Sally Melvin

Sally Melvin is the CEO of Ablaze and has been with us since October 2015.

Sally has extensive senior management experience at both national and local levels across charity, public and commercial sectors, specialising in partnerships between businesses and education.

Sally held a senior role at the National Literacy Trust, worked in the Westminster Education Business Partnership and spent 8 years as a teacher.

Since joining Ablaze, Sally has brokered a number of successful partnerships for Ablaze, including the West of England Mentoring programme run in association with Mentoring Plus.

Sally lives with her husband and teenage daughters and enjoys walking her dog and shopping with her girls.

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Ceri Bowers

Ceri is our WEM Project Manager. Ceri’s role is to organise group mentoring, where local business and organisations provide adult mentors to mentor students from local Secondary schools.

Passionate about mentoring and the incredibly positive impact it can have for everyone involved, Ceri initiated and ran a company-wide mentoring programme as part of every employee’s learning journey and set up voluntary mentoring opportunities for senior directors to mentor in schools. Ceri has also been a voluntary Prince’s Trust mentor and British Red Cross trainer and is currently on track to complete an ILM Mentoring and Coaching Qualification.

Ceri has a long-standing career in the education sector, starting out as a secondary English teacher before working up to senior management level in the education recruitment sector. After obtaining an MSc in Occupational Psychology, Ceri moved away from the Operations side to embrace her love of people development and most recently has been heading up Learning and Development in a large education recruitment company.

Having just moved to Bristol with her husband, Ceri is thoroughly enjoying exploring the music and food scene and thrilled to have already joined a few bands to play her clarinet.

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Gilly Samuddin

Gilly has joined Ablaze as Project Manager having previously worked as a primary school teacher for 10 years and then in the voluntary sector as the children & young people’s network coordinator in Bath & North East Somerset, working with local charities supporting children & young people.

She has a passion for helping children find a love for learning through fun and innovative ways and enjoys seeing kids faces light up when they feel a sense of achievement.

Gilly lives with her husband and two children in Bath and enjoys baking, holidays and relaxing with a book in the sun!

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Flora Hodgson

Flora is our Project Coordinator. She started with Ablaze in June 2022, after two years of working in health and social care. With experience of support work, she is practised in supporting young people and adults with additional needs and learning difficulties. Flora is also a trained horticulturist and has experience in facilitating horticulture in a therapeutic setting. She is passionate about encouraging people to connect with nature and benefit from time spent amongst it.

Flora lives in Bristol and loves wild swimming and traveling in her van on the weekends.

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Vicki Gibbs

Vicki is Ablaze’s Finance Manager, having joined Ablaze in January 2017 to help with Administration and Finance.

Vicki has worked for a number of large companies, including KPMG in Leeds, Aviva in York and GE Commercial Finance in Sydney Australia. Vicki also spent a year teaching English in Prague and has lived in Bristol since 2008. Vicki came to Ablaze with experience working with charities having been a volunteer treasurer for a local branch of a charity, as well as helping to establish a local charity in 2013.

Vicki lives with her husband and two sons and enjoys crochet, jigsaws and getting up ridiculously early to go to the gym!

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Lucy Beattie

Lucy is a fundraising consultant who has worked with Ablaze since 2019. She has over 20 years of experience of working with large and small charities, specialising in working with the education sector. She works to help charities target their fundraising efforts to maximise income from trusts, grants, corporate donations and events and appeals.

Lucy lives in Bath with her three daughters and loves to travel, do yoga and make the most of her local community.

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Helen Farmer

Helen Farmer is a consultant who works with Ablaze.

Helen recruits and trains mentors from a wide variety of businesses and organisations to work with teenagers in schools across Bristol and Bath, whether for the Group Mentoring – 6 sessions in a company – or in-house mentoring support 1-2 sessions. Helen enjoys working with mentors keen to give up their time and share their experience with young people, as well as learning what life, school and work is like for teenagers, and what we can do to better support them.

Helen is a self-confessed Warrior for Justice and Digital Explorer – for social good and making work and the workplace better for women, and better for everyone.

Contact Helen Farmer