Ceri Bowers – West of England Mentoring Project Manager

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 recently 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.

Contact Ceri Bowers

Ablaze staff

WEM is part of Ablaze.

Ablaze exists to tackle inequality of opportunity for young people in the West of England region.

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.

Contact Sally Melvin

Catherine Correia

Catherine is Ablaze’s Primary Project Manager, leading on primary schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Catherine brokers relationships between businesses & schools to support local children with reading & numeracy and the provision of role models.

Catherine’s background is in the corporate sector, most recently in a top UK law firm, managing their community engagement programme which involved forging several partnerships between the firm and third sector organisations (including Ablaze!). Passionate about social mobility, Catherine set up a bespoke work experience programme for Yr 10 -Yr 12 students with the guiding principle “Talent is Everywhere, Opportunity isn’t”. Catherine has previously worked for another small education charity and therefore knows both sectors well.
Catherine lives with her husband and two teenage children and loves reading cookbooks & testing out new recipes, as well as walking, cycling and singing.

Contact Catherine Correia

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 of which she is still the Treasurer and a Trustee.

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

Contact Vicki Gibbs

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