Link Work Team Abbie Westman Link Worker at Newman Catholic College Whilst studying for her undergraduate degree in English Language and Linguistics, Abbie was offered the opportunity to undertake a CELTA qualification accredited by the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, she completed a master's degree in English Language Teaching. She has experience of teaching English both abroad and in the UK. Last year, Abbie decided to move to London and made the transition to work in the English department of a secondary school. Her role was particularly focused around helping vulnerable students socially, emotionally and academically. Alex Brooke Link Work Manager and Link Worker at Ark Franklin Primary Academy While working in a career in high-level International Event Management, Alex also worked as a mentor for young offenders providing weekly support to stop offending behaviour and raise self-esteem. She also has worked on various ‘Black Self Development’ projects in prisons, supporting adults and young people in their learning and rehabilitation. Amy Spooner Link Worker at Kensington Aldridge Academy Amy has a degree in Sociology and Criminology. She began working in primary schools and moved on to working with children with emotional and behavioural needs in school environments. Alongside this, she was an Early Help Intervention Worker, supporting vulnerable teenagers. Most recently, she worked as a Children and Families worked for women's refuges in Kensington and Chelsea. Bethany Chisholm Link Worker at Westminster Academy Whilst studying Criminology with Substance Misuse Intervention Strategy at the University of Brighton, Bethany gained experience in facilitating group in a local service to promote well-being and recovery. After graduating, Bethany began working with young people in a life skills centre. The focus of this work was to nurture young peoples' interests and help to develop their self-confidence. Beth Smith Link Work Manager Beth studied Human, Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge. She then worked as a Primary Teaching Assistant in North London. She also has experience volunteering with refugees, women and children. Charlotte Norris Link Worker at St Mary’s Primary School Charlotte completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Lincoln and then went on to complete her Masters in Developmental Psychology. Charlotte has a background in both Teaching Assistant and teaching roles across the Primary School phase. She is looking forward to taking on training in Play Therapy and how she can incorporate this into her role as a Link Worker. Donna Botham Link Worker at Brackenbury Primary School Donna has a background in primary school teaching and has more recently worked for a children’s charity on a project supporting school senior leadership teams to work with disadvantaged students and to develop more equitable learning environments. Donna has also worked on a research project with Teesside University researching barriers to learning for children in Early Years. Donna is a qualified counsellor with experience in developing and delivering small group early intervention mental health support courses in primary and secondary schools. Eleanor Brown Link Work Manager and Link Worker at Ark Bentworth and Ark Conway Primary Academies Eleanor graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Childhood Studies. Her experience volunteering for a local domestic abuse charity in Bristol lead her to work for Refuge as a Children’s Support Worker before joining West London Zone. Ella Peterman Literacy and Drama Intervention Lead Ella studied Drama at the University of Manchester. In her final year she focused on Applied Theatre, working with those affected by the criminal justice system and homelessness. After graduating, she founded a drama company which used drama as a tool to encourage emotional and social well-being. She also completed the Teach First programme, teaching in schools across Birmingham and London. Elodie Cox Link Worker at West London Free Secondary School Elodie graduated from the University of Bristol with a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and then went on to complete a Master's degree in Psychology of Education. She has a particular interest in well-being and mental health in schools and has worked to enhance this for young people across a number of secondary schools, a children's hospital, a youth charity and in university halls of residence. Outside of work she is a keen artist, loves the outdoors and enjoys running. Farial Missi Deputy Head of Link Work Farial has been working with WLZ since the beginning of Pilot. In that time she has been awarded the LEAP Confronting Conflict Inspirational Adult award, and LBHF School Ambassadors and Sports awards. Farial has also completed the Place2Be child counselling qualification. Fardowsa Mohamed Link Worker at Edward Wilson Primary School Fardowsa has worked with children, young people and families for the past 19 years within social services, various charities, schools and community. Fardowsa is very passionate about working with children and young people to support them rise to their full potential and help them access opportunities within the community.Fardowsa loves travelling and learning about different cultures to gain new experiences to improve her practice. Fatima Hussein Link worker at Capital City Academy Fatima studied English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Roehampton. She then worked as a Secondary Teaching Assistant and Cover Supervisor in south west London. She also has experience tutoring and volunteering with young people in her local area. Frankie Wakefield Link Worker at St Andrew and St Francis Primary Frankie graduated from the University of Sussex with a BA in Social Work. She worked with The Prince's Trust and with the Hastings Duty team, where she became passionate about the benefits of long term support work with children and young people. For the past few years, Frankie has worked in a graphic design studio. Idil Hussein Link Worker at Bevington Primary School Idil studied Psychology at the University of Essex, in her final year she focused on developmental disorders, cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. Idil then worked with children with learning difficulties in SEN secondary and sixth form to promote independence. In recent years before joining WLZ, Idil worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism, using principles of Applied Behavioural Analysis to teach academic, social, self-help and language & communication skills. Jess Nash Early Years Link Worker at Wendell Park Primary School Jess has a degree in Fine Art & Related Arts and completed a 2-year post-grad Foundation in Integrative Arts/Child Therapy. She went on to become a volunteer counsellor for leading children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, and supported children in small groups and 1:1 in her role of therapeutic play-worker at The Family School. Additionally, Jess managed 1:1 yoga therapy provision, school outreach and teacher training programmes for The Special Yoga Centre; supporting children and families living with special and/or additional needs. She has lived in west London for most of her professional life. Jessica Bentley Link Worker at Gateway Academy Jessica is originally from Canada, where she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Health Studies and a Master's of Social Work degree. She has experience working in a secondary school in London with the pastoral and safeguarding teams. Prior to moving to the UK she worked with children and youth with Autism and their families. Passionate about helping young people reach their full potential, she has spent many years working with charities and summer camps to help children and youth develop their confidence, learn new skills, improve their communication, and build connections. Joyce Papparlardo Link Worker at St Thomas' Primary and St Clements and St James Primary Schools Joyce graduated from the University of Roehampton with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Counselling and then went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Attachment Studies. She really wanted to work with children so, after graduating, she worked in a primary school as a TA where she specialised in 1-1 and small group work for children with a wide range of needs. Alongside that role, Joyce was also the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead of the school. Juanita Benkirane Link Worker at St John XXIII Catholic Primary Scool After completing her BA in Criminology, she has built up several years of experience mentoring young offenders and providing behavioural support in a primary school. In addition to being a WLZ Link worker, as a qualified therapist, Juanita spends a day a week working with the leading national children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. Kate Fabian Literacy Intervention Lead Kate is an Australian with a background in community planning and social research; having worked in government, private sector and NGO roles. Kate has BAs in Human Geography and Teaching, and a CELTA qualification, and has taught English and Geography in a range of settings, from adults to Nursery children. Kate is a safeguarding governor at her local primary school and is passionate about children having the opportunity to experience a safe and happy childhood, as well as to develop skills for later life. Katie Devane Link Worker at Oxford Gardens Primary School Katie studied Childhood and Youth at The University of Northampton. During this time she worked in a residential children's home, with young people aged 8-18 years old. She also volunteered at various services for children and young people such as a local counselling service and a youth club. After Katie completed her studies, she continued her work in a nursery and also as a part time Female Youth Development worker where she worked with vulnerable females aged 12-17 within a mainstream school and a pupil referral unit. Lily Birkett Literacy Intervention Lead Lily has worked in both primary and secondary schools as a support staff. She graduated from Bristol where she studied Philosophy, before doing an MSc in Psychology. She volunteers for the National Autistic Society Transition Support service, giving confidential advice to autistic people and their families regarding their education or career aspirations. She is also the manager of a comedy club. Liona Elliott Link Worker at Ark Swift Primary Academy and St John XXIII Catholic Primary School Liona previously worked as an Early Years practitioner for Shepherds Bush Families Project. She went on to study Early Childhood studies at Roehampton University. During her degree she focused on how mindfulness could benefit both children's and mothers' mental health, exploring in particular how it can alleviate the symptoms of postnatal depression. Maddy Ford Link Work Manager Maddy studied Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds and went on to work as an engineer on a number of large construction projects in the UK. After deciding that people were more interesting than pipes, Maddy volunteered for 6 months at IPODERAC, a home for boys aged 4-14 in Mexico. On her return to the UK, Maddy completed Year Here, a post graduate course in social enterprise. Mark Evans Head of Link Work Before joining WLZ Mark worked as a teacher in a local secondary school. Prior to this he worked for a cluster of schools in south west London developing provision for children and families and before this developing a mentoring programme for vulnerable young people in collaboration with a Youth Offending team. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge developing services for children, young people and their families across public, statutory and the third sector. In his spare time he is a keen sportsman. Matt Read Link Work Manager Matt studied History at the University of Birmingham and has been in young adult facing roles with companies such as Youth2Youth, The Princes Trust and The Challenge Network. Most recently, Matt has worked as a Lead Coach on the Spear Employment programme, supporting young adults overcome disadvantage in the shape of mental health, educational and attitudinal barriers and supporting them into further education and employment. Mia O'Connell Link Worker at King Solomon Academy Mia studied German and Mandarin at the University of Birmingham before training as a teacher. She completed a PGCE at the University of Nottingham, where she wrote a dissertation on students who speak English as an Additional Language. Mia then went on to teach at a secondary school in Essex before moving to West London Zone. Nikki Dolby Link Worker at Wendell Park Primary School Nikki previously worked as a Teaching Assistant and tutor before completing her PGCE at the University of Reading. Since then, Nikki has volunteered and worked across the charity and heritage sector, from museums and art galleries, to LGBT+ advocacy charities. Most recently, Nikki has completed 14 months volunteering as a mentor for The Kid's Network, a children's charity based in London. Olayinka Goldfeather Link Worker at Ark Conway Primary School With a degree in Illustration and a qualification in children's counselling from Place2Be, Ola has a passion for working creatively with children and young people to support their emotional well-being. As well as working at West London Zone, Ola is a coach and workshop facilitator, mentoring and supporting teenage girls to build their confidence, self-esteem and skills. She also has experience in inner London primary schools as a learning mentor and teaching assistant. Rachael Olubayo Link Worker at Phoenix Academy Rachael lives in west London and completed a degree in Sociology and Social Policy at University of Nottingham. During this time, she volunteered as an IntoUniversity mentor, meeting bi-weekly with a student to raise academic attainment and aspirations, and as an Academic Support Volunteer supporting students in a classroom environment. Rachael also worked within the SEN department as a Learning Support Assistant at a school in North London. Before joining WLZ, she worked at the ClementJames Centre in North Kensington, delivering a programme of Academic Support, Mentoring and specialised study days/weeks to young people in the area. Rachel Elton Link Worker at Sacred Heart High School Rachel completed a post graduate diploma in Youth and Community Work at The University of East London. Since then she has worked for different local authorities as a youth worker before moving in to the third sector. She has worked on various youth projects across London and this year lead a team of young volunteers in Uganda. Robyn Cufley Link Worker at Ark Brunel Primary Academy Robyn completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Warwick. After university, Robyn worked in a refuge supporting women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Robyn also has experience volunteering for Citizens Advice and MIND. Sarah Mohammad Link Worker at Barlby Sarah studied at SOAS and then completed a masters at King's in International Development. Sarah has worked in community organising across London, including facilitating sessions across schools, charities and corporates on social change and inclusion. She has worked with young people across London supporting them across literacy, wellbeing and programmes exploring identity and resilience. Sarah Walsh Link Worker at Ark Burlington Danes Academy Early Years and Primary Sarah completed a degree in Primary Education in Canterbury and went on to teach in primary schools, specifically within the Early Years Foundation Stage. After several years, she decided to take her teaching abroad and worked as a TEFL teacher and as a volunteer in an orphanage. Sophie Graci Literacy Intervention Lead Sophie studied Drama at the University of Manchester. After graduating in 2018 she worked as an events coordinator and freelance theatre producer. Sophie is currently studying for her MSc in Psychological Sciences at UCL, where she is particularly interested in researching developmental diversity and psychological interventions to support children and young people. Prior to joining WLZ, she also volunteered with Bookmark, the reading charity Sophie Lonyay Link Worker / Literacy Intervention Lead After earning a degree in Media Studies and Art History at the University of Vienna and Edinburgh, Sophie completed the Teach for Austria Leadership Programme working as middle school teacher and History lead for two years. Subsequently, she worked as an educational coordinator for an NGO in Greece providing education for refugees and asylum seekers. Her role was focused on developing a sustainable language and professional development programme in collaboration with the community. Furthermore, Sophie gained experience working as a Science and Humanities teacher in a primary school in West London, while pursuing her masters in Social Justice and Education at UCL. Thomas Hacker Link Worker at Swift Primary Academy. Thomas graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Psychology and then went onto complete a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Brunel. During his degree Thomas workedas a children’s football coach, which led him to his next role providing sports development andpastoral support at a primary school. For the past few years Thomas has worked as a researcher fora leadership development organisation. Tom Regel Link Worker at Flora Gardens Tom’s recent experience is in academic research, studying and then later working in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Prior to this, Tom worked in a range of roles across mainstream and specialist education in London, working closely with children and young people with special educational needs, as well as with students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties Yasmin Murphy Link Worker at Ark Burlington Danes Secondary Academy Yasmin graduated in BSc Psychology and then went on to complete a Masters in Child Forensics and Law. Yasmin has spent time working in various youth work settings. She volunteered in mental health hospitals and taught English in schools in Sri Lanka. In between this she spent time working at summer camps and lead groups of young people in the National Citizen service summer programme. Zarin Shahabi Link Worker/Community Engagement Project Coordinator Zarin studied Psychology at the University of Birmingham. She then worked with children in a range of settings, both paid and voluntary such as for The Children's Society, Oxford Active Camps, secondary schools and teaching English in Spain. Most recently, she worked as a Learning Mentor in west London, with a focus in identifying and breaking barriers to learning for vulnerable students. She also has experience volunteering with women in conflict, individuals with Alzheimer's and SEMH children. Zarin will begin training to become a Health Play Specialist this year.