Meet the team

Staff

Caroline Guarnaccia

Caroline Guarnaccia

CEO & Director responsible for Youth & 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.

caroline@baytreecentre.org.uk

Carmen Gonzalez

Carmen Gonzalez

Development Director responsible for fundraising and development

Carmen is Baytree’s Development Director and has 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 organisation that partners worldwide to empower women and girls through education. She loves fake tan & coca cola and has recently discovered the wonders of coconut oil!

carmen@baytreecentre.org.uk

Anna Iacuzzi

Anna Iacuzzi

Service Director responsible for the Women's Service and the Volunteer Service

Anna is Baytree’s Service Director and oversees the smooth running and strategic development of the Women’s Service and Volunteer Service. Anna took on the role of Service Director in Spring 2021, having previously worked as one of our Social Mobility coaches and volunteered extensively at Baytree. She has over 20 years’ experience in private sector client services and is very pleased to now be applying her skills to support and develop Baytree’s fantastic work.

aiacuzzi@baytreecentre.org.uk

Helena Nowak

Helena Nowak

Accounts Officer

Helena has been Baytree’s Accounts Officer since August 2021, before this she had been volunteering within the department since 2014. Helena’s experience with Baytree dates back as she remembers the building as a derelict warehouse when it was acquired in the 1980’s. She previously worked in various roles within retail banking while volunteering repeatedly with Baytree over the years. She was born in Worthing and lived in Sussex for many years. In her spare time, Helena enjoys going for walks in the country and looking after her flourishing garden.

accounts@baytreecentre.org.uk

Joyce Castenada

Joyce Castenada

Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

Joyce is our Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. She has started volunteering with us in 2016 after moving to the UK from the Philippines whilst working for another local charity near Brixton. She has been involved with all Baytree’s services and feels stongly connected with the team and service users as well as Baytree’s work. It was no surprise then that as soon as the opportunity to join Baytree as an employee opened up, she went for it. Joyce has longstanding experience in community development, education, governance and project management in her home country. She brings with her a great enthusiasm for working with children, young people and communities. Baytree is a very natural fit for her. Outside of Baytree, Joyce is a keen softball player, if by keen you mean ‘enjoys hanging out with the team and going to the pub after matches’. She is still adjusting to the UK’s unpredictable climate, so will often be found wearing thermal undergarments.

joyce@baytreecentre.org.uk

Rosanna Zach

Rosanna Zach

Youth Programme Manager - Life Skills and Employability

Rosanna is the Youth Programme Manager at Baytree. Her main responsibilities include overseeing the development and delivery of Spark, our 13 + provision. She joined us in June 2015, having graduated from Roehampton University with a degree in Education Policy and Sociology. Having been the Volunteer Manager for 3 years, she is excited to be able to follow her dream of working more closely with our teenage girls. Rosanna has lived locally in the Brixton area since moving from Germany in 2010, 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.

rosanna@baytreecentre.org.uk

Andrea Elkin

Andrea Elkin

Youth Programme Coordinator

Andrea works in Baytree’s Youth Services as a Youth Programme Coordinator. She has previously worked as a learning curriculum designer. She has achieved an undergraduate degree in Educational Psychology and also completed a Masters in Social Justice and Education. Andrea has been working with Baytree since February. She has lived in many countries in South America including Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In her spare time she enjoys reading and playing football.

andrea@baytreecentre.org.uk

Angela Parkes

Angela Parkes

Volunteer Service Manager responsible for the smooth running and development of the Volunteer Service

As our Volunteer Service Manager Angela provides ongoing support for our volunteers as their first point of contact while supporting our partnering charities to build and develop their capacity to engage volunteers. She has over 15 years worth of experience in the voluntary and community sector. She has worked on various community development programmes including youth mentoring & development, literacy, adult mental health and wellbeing. Angela has a certificate in counselling skills and, having completing the first year, hopes to complete a Diploma in Person Centred Counselling when she has the time! Angela is motivated by making a positive difference and has a passion for equality and believes that regardless of individual backgrounds, everyone should have access to opportunities to succeed and reach their full potential, seeing and experiencing the impact small grass roots charities can achieve through hard work and focus is very rewarding. In her spare time Angela enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.

angela@baytreecentre.org.uk

Federica Saez

Federica Saez

Mentor Coordinator responsible for Volunteer Mentors across all services & Character Development Programme

Federica is our Mentor Coordinator. Uruguayan and lover of her country’s traditional tea called ‘Mate’, Federica came to London three years ago in order to pursue further professional challenges. She has a degree in Business Administration and wide experience in the hospitality sector in which she discovered her passion for the Learning and Development area. Federica feels privileged to be involved in a girls and women empowerment project like Baytree. She loves travelling and has a lot of experience volunteering for social inclusion projects in Kenya, Uruguay and the UK.

federica@baytreecentre.org.uk

Carol Perry

Carol Perry

Morning Receptionist

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.

reception@baytreecentre.org.uk

Sonia Pollock

Sonia Pollock

Afternoon Receptionist

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.

reception@baytreecentre.org.uk

Joanne Matthews

Joanne Matthews

Social Mobility Coach

Joanne is a Social Mobility Coach in Baytree’s Women’s Service. Before joining Baytree, Joanne worked for London charity FAD, where she designed and delivered skills training and mentoring programmes, supporting 14-30-year-olds into creative careers. She has also worked for UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Joanne is a qualified teacher and has taught languages, art and fashion textiles to children and adults in school, college and the community. She holds an MA in Latin American Cultural Studies, speaks French and Spanish, and has lived in Havane, Paris and Cajamarca, Peru. Joanne likes a nice cup of tea and hanging out with her daughter – their favourite places in London are the Horniman Museum and Hampstead Heath.

joanne@baytreecentre.org.uk

Mayra Sanchez

Mayra Sanchez

Social Mobility Coach

Mayra is a Social Mobility Coach within Baytree’s Women’s Service. As well as coaching at Baytree Mayra is a journalist for a Venezuelan newspaper, and has a long history of working on social issues and with local support projects. She arrived in the UK seven years ago from Latin America; within a few months, Mayra became a Baytree volunteer and was immediately impressed by the centre’s work. In her free time, Mayra loves to be in touch with nature, enjoy a good meal and spend time with her friends, who are more like family.

mayra@baytreecentre.org.uk

Christina Christofi

Christina Christofi

Academic Manager & ESOL tutor responsible for in-house and outreach ESOL provision

Christina is the Academic Manager and the Adult ESOL and Literacy Tutor. She is a true veteran here at Baytree and has served over 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 Women’s Service ESOL provision, as well as teaching. Christina is a 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 has ‘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 across the United States.

christina@baytreecentre.org.uk

Margaret Browne

Margaret Browne

ESOL programme Coordinator responsible for Women's Service

Margaret is a triple threat: she’s Baytree’s Women’s Service tutor in ESOL, literacy and numeracy. When she’s not tutoring or coordinating the ESOL programme for the Women’s 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.

margaret@baytreecentre.org.uk

Loretana Contucci

Loretana Contucci

Women's Service ESOL Tutor

Lorentana is a 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.

loretana@baytreecentre.org.uk

Bouchra Somati

Bouchra Somati

Women's Service ESOL Tutor

Bouchra is an ESOL Tutor with our Women’s Service. In 2002, Bouchra moved from Morocco, where she gained a BA in Linguistics, to London, to join her husband. Her first engagement with Baytree was as a client, where she came to improve her English. Her own experience of moving to London gives Bouchra a profound understanding of women’s situations and complexities when learning a new language. After completing her education at Lambeth College and gaining her CELTA qualification, she returned to Baytree as a volunteer, where for several years she mentored a young woman and taught ESOL to girls on the Into School programme. She is happy to be working in Baytree’s welcoming environment alongside the Women’s Service staff who once supported her. Outside Baytree, Bouchra helps run a community group, organising activities for children and women. She also enjoys painting and going for long walks.

bouchra@baytreecentre.org.uk

Ksenia Gorenstein

Ksenia Gorenstein

Communications & Fundraising

Thamy Ixer

Thamy Ixer

Communications manager

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thamara@baytreecentre.org.uk

Alex Brooke

Alex Brooke

Social Mobility Coach

Alex is a Social Mobility Coach in Baytree’s Women’s Service. Before joining Baytree, Alex worked for a charity called West London Zone, where she supported families with their well-being, academics and peer relationships. She has experience in both front-line and leadership roles working within the education sector, communities and more corporate settings such as Events and Marketing. Alex is a trained Coach, Mentor and Motivational Interviewer with a passion for providing holistic support. Alongside her role at Baytree, she is studying Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock & Portman Trust and volunteering as a Befriender for Hackney Volunteering Service. Alex loves to travel recently returning from a year-long trip around Central America and Asia before joining Baytree.

alex@baytreecentre.org.uk

Marwa Bassou

Marwa Bassou

Social Mobility Coach

Marwa recently graduated from Cardiff University where she studied psychology with placement year. During her time at university, I decided to join and start initiatives that she deeply cared about. Marwa volunteered with Student Action for refugees, co-founded the Mena (middle eastern and north African) Society, was an organiser for islamophobia awareness month and was also the head of education and wellbeing officer of Islamic Society. She completed her placement year at a children’s hospital and also work as a teacher’s assistant in a weekend Arabic school. After graduating, she wanted to pursue a career that gives back to the community and promotes women’s welfare and social mobility and what better place than Baytree! In her spare time she enjoy hiking, reading and anything with food.

marwa@baytreecentre.org.uk

Debbie Pereia

Debbie Pereia

Receptionist

Trustees

Ekene Olele

Ekene Olele

Secretary

Wife and mother of four, works in Business Development for a financial services company in London. Prior to that, Ekene founded and ran a contemporary handbag brand. Ekene holds an MBA from Manchester Business School.
Sophia Pain

Sophia Pain

Treasurer

With Baytree since 2004 keeping track of the financial affairs and strategic direction of Baytree. She is a qualified chartered accountant, ACMA with experience in various industry sectors. She is Baytree’s Treasurer.
Susan Wood

Susan Wood

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 is a primary school teacher and mother of four.
Tseday Hailu

Tseday Hailu

A volunteer at Baytree for over 10 years. A local government lawyer specialising in commercial law, formerly a child protection lawyer in the private and public sectors and has a master’s degree in international child studies. She is our Chair and Safeguarding Lead.
Myuri Mahauthaman

Myuri Mahauthaman

Has a variety of experiences in volunteering, including her current role at Baytree as a Youth Mentor. She works in Risk Advisory at Deloitte, where she focuses on Finance Transformations and Digital Controllership. She is a qualified Management Accountant (CIMA).
Marie-Claire Daaboul

Marie-Claire Daaboul

When a student at university, spearheaded Baytree’s Homework Club. She worked in London at the BBC and at the United Nations before taking over as CEO of a print business in West Africa. Currently works for the Foreign Office.
Laura Carderera

Laura Carderera

Local resident mother of four. Laura brings over 15 years’ experience in a diverse range of cultural organisations. Laura is a qualified lawyer and holds an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.

Advisors

Dr Sinead Harmey

Dr Sinead Harmey

Is a lecturer in Literacy Education and works with the International Literacy Centre at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). She works on literacy-related topics including language and communication, phonics, and Reading Recovery. She is interested in research on early writing development and early literacy interventions.
Karen Bohlin

Karen Bohlin

Is a thought leader in Character Development. An educator and school leader she has taught at both the secondary and university level. She is founder and Director Emerita of the LifeCompass Institute for Character and Leadership at Montrose School. Former Assistant Professor and Director of Boston University’s Centre for the Advancement of Ethics and Character (now CCSR), Dr. Bohlin is a Senior Scholar at BU’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility.

Sparklers Club

Sparklers takes place weekly for girls in their final term of Year 6 and starting Year 7. It supports the transition from primary to secondary school by making it a smooth and enjoyable process. Sparklers currently runs on Tuesdays from 4.30-5.45pm.

Junior Spark Club

Junior Spark is a weekly group for girls in years 8-9. Each term, the girls decide what topics they would like to work on or discuss – for example friendships, finding motivation, or challenges at school. Junior Spark currently runs on Thursdays from 4.30-6pm.

Spark Club

Spark Club is a weekly club for girls in year 10 and above and, much like Sparklers and Junior Spark, is a space for girls to develop life and leadership skills. Girls are empowered to understand and value their identity and potential. Spark currently runs on Wednesdays from 5-7pm.

Sparking Futures 

Sparking Futures supports girls and young women who are interested in taking the next step towards their futures. This is a great opportunity for girls to get some hands-on experience for their CV and a taste for working within a field of their interest.

  • Employability workshops
  • Learn to write a CV and personal statement
  • Learn about different careers
  • Exciting work experience opportunities

Workshops and opportunities take place on the last Friday of every month, from 5-7pm as well during school holidays.

Time Commitment: up to two days per week/or afternoons to be agreed.

“We are currently seeking a volunteer to support our Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Evaluating our programmes and monitoring their impact is an integral part of BAYTREE’s work.  Knowledge of the local demographic and understanding the needs of our beneficiaries and women in the local community helps us to shape our projects and deliver tailored support programmes.

In this rewarding and interesting opportunity, you will help organise and deliver focus groups, gather and input data for reports, design evaluation forms and conduct research. This role is suitable for someone who wants to make a difference in the community and has an interest in community development and programme development in the voluntary sector or wants to learn more about it. Desired skills and qualities:

  • Good communication skills, one to one and in groups
  • Good written communication skills
  • Ability to deal with people of different ages and backgrounds
  • Administrative skills
  • Non-judgmental approach
  • Confident using MS word and Excel, databases

Whilst this is a volunteering opportunity, we are also open to those seeking an Internship to gain experience in the voluntary sector.”

Time Commitment: One session per week – Monday to Thursday between 12.00pm – 4.00pm

During Term time only for up to one academic year or a minimum of 2 terms (6 months)

“We are recruiting volunteers to provide mentoring and befriending support to women accessing our adult service. Our Women’s Service is committed to providing a warm, friendly, and supportive space for women from all backgrounds. In this rewarding and mutually beneficial opportunity, you will provide one to one support to women to increase their sense of social inclusion and reduce isolation. Most of the women requiring this support are already attending ESOL classes at BAYTREE. Therefore, the focus of these sessions will be befriending, English conversation practice and providing basic information and support to access services.

As a volunteer in this role, you will need the following skills and qualities:

  • Fluent English
  • Empathy
  • A good understanding of services and how to access them
  • Reliable and able to commit to the required time commitment
  • Good communication skills

Please do apply if you think you can give back in this way!”

Time Commitment: Flexible, 1-2 hour sessions every 2-4 weeks

“BAYTREE’s social mobility programme aims to empower women to realise and fulfil their potential. Women are helped to access resources, support networks, develop resilience and ultimately improve their lives and that of their families and community.

We are seeking a Cantonese speaking female volunteer for within our coaching programme to assist with translation in sessions with a client and a mobility coach.  The sessions take place every 2-4 weeks at mutually agreed times, and last for up to two hours.  They are ongoing according to how well the coaching progresses.”

Time Commitment: One session per week for up to an hour over the academic year, sessions start from between 4pm– 6pm weekdays Monday – Thursday remote or in person

“We are recruiting academic mentors to join our dynamic Youth Mentoring programme to provide one to one academic support to girls aged 8 -18 who may be falling behind in their schoolwork due to the disruption to learning over the past 2 years. We are looking for volunteers with good GSCE or degree level education to provide support in a wide range of subjects. Excellent interpersonal skills, patience and enthusiasm towards learning are welcomed qualities for this rewarding opportunity. Full training and ongoing support will be provided.

Volunteers will act as role models, supporting academic progress and providing inspiration and encouragement to young people who may be at risk of becoming vulnerable to further disadvantage as the attainment gaps widen. Whilst the focus is supporting academic progress, wellbeing and confidence building is also an important aspect of the role.

If you have passion for supporting and inspiring others to reach their potential and want to pass on your knowledge please get in touch!”

Time Commitment: Tuesday 4pm –5pm

During term time only from mid-September 2022

“This popular club is running for a second year and we are looking for a volunteer to inspire and engage young readers aged 9-11 to discuss and share the books they read together over the term.  This club is all about bringing books alive by facilitating discussions and sharing the enjoyment of reading in a group and sharing opinions.  Each session will vary, but the simple format of sharing what the girls have read, doing book-related activities and choosing new books will remain. This role is great for anyone who enjoys working with children and can commit to a weekly session.”

Time Commitment: One class per week – Tuesdays or Thursdays 4pm – 5.30pm

During term time only for up to one academic year or a minimum of 2 terms (6 months) 

“We are looking for volunteers to help run our very popular cookery and baking club!  Teaching children to cook from a young age is a great way for them to learn important life skills whilst having fun.  The aim of this club is to inspire and build confidence in cooking, and the importance of healthy eating and nutrition.   If you would love the opportunity to teach a small group of girls aged 6-11 how to prepare nutritious snacks and meals from quick and easy recipes each week, with the creative freedom of devising your own recipes, please do apply!

Time Commitment: Thursdays 5.00pm – 6pm, for a term or up to one academic year, term time only

“We are looking for a support volunteer to help deliver our fun and energetic hip-hop dance club for girls aged 8-11. This club promotes confidence and self-expression through dance and we are looking for someone who can inspire and motivate girls, and work closely with our existing volunteer to tailor and create simple routines.  For this opportunity you will need:

  • A degree or professional qualification in dance
  • Experience of delivering dance classes
  • Experience working with children (desired but not essential)
  • Good communications skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Patience

If you have passion for dance and creative arts and would love this opportunity to teach others, please do get in touch!”