The Team at Brathay Trust

Our team of 180 employees and 200+ volunteers consists of passionate, skilled and experienced people. They love what they do and embody Brathay's values of inspire, support, share and achieve.

Here's a flavour of them:

Kelly Lester - Receptionist

Kelly Lester

Receptionist

In my role I work mainly on reception, dealing with bookings, customers and everyday occurrences.

I have been working for Brathay since 2012, and the best part has been seeing our department excel throughout the years.

My working day involves manning reception and answering phone and email queries. Checking guests in, selling sweets, sending out mail campaigns, updating booking websites - no day is the same!

To me, Brathay means making a difference in people’s lives.

Something that few of my colleagues know about me is that I was once on Songs of Praise!

Fozia Nazneen - Family Key Worker

Fozia Nazneen

Family Key Worker

I have been working at Brathay’s Bradford based office since 2013. We work with children, young people and families that may have various issues such as low attendance at school, have suffered Domestic Violence issues, suffering from mental health/emotional/psychological issues, or are out of work and need support.

What I like about my job is that every day is different, as some families may need intense support and some families may not. We have a lot of assessments, referrals and contact logs to fill in. However we are always out of the office due to the amount of visits we have to do with each family.

We always make sure that we work with other professionals and liaise with them in regards to the issues with each family to promote effective work.

The highlight of working here is getting to work with such a vast range of people and seeing the changes in the people we have worked with.

P.S. I have done a skydive through Brathay!

Chris Nicholls - Tutor

Chris Nicholls

Tutor

My job is to provide outdoor technical support and run development courses with for young people.

Having worked here since 2014, my favourite day of the year is our annual ASICS Windermere Marathon, but I also really enjoy the work we do with young people in care. Brathay is an opportunity to do really good work, with really good people in a beautiful place.

One of the best things about my job is that there isn’t really a typical day, but a typical week will involve being out on the lake with the whaler boats or canoeing, a trip to a ghyll, being involved in some small projects, and running high ropes activities.

P.S. My favourite food is falafels.

Julie Whiting - ​Assistant Head of Community Provision

Julie Whiting

​Assistant Head of Community Provision

In my role I focus on Business Development for the West Yorkshire Region.

I have been working for Brathay since 2010, and the highlight has to be being part of developing something special in Bradford, from moving into Cathedral Halls, to having an amazing delivery team who are all passionate about the work Brathay do.

For me, Brathay is like having an extended family; I feel very lucky to be part of developing programmes which provide children, young people and families with life changing opportunities.

A typical day may include meetings with clients, funders, commissioners, developing programmes, and writing reports.

P.S. I volunteer knitting for Bradford SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death) Charity.

Rebecca Chaplow - Receptionist

Rebecca Chaplow

Receptionist

As a receptionist I am part of the guest services team and help with the day to day running of Brathay Hall. If I was to list every job I did I would be here all day!

I have been working here since 2017 and no day is ever the same- each day brings a new challenge to overcome.

The highlight for me is definitely seeing how people change and develop throughout the duration of their course, as it is inspiring. I feel very humbled to be a small part of the whole Brathay operation; it fills me with so much pride working for an organisation that helps change people’s lives for the better.

Something that few of my colleagues know about me is that I actually studied Outdoor Adventure at Kendal College and I aspire to become an Outdoor Instructor at some point in my life!

Jon Owen - Assistant Head of Community Provision

Jon Owen

Assistant Head of Community Provision

My job involves managing our community programmes in Cumbria and the North West, and I have been working on and off for Brathay since 1997.

No two days are the same, but I might very well have a meeting with partners or prospective partners in somewhere like Birkenhead, Lancaster or Whitehaven, and some time on my laptop writing funding applications.

Brathay means a number of things to me: the scope to innovate; great conversations with colleagues about transforming young lives; laughter; reflections; and mug after mug of tea.

The best thing about my job is working with folks who share the same passion for supporting young people, with a base in a location that still takes my breath away.

Something that not many people know about me is that there was a brief moment in time when I was a clothing catalogue model. These days I have more of a face for radio.

Lucy Maynard - Head of Research

Lucy Maynard

Head of Research

As Head of Research I work with a team of researchers to better understand, develop and evidence the impact of our work at Brathay.

I have been working here since 2007, and every day starts with a coffee and a walk to work at our inspiring Lake District HQ … #appreciative!

To me, Brathay is a place where we can create spaces for people to learn and grow.

The highlight of my time here has been seeing how our work supports young people to grow and develop in ways they never imagined possible.

Alyson Knowles  - Operations Manager Challenge Events

Alyson Knowles

Operations Manager Challenge Events

My job is to organise the operations behind our ASICS’ Windermere Marathon, 10in10, and cycling events.

I started working for Brathay in 1998, and the highlight has to be playing a key part in supporting our 10in10 inspirational runners on their amazing journey.

My working days are very varied. They can range from ensuring all fine detailed planning of our events is in place to speaking at length with a 10in10 participant who needs support, advice and reassurance.

Brathay is a very special inspirational place where people come and experience the positive effects of the ‘Brathay Bubble’. It is life changing.

Sophie Wardlow - Youth Worker

Sophie Wardlow

Youth Worker

In my role as a Youth Worker I deliver projects across Barnsley and Sheffield.

I have been working for Brathay since 2016, and the highlight so far has to be working with so many amazing young people. ‘Time For You’ at St Luke’s Hospice is one of the projects that really touches me.

I was actually disabled for ten years of my childhood so the work I do and especially bringing creativity into young people's lives is a massive passion of mine. If it hadn't been for this and finding performing, then I don't think I would have recovered as well as I did!

Every day at work is totally different, but on average I deliver projects from 9-4, and then sort emails in the office or at home.

Working for Brathay is great; it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it for every young person's life you change or make a difference to. Work isn't a chore as such and that's when you know you're in the right job!

Jenni MacDuff - Head of Community Provision

Jenni MacDuff

Head of Community Provision

In my role as Head of Community Provision, I lead our Children and Young People Teams based out in the community.

A typical day is mostly made up of meetings, report writing and making difficult decisions! I love working with partners to develop exciting new projects and hearing about the amazing work being done by our staff.

I have been working for Brathay since 2009, and the highlight has to be seeing the development of the team in the last two years. The team work, commitment and passion of our community staff are second to none.

To me, Brathay means working towards a more equal society where lives are transformed.

P.S. I do not understand why people like drinking cola… 

Scott Umpleby - Head of Fundraising

Scott Umpleby

Head of Fundraising

In my role I manage the Fundraising Team, develop Brathay’s fundraising strategy and work with colleagues to generate income and resources to deliver our charitable mission.

I have been working for Brathay since 2001, and a typical day involves looking for ever more creative ways to engage people and organisations to support our work with disadvantaged young people and families…speaking to people…writing funding bids…managing online activity…etc.

The highlight of working here is getting to work with such a wide range of colleagues – all committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children and young people. Oh….and the cake!

To me, Brathay means great people, great place. In three words: inspiring, supporting, sharing.

P.S.  My favourite pulse is the chickpea.

Chris Jeffs - Deputy Head of Centre

Chris Jeffs

Deputy Head of Centre

My job is to organise and deliver outdoor education courses, staffing, office work, assisting with meal times, maintenance (fixing light bulbs, toilets!) etc. Every day is a good day!

I have worked for full time for Brathay since 2012 but worked on a freelance basis for a while before that.

The highlight of working here is being able to work with young people from Wigan who use our Low Bank Ground centre.

p.s. I like olives..

Jenna Mitchell - Senior HR Adviser

Jenna Mitchell

Senior HR Adviser

As Senior HR Adviser, I am involved in most things people related including recruitment, training, payroll and advice.

Having worked at Brathay since 2008, a typical day usually starts with a scenic drive to work followed by coffee when I arrive. I will then meet new staff to do inductions, interview, co-ordinating DBS checks and payroll admin.

Lunch time is sometimes a run or if I’m feeling lazy a catch up lunch with a colleague. The afternoon may consist of end of month reports, updating our social media or talking to local schools and colleges about career events. We always have a pot of tea on the go in the afternoon!

The highlight of working here has to be the people. Whether it’s the staff you are working with, or the group that has left after a course, everyone is a team and helps each other and achieves the best they can.

To me, Brathay means helping to positively change lives, giving people opportunities and a working for a good cause.

As well as working at Brathay I run my own photography business and have shot over 100 weddings!

Leanne Delahunty - Project Manager

Leanne Delahunty

Project Manager

I work in Brathay’s Bradford Office managing the Family work contracts.

A typical day for me is in and out of the office - one minute I could be at a client’s house cleaning or helping them move and then the next minute I could be in meetings with Bradford Council or Head teachers.

I have been working for Brathay since 2013, and the best part has been seeing the dramatic changes within our clients’ lives, and the difference our interventions can make to a whole family.

To me, Brathay means supporting others and improving other people’s chances in life.

P.S. I have Ovaphobia (a phobia of eggs).

Bill Taylor - Deputy Head of Centre

Bill Taylor

Deputy Head of Centre

Heather Jones - Operations Manager (Finance)

Heather Jones

Operations Manager (Finance)

Charlotte O’Connell - Stronger families keyworker

Charlotte O’Connell

Stronger families keyworker

As a Stronger Families Keyworker, I only started working for Brathay in 2017.

My role is very new to Brathay and Bradford so a typical day at the moment is learning new things about my job role and getting to know others’ roles within Brathay.

The highlight so far has to be getting to know the friendly team!

P.S. I like peanut butter.

Gary Tully - Head of Business Development

Gary Tully

Head of Business Development

As Head of Business Development I am responsible for driving our income to ensure we have enough to deliver. My focus in on anything to do with income – from direct client sales and relationship contact to activities related to social media and brand presence.

A typical day usually involves some elements of travel, client contact, proposition development, strategic planning, and admin. Having only worked here since 2017, the highlight has to be the great environment and the outcome of the work we all support.

To me, Brathay is all about enabling people to optimise how they perform – be that in life or business. Something that not many people know about me is that I’m proud to come from a North East mining family background and have spent a day down a pit 5 miles out under the North Sea.

Lesley Sharp - Venue Manager for Wigan Centres

Lesley Sharp

Venue Manager for Wigan Centres

In my role as Venue Manager for our Wigan Centres, I take care of their day to day running.

I started working at the Centre in 2006 and transferred to Brathay in 2012. Although there are no typical days as each one is different, every day at Brathay means making a difference.

The highlights of working here encompass everything from the beautiful surroundings to the wonderful staff, and of course the young people who make it all worthwhile.

Something that few of my colleagues know about me is that I was Millom School Gala Queen when I was 14.

Peter Grenville - Marketing Executive

Peter Grenville

Marketing Executive

As Marketing Executive, I do lots of different things to do with websites, social media, printed materials, adverts etc., but in a nutshell my job is to raise awareness of Brathay, and support colleagues to promote what we do.

A typical day at Brathay? I wish there was one! Lots of meetings, lots of analytics, thinking about ‘brand’, cappuccinos, coming up with ways to make Brathay and what we do more visible, writing stuff, more cappuccinos, website wrangling… did I mention cappuccinos? Oh, and wearing loud shirts.

Having worked here since 2009, I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing colleagues – they are inspiring and passionate about what they do. Beyond that, becoming the person in charge of marketing for Brathay is pretty special!

To me, Brathay means empowering young people, so that they have better chances in life once they’ve spent time with us.

P.S I’m also a qualified forklift truck driver, trained barista, and newspaper columnist!

Dave Harvey - Head of Residential Provision

Dave Harvey

Head of Residential Provision

In my role as Head of Centres I am responsible for Brathay Hall’s outdoor delivery, challenge events and Brathay Explore. I am also responsible for Low Bank Ground and Hinning House, Wigan’s Outdoor Education Centres that are managed by Brathay.

The highlight of my 6 years with Brathay (so far) has been successfully managing the transition of the Wigan Centres to Brathay, safeguarding local jobs and the residential provision for the children and young people of Wigan.

Brathay provides the opportunity for young people to grow and develop in a safe yet inspiring and challenging environment – and that’s really special!

There isn’t a typical day here! My role is so varied that I could be involved with the preparations for a canoe expedition to the Great Glen one minute, working with a group the next and clearing a blocked drain after that.

Something not many people know about me is that I ran the Brathay Windermere marathon in 2016, raising money for Brathay, in a time of 4hours 22minutes.

Kate Sharples - Programme Manager (North West)

Kate Sharples

Programme Manager (North West)

My job is to manage partnerships and programmes in the North West (including Merseyside to Wigan to Blackpool) and develop new partnerships with organisations in this area.

I have been an associate of Brathay since 2012, becoming a permanent member of staff in 2016. The three words I would use to describe Brathay are adventure, quality and calmness.

The best thing about my job is getting to work with such a diverse spread of children, young people and families as well as staff and every programme bringing a new journey.

A typical day here may include meetings with partner organisations, through to programme planning and funding searches,  followed by a visit or delivering a session to children and young people in their community space.

P.S. I won an award for my photography, awarded by Mike McCartney, and I took the photos for a Calendar Girls style calendar for local charities in Anglesey.

Caroline Caple - Business Manager

Caroline Caple

Business Manager

In my role as Business Manager, I support our People and Organisation Development team in delivering high quality programmes to our Corporate clients which ultimately supports the charitable work of Brathay.

At Brathay very rarely are two days the same!  I love my role as it requires working with lots of the different Brathay teams, our clients and suppliers. It involves anything from long-term planning, budgeting and marketing to project management for our larger pieces of work and assisting with daily operational matters and problem solving.

Having worked here since 2014, the highlight for me has to be achieving our successful registration on the RoATP (Registration of Apprenticeship Training Providers) to enable us to offer apprenticeship programmes under the new standards.

Something that not many people know about me is that I started my own career on an apprenticeship scheme back in the day when it was called the YTS scheme. Brathay is an inspiring place where working together on a common goal enables us to achieve more than the sum of the parts.

Mark Haisley - Senior Chef

Mark Haisley

Senior Chef

In my role as Senior Chef, I am responsible for delivering the food to our clients and managing a team of 3 other chefs and kitchen staff.

Every day at Brathay is busy, busy, busy! Working here means helping to provide the customer with a great time by cooking delicious food.

Having worked here since 2006, the highlight remains that feeling of satisfaction I get when a customer tells me the food was lovely. Also working on the Brathay estate is a pleasure as it has beautiful surroundings and scenery.

Something which not many people know about me is that I’m a big fan of Leeds United.

Jill Dawes - Learning and Development Consultant

Jill Dawes

Learning and Development Consultant

In my role as a Learning and Development Consultant, I develop partnerships and deliver targeted residentials.

I have been working here since 2015, and one day is never the same as the next.

The best thing about working at Brathay has to be the inspirational staff who have a strong belief in the young people who arrive here, and want to bring out the potential in them – however difficult! To me, Brathay is built on shared values- we are a strong tribe.

Something that not many people know about me is that I like eating cold ravioli out of the tin!

Julia Wilson - Senior Fundraiser

Julia Wilson

Senior Fundraiser

As Senior Fundraiser I raise money for Brathay’s work – mainly the work we do in the community.

I’ve been working for Brathay since 2014 and I’m based in our Ambleside office. A typical day is often a combination of putting together fundraising events, pulling together the information needed to apply for funding for a new project and writing funding applications.

I find Brathay such a rewarding place to work. The highlight so far was probably when we were one of BBC Radio 4’s weekly charity appeals in 2016. The whole process of putting together the broadcast was really interesting and we raised more money than we expected for our work with young people leaving care.

Something that few of my colleagues know about me is that I’ve given birth at a hospital entrance!

Jacqui Wallace - Project Manager

Jacqui Wallace

Project Manager

My job is to manage all targeted youth work projects and staff based in Cumbria. For example, our current projects include: working with young people at risk of child sexual exploitation; a resilience project for those young people and families who need a little extra support in life; working with young people in or on the cusp of the care system and peer mentoring.

I have been working for Brathay since 2009, and the highlight has to be managing the New Beginnings project from 2012 – 2015, which involved working with over 250 young people who were preparing to leave care in Cumbria.  Never has a project more touched my heart than this one – it was very special, albeit a little challenging at times!

I think the final residential was the highlight and young people presenting at the ‘Flying on the Ground’ conference in 2014, speaking about the difference the project had made to their lives.

My working days are very diverse, but Brathay is just such a special place to work…and with such lovely colleagues. It has a potential for magic to happen!

P.S. I met (and had my photo taken with) Muhammed Ali in Las Vegas!

Julie Balshaw - Business Development Manager

Julie Balshaw

Business Development Manager

My job is to sell Residential Programmes at Brathay Hall for children and young people and I’ve been doing it for 7 years now.

The highlight of my work is being able to help more children and young people access an amazing residential experience in the most delightful setting here at Ambleside in the Lake District.

Brathay truly is a unique space, environmentally as well as developmentally and no 2 days here are the same! My days can go from securing a valuable contract to being able to offer a funded residential to a disadvantaged group with most need. It’s great to be part of a very dedicated team delivering life changing chances to young people.

p.s. I have driven a ship to shore container handling crane! Not many people know that.

Charlie Shufflebottom - Senior Tutor

Charlie Shufflebottom

Senior Tutor

My job is to deliver and develop outdoor courses for anyone. This covers making a brew to a high level to sorting out toilets, there isn’t a typical days work for me.

I started working for Brathay back in 1996 as a freelancer and have worked with them ever since. I even got married in the walled garden at Low Bank Ground, one of our outdoor centres, which was a real highlight for me.

Something not many people know about me is that I can play the guitar to ‘guides’ level and I make a mean curry.

Adrian Sturges - Senior Fundraiser

Adrian Sturges

Senior Fundraiser

In my role as Senior Fundraiser I invite support from Grant Making Trusts to enable vulnerable young people to experience a Brathay development programme. I have been working for Brathay since 2000, and a typical day involves a mixture of research for potential funders for a new project, bid writing, and subsequent correspondence and reporting. All regularly interspersed with tea or coffee! 

The highlight of life at Brathay is seeing presentations by young people at the end of their time with us and witnessing the positive transformation that they have experienced. I see Brathay as a catalyst for life enhancing behavioural change. 

Something that few of my colleagues know about me is that a previous employer gave me the incredible opportunity to spend one academic term studying at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Gary Haughton - Health, Safety & Environment Manager

Gary Haughton

Health, Safety & Environment Manager

Heather Dixon - Finance Director

Heather Dixon

Finance Director

As Finance Director my role is many and varied; I look after the finances and the finance team, fundraising, events, guest services, HR and IT. The easiest way to think about it is that most of the things I look after are part of the engine that Brathay needs to keep things ticking over.

I have been working at Brathay since 2010 and I rarely have a ‘typical’ day. Brathay is multi-faceted and so are the highlights of working here. It might be a piece of feedback from a young person, delegate, participant or staff member. It could be success in a tender or bid to a Trust, it might be the view of the hills as I walk round the site or the wildlife I pretend not to notice when I am in a meeting.

For me, working at Brathay means making a difference.

P.S. I’m really 21.

Godfrey Owen - Chief Executive

Godfrey Owen

Chief Executive

As the Chief Executive of Brathay Trust I lead the organisation to ensure that we meet our mission and strategic plan in a sustainable way.

I have been working for Brathay since 1995 as a Learning and Development Consultant, Manager, led the POD team and became Chief Executive in 2005.

Every day at Brathay is different. I spend a lot of my time meeting people who want to inspire others to develop themselves which is always exciting. In my office, I spend a lot of time working out how we can use our resources as effectively as possible to have as great an impact on young people’s lives as possible. I find that challenge very stimulating as well.

I have had many highlights over the long time I have worked here. Some of them are very ordinary – I chatted to a group of young people at the boathouse this weekend who talked very excitedly about their experiences at Brathay which I was very proud that we had been able to provide.

Brathay gives me and my colleagues the opportunity to have an impact on young people’s lives in a very flexible and creative way. As young people’s lives change, we work hard to ensure that Brathay offers support that remains relevant and inspiring to young people. That is a great project to be part of.

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