Meet the team
CEO & Director responsible for Youth, Volunteer & Central Services
Caroline, the busiest lady we know – often mistaken for the dancing girl from the John Lewis Insurance advert – has been CEO of the Baytree Centre since 2010. As CEO her main responsibility is to provide leadership to deliver the vision, strategy and specific objectives of the centre. She describes her role at Baytree as ‘her most satisfying yet most challenging work to date.’ Prior to getting involved in the third sector, Caroline worked at UBM, a global events-led marketing and communications services business.
Caroline is a lover of all things Italian, which includes her husband! They have three children (now young adults), all of whom have volunteered at Baytree in some form or another. To relax, Caroline enjoys spending time with her family and her beautiful mongrel dog, Alfie. Animals are another of her passions (particularly dogs, horses and pigs), and her dream is to one day move out of London and set up a small animal sanctuary.
Development Director responsible for fundraising and development
Carmen Gonzalez has only recently returned to Baytree as our Director of Development, but has actually been involved with the centre as a volunteer and employee at various times right from the very start. Part of the initial team which helped turn Baytree from a derelict warehouse into a women’s centre, Carmen also started Baytree’s first homework club over twenty years ago. She is very experienced working with and for a variety of different charities. Prior to her role here, she worked at HAVCO as their Development Manager and acted as a consultant to over 400 local charities. Carmen has run numerous youth and female empowerment programmes in the UK and overseas and brings enormous insight into inter-cultural partnership working, participatory development and project management. Carmen is also a trustee at the Wonder Foundation, an organization that partners with health and education projects worldwide. She loves fake tan & coca cola and has recently discovered the wonders of coconut oil!
Maria Van Zeller
Co-ordinator responsible for PEACH Parents & Family activities
As the mother of four boys, Maria puts her practical parenting knowledge to good use by supporting mothers at Baytree in both group and individual sessions. She gained experience as a life coach helping mothers,and then began here as a volunteer in July 2012. By December of the same year, she was a full-time member of staff. Maria is a family woman, and loves having a second family in Baytree and the feeling she gets from helping our members achieve their full potential. Maria is very social in and outside of work: when she is not bonding with the Baytree family she is with her husband and kids at the park, or hosting friends at her home.
Mayret Castillo de Chacon
Parent Co-ordinator responsible for PEACH Parents & Family activities
Mayret is the newest member of the Parents Team at Baytree, but it feels like she has been with us forever. Mayret came to Scotland from Venezuela in 2004 with her husband of 25 years and her son, before relocating to London in 2013. Her vocation to help families is visible and her listening skills are inspiring. In particular, the Spanish speakers come to see her and feel absolutely understood. Mayret’s impressive professional life has prepared her to deal with all kinds of situations. She is an experienced Medical Doctor, specialized in ophthalmology, and a researcher, having achieved an MSc in Health Services and Public Health at the University of Aberdeen. Since 2014, she has been a committed volunteer coordinator and board member at the Family Development Foundation.
Adult Service Coordinator & Tutor
Margaret is a triple threat: she’s Baytree’s Adult Services tutor in ESOL, literacy and numeracy. When she’s not tutoring or helping with administration for the Adult Service, Margaret likes to fix various broken objects around the centre and jokes that she should have been a maintenance person. A long-standing employee, she has been at Baytree since 1998. Before Baytree, Margaret worked as a secondary and primary school teacher in northern England. She taught a variety of subjects including general studies, French, English and Maths. She loves everything about Baytree, especially the teamwork and, of course, the people who come here.
Academic Manager & ESOL tutor responsible for PEARL and Children’s Centre Outreach
Christina is the Academic Manager and the Adult ESOL and Literacy Tutor. She is a true veteran here at Baytree and has served nearly 20 years. When she first arrived at Baytree, Christina worked part-time teaching English, and then went on to become the ESOL coordinator. Now she is in charge of overseeing the smooth running of the Adult Services, whilst still teaching ESOL tutor Entry Level 1 to Level 1 as well as Literacy to parents through PEACH. Christina is UK native but lived in Greece for 13 years, where she met her husband. In 1996 she came back to the UK with her husband and two boys. Christina is a keen theatre-goer. She belongs to a theatre club and last summer starred in the play ‘The Trial’ at the Young Vic. Christina also loves to travel and has been to Mexico, Brazil, Belize, Cyprus, France and all acrossthe United States.
ESOL Tutor for PEARL
Lorentana is a volunteer ESOL Tutor for beginners in entry 1. She became part of the Baytree family in 2010. Initially, Loretana mentored women on a one-to-one basis but soon became involved with programmes for girls here. Her favourite part about Baytree is its supportive, nurturing, and safe environment. “It doesn’t feel like going to work; it feels like going home to my family.” Loretana grew up in a small town near Rome, Italy and she loves to go back and visit every year. She moved to London when she was 21 when she got married. When she is not volunteering at Baytree, she loves gardening and cooking. She also enjoys reading about women and children living in different conditions around the world.
ESOL Tutor responsible for outreach delivery in Children’s Centres
Debbie is our Outreach ESOL Teacher and works elsewhere in the community at Children’s Centres all over Lambeth. She teaches free ESOL classes with a free crèche to parents with children under 5. She has worked at Baytree since February 2009. Debbie loves teaching the parents and likes to create a warm, welcoming and enjoyable learning environment. Students are able to progress with speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, take exams and then go on to college or work. ‘It is so rewarding to see students transformed from being isolated and lonely to women with the confidence and skills to make friends and feel empowered to improve their own and their family’s lives.’ Her passion for helping others overflows her work life: Debbie loves to keep up with politics and human rights issues within London and around the world.
Adult Service Administrator
Valentina is a young and enthusiastic volunteer who supports the Adult Service as an administrator whilst also mentoring. She joined Baytree in January 2017 after earning a BA in Psychology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, US. Valentina is originally from Rome, Italy, where she lived with her family before moving to the US for her college studies. When she is not working at Baytree, Valentina spends her time volunteering for other organisations which offer assistance and support to marginalized populations. Her commitment towards helping others is grounded in her long-term goal of becoming a practicing psychologist.
Youth Manager responsible for GEMS; Spark & PEACH Girls
Olive has been at Baytree since early 2015 and is the Youth Manager. She’s in charge of organising activities for the girls that attend Baytree and managing the club volunteers. Her philosophy on youth work come from her favourite singer, Whitney Houston: “children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Before working at Baytree, she worked in TV on such illustrious shows as Hollyoaks and The Only Way is Essex, after graduating from UCL with a degree in Ancient World Studies. Outside of Baytree she works at another women’s charity. She also loves to read and (attempts) to write.
Volunteer & Youth Development Manager responsible for Volunteer Service, Into School, PEACH Girls & school liaison
Rosanna is the Volunteer and Youth Development Manager at Baytree. Her responsibilities include providing support for our volunteers as their first point of contact, and managing the Into School programme. Rosanna joined us in June 2015, after graduating from Roehampton University with a degree in Education. Rosanna has lived locally in the Brixton area since moving from Germany five years ago, and takes great satisfaction in contributing to her local community through her work at Baytree. Besides Germany and England, she has lived in Spain and spent a few years of her childhood in Botswana.
Youth Worker responsible for Spark, PEACH Girls (Saturdays) & Character Education Programme
Our Youth Worker, Amy, is in charge of Saturdays at Baytree and Spark, our main provision for girls aged 13+. Amy graduated from Oxford in June 2015 with a degree in History and Spanish Literature, and combines her front-line work at Baytree with a role at the Department for International Development. The best thing about working at Baytree for Amy is the opportunity to develop trusting relationships with the teens who come through the door and see them learn to feel comfortable and confident in themselves here. Outside of the office she loves being outdoors, climbing, and reading – especially poetry.
Into School Coordinator & ESOL Tutor
Rebeckah is the Into School Coordinator and ESOL Tutor, who has volunteered at Baytree for 8 years on and off as a PEACH Mentor. She has a degree in Fashion Textiles from the London College of Fashion and used to her skills to teach embroidery classes in Baytree. She obtained her qualification in teaching English as a foreign language from Trinity College in 2013, and has worked with students of all ages in Paris and London. She really enjoys working with young people, helping them to set personal and educational goals for themselves. Outside of Baytree she enjoys working on textiles, and has recently set up an online platform called Embellished Talk, where she interviews different textiles designers about their work.
Carol, our Morning Receptionist, never fails to give us all a warm welcome when we arrive each morning – and always knows where the good stationery is hidden. Carol was a Care Assistant before she came to us in 2002. She loves Baytree because of the rich community made up of staff, children and parents. “I look forward to coming in every morning” she said with a smile as she spoke about the Baytree family. In her spare time Carol enjoys spending time with her friends, keeping fit and laughing.
Sonia is our Afternoon Receptionist and has been working at Baytree since 2007. Prior to Baytree, she spent 13 years working in fostering and adoption at Lambeth Council. A domestic goddess, Sonia’s love of sewing means she is often found in the fashion club teaching the girls her tricks. Much to the delight of the entire team, she loves to bake and often brings in her homemade treats to share with the rest of us. A firm favourite with the girls, Sonia always has time to listen and share her words of wisdom.
Josep is the IT support at Baytree Centre and the only man in the team. The best part about working here for Josep is being able to help out at an organization aimed at helping others. He greatly appreciates the moral values behind Baytree. Josep, a native Spaniard, moved to London in 2002 and now has dual citizenship. He loves to travel and is a keen scuba diver.
Adriana, joined us in 2011 and is indispensible to the day-to-day running of our Centre. Originally from Ecuador, Adriana has been living in London for 18 years. She enjoys coming into Baytree every day and especially loves the warm and friendly atmosphere among all staff and beneficiaries. In her free time Adriana loves going for long walks with her son and her Jack Russell, Monchito.
Esmeralda has 21 years of experience in education and believes that high expectations within school lead to high levels of achievement. She is qualified Computer Science teacher and is currently teaching BTEC ICT level 2 and 3 in a Further Education setting at Kingston College. Prior to this she worked as ICT and Employability teacher at Baytree, as well as in different children centres in Lambeth area. Esmeralda holds a PGCE in teaching and level 4 qualification in Computer Science. In addition, she holds a bachelor degree in History and Geography from the University of Shkodra in Albania. She is passionate about Baytree’s work and firmly believes in its vision and mission having experienced first hand the impact it has on people’s lives. Esmeralda was a client of Baytree’s and subsequently became an ICT & Employability Tutor in the Adult Service. Her daughter is currently an extremely active member of Baytree’s young leaders programme.
Marta Fernandez Burillo
Marta has a degree in Business Administration, a Msc in Marketing and a MBA and has studied and worked in Spain, France and UK. Her main area of expertise is in operations and marketing and has worked in international roles within the commercial sector for 20 years. Marta and her husband relocated to London 12 years ago and are fully integrated and active members of their local South London community. Since 2016, Marta has been able to pursue her interests in the charitable sector by volunteering in various roles for different projects using her business acumen and as a working mother of 3 children, her empathy for working mothers understanding the fine balance and conflicts that they face. Marta believes strongly that children should be made socially aware from a young age and has worked and continues to work with children encouraging then to get involved in voluntary activities as a way of personal development whilst helping others.
With over 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector and a proven record in developing community learning and support service, Dorothea brings a wealth of experience to the Board. Previous roles before going into the voluntary sector included working in Commercial Estate agency in the UK and the finance sector in Nigeria after gaining a Master of Business Administration in the United States. A previous member of the Centre’s management team and currently working with a national charity, she is passionate about the people that Baytree supports and is looking forward to contributing to the next phase of its history.
Andria currently works as an in-house consultant for BT’s Customer & Enterprise Transformation team in London, where she helps to identify operational and strategic improvements. Prior to this, Andria spent 2.5 years working as an Equity Research Associate in Morgan Stanley’s European Transport team, primarily helping to value publicly listed airlines, postal and freight companies. Andria also spent 4 years working in Deloitte’s M&A Tax team, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA). Andria has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University College London.
Suzy worked at the Baytree Centre for three years from 2009-2012, during which time she managed the youth service for girls aged 5-19. She thoroughly enjoyed this role, particularly getting to know the many girls who attended Baytree’s activities during this time. This experience motivated her to then spend six months in Brussels interning with the World Youth Alliance; an international organisation that seeks to promote the dignity of the person through advocacy and education. There she learnt about the need to speak out on behalf of today’s youth to promote person-centred policies that respect every individual, no matter their social status or physical ability. She then embarked on the TeachFirst teacher training programme which focuses on enabling backgrounds to access high quality education. During her two years’ training, she taught at pupils with the lowest socio-economic a primary school in Tower Hamlets, working with disadvantaged pupils to help enable them realise their potential in the classroom.Since then, she has continued to teach and has started her own family. She is passionate about Baytree and determined to see it continue to help families flourish in the local community.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in London, Marion is a development practitioner, writer and adviser, specialising in global governance and the Sustainable Development Agenda. She read Classical Studies at Exeter University and holds a Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy from Oxford University. Marion has previously advised government administrations and international organisations on development policy including UK Department for International Development, BOND, British Council and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation. She has also worked with civil society organisations to promote social and economic development in South-East Asia, West Africa, and Europe. In 2015, Marion was selected by the European Commission as a ‘Future Leader’ of International Co-operation and Development and was selected by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a Prime Minister’s Global Fellow.
Sophia has been closely involved with Baytree since 2004 through her previous role as Trustee of DHEF and has kept a close track of the financial affairs and strategic direction of Baytree. . Her career has been particularly varied: following gaining her MA from Oxford in Chemistry she went on to work for Courtaulds, KPMG Roche Pharmaceuticals, Deloitte Consulting and currently Oxford University Press. She is a qualified chartered accountant, ACMA with experience in various industry sectors. Over the past few years she been Chair of Governors of Newman University, a Trustee of DHEF and is currently a member of the Plater Finance Committee. She has raised considerable funds for Baytree – including a sponsored cycle from London to Oxford on more than one occasion.