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Trustees

Meet the experts on our Trustee Board who support and guide our work.

Sophie Clissold Lesser, Chair

I live in London – previously from Birmingham, Salisbury, Nottingham (depending on how far back you look). By day I work for a global corporate (IBM) and in my spare time I am an enthusiastic trustee. I am currently a Trustee of The Ramblers and was chair of the board of trustees of Little Angel Theatre in Islington and have worked with several other charities over the last 10 years. For relaxation I choose a combination of theatre-going, pilates, yoga, jewellery-making and white wine… but not at the same time.

Most exciting thing about StreetDoctors: the amazing passion & energy of the volunteers. Worst aspect of StreetDoctors: living up to the passion & energy of the volunteers ?

Dr Penelope Gordon, Vice Chair

I am a medical consultant with a distinguished career encompassing senior medical leadership and medical education roles, in the UK and overseas. My work with junior doctors and multi-professional teams gives me a profound perspective on StreetDoctors. I have worked in a multicultural environment and as a magistrate I understand the legal challenges.

David Bell, Treasurer

On a misty morning on my way to school in Manchester, no one saw who threw the half-brick that sliced through 5 layers of my clothing and my shoulder. I was 12. It is not my only brush with unprovoked violence.

Five decades later, I had a chance meeting with Jo, the CEO at the time, and heard her tell the amazing story of StreetDoctors. As I listened, I knew that I really appreciated what StreetDoctors was about. I was asked if I might be interested in helping with my business experiences as treasurer trustee; having created  start-up companies, and provided customised services for vulnerable people of all ages.

As a trustee, I have been in awe of the exceptional energy, enthusiasm, creative thinking and commitment that our young volunteer health professionals and the staff team all bring. They give other young people, at risk of violence, the skills and confidence to take action and save lives. I am really proud of what they all do.

Busayo Oyedoyin

Helen Berresford

I am delighted to be joining StreetDoctors board of trustees. StreetDoctors delivers such important work around the country to give young people critical lifesaving skills. I am looking forward to working with the trustees, staff and volunteers to contribute wherever possible to the impact they make.

I have spent my career working to improve policy and practice for disadvantaged young people and adults. With over 15 years experience working in Parliament and the voluntary sector, including in charities such as Nacro, Save the Children, and women’s charity Platform 51, I have successfully influenced Government policy across a range of areas including equality, childcare and poverty.

Jacqui Highfield

I’m excited and honoured to be joining the Trustee Board for StreetDoctors having seen first-hand the positive outcomes achieved from the life-saving skills sessions delivered to young people within Youth Offending Services. I was so impressed by the energy and commitment of the StreetDoctors volunteers and am really looking forward to working with the Board to support them.

I have been working in the area of Serious Youth Violence for over a decade and am currently the Director of Programmes for Redthread – a charity that embeds specialist trauma and health informed youth workers into A&E departments in hospitals and other health settings across London, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Dr Jasmine Fulcher

Hi! My name is Jasmine (or Jaz as most people call me). I’m excited and honoured to become a Trustee. StreetDoctors is a charity very close to my heart; I’ve been a volunteer with them since 2014 and in that time have taken on various roles including Team Leader, research and development team lead, as well as delivering teaching sessions to young people across the country.

A bit about me… I was born and raised in South East London. I’m a junior doctor, qualified in 2019 and work in the NHS. I’m the first doctor in my family, so as you can imagine, it was (still is) a big deal for us all. Before becoming a doctor, I was a registered nurse, also within the NHS. I’m very proud of being a doctor and of my nursing background, but actually when I left school, I wanted to be an actor! I went to the BRIT school for performing arts and have a BTEC National Diploma in Theatre Arts.

I have always been passionate about justice and inclusivity, which is why I believe so strongly in the work that StreetDoctors as a charity does. Young people deserve to live a life free from fear and stigma. I like to think that the work we do with StreetDoctors, alongside other organisations, is helping little by little to create a world where young people are protected, respected and believe in their own power and potential.

Dr Katie Aston OBE

My day job is leading on partnerships for Crime and Policing at the Home Office which brings me into contact with a lot of voluntary organisations including those working to combat serious violence.

I was attracted to joining the StreetDoctors board because I am particularly keen on charities that ‘do what they say on the tin’.  I was really impressed with its staff and volunteers and strongly believe that StreetDoctors people are its greatest asset.

I am also a trustee of the Noel Buxton Trust focusing on penal grant giving and have been involved with a number of different charities over the years.  I was awarded an OBE for services to charity and the voluntary sector in the Queen’s 2016 birthday honours list.

I live between London and rural East Suffolk and spend my spare time enjoying cooking, restaurants, good friends, wine and lively conversation.

Dr Liam Fenn

I am passionate about using data and research evidence to drive social change, and excited to join StreetDoctors given the charity’s commitment to impact evaluation and learning to support young people affected by youth violence in society.

I have worked in a variety of research and evaluation roles over the past ten years in the public and charity sector, and currently lead the Strategy and Insights team at Police Now, a charity with a mission to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring leaders in policing.

Having recently completed a PhD in Sociology, I am enjoying having a little bit of extra time on my hands, which I mostly spend reading, running and playing golf. As a self-confessed foodie, I also love nothing more than spending time enjoying a good meal with family and friends.

Dr Luke Swithenbank

I first heard about StreetDoctors while I was studying medicine at the University of Leeds. I wondered why such unique and potentially life-saving lessons were not being delivered in his city, so I set up the branch there in 2013 with a group of my peers.

I was team leader of the Leeds team for two years, during which time I took up the national role of Expansion Officer and helped create the teams in Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham and Warwick. Following graduation, I moved to work in Birmingham and witnessed first-hand the dire consequences of knife violence in the second city’s emergency departments, adding further fuel to my desire to help combat it.

I currently serve as a medical officer in the RAF and joined the board of trustees in the summer of 2018 with the aim of ensuring the charity does not lose sight of its roots: its committed volunteers and all the young people it reaches out to.

Dr Rochelle Pierre

Born and raised in Hackney, I am now an FY2 doctor in London. I joined the East London team in my first year of medical school in 2011.

Having grown up around youth violence and witnessing the struggles that many of the young people face, particularly in Hackney, I was eager to get involved with StreetDoctors. I have always wanted to give back to my community and help young people, and this has provided me with the perfect opportunity to do so.

StreetDoctors is an amazing charity which provides a means of empowering young people, and I am very proud to be a part of it. I joined the board of trustees in 2014 hoping to be a voice for both the volunteers and the young people we teach. Although I still have a lot to learn I am thoroughly enjoying it and looking forward to reaching out to many more young people and being a positive influence in their lives.

Outside of Street Doctors my secret love is playing Basketball.

Dr Shola Apena Rogers

As a Londoner born and bred, I am passionate for working to support and empower young people within the community.

I am a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Lecturer at University of Birmingham. I have worked as a practitioner and researcher within various contexts, including the criminal justice system, Children’s Social Care, NHS and voluntary sector to achieve impact and positive outcomes. I am also a Consultant Trainer delivering Motivational Interviewing, Adolescent Mental Health and Trauma Informed Practice training programmes.

I am keen to work with a charity like StreetDoctors, which harnesses the potential of their volunteers to really make a difference.