RIO is packed full of experienced, talented people focused on making a real difference

Portrait of Amy Cooper

Amy Cooper

Events coordinator

With over 6 years’ experience in Events Coordination and Management Amy has recently joined the team at Devonport Guildhall as Events and Venue Coordinator.

Andrew Jinman

Junior Consultant

Andrew joined RIO in August 2016 as a Junior Consultant focused on digital.

He believes in stories to make change happen. He is a technologist, whose work has allowed him to explore the routes to market for a variety of different emerging technologies including the establishment of the 3D Internet, Mobile Technologies and Augmented Reality Systems. His own experience of social enterprise has shaped his understanding of how technology can play an important role in forming and benefiting communities.

“Being part of the RIO team is extremely rewarding; you inspire people to overcome social challenges and empower them with the tools they need to make a real difference in society.”

Portrait of Claire Burgess

Claire Burgess

Head of Enterprises

Claire Burgess is the Head of Enterprises, and has worked with RIO since 2011.

With over 20 years’ experience in commercial roles in various sectors, Claire is now responsible for the overall management of RIO's ever growing list of enterprises, including Devonport Guildhall, Devonport Column, Column Bakehouse and upcoming Devonport Market Hall.

“I enjoy the challenge of the constantly changing environment with the opportunity to create and develop new areas of business that have a positive impact on the surrounding community.”

Portrait of Claire Honey

Claire Honey

Contract Manager

Claire is a Contract Manager for RIO. She has worked with RIO for over 4 years and has previously worked in the arts sector in roles which included fundraising, commercial management and project management.

Claire fully understands the workings of social enterprise, having helped set up a community interest company and worked with charities. She is passionate about unleashing the social entrepreneur, project manager and fundraiser in all of us, and thinks that young people have all the best ideas.

Claire has a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration, she has undertaken a navigator leadership course from Common Purpose and is a Social Enterprise Qualification Mentor and Trainer.

“It’s a fantastic feeling when a young person has a lightbulb moment and the response can be ‘great – let’s see how we can make that happen’.”

Portrait of David

David Nottage

Non Executive Director

David Nottage joins RIO as a Non-Executive Director. David is an award-winning Creative Director, working in the communications and content spaces in the UK, USA and Middle East.

As creative lead David has devised and delivered projects for broadcast channels such as the BBC, ITV and Discovery, and brands including Audi, Tesco, Renault, Kraft, Axa, IBM and Youngs. David has also worked extensively in the third sector, developing campaigns for Mencap, Macmillan, CLIC Sargent and the NSPCC among others.

Working extensively in multi-agency and multi-stakeholder environments, David has gained an innate understanding of how to distil key messages and position them effectively in markets, to grow awareness, raise profile or drive sales.

Portrait of Deshni

Deshni Pyndiah

Consultant

Deshni Pyndiah is a RIO Consultant and has been working with us since September 2014.

Based in Bristol, Deshni’s works across a wide breadth of projects; from research through to delivering challenged based learning activities in schools; which contribute to the growth of RIO’s social impact and the overall development of the business.

After studying Film at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and moving to Bristol, Deshni’s experience supporting the BBC Blast programme across Bristol, confirmed a passion for using creativity and the arts to help young people to develop and grow as individuals.

Deshni has almost 10 years’ experience working in the third sector, working in Community Fundraising as a Regional Manager for a leading national charity. After that, she worked as an Employment Consultant managing various welfare to work contracts. Deshni has also delivered educational provisions aimed at 16-18 year olds who were not in education or employment, supporting them to find relevant work experience, helping them develop employability skills and overall make positive choices. Deshni’s passion for supporting young people, all things social enterprise, creativity and innovation are what brought her to RIO.

“Young people are the future; we need to provide the space for them develop real skills ready for the real world - as well as cultivating their creativity and innovation. Education as we know it is changing and using social enterprise as a vehicle for real and purposeful learning can result in really meaningful outcomes. Everyday is different working at RIO, but what is at the core of our work is the desire to support people to make a difference in their lives and the world around them.”

Get in touch with Deshni - email deshni.pyndiah@realideas.org

Portrait of Diana

Diana Green

Administrator

Diana has worked with RIO since 2011, and takes on an HR and project support role across RIO. It's Diana's job to know what's happening across the organisation, and to help pull things together.

Diana has previous experience in marketing and admin roles, with a background in the leisure industry, and also enjoys the customer service element.

Portrait of Ed Whitelaw

Ed Whitelaw

Head of Enterprise and Regeneration

Ed is the Head of Enterprise and Regeneration.

Previous appointments include Development Manager for the Creative Partnerships South West and Development Officer for Community Music Wales.

Ed has also undertaken a range of freelance roles in the community and educational sector and a variety of business ventures with the music industry.

He is also currently Company Secretary and founding member for the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network and Chair and an active Fellow in the RSA South West, where he represents the international fellowship as a Fellowship Councillor at Large.

Portrait of Gemma

Gemma Kendall

Talent Match - Generation E Facilitator

Gemma is the Generation E Facilitator for the west of Cornwall after joining RIO in October 2016.

Gemma is a friendly and approachable person and loves nothing more than sitting down with someone and having a natter, especially if that natter then leads on to something brilliant and productive!

Gemma's previous experience includes working with young adults with learning disabilities as well as many years spent volunteering with various youth groups and organisations.

Portrait of Helen

Helen Power

Talent Match Coach

Helen is Talent Match Coach for the west of Cornwall. She joined RIO in January 2016.

Following her relocation with her family to Cornwall in 2009 Helen choose to embark on a career change, completing qualifications in Youth and Community Work and Coaching. Since then she has worked in a number of youth related settings in the county. Previously, Helen worked in staff training and development, workflow analysis and change management, IT, private enterprise and also in running a business with her husband.

Helen’s passion is in creating opportunities where young people can develop the personal insight and practical skills to become agents for positive change in their own lives and in their communities.

``Working with my colleagues at RIO and the members of Talent Match is inspiring and continually encourages me to aim to excel.``

Portrait of Jack

Jack Harrison

Talent Match - Junior Administration Assistant

Jack Harrison joined RIO in April 2014 as a Young People's Communications and Campaigns Agency Apprentice.

Jack focuses on helping young people find work in a field of the young person’s choosing, whether it’s directly through engaging with employers, or connecting young people to opportunities for work experience, training, or apprenticeships.

After Jack gained his Level 2 qualification with Rio in March he has put his skills and knowledge to use in a practical environment.

Jack has become a valued part of the making of the Talent Match website, and Talent Match as a whole. What really makes Jack stands out is that he is an overall hands on deck person, whenever help is needed or a coffee is needing to be made for visitors Jack will be the first person to get it done.

Portrait of Jade Poole

Jade Poole

Consultant

Jade Poole joined RIO as a Junior Consultant in August 2015. Although a new member of the team, she brings with her bags of enthusiasm and experience in the creative industries.

Jade has a string of accomplishments to her name, including an award from the Creative and Cultural Skills Board and a BA Hons in Dance Theatre from Plymouth University.

After moving to RIO from her position as General Manager at Exim Dance Company and Corporate Development Coordinator at Plymouth Dance, she is now focusing her attention on working closely with the arts and cultural sector, and is supporting on the Artsmark contract.

Portrait of Jamie

Jamie Gamble

Talent Match - Generation E Facilitator

Jamie Gamble is a Generation E Facilitator on the Talent Match programme.

He aims to engage and excite young people in his role of journey planning manager.

His role consists of making sure all the young people’s journey plans are up to date and that everyone is where they should be, while simultaneously taking to the streets to entice as many young people as possible onto the Talent Match Programme.

Jamie is a friendly and outgoing person, who always has time to sit down with the young people and listen to them while coming up with a plan of action to help them out!

Portrait of Jane

Jayne Goddard

Talent Match Apprentice

Jayne Goddard is one of the apprentices for Talent Match Cornwall, based in the Liskeard office.

Jayne is a confident and positive person who aims to motivate young people into doing their part to get to where they want to go.

Jayne’s interests are health and social care, youth work and nursing. She has achieved a BTEC Level 2 Health and Social Care qualification and wants to go into nursing. After this apprenticeship, she would like to complete a BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care course or complete an access to nursing course.

Portrait of Jemima

Jemima Hurlock

Contract Manager

Jemima is a Contract Manager for RIO, handling the various RIO projects that come her way!

Jemima has worked for RIO since 2008 and in that time has developed her expertise within the qualifications world, being involved for a number of years with Arts Award and now also RIO’s own qualification in social enterprise.

Jemima believes that all young people have incredible potential for creativity and enterprise and is excited by the idea that these qualifications offer a route for young people to develop, nurture and celebrate those skills.

Portrait of Jon Rolls

Jon Rolls

Commercial Director

Jon is one of our newest arrivals at RIO, and joins us as Commercial Director having spent the last 2 years driving forward the social enterprise scene in Cornwall and working with a range of strategic partners to catapult social enterprise into the economic landscape in the County.

In a short space of time Jon was instrumental in helping Cornwall achieve Social Enterprise Zone status, coordinated the development and launch of an innovative social enterprise support programme, The Engine Room, and founded a strategic leadership group for the sector comprising some of the county’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Jon is routed in social enterprise and cut his teeth helping Cornish social enterprise ReZolve, develop into one of the most visible environmental enterprises in the county and a national player in the community waste sector.

His passion for making a difference and spotting an opportunity makes him a great fit for RIO and he is incredibly excited about the challenge of helping us to grow and develop our impact on a national and international scale.

Jon is currently involved on the Board of the Par Bay Big Local group, has held previous trusteeships with the Voluntary Sector Forum and a number of local organisations and is strategically connected across Cornwall and nationally. He has also run his own online business for the last 5 years.

More importantly he is a proud Dad of 3, a great husband (his words), an RFU qualified rugby coach, a dedicated gig rower and a keen cyclist!

Portrait of Jonathan

Jonathan Clitheroe

Head of Challenge Based Learning

Jonathan has worked in the education sector for the last 10 years as a teacher, creative agent, project manager, consultant, and social entrepreneur. He has a MA from Exeter University, is a member of Plymouth's Social Enterprise Network, sits on the boards of PAPH CIC and the South West Plymouth Educational Trust and is a co-founder of the Merfyn Temple Foundation.

He specialises in applying social enterprise principles that transform teaching and learning as well as how schools are run and managed.

As Head of Challenge Based Learning, Jonathan is responsible for the continued success of our Schools' Service, drawing on his wide experience working with young people, communities, school leaders, businesses and the third sector. He is passionate about getting our young generation ready for their future and he loves enabling schools to use innovative, challenge-based learning and a social enterprise approach to solve the problems they face.

Portrait of Jules

Jules Marshall

Consultant

Jules is one of our Consultants who delivers on a broad spectrum of projects, and when required to, leads on activities, contributing to the growth of RIO’s social impact and the overall development of the business.

Before joining RIO in July 2015, Jules previously worked in the Youth and Education sector, providing creative opportunities and platforms for disadvantaged young people. The £1M Big Lottery funded Project within Young Devon’s Youth Inclusion and Skills & Enterprise team, focussed on graduating care leavers into the world of independence by providing them with the tools they needed in order to get there. Her background in the Arts enabled her to develop a creative Education unit in South and East London, working with behavioural young people, which provided the foundations for what is now an Independent school.

Jules' passion for young people and their accessibility to learning in the real world via creative and innovative methods is what has drawn her to RIO.

Portrait of Kate Rowlands

Kate Rowlands

Consultant and Volunteer lead

Kate is a consultant and volunteer lead for RIO.

Kate has worked with RIO since 2010. In this time, she has been involved in a broad range of programmes under a variety of themes, including digital, heritage, education and health all with a common focus on supporting people - predominantly young people to move forward with their futures; contributing to the growth of RIO’s social impact.

Graduating with a degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance with Psychology, Kate has worked in the sector since 2008, gaining a wealth of experience in working directly with young people; having previously worked at digital media company Chew TV; where her passion for promoting the benefits of youth volunteering first started.

Most recently, Kate has managed the South West contract for the Creative Skills Initiative programme, a strand of the Creative Employment Programme which supported almost 200 young people to gain a qualification, develop employability skills and gain an Arts Award, alongside gaining valuable work experience.

Kate is a primary school governor, has a diploma in Volunteer Management and is an adviser for Arts Award as well as a mentor for RIO’s Social Enterprise Qualification (SEQ).

Portrait of Laura Gilbert

Laura Gilbert

Talent Match - Level 3 Apprentice

Laura Gilbert is a Level 3 Apprentice based in Redruth for Talent Match Cornwall and joined RIO in September 2016.

Laura is an approachable and dynamic person, aiming to build connections with young people to help to support them in getting to where they want to be.

Laura has previously worked with adults with disabilities and learning difficulties wishing to gain employment. Her interests include psychology and social care. After the apprenticeship she would like to be a youth coach.

Portrait of Lenna

Lenna Bithell

Contract Manager

Lenna is Contract Manager for the Arts Council England funded Bridge Contract. Lenna joined RIO in June 2015 having come from Contract Managing the various BIS and European funded UKTI contracts in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall for the past six years, along with the RGF Lancaster University Funded Digital Marketplace project.

Previous to this Lenna has a long history in sales and finance, which teamed with her various funding roles has left her in good stead to navigate her way through the Bridge contract.

Portrait of Lindsey Hall

Lindsey Hall

Chief Executive

Lindsey's track record in the public and private sectors as a social entrepreneur, thinker and leader has seen her set up and develop products and services across the creative, learning and education sectors.

From building award-winning programmes in the UK to driving groundbreaking initiatives internationally, Lindsey has the experience and skills at management, board and executive level to steer social business ideas towards success; making money and make a difference at the same time.

Portrait of Lou

Louise Evans

Venue Manager - Devonport Guildhall

Lou has been with RIO for over two years with her main focus being on Devonport Guildhall. Her long standing background in hospitality management provides a deep routed passion for the provision of excellent customer service; essential in carrying out her role as Venue Manager and maintaining a general harmony within the building!

From funerals to weddings, to large corporate conferences, versatility is key to Lou’s role but it helps being in such a fantastic building and she relishes the opportunity to play a part in making it accessible to the community.

Portrait of Matt

Matt Little

Head of Impact and Research

Matt is co-founder of RIO, and Head of Impact and Research.

Matt provides direction and management for the organisation as it develops and grows, building new connections and sparking new ideas. He works with staff across RIO to make sure the work we do has real impact socially and economically, and that those impacts are understood and communicated clearly inside and outside of the organisation.

For Matt, it's all about how public services can be delivered in more ethical, efficient and effective ways, how we can all better realise the full potential of children and young people and how individuals can make real change happen for themselves.

From resettling refugees overseas, to delivering major community regeneration schemes, from running the Creative Partnerships school creativity programme in Bristol to advising on environmental policy in Whitehall, Matt's career to date has reflected these interests, so he can draw on every aspect of his wide professional experience in his work for RIO.

Matt holds relevant degrees and research from the University of Oxford , is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an INSEAD graduate and is trainined in research and evaluation methodologies, including SROI.

Portrait of Micky

Michaela Beck

Contract Manager

Micki is a Contract Manager for RIO. She joined RIO in 2012 having previously worked as a project manager in manufacturing and engineering, run a private yacht and worked for the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race. This unusual combination has given her a cool head and a positive and organised approach to finding solutions!

Micki’s project management qualifications include APMP: The Association of Project Managers Project Management Qualification and a Masters in Civil Engineering, both of which give a good grounding for supporting RIO's work on historic buildings.

Portrait of Nick

Nicholas Clitheroe

Consultant

Nicholas Clitheroe has been working with RIO since 2010, and is a Consultant for the organisation. Nick’s passion is making things work. He aims to bring clear and creative thinking and thrives on resolving challenges in a sustainable and enterprising way.

Nick completed a management degree from Aston Business School, and then went on to work in finance, marketing and operations. More recently he managed businesses in the hospitality, events and fundraising sectors. In the last five years he has been focused on working within the Social Enterprise field and has latterly developed a strong understanding of schools and the education sector.

Nick is a board member of the Robinswood Multi-Academy trust in Gloucester, a Member of the Bristol & Bath Social Enterprise Network and a trained mentor for the Social Enterprise Qualification.

Portrait of Sarah

Sarah Lawrence

Lead Administrator

Sarah is Lead Administrator for the Talent Match programme based in RIO’s Liskeard office. She joined RIO in 2016, relatively fresh from completing her BA (Hons) in English.

Sarah’s background in theatre and previous work with the Barbican Theatre delivering outreach work to young people in Plymouth gave her the bug for facilitating social change, be it directly or indirectly. She is passionate about providing opportunities to those who need or want them and, where those opportunities don’t exist already, creating them. Outside of RIO she is frequently vocal around social issues pertaining to women and even runs a news and commentary blog on the subject called Boshemia.

Whilst her work within RIO is primarily on the Talent Match programme, Sarah also leads on admin for Engine Room and RIO’S Impact framework, as well as supporting the Core team on Operations. Sarah is thrilled to be a part of such a dedicated, progressive and creative organisation.

Portrait of Stephan

Stephane Kolinsky

Consultant

Stephane joined RIO in March 2014 and is a Consultant for the organisation.

He leads the team of RIO apprentices delivering Talent Match Cornwall - a £1.7M five year Big Lottery funded project that aims to support long-term unemployed young people back into work.

He is committed to shaping Talent Match Cornwall into a dynamic and successful project; one that breaks new ground by putting the voice of young people centre-stage at each level of the project: from design through to delivery and governance.

Portrait of Steve

Steve Clark

Head of Operations

Steve is the head of Operations for RIO. Steve has a career history spanning 20 years in the voluntary and community sector, working previously with Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, Penwith Community Development Trust and Ground Work.

As part of RIO, Steve manages his team from the RIO office in Liskeard, and also manages a number of large contracts to deliver skills development to unemployed young people across Cornwall.

In addition to his work history, Steve has sat on a number of important groups including the Local Safeguarding Children Group, the Voluntary Sector Forum and chaired the CSF Children’s Development Group at Cornwall Council.

Portrait of Tamzyn

Tamzyn Smith

Consultant

Tamzyn has been with us since before RIO was even RIO!

Having worked with Lindsey Hall on the Creative Partnership contracts in Cornwall and Plymouth, Tamzyn was one of the very first RIO employees and today is one of our Specialist Consultants.

With experience spanning the cultural sector, education, business support, social enterprise, architecture and curating, Tamzyn specialises in providing consultancy, support and training for a wide range of businesses and organisations across the south west including cultural, creative, social enterprises and local authorities.

Tamzyn is also a Director of Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, a board member of South West Museum Development Partnership Board and an RSA Fellow. Outside of RIO she loves spending time with her family giving them a true Cornish upbringing involving beaches, food, rugby, friends and humour!

Portrait of Tendai

Tendai Chetse

Junior Consultant

Tendai joined RIO in September 2016 as a Junior Consultant primarily working on the Power to Change and Connected Schools Programmes.

He brings a diverse working experience to RIO having worked in sectors including Charity; the Arts; Digital Marketing; Media & Regional Publishing.

A marketing specialist; Tendai is a creative at heart with an analytical business brain. After graduating with a BA in Business & Accounting from Exeter University, he founded and ran an urban dance company providing high quality performance experiences for young people.

He is passionate about inspiring and enabling young people to achieve great things and pursue their dreams. Tendai also sits on the Trustees Board of Open Doors International Language Network – a member of the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network.

Portrait of Tom Buck

Tom Butt

Consultant

Tom has been with RIO since September 2016 and works as a Consultant contributing to a wide variety of projects.

Previously Tom worked with social and community enterprises in Devon to help them become more enterprising and self-sustaining. He has a good grasp of all things social enterprise having supported community businesses, voluntary groups, charities and councils to start up and grow their ideas. Tom also brings with him over 10 years’ experience as a project manager working with large public sector organisations to modernise their IT and help them through periods of change.