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John Merralls

#WeWill Programme Lead

The main aspect of my role is empowering young people in Great Yarmouth, to support the wellbeing of their peers and create a positive impact in their community. For the majority of my career, I have been involved in supporting some of society’s hardest-to-reach young people and their families, initially as a front-line practitioner and more recently within various management roles. However, within all my roles, I am constantly reminded of the levels of resilience shown by many of these CYPs in the adversity they encounter on a daily basis. Projects such as #WeWill, are so important to enable and promote empowerment to these CYPs and to support them to overcome what at times must seem insurmountable barriers for them to engage with positive opportunities and a pathway of hope.

Holly Dowsing

#WeWill Programme Coordinator Manager

I have a background in teaching, having been a primary school teacher for five years. During that time, I had the privilege of working with some incredible children, young people and families, who despite some very challenging circumstances, found the resilience to overcome barriers. This led me to take a step outside of the classroom and focus on preparing children and young people not only for education but for life, by ensuring the communities around them are supporting positive wellbeing and mental resilience. I’m always inspired by the passion, dedication, and creativity of the young people that we work with, and social action is a fantastic tool for amplifying young people’s voices. So often, decisions are made for young people, rather than with them, so I’m excited to be playing a part in changing that conversation.

Sam Darr

PR & Media Officer Manager

With extensive experience working in communications and agency PR, I understand the power that media can have in driving projects forward. I feel that it’s vital that such a powerful resource is used to promote the most positive and transformative projects as a priority. With this in mind, I made the move to Ormiston Families to help the charity lead children, young people, and families in the region to brighter futures. I hope that my children will one day realise that their ideas are key to creating a more engaged, diverse, and inclusive society that harnesses young people’s differences and unique talents for good. Those engaging with youth social action today are paving the way for this future, with community-focused projects allowing young people to feel connected to the world and better understand their own skills and emotions.

Toni Bentley

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning

I have worked in the charity sector for 15 years and have always been involved with initiatives that give opportunities to children and young people who face challenges in their lives. I used my degree in Arts Management to set up projects that use drama, dance, and music to open up opportunities for young people. I then moved on to work in children’s mental health and now my role reaches across an even wider range of issues faced by children and young people. I’m really excited about the #WeWill project. I’ve seen first-hand what young people can achieve when given the right support and tools. There is a level of social awareness and responsibility that is untapped, and I am eager to see what they achieve and help demonstrate the value of social action

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