The Team Archive

The Team Archive

UpRising HQ

Andrea Cooper 

Andrea is the Chief Executive of UpRising. She joined from the BBC, where she worked for 3 years as Business Manager on the £600m Digital Switchover Help Scheme - a BBC-run Scheme to help older and disabled people switch their TV set to digital, and then as Project Manager on the £800m New Broadcasting House project. 

For 6 years previous to that, she was an Operations Director at Common Purpose - a not for profit leadership development organisation – with a focus on North West and London regions.  

She started her career with Procter & Gamble, where she worked for 7 years in a variety of commercial roles. She was Graduate Training manager for 2 years, and led on various community relations initiatives to develop young people’s skills.  

Andrea is a Trustee of three charities: Street League, Initiatives of Change, and the Irene Prestwich Trust. 



Alice Memminger 

Alice is the Deputy CEO and head of Delivery and Impact at UpRising. She has developed extensive experience and expertise whilst working with Boards and Senior Leadership Teams as a Consultant, Senior Manager,and Managing Director, gaining a strong reputation for transformative strategic plans and driving through ambitious change programmes.  Known for achieving successful outcomes through effectively facilitating authentic strategic dialogue and challenging discussions, she has a proven track record of approaching her work with tenacity while inspiring and energising those involved in the change process.

Starting her career in social enterprise as a Consultant, she then moved on to work across the Third Sector with local government, health, community organisations, charities and social entrepreneurs. Alice has an MBA in strategy, finance and not-for-profit management from Yale University and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is a Trustee for Age UK Islington and a Director for Creative Lifestyles CIC in East London.



Barbara Regnier

Barbara is part time Head of Corporate Services having joined Uprising in June 2014. She has a background in training and development and management having worked in a range of roles in Citizen’s Advice, the National Housing Federation, and Volunteering England where she was Director of Business Development and Membership Services until it merged with NCVO at the end of 2012. She currently runs her own consultancy service.

She is passionate about volunteering in all sectors, and much of her work has focused on working with volunteer managers to develop and implement good practice at all levels, working with Boards, senior managers, staff and volunteers.

A keen volunteer herself, Barbara was the first external advisor to Girlguiding UK on inclusion, was Chair of Volunteer Centre Brighton & Hove Advisory Group and is currently on the Advisory Group of RunAClub. She loves walking and cooking and is studying accountancy!


Lydia Bolwell 

Lydia is the Office Manager and Assistant to the CEO at UpRising. Prior to joining UpRising Lydia was the Group Employment and Skills Project Officer at Circle Housing. This included developing and running national employment programmes, such as their Work Placement and Apprenticeship programmes.  Lydia has also worked for International Development charities and run her own dance company.

Lydia is currently a trustee of the Waltham Forest Citizens Advice Bureau and regularly volunteers with young people through her local council and the YMCA. As an alumni of the UpRising programme, she is proud to now be working for the charity and supporting its growth.  



UpRising London

Julia Stevens

Julia is the Programme Manager for London. Before joining Uprising, Julia spent a year living in the mountains of Costa Rica completing her Master’s degree in Peace Education at the United Nations University for Peace.  She is passionate about the role transformative education can play in creating sustainable, fair and happy communities.

Prior to living in Costa Rica  Julia worked for a number of years as a Project Manager for Envision a London based youth education charity supporting young people to set up and deliver social action and environmental campaigns in their local areas. 



Mena Fombo 

Mena is the London Programme Manager for My Voice, My Vote.Prior to joining the voluntary sector Mena originally trained as a filmmaker, setting up an independent production company in Bristol, producing community film projects, dance and music videos. After being inspired by supporting young people to make films Mena retrained as a youth worker.

She joins UpRising with extensive experience of supporting and developing young people across a variety of programmes around the UK, the USA, Pakistan and Kenya. Mena was the Co founder of a Muslim girls project in Bristol targeted at marginalized girls in the inner city, she has managed a Global Xchange programme for VSO where she was responsible for developing new partnerships Kenya and supporting young people to work in international development and she also worked at Changemakers – a national youth leadership charity. Most recently, Mena was managing the national internship programme for the British Red Cross.

Mena holds degrees in Media Production (BA)hons, Youth Work (BSc) and also is an ICF (International Coach Federation) approved coach. She is passionate about the development of people, creating social change and promoting equality. She’s also a mean Rugby player!



Elisa Mascellani

Elisa is the London Programme Coordinator. Previously, Elisa worked with the Young Foundation at UpRising as their fundraising intern, she also worked as the Fundraising Project Coordinator at READ International, where she managed student volunteers and their community fundraising efforts. Previously, she interned at New York University’s Center on Law and Security for nine months where she shadowed Karen Greenberg.

Elisa recently graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in Law. She is a keen volunteer and works with children’s health charities and hospitals. She has also volunteered in Ghana and Monogolia.



Hasina Khatun 

Hasina is the London coordinator for the My Voice, My Vote programme. Hasina has worked for a local youth led charity called Leaders in Community, as the delivery and development officer, prior to this Hasina has worked for MP Jim Fitzpatrick, in the Poplar constituency office. Hasina has also worked at the Greater London Assembly, with John Biggs assisting on the Olympic planning. While studying Hasina also interned for Demos a think tank and has contributed towards two reports and has spent some time at Wikimedia UK, as an events intern and was involved in getting more young people involved in Wikipedia.

Hasina has Studied International Political Studies and is an alumni of the UpRising leadership programme. She now excited to be part of the team. 


Claudia Graham

Claudia is the Fastlaners Programme Manager. She joins Uprising with 3 years' experience delivering employability programmes in the youth sector. Most recently, she worked at the Prince's Trust, running sector specific employability programmes for unemployed 16 – 25 year olds across the East of England, and Enterprise programmes for unemployed 18 – 30 year olds across London and Surrey. 

Claudia's other main interest is religion. After graduating from University of Cambridge, she edited an interfaith magazine for students across London and taught Religious Studies in a North London secondary school as part of the Teach First scheme.



Petrina de Gouttes

Petrina is the Programme Coordinator for Fastlaners, UpRising’s  suite of programmes supporting young people to access career opportunities. She joined the UpRising team in 2012 as Team Assistant and went on to become Office Manager and Assistant to the CEO where she worked on Communications, HR, and Finance for UpRising.

Petrina currently sits on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Youth Inspiration Board, which has developed her interest in Policy. She is also a keen knitter, writer, and all round creative with a degree in English Literature from the University of Reading.  



UpRising Bedfordshire and Luton

Karl Hankinson

Karl is the Bedfordshire and Luton Programme Manager. Karl has worked with young people for over seven years, developing and managing a range of programmes both in the UK and in sub-Saharan Africa.

Karl has written and created two youth development programmes, which are delivered across South Africa, Ghana, Uganda; and is the Founder and Trustee of Wannabeamazin, a youth-focussed NGO which has provided recreation, education and training opportunities to young people in Uganda for over 6 years.

Karl has also previously developed and managed a national sexual health and HIV awareness programme in the UK, delivering sexual health and life skills training to young people in the build up to the 2010 World Cup. Karl has a MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS University.



Alex Wrack

Alex is the Bedfordshire and Luton Programme Coordinator.  She previously worked at BBC radio as a Broadcast Assistant on live events and a variety of programmes. 

Alex has voluntary experience with the Oxjam Bedford Takeover, working as the Volunteer Coordinator over the past two years.  She has also been a weekly volunteer at Bedford Hospital Radio since graduating.  Alex has a degree in Dance and Culture from the University of Surrey, during which time she undertook a nine month placement with DanceEast.

Alex worked for a leading Performing and Creative Summer Camp in the USA during her university holidays and has also volunteered and travelled in Asia and Central America.



Ryan Gray

Ryan is the Bedfordshire Programme Coordinator for ‘My Voice My Vote’. Before this, Ryan worked at the Citizens Advice Bureau as an advisor and at Childline as a phone counsellor. In the past  Ryan has interned for a variety of different charities, a law firm and for MPs.

He is due to graduate from University in the summer with a BA History, and is currently running in Local Elections to become a Councillor.Ryan also writes current affairs articles, and can be found on sites such as



UpRising Birmingham

Katy Baker 

Katy is the Birmingham Programme Manager. She has joined UpRising most recently from The NCS Network where she was a Partnership Manager responsible for managing contracts and quality assuring NCS delivery for a number of local delivery partners.

Over the last 10 years Katy has had a variety of posts within the youth sector including programme managing NCS for Catch 22, working with young people leaving care and with substance misuse issues and has spent time working with female young offenders in HMP Downview.

Katy has a passion for getting the best out of young people and believes social action is a fantastic way to do so. Katy has a degree in History and Sociology from the University of Liverpool and a Postgraduate Diploma in Youth and Community Development from De Montfort.



Louise Belsom

Louise is the Birmingham Project Manager.  Having previously worked for a digital project management consultancy, Louise has experience at a variety of high-profile companies and specialises in project and events management.  Louise has also worked with 15 and 16 year olds at the Challenge Network, and at a JCB theme park!

Louise studied English Literature and Media, Culture & Society at the University of Birmingham, before which she volunteered in Mongolia at an orphanage and as a journalist for an English newspaper.



Craig Francourt

Craig is the Programme Coordinator for My Voice, My Vote in Birmingham. He has worked across a range of educational settings and is passionate about supporting children and young people to realise their full potential. He previously worked in Further Education as a Learning Mentor, where he supported young people and vulnerable young adults with a range of behavioural, emotional and welfare issues to improve student engagement and overall college retention.

Craig has a degree in Politics from the University of Durham and completed the UpRising Core Leadership Programme in Birmingham in 2012. He is particularly interested in policy issues surrounding social justice and young people, and is a keen football fan. 



Mikayla Jones 

Mikayla is the Birmingham Programme Coordinator. With a passion for education disadvantage and a strong background in youth empowerment, Mikayla has previously worked in various roles across the youth and education sector, most recently Envision. At Envision she coached and facilitated teams of 16 -19 year old students implementing their own social action projects across Birmingham, on a whole range of issues from Child Literacy to Knife Crime.

Mikayla has a degree in Social Policy from The University of Birmingham she focused in the final year on the disadvantages in the education system. Mikayla is completing the UpRising core programme this year (2014). A proud Brummy and a keen self (youtube) taught ukulele player. 



UpRising Manchester & Salford 

Raja Miah

Raja is the Manchester Programme Manager. He has been involved in supporting young people to make a difference in their communities for over 20 years.

Much of his career has been spent supporting communities where fear, alienation and a competition for resources has resulted in community conflict. In 1997 he co-founded the Oldham-based PeaceMaker, a voluntary organisation dedicated to drawing in local youths from the margins of their communities.  He has spent considerable time in supporting a number of Government departments in developing their strategies to help build cohesive communities. His experiences and insights in supporting young people to take up leadership roles and help transform their communities for the better have been used to support agencies across the country and also internationally.

Previously to working on UpRising, he was Lead Officer for Rise UK, a safeguarding agency originally developed to identify and support young people at risk of exploitation from extremists.  He recently co-founded Manchester Creative Studio; a new employer led school opening in September 2014 which prepares young people aged 14-19 for a career in the creative industries.



Harriet Andrews

Harriet is the My Voice My Vote Programme Manager in Manchester. She has worked with young people in a variety of roles in Manchester with a particular focus on political education. She has worked for The Challenge Network and Debate Mate and most recently she worked with The Tutor Trust where she taught both primary and secondary students Maths and English.

She recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Whilst at Manchester she created M-Powered, a student run outreach project which focuses on teaching young people about their roles as social, economic and political agents.



Amy Senior

Amy is the Manchester Programme Coordinator. Prior to joining UpRising, Amy has worked with children and young people in various contexts including schemes with local councils, residential holidays and youth centres. Most recently, she worked for Isis Education and Travel, coordinating an extensive activity programme for foreign language students.

Amy recently graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Combined Honours degree in Childhood and Youth studies and Education studies. She also works with a charity CCHF All About Kids, which provides respite breaks for disadvantaged inner city children, and is a keen fundraiser for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. 



Lydia Wright

Lydia is the My Voice My Vote Programme Co-ordinator for Manchester. Previously Lydia worked as a Team Leader on the National Citizen Service Programme (NCS) delivering the programme across Salford and Trafford. She has worked in a variety of educational settings delivering alternative education provision and a Young Volunteer programme to 14-16 year olds.

Lydia has voluntary experience with WaterAid where she interned for six months in the Education and Community Team and as a volunteer in Zambia where she taught in a school and helped in an orphanage. She has also done Camp America where she worked on a camp for disadvantaged and disabled young people. Lydia has a degree in English and History from Sheffield Hallam University.




Nicola Twemlow

Nichola is the Programme Manager for Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.  She has extensive experience of working with young people and communities  and has been involved in social action initiatives for the past 17 years.

Previously Nichola has been part of the Business Development Team at YMCA North Staffordshire and has been involved in the development of the multi million pound youth campus.  She led on the Cities first Youth Hustings, which saw the largest political gathering of young people and she has had research papers published on Community Engagement and Empowerment. Nichola is currently studying with the Open University in International Studies.  



Toni Cowan

Toni is the Stoke-on-Trent Programme Co-ordinator. She has worked for the YMCA for the last 8 years and been involved with them for 10 years. Toni has a huge passion for young people and getting them active and involved in their local communities. She firmly believes that their voice is very important and deserves to be heard. During her time at the YMCA she has experienced first-hand the power in having your voice heard, and is always very excited to be a part of uprising and to help to provide the platform to bring that experience to other young people. 




Carolyn Boyce

Carolyn is the Liverpool Programme Manager and also the National Programme Manager for the My Voice My Vote Programme. She recently joined Uprising Leadership following her role as CEO of Cornwall Community Foundation and a 25 year career in housing, regeneration, employment and equality development both in the North West and Nationally. Carolyn is a key driver of social enterprise and has mentored and developed over 100 social entrepreneurs. She has founded 3 key organisations over the past 20 years to include Mandela Housing, Penny Lane Development Trust & Merseyside BAME Consortium. In response to the recent financial climate changes she has also set up her own company to continue to support Social Entrepreneurs and individuals with development support, jobs, apprenticeships, training, skills and qualifications.

Carolyn is excited to work with uprising to develop young people and engage them in social action activity.  She has spent many years working with philanthropists and donors and has a passion to help social entrepreneurs and community groups find sustainability for their work. Carolyn has recently held director roles with Social Enterprise Network and will continue the work of Equanomics UK.



Dave Cookson

Dave is the Liverpool My Voice My Vote Programme Coordinator. He previously worked for The Reader Organisation, co-ordinating projects encouraging reading for pleasure amongst young people. He delivered projects in primary, secondary and alternative provision schools as well as reading one-to-one with children in care. He has worked with people living with dementia in care homes and in the community with their families, this means he worked with an age range of 7-97.

Dave studied English & Politics at The University of York and has voluntary experience of a campaign raising awareness of human trafficking with Stop the Traffik in Liverpool, and used to volunteer at The Bluecoat Art Gallery. He is the former editor of a Liverpool-based arts and culture blog that was endorsed by The Guardian and BBC.