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Meet the team

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Claire, Founder of Respect Yourself, is very passionate about helping young people make better choices, ones they don’t regret in later life. She successfully runs her own business in Norfolk, showing the entrepreneurial mindset of doing the work whenever it is needed, and waking up at all hours with new ideas. She slipped through the educational net due to her dyslexia, and 20 years later saw her younger brother had done the same. She says that one educational stream isn’t necessarily for everybody. Claire also manages the twitter account.

Andrew, Chair of Trustees, is an accomplished 360° marketeer and brand builder. He has worked across diverse markets and cultures, always in ‘top-of-their-niche’ business environments that demand ROI from every activity. He’s a practical leader and mentor with excellent team and collaboration skills, managing different initiatives simultaneously, and has broad hands-on experience from start-ups to major multi-nationals, Business / brand growth strategies, B2B and B2C (luxury, retail and charity) and social enterprises.

Yemmi, Vice Chair, is an information technology and telecommunications leader with a strong interest in young adult mental health and wellness. Yemmi’s personal sense is that mental health in general and youth mental wellness in particular, is not as prioritised as it ought to be, given the amount of NHS funding as a proportion of total NHS budget, spent on mental health. Yemmi accepted invitation to serve as a trustee of Respect Yourself, in order to lend his extensive business experience to RY trustees, and has held board, executive and senior positions within the air transport, technology and telecommunications industries. Yemmi is 6-SIGMA qualified and has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Keele, Staffordshire. He lives in Berkshire and is active in the Church of England and on Twitter Social Media. In his spare time, Yemmi likes to read, walk or drive around the Chilterns, and also enjoys Netflix.

Bobby, Secretary and Treasurer, has a HNC in Business and Finance, and 20 years experience as a freelance book-keeper/administrator to a number of SME’s in a variety of different industries and professions in Norfolk. As a Mum and a Grandma family is very important and she says it is easy to see what a different place the world we live in is from when she was younger and can see how young people face far more challenges and difficulties now and wants a better place for her Grandchildren to grow up in. She is involved in the local fundraising and enjoys putting together the tombolas for all the fundraising events as this also helps gives her the opportunity to increase the awareness of Respect Yourself locally.

RichDesignated Child Protection Officer and technical guru, has a BSc Hons in Computer Science with 15 years professional experience working in IT development and support. He researches and writes the daily messages, and in addition he administers the website, facebook, twitter, the internet domain and the smartphone app.

Josh: “I go by the nickname Smiiffy, I’m a 21-year-old rapper raising awareness of mental health through music. I raise awareness through performances, guest speeches, TV/Radio Appearances and other media. I became part of Respect Yourself because of the support and care they give to so many people. Respect Yourself gave me hope and a purpose to carry on through helping others. I believe together we can make a change and nothing is impossible. Through my role in the charity I get to meet so many incredible people of all ages. I get to speak to both the males and females who struggle to open up. There is so much planned with myself and the hard working people at Respect Yourself including touring to meet those in need of support and comfort and speaking with more people. ‘Be the first to make a change, or let that change make you’.”

Rola is a talented serious actress with a BA in British and American Literature, and has composed, written and performed her own jazz number. While living abroad she tried to help women and girls who were subjected to abuse and strongly believes young people should get the right help as soon as they need it. With the help from the RY family she wants to help make the world a better place, especially in the fields of child/women abuse, homelessness and integration for refugees.

Sharon is a Police Detective of the last 26 years, has held and performed most policing duties, and is currently working alongside the Crown Prosecution Service on Rape and Serious Sexual Offences in West Yorkshire. She is a Patient Carer Advocate for both the RCP and the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, is engaged with phase 2 of the Future Hospital projects, and is a passionate advocate for kindness, respect and empathy. Sharon is a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse and is trying hard to make a difference for survivors of abuse, looking for better, clearer pathways for young people and their support networks. She is a mum to two wonderful sons and two rescue Staffordshire Bull Terriers, is a wife, sister and proud member of the Respect Yourself family.

Trevor qualified as a Youth Worker at Manchester Polytechnic in 1989, worked in Lincolnshire until 2003, before managing the youth work team in Breckland until 2006. He then moved into Children’s Services management with responsibility for Educational Psychology, Special Educational Needs, a Pupil Referral Unit and a Children with Disabilities Team. He works for the Great Yarmouth Community Trust as manager of Horatio House, a recently registered independent school for children who struggle in mainstream education. He lives in Hethersett with his partner and their three children, is a fairly decent table tennis player, a keen gardener and suffers with a long-held season ticket at Carrow Road.