The Reach Group

Get to know us

Founded in February 2019, REACH Essex is an organisation that aims to support vulnerable children and young people whose behaviour, anxieties or other factors impact upon their wellbeing and achievements. REACH seeks to support them to realise their full potential and help them flourish. 


We support children and young people from five to seventeen years of age, including children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. 

Reach Essex ltd. office

Our experience

Our multi-agency staff have extensive experience in statutory Social Care, Education, Youth Offending and Emotional Wellbeing Services. We understand that every child is unique with different needs and personal circumstances. For this reason, we provide bespoke support, tailored to the individual needs of each child and young person, utilising the broad range of skills and knowledge held by our team. As an organisation, we adopt a strength-based model and incorporate a whole family approach to our interventions. 


We’re proud that our service has grown considerably since it was founded; we have achieved numerous positive outcomes for children, young people and their families, evidenced by tremendous feedback from children, parents and professionals. 

Thrive - We Embrace the Thrive approach in our setting

Thrive is grounded in established neuroscience, attachment theory and child development, the Thrive Approach has been developed over the past 25 years and draws on a wealth of experience in social work, psychotherapy and education.

Thrive provides practitioners with the tools, skills and insights needed to help children and young people become more emotionally resilient and better placed to engage with learning and life.

Thrive enables us to meet are young people and children where they are at and provide them with the right intervention at the right time that will give them the opportunities to grow and flourish, ensuring that they know they are special. It’s important to remember that Success is built upon belief.

Thrive with children

Using the Thrive Approach during childhood helps to support the optimal social and emotional development of all children. It also enables you to work in a targeted way with pupils who may have experienced interruptions in their development at an earlier stage, helping them to become ready for learning.

The benefits of Thrive in childhood

  • Offers simple changes to the way you work that will make a lasting difference to children

  • Provides practical strategies and activities to support optimal social and emotional development

  • Profiles emotional and social skills and creates personalised action plans for individuals who struggle to access learning.

  • Helps vulnerable or distressed children to feel safe, special and able to engage with learning

  • Provides simple and effective ways to help reduce exclusions and increase productive learning and achievement.

Thrive with adolescence

Young people experience a burst in brain development, a changing body and challenging transitions as they progress on their journey to adulthood. This phase of development offers an amazing window of opportunity to help them become more emotionally resilient and open to learning.

The Thrive Approach enables you to seize the opportunities of adolescence and create a safe and emotionally healthy environment for the young people in your setting. Through Thrive our practitioners are equipped with the skills to help young people, and there colleagues, understand and respond appropriately to the ups and downs of adolescence.

The benefits of Thrive in adolescence

  • Provides an in-depth understanding of adolescent brain development and the impact this can have on wellbeing and behaviour

  • Helps young people understand the changes happening in their brains and bodies during adolescence

  • Offers right-time and reparative support for adolescent social and emotional development

  • Provides action plans that can be implemented to support the needs of students who struggle to access learning

  • Creates an environment where young people and staff can feel safe, supported and able to thrive.

Our vision

For us, success means unleashing the potential of everyone we engage with. We strive to help young people become better versions of themselves by supporting their growth and development each day. We want to plant a seed of kindness and compassion in a generation that will produce resilience, encourage hope and enable them to fulfil their own destinies. 


Through our wide range of services, we aim to enrich the lives of children, young people and their families. We aspire to fill them with hope, offer support and stability during the times they need it most, and encourage them to envision a brighter future. Our team works tirelessly to provide children and young people with the social and emotional resources needed to help them fulfil their full potential. 

Our Values

Here at REACH, our values are grounded in our determination to be the change we want to see in the world. Through passion, commitment and integrity, we’re committed to helping young people flourish. It’s important that each member of our organisation truly believes in our mission and shares our values. This is why our values form a core part of our selection and recruitment process. 

  • Respect

  • Enthusiasm

  • Aspiration

  • Commitment

  • Hard Work

Our Principles

Combined with our fundamental REACH values, we have guiding principles that provide our staff members with a broad philosophy that emcompasses our personal beliefs. 

  • Child-centred Decision Making

    Here at REACH, the children we work with are at the heart of everything we do. We believe that it’s vital that each decision is made with a conscious consideration of what is best for the particular young person, or group of young people, that it affects. 



  • No Limiting Beliefs

    Limiting beliefs are the things that you believe about yourself and can ultimately place limitations on your abilities. They are subconscious thoughts that creep in and tell you that something is not possible. We help young people overcome any existing limiting beliefs and implement strategies that can help build self-esteem and confidence. 

  • Lead by Example

    It’s imperative that every staff member at REACH acts in a way that demonstrates the correct way to behave. We believe that this is especially important when it comes to respect, enthusiasm, aspirations, commitment and hard work. 



  • Growth

    Growth is an integral part of our mission which is why we have created a culture where both professionals and children are provided with opportunities to be the best version of themselves. 




Meet the team

Gemma Quantrill

Director of Operations

Gemma has worked across education services for 15 years with a particular specialism within children with SEMH needs. Gemma is held in the highest regard in Essex for her roles within Pupil Referral Units, mainstream schools, schools with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and has previously been a head teacher of an independent SEMH school within Essex. Gemma has a vast experience of overseeing the delivery of bespoke packages of educational support to students with complex needs leading to outstanding outcomes for students within the organisations she has worked within. Gemma is also a Thrive Practitioner and has imbedded this approach within Reach Essex.


Gemma Quantrill

Director of Operations

James Bennett

Finance Director

Qualified accountant, James is the founder of J-Benn Finance Ltd.  James left the banking industry after 12 years to set up an accountancy practice providing effective, cost-efficient Accounting, Payroll, and Advisory services in Essex.

James Bennett

Finance Director

Alex Waterfield

Human Resources Consultant

A qualified HR and Training professional, Alex set up her own consultancy business, Absolute and HR Training Services, in 2017 providing HR and Training solutions to the everyday workplace dilemmas faced by business owners. With over 30 years experience, Alex specialises in offering sensible, real-life solutions to challenging employee and business related situations.  

Alex Waterfield

Human Resources Consultant

Sarah Ainslie

Business Coordinator

Sarah has sound background knowledge around business, administration, and children. She is a qualified dance teacher and has previously run her own business owning a stage school focusing on children ages 3 – 18 years, some of which had complex needs. She is patient, understanding, empathetic and a good listener.  Sarah covers all areas of the business side of Reach and is enthusiastic about what the future holds for the organisation.

 

Sarah Ainslie

Business Coordinator

Nicola Overland

Education Lead

Nicki has extensive experience of teaching across primary and secondary settings. She has undertaken Thrive training and imbeds this approach in all her work with children and young people. Nicki has vast experience of working with children and young people with SEND needs. 

Nicola Overland

Education Lead

Alex Brown

Mentor Lead

Alex has a recognised specialism in delivering mentoring and bespoke programmes to children and young people at risk of child exploitation. Alex has managed and delivered programmes in Essex and several London authorities and boasts and has outstanding outcomes for the children and young people he has supported.

Alex Brown

Mentor Lead

Shannon Montgomery

Therapeutic Lead

 Shannon draws upon her experience from a counselling and mental health background to support her in this role. She was awarded her BSc in Counselling in July 2021 and is soon to be a registered member of the BACP. She has worked with various education provisions and charities to provide counselling for young people suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD and OCD. 

Shannon Montgomery

Therapeutic Lead

Oliver Nash

Senior Mentor

Ollie has a vast amount of experience working across both Social Care and Education settings. He has a specialism of working with children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. Ollie also specialises in interventions and support with children with Autism and additional needs.

Oliver Nash

Senior Mentor

Ahmed Khan

Senior Mentor

‘My experience is in coaching and managing high performing and diverse teams, particularly skilled in personal and professional development. I like to see the hope and opportunity in the people I meet. The focus on real change, real outcomes and real impact was what attracted me to help make a real difference with Reach Essex’. 

Ahmed Khan

Senior Mentor

Jamie Skipper

Senior Mentor

I have over 18 years experience working with young people. My journey started In Bermondsey working with local gangs. My role was to deliver boxing and personal development to young people in the area, with The vision of getting kids off the street and back into school or college. Within the same year I was asked to life coach at jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation.

Jamie Skipper

Senior Mentor

Lucy Christie

Therapeutic Mentor

I'm experienced in working with education across many different specialisms including children with disabilities and children in care and leaving care. These experiences have helped my passion to deliver positive outcomes for children.

Lucy Christie

Therapeutic Mentor

Melissa Etheridge

Tutor and Quality Assurance

I am a qualified teacher and have been in the teaching profession for over 21 years. I recently chose to dedicate my time to my passion- providing bespoke approaches to education for young people.

Melissa Etheridge

Tutor and Quality Assurance

Ewan Harding-Payne

Tutor

I’m a tutor with experience on working with SEN, I feel passionately that everybody should be entitled to an education and to receive this in a way that suits them. I joined REACH to be part of the change in education that is strongly needed’

Ewan Harding-Payne

Tutor

Simon Spencer

Tutor / Mentor

Simon Spencer

Tutor / Mentor

Keely Harrison

Tutor

I am a dedicated and organised qualified teacher with 20 years of experience. I enjoy teaching and working with children to support their learning and increase their self-confidence and resilience. I have experience of working with students with identified SEN and will continue to support them.

Keely Harrison

Tutor

Jacqueline Brown

Tutor

Jacqueline Brown

Tutor

Joanne Maguire

Tutor

I am a qualified teacher with over 22 years of experience, teaching in primary, secondary and SEN settings. I have taught students with hearing impairment, autism, SEMH, moderate learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD. I am passionate about students having opportunities and support to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Joanne Maguire

Tutor

Ian Sinnott

Tutor

I have been a teacher/mentor for the past 22 years and have taught English, maths, Functional Skills and English GCSE for the past five years.  If a child is given the right tools to carry out their studies, they will succeed in achieving their dreams.

  

Ian Sinnott

Tutor

Virginia Smith

Tutor

As a qualified teacher, I have experience in primary and secondary settings, working with students of all types of backgrounds, needs and personalities. I am passionate about young people finding enjoyment and pride in what they do and being a helping hand in allowing them to grow.

Virginia Smith

Tutor

Sue Beasant

Tutor

Sue Beasant

Tutor

Robin Hance

Tutor / Mentor

I have spent the last 30 years working within the Public Sector this involved numerous roles primarily providing support to the most vulnerable in the Essex Community. The last 5 years saw me working with young people providing support and engagement liaising with other Care providers.

Robin Hance

Tutor / Mentor

Emma Gardner

Tutor

Emma Gardner

Tutor

Matthew Campbell

Tutor

Matthew Campbell

Tutor

Cheryl Steadman

Mentor

Cheryl Steadman

Mentor

Sally Carter

Therapeutic Assistant Mentor

I have experience in running creative workshops and believe that everyone can enjoy being creative in their own individual way. I am invested in my journey with REACH and delivering bespoke interventions to meet the needs of each child.

Sally Carter

Therapeutic Assistant Mentor

Sophie Crispin

Therapeutic Assistant Mentor

I work for Reach as an Assistant Mentor to support children in developing life skills and accessing education. Helping others to get the best start in life is my passion and I look forward to meeting every new person that comes through the door.

Sophie Crispin

Therapeutic Assistant Mentor

Natasha Mangus

Learning Mentor

Natasha Mangus

Learning Mentor

Deborah Taylor

Learning Mentor

I have been working in education for over 20 years both in mainstream and special schools. My passion is for enabling all children to have opportunities and access to positive outcomes. This passion has led me to leave the classroom and provide bespoke experiences for children to learn, grow and achieve.

Deborah Taylor

Learning Mentor

Hannah Leslie

Learning Mentor

Since graduating from the University of Lincoln with a first class Psychology degree, I have pursued my passion to support children and young people. I am keen to use my knowledge and experience working directly with students with Special Educational Needs to improve access to education and build self-confidence. 

 

Hannah Leslie

Learning Mentor

Ellie Shepherd

Assistant Mentor

Ellie Shepherd

Assistant Mentor

Arran Taylor

Assistant Mentor

Arran Taylor

Assistant Mentor

Roni Winch

Assistant Mentor

I am passionate in supporting young people/students to REACH their full potential in their educational and personal journeys. I have experience of working and engaging successfully with children in pupil referral units and children with special educational needs.

 

Roni Winch

Assistant Mentor

Chris Dabrowski

Nurture Tutor

I have been teaching with in Primary settings and  working within Secondary Schools since 2013. I have run mens football teams and enjoy watching Football and American Sports. Proud Dad and dog owner.

Chris Dabrowski

Nurture Tutor

Suzie Taylor

Nurture assistant mentor

Suzie Taylor

Nurture assistant mentor

Darcie Bowyer

Junior Administrator

Darcie Bowyer

Junior Administrator

Shannon Coombs

Junior Administrator

Before I worked at reach, I worked in the care profession I am passionate about helping people, I work for reach as a Junior Administrator Assistant. Since joining the team I have taken several courses including Autism Awareness, Safeguarding young people and ADHD Awareness to name but a few. It’s a pleasure supporting the staff who assist the children and young adults.

Shannon Coombs

Junior Administrator