Co-Lead, Melissa Vidal
Melissa will be working as the Co-Lead on projects supporting young people in Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets. She has a diverse background in youth and community work spanning over 16 years. With experience of coordinating various projects including sports, arts and media initiatives, as well as developing skills for work and entrepreneurship for hard to reach young people across London and Essex. Mel is passionate about youth mentoring and giving young people the opportunity to develop themselves as young leaders.
Co-Lead, Alexia Dickinson
Alexia has joined the foundation to support the development of youth programmes using digital media for social change. A trained filmmaker with an MA in Applied Anthropology/Youth and Community Work, she has 10 years’ experience working as participation specialist and digital advocacy consultant in the third sector.
Alexia’s achievements include developing user-led training programmes working with vulnerable groups in the areas of disability, HIV, mental health and addiction. She has trained other professionals internationally and designed a widely used toolkit for UNICEF in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Previously Deputy Director of a heritage and digital storytelling charity, she also runs the Community Interest Company, Films For All.
Youth Worker, James Pyke
James is going to be working on a range of sessions supporting young people on projects in Lewisham, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Southwark. With an interesting and varied background, James is a qualified football and basketball coach and has skills and experience in digital media and music production projects working with at risk young people.
“Our new team are helping to deliver a variety of projects in the coming months which include sports, a greater social media presence, more involvement in the community and our Platform 5 blog”.
Youth Worker, Kawthar Tabi
Kawthar has worked with young people in Southwark and Lambeth since 2015 with projects ranging from digital media and film school classes to art, singing and drama clubs. After obtaining a degree in Media Arts in 2013, she began working on several separate media projects. One of them aired on BBC4 recently. She has also written and directed her first short film.
“I hope to broaden my experience whilst working with young people and to get a better understanding of how to support young people getting into the creative industries.” Kawthar said.
Arts Practitioner, Tamsin Kayembe
Tamsin is an Artists Facilitator Workshop Tutor and Practitioner specialising in MCing skills, RAP, Songwriting, Spoken-Word Poetry and Drama. She has led and assisted in projects involving young people and has experience in working within a youth arts process.
Using art as a powerful tool within communities and empowering young people’s voices, Tamsin is a keen believer in education through art, as it offers a very unique therapeutic process to those who participate and can build resilience and confidence.
“I will be working with the foundation to collaborate on projects that I can offer my skills to as well as mentor or guide the next generation of young leaders.” Tamsin said.
Arts Practitioner, Bonita Charles
Bonita is a Community Arts Practitioner specialising in Devised Theatre, Music-Recording and Performance, as well as developing and delivering arts-based projects in local community settings. She has worked with the YMCA, NCS, Prodigals Education Trust, Street League, GLYPT, Charlton Athletic Trust, Futureversity, London Urban Arts & others.
Bonita said, “I decided to join RFF as I am excited about being involved in and working on new media projects working within my local community…I hope to be able to share skills and develop media pieces that capture and reflect their voices and opinions.”