Written by

Tabitha Norman-Ashley

I am the Team Leader for StreetDoctors Leeds, having previously been responsible for Social Media and Communications, and Deputy Team Leader. This is my third year with StreetDoctors and the whole team at Leeds are so excited for the different ways we can impact our local community in 2019/2020.

One of the projects that the Leeds team is most proud of is ‘StepWise’ in which we taught Young People at Wetherby HMYOI over a series of weeks. By the end of the project, they were able to deliver their own StreetDoctors session. We hope that next year will bring many more incredible opportunities like this.

James Millwater

My name is James and I am the current team leader of the Manchester StreetDoctors team. This is my fourth year as a StreetDoctors volunteer, and I have moved into the role of team leader after a year as deputy team lead. I am currently taking a year out of medicine to study for a masters in Humanitarianism and conflict response and decided it was the perfect time to become more involved in a charity which has become really important to me throughout my time as a volunteer.

Whilst I come from a background where youth violence isn’t the norm, I recognise its increasing normalisation amongst young people, and I believe that the work StreetDoctor’s does is an important part of the solution to this.

Mark Baker

I first joined StreetDoctors in 2017 and was immediately amazed by the work that the charity does. Each and every volunteer has such a passion for the work that they do teaching and supporting vulnerable young people across the UK. Youth violence is an increasingly large problem in the UK. To be able to reach some of these young people and give them the skills to be a life saver is an honour.

I am immensely proud of the Birmingham team who have gone from strength to strength, and really look forward to being their co-team lead.

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!