Meet our Senior Management Team
As General Manager Laura is responsible for the development of the Trust to a wide audience both in terms of the charity aims and commercial gains. Laura joined OPEN in November 2019.
Laura comes from a background working as a Company Director for a nationwide specialist recruitment company and as a Business Consultant supporting SME start up and growth companies.
Head of Finance
Claire joined OPEN’s finance team in May 2015 and was promoted to Finance Manager in May 2016. She is CIMA qualified and has over 10 years commercial accounting experience.
Claire's responsibilities are to oversee the day to day finance activities and reports the monthly management accounts to the Board of Trustees. In her spare time Claire plays the piano and has a love of elephants.
Head of Marketing
Hayley joined OPEN as Marketing Manager in 2014, having spent 12 years working as a Communications Officer in the Press Office at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and before that five years as Public Relations Officer at the University of East Anglia.
As OPEN’s Marketing Manager, Hayley’s responsibilities include: raising the profile of OPEN's unique range of facilities in its venue hire and secure storage. Promoting live music, conferences and events and the activities provided for young people. Identifying and maximising PR opportunities. Media relations both proactive and reactive. Design and production of marketing materials.
Head of Commercial
Kevin joined the Trust in January 2020.
Head of Youth Services
Charlene joined open in as Performance Arts Instructor 2012 and was promoted to Youth Programme Manager in August 2015.
Charlene has been working with children and young people for over 10 years, and she played a significant part in securing the recent lottery funding.
Her previous experience was as a dance assistant, a youth worker and a dance instructor in the USA, and a learning support assistant at a local high school. Charlene is very passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people each and every day.
Head of Human Resources
Tamara joined OPEN in July 2019.
Meet our Team
Angela joined OPEN in October 2018 as Development Manager.
Angela comes from a background of direct sales, account management and business development. Mainly with prestige automotive, where excellence in customer experience and service is paramount.
Angela’s role is to work collaboratively with the local business community, to develop creative ways how to engage, connect and entertain new audiences into using our fantastic city centre venue and in turn supporting the work of the youth charity.
Karl joined the Open Youth Trust in October 2016.
Karl overseas the whole programme of activities for children and young people and Drop In Social Hub at OPEN.
He has many years of experience previously teaching in schools within the West Norfolk area as the Activities Resource Leader.
Karl is passionate about getting young people active and providing opportunities for young people in Norfolk. Karl’s ethos is "Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork".
Andy joined Open Youth Trust in March 2019 as the Gym Supervisor.
Izzie started at OPEN Youth Trust in August 2017 as a Youth Support Worker for the Outreach Team.
She now leads the team of Outreach Youth workers who are highly skilled in delivering positive youth activities.
Izzie also runs fun and exciting sessions for the Youth Groups she attends.
Izzie comes from a theatrical background and gets involved in community theatre on a regular basis. Acting, dancing and singing are just a few of Izzie’s favourite things to do as well as film making and photography.
Conference & Hospitality Manager
Kirstie joined the Trust as Events Administrator in January 2017 having previously worked for Marriott Hotels for 10 years.
With a background of hospitality and events, as well as Marriott, Kirstie has worked for a selection of groups including York Hilton, and York Principal Hotel.
She has experience in working on annual award celebrations, corporate dinners, large delegate conferences, Christmas parties as well as weddings, fine dining and business meetings.
Kirstie was promoted to Conference and Events Manager in November 2018.
Harriet joined OPEN in June 2016 as SOS Bus Development Officer, OPEN’s former sister charity.
After returning from maternity leave in January 2018, Harriet took up a part-time position as the charity’s Fundraising Coordinator where her role is to work collaboratively with the local business community, raising the charity’s profile and increasing revenue through community fundraising and high profile events. Harriet comes from a charity background of fundraising, marketing & event management.
Zoe joined the Trust in March 2019 as a chef to help with the catering of events and conferences and progressed to the Head Chef role October 2019.
Dan has been leading sessions on the Climbing Wall for the OPEN Youth Trust since 2009.
Dan has been working with young people since the age of 16 and holds an HND in Adventurous Activity Management.
Dance and Performing Arts Instructor
Michaela has been involved with the Open Youth Trust since 2012 where she attended OPEN as a young person.
Following her time as a young volunteer Michaela joined the Youth Team as Dance & Performing Arts Instructor and Youth Support Worker in November 2015.
Michaela has a Level 3 Diploma in Dance and Production Arts as well as a IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association) qualification and a Level 3 Diploma in Children and Young Peoples Workforce.
Alex has been involved with the OPEN Youth Trust since 2016 and took over the role of Volunteer Mentor in August 2017.
He has a degree in Psychology and experience working with young people through avenues such as the National Citizenship Service and running anger management courses in high schools around Norwich, before joining OPEN as a Youth Support Worker.
Now as Volunteer Mentor, Alex spends his time finding great opportunities for his volunteers and running training sessions for young people interested in joining OPEN's Young Volunteer Programme.
Youth Support Worker & Music Tutor
Scott works both within the venue and also as a member of the Outreach Team.
Scott has been working at OPEN since 2014 delivering a range of activities including music, recording, radio shows, photography, video, sports, and games as well as always being available for a friendly chat!
Scott started volunteering at his local youth club aged 15, started working as a youth worker aged 18 and has been involved in many projects working with children, teenagers and adults ever since. Scott's other passion is for music and when he is not delivering music workshops at OPEN he teaches guitar and drums, records, mixes bands and plays gigs.
Youth Support Worker
Laura joined the Trust in February 2019 and works both within the venue and as part of the Outreach Team.
Before joining OPEN she was working with vulnerable 18-24 year olds on an employment support project. Laura completed the Youth Work course in 2018.
A bit of an all rounder but sports is my thing! I am a goalkeeper for a local ladies team and enjoy anything and everything active!
Meet our Board of Trustees
Russ Dacre MBE
As a founding Trustee of the OPEN Youth Trust from 2004, Russ has a broad experience of working with young people, charities and automotive retail businesses.
Brought up in Norfolk he is passionate about seeing the lives of the most vulnerable children and young in norfolk improved through the Trust and other like minded service providers. Russ is married to Alethea, and father to RB and Raffi, he is also partial to a game of golf or two, and is a bit of a foodie!
One of the founding trustees of the OPEN Youth Trust since 2004. As a Chartered Town Planner Les has been involved with many significant developments in Norwich including OPEN and other youth orientated community projects.
He has always been an advocate for the strategic provision of exciting and appropriate facilities for young people where they can be offered sound activities and support which generates a sense of belonging. Married to Alison with two adult sons, Les has a keen interest in photography, DIY and travel.
Rachele Kelsall is currently a Director for insurance broker Hugh J Boswell.
She grew up in Bradford and started her insurance career with Royal Insurance in 1986, moving to Norwich to join Marsh in 2000, before joining Hugh J Boswell in 2012. Rachel joined the Board of Trustees in 2018.
Alex Marsden, grew up in Sprowston, comes with a wealth of experience at senior board level within the financial services sector and is currently working for HSBC Global Bank as Senior Call Centre Transformation Manager (EMEA).
She is also Company Director for Leximars Consulting Ltd, an Interim Management Consultancy, offering expertise in Leadership/Contact Centre Transformation and Customer Experience. Alex joined the Board of Trustees in 2018.
Ed became a Trustee in 2013 and as a qualified solicitor is responsible for providing legal support to the Board of the OPEN Youth Trust.
Ed spent the early part of his career working in London before returning home to Norfolk in 2011 practising as a corporate / commercial lawyer with a niche specialism in franchising. In 2014 Ed organised a Christmas music video featuring members of his firm, which was filmed and produced at OPEN. He is a keen sportsman and has a deluded view of himself as a flamboyant chef - for example, his Jamaican jerk partridge (which received very mixed reviews). Ed is married to Vix and they have two young children, Wolf and Coco.
Associated with the OPEN Youth Trust since 2013 and came on board as a Trustee in January 2014. Worked in Banking for nearly 40 years through to 2009,
the last 13 of which was based in Norwich where he became aware of the aims and good work of OPEN. The past 6 years has seen Donald work with a number of organisations providing a commercial focus and direction to various groups. Married to Lorraine with three grown up children he is keen to see OPEN progress and spread its resources to the wider Norfolk community.