Written by

Lucie Russell

I am passionate about playing my part in achieving social justice, and its been my life’s work. My career began as a youth worker and then a social worker specialising in working with young people in a therapeutic community. I then became one of the co-founders of The Big Issue, and was a key part in its development from a new venture into an international publishing success story, providing a hand up to many thousands of homeless people. I then launched The Big Issue’s charity, The Big Issue Foundation, developing a range of support services to homeless people across the country.

After leaving The Big Issue I created SmartJustice, a national campaign based at the Prison Reform Trust which promoted community solutions to crime, and the vital role prevention, early intervention and crisis support plays in stemming the tide of offending. As part of this work I also developed a national network of ex-offenders campaigning for more effective alternatives to prisons. I then went on to become Director of Campaigns and Media at YoungMinds, I led all YoungMinds profile raising, campaigns, research and partnerships, and ran two national youth engagement programmes. My most recent role was Director of Fair By Design, based at the Barrow Cadbury Trust, where I created and led a new campaign to design out the poverty premium – the extra costs of being poor. I am also a Trustee of Redthread Youth.

I am absolutely thrilled to be leading StreetDoctors in the next phase of its journey. It is a fantastic example of youth social action working with a volunteer movement of young medics; junior Drs, nurses and paramedics who teach life saving skills to young people and start conversations about youth violence and its consequences. We start with where young people are: this is no ‘just say no to carrying a knife’ intervention, it is acknowledging that for many of the young people we work with violence is sadly normalised. We help young people look at their willingness to act too, a potentially life saving action in a crisis situation that can often mean life or death. As a result of our work StreetDoctors now occupies a pivotal place in the solutions to youth violence jigsaw, and we are committed to further growth and becoming even more effective. 

Katie Butterworth

As soon as I heard about StreetDoctors in my 2nd year of medical school, I knew I wanted to join. I love the challenge of teaching and engaging such energetic young people. It feels great to know you’re empowering them to really make a difference in the community and potentially go on to save someone’s life.

I’ve been the team leader for Nottingham for the past year. I love watching our team grow and to see all the hard work everyone puts in to teach the young people, and subsequently help to reduce youth violence in Nottingham.

David Bell

I was attracted to StreetDoctors by a compelling approach to addressing violence among young people and its aftermath. The young healthcare trainees, who volunteer, are passionate and committed to shifting the mindsets of vulnerable young people away from violence, while giving them the skills and confidence to save lives.

I have over 38 years of experience with multi-national corporate organisations and the public sector; particularly in change management of Finance and Services with organisations facing significant growth or financial pressures.

Dr Luke Swithenbank

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

He was team leader of the Leeds team for two years, during which time he took up the national role of Expansion Officer and helped create the teams in Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham and Warwick. Following graduation, he 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 his desire to help combat it. 

He currently serves 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. 

John Valentine

John is the new Partnerships Manager working in the StreetDoctors central office. Previous to this role, he was responsible for launching several new income streams at MQ: Transforming mental health, a start-up charity looking to drive change within mental health through scientific research. John has spent the last five years building partnerships between private and third sector organisations, through developing strong, collaborative relationships with senior business and charity leaders.

Zoya Zaman

My favourite aspect of Street Doctors is seeing the progression of our young people from being slightly reticent and cheeky at the start of sessions to getting engaged and wanting to know more. The sessions don’t only provide life-saving skills but they give disadvantaged young people something to be proud and happy about- a sense of achievement they may otherwise lack. Seeing this positive progression has fuelled my involvement with Street doctors, and I wish everyone could witness it.

Having been on the team since first year, as I go into third year as joint Team Leader I am excited to expand our base in Bristol and teach as many young people as we can, hopefully providing them with more than basic life-saving skills. The ethos we work by is so genuine, the change is visible and the young people we work with are at the heart of it all.

Farhaana Surti

My name is Farhaana and I am proud to be part of the StreetDoctors team in the city I grew up in – Leicester. I joined the team 2 years ago to marry my passions of teaching, medicine and working with young people and being part of StreetDoctors has pushed me to be better in all of these areas (yes, we do get some difficult medicine-y questions from young people sometimes!). To be able to help someone realise their potential whilst making the city a safer place for young people to thrive in is a privilege every member of our team values and cherishes. Everyone has the potential to save a life and if you would like us to teach this to your young people then please get in touch!

Munira Patel

I am so proud to be one of the first nursing students this year who are a part of Street Doctors! It is amazing to be part of a movement, led by healthcare professionals, to help reduce the fatal consequences of gang-related violence. Seeing young people engaging in our sessions, learning and understanding that they really could save a life, gives a lot of satisfaction. It certainly is a two-way street, as we learn so much from them to help us become better healthcare professionals.

My co-team leader, Izzy, and I are really looking forward to setting the standard for the future of the North East London team. Nurses have a different perspective and our aim is to keep the energy, morale and family-spirit sky-high throughout the year, within the team and when teaching the young people of North East London!

Monica Nahar

Having only been with StreetDoctors for 2 years; I feel there is a lot the young people have taught me about the challenges many of them face daily and it has opened up my eyes to many of their struggles. To then be able to give many of them the knowledge, power and encouragement to save someones life only adds to the humbling feeling. My goal for the upcoming year is to reach out to as many young people as we can to end this youth violence epidemic.

Rosie Hoare

I joined StreetDoctors as Director of Operations and Finance in November 2018.  I have worked in the Third Sector in both a paid and voluntary capacity since 2003. My most recent position was as Head of Business Performance at Chickenshed, where I saw at first hand the power of giving young people the tools that can transform their lives. Sometimes the simplest things can have the most profound impact, and I strongly believe in StreetDoctors’ vision of young people being the solution to issues of youth violence. I am proud to be part of a staff team and a group of volunteers who have such vision and pride in their work, and look forward to contributing to the growth of StreetDoctors in the coming years.