around the world.
Rachel currently works as a Youth Sector Development Consultant, supporting a range of charities, community groups and education providers in designing and delivering child-centred projects and has previously been commissioned by businesses, charities and schools as a freelance designer and facilitator to run training and workshops for young people.
She formerly held positions on the board of trustees for Campus Childrens Holidays and as an Associate Governor for Falconbrook Primary in Wandsworth.
Mike has been working with vulnerable children and their families for over 17 years now, 11 of those as a qualified social worker.
He's spent time working in children's homes, hospitals, outreach youthwork and for a number of different social work departments.
Over the years Mike began to specialise in what he thinks of as 'complex case safeguarding' - managing and supporting others to think about young people in particularly high risk situations.
In this context he has worked as an expert witness to the family court in complex child protection cases and was lead safeguarding manager for the crisis centre of a national children's charity, Kids Company.
Mike currently practises as a specialist safeguarding consultant and independent social worker, offering expert advice to charities working in innovative ways with vulnerable young people.
Free to Be's work is governed by a Board of Trustees, made up of senior professionals from across a wide range of relevant fields. Between them, the nine Trustees hold expertise in the following areas:
Chartered accountancy and financial controls
Clinical psychology, Social Care and CAMHS
Public and private family law and the UK Court system
Residential support and outreach therapeutic youth work
Social enterprise strategy, funding, impact and evaluation
Charity management and strategy, Looked After Children & foster care.