Staff and Volunteers
The STEP team is made up of 6 staff, plus sessional workers, a driver and volunteers.
Johanna Bryant - Project Director
I began my life at STEP as a volunteer in 2000. I was only a volunteer for 4 months before I was offered a part time role as a Project Worker. Gradually over the years I have progressed through the ranks taking on the roles of Senior Project Worker, Operations Manager and finally Project Director in September 2004.
As Project Director I am ultimately responsible for the management, development and delivery of the service we provide. I could not do this on my own, however, and I am very lucky to have a brilliant staff team who work incredibly hard to ensure we deliver a quality service to young people across Swindon. I spend most of my 25 hours a week keeping our existing funders happy with reports and updates, representing STEP and the voluntary youth sector at strategic meetings and looking at new and exciting funding opportunities to ensure not only a continuation of existing services but to ensure development and further growth of STEP.
Paul Dobson - Project Manager
I have been working at STEP for 11 enjoyable years - I am responsible for the day to day running of the organisation, management of the staff team, training and administration support.
It is also my job to make sure that we offer a wide range of activities that reflect the needs and interests of young people; along with co-ordination of resources, staffing and monitoring of our various programmes and finances.
Amy Law - Office Manager / Group Support Worker
My role at STEP is really varied - I am responsible for the work 'behind the scenes' in the office, which includes assessing referrals and inviting young people to groups, health and safety and maintaining and organising resources, insurance, transport and activities. I have a BSc degree in Social Sciences and am NOCN Level 3 qualified in Youth Work so have also written and run lots of different sessions for Evening Groups and other shorter-term projects. I also work in the Saturday Project, supporting young people with disabilities, during holiday programmes and on residentials.
Tracey Dobson - Senior Project Worker
I joined STEP on a work placement while I was studying for a Foundation Degree in Youth Work and after completing my degree I was given the opportunity to stay on as a Project Worker. Delivering Evening Groups is one of my main roles, where I write session plans and run groups for the young people who attend. I spent two years working towards gaining Anti-Bullying status for STEP as well as training and setting up a peer mentoring scheme. My other responsibilities include setting up the Arts Award in Evening Groups; training and supervising new Project Workers and volunteers and working with the Saturday Project supporting young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities.
Hayley Jackson - Project Worker
I joined the team as a Project Worker in June 2009 after completing my Foundation Degree in Youth Work. Primarily I write and deliver therapeutic sessions for our Evening Groups but I also lead on the Chatterboxes participation group and deliver social skills sessions in schools. I case hold for a number of the young people who attend the Project, which involves me attending TAC and Child Protection meetings and sharing information with other agencies.
Fran Newell - Driver / Group Support Worker
Gary Lloyd - Project Worker
Hayley Turner - Sessional Worker
Without the valuable support of volunteers and peer mentors in group sessions, STEP would be unable to run. A big thank you to all of you, and to everyone who selflessly gives their time to STEP.
Management Committee Members (Volunteers)
A group of volunteers, acting as Trustees on behalf of STEP, meet every 6 weeks to oversee the running of the Project.
Bob Barrett - Chair / Trustee
I was born and educated in Swindon and am very proud of my Swindon heritage. I am the first of four generations not to work for the Great Western Railways! My profession is an Operations Manager and after working for two international companies from New Zealand and America I now work for a local company. I am a Rotarian and a member of the Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town.
I am a keen motorcyclist and have owned various bikes since I was 17 years old. I have travelled extensively on the bike, having attended many European Moto GP, Superbike and 24 Hour Endurance events.
I believe that the work STEP of in our community is vital for the young people of Swindon. STEP gives support and guidance to those less fortunate children and young people with a lack of social skills, low esteem and those who suffer from poverty and isolation. I believe we have a duty to them by offering the best possible start in life, and STEP achieves this often without the recognition it deserves.
I am incredibly proud to be a Trustee of STEP and hope I can use my skills to benefit young people of Swindon who have not been as fortunate as I have been in life.
Jo Buechel - Vice Chair / Trustee
I have been involved with charity work in one way or another for most of my adult life and have to say it has made my life so much richer. All the charities I have been involved in revolve around childrens charities - Naomi House a local childrens hospice and Hope and Homes for children, trying to re home children institutionalised in countries such as the Ukraine.
I love working with the charities and, all in all, I feel I am a very lucky person with a rich and rewarding life.
My hobbies, well really I only have one as not much time to fit anything else in, and thats the gym, well it was either that or watch the soaps on tv, and the gym won ...!
Wendy Law - Trustee
I have been on the Committee since 2001, becoming Chair not long afterwards, and after some 8 years in the role I handed over to Bob in May 2010. During my time with STEP I have seen the Project grow from strength to strength and I enjoy working with, and supporting, such a valuable and successful organisation.
Sylvia Snelson - Treasurer / Trustee
I have lived and worked in Swindon for over 30 years and for 15 years worked with young people as a foster carer. Some of the young people I looked after attended STEP so I was already aware of all the good work they do. I volunteered to join in 2000 when the Project was in danger of closing. I felt I could give my time and support to such a worthwhile project so I became a Trustee, and then Treasurer in 2001, and have been involved ever since.
Caroline Symmons - Trustee
I have lived and worked in the Swindon area for over 20 years and have volunteered as a trustee of STEP for three years now. I always look foward to being involved with the great work that STEP undertakes with the young people in Swindon.