Meet the Team
At BLESST, we're a passionate group of young individuals committed to creating positive change in the lives of youths from marginalized communities. We believe in the potential of every young person, regardless of their background, and we're dedicated to empowering them with valuable skills for the future. Our team shares a common vision of providing a safe and nurturing environment where these youths can freely express themselves, learn, and grow. Together, we're working tirelessly to challenge stereotypes and unlock the incredible potential that society might overlook. Join us on this journey of transformation and empowerment.
CEO & Operational Managing Director
Richard is a dedicated and accomplished professional with extensive experience in youth and community engagement. With a solid academic foundation, including a master's degree in Youth and Community Development, he combines theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. Richard's leadership journey began at a young age, and he deeply understands the challenges marginalised groups face. As a youth and community lead organizer specialist and operational managing director, he has successfully led initiatives promoting youth leadership, inclusivity, social justice, and positive change. His exceptional organizational acumen and visionary leadership, in collaboration with Dr. Marin Glynn, have resulted in increased productivity and sustainable growth for BLESST CIC. Richard's passion, dedication, and ability to connect with diverse individuals make him an inspiring force in youth and community development.
Richard's commitment to creating positive change and fostering social cohesion is unwavering. His exceptional interpersonal skills and motivation of teams and individuals empower them to reach their full potential. His invaluable contributions to Blesst's organization and the wider community exemplify his dedication to leaving a lasting legacy for others to follow and access. Richard continues to be a driving force in the realm of youth and community development, making a significant impact in empowering young people and transforming communities.
Director of Community Engagement
I grew up in inner-city Birmingham in the 80s and 90s and as a child, I felt part of a community. It is clear that over the years, our idea of “community" has changed. I am passionate about community development and reform, Black femininity, and Motherhood.
My role at BLESST is heavily influenced by my lived experience and Black studies degree, both have solidified the importance of transferring the knowledge learned within the ivory tower to the broader community. During the last 5 years, we have conducted research with NHS, Birmingham City Council, Aston University, and other institutions. The ultimate goal is to create a safe space where lived experiences and theory complement each other in a positive manner.
Director of Youth in community
My journey began with education. The ups and downs and the failures that impact our young people. I started mentoring, coaching and empowering young people from disadvantaged and marginalised communities within inner city Birmingham. I went on to train and become a community organiser with Citizens UK, whilst studying academia. I was mentored and trained in the role of Youth and Community by Richard Campbell and Dr Martin Glynn and have been privileged to get a position to be trained as a Youth Director for BLESST CIC.
Lead Youth & Coach Leader
As someone that commits to self and communal empowerment, I hold the utmost importance on leaving a positive impact in the world through whichever tools I am able to use. The Blesst Centre has been a perfect platform to actualise my dreams and have impact through the skills that I gained, including understanding the importance of critical thinking, creativity in learning and also having a safe space.
Meeting my mentors Richard Campbell and Martin Glynn helped to nurture my confidence and transitioned me into becoming a leader through myself being a mentor to help others recognise their greatness through creative learning, empowering young people to actualise their own dreams and building their skills while also improving mine. I have also been given the tools to become a community organiser, recognising that building relations with other organisations circulates power in the community through collaboration and fighting for social justice; creating a cycle of positive movement leading to legacy.
Head of Music mentor and Technical engineer
Wayne McKenzie, also known as Genius, is Head of Music at BLESST. With his extensive qualifications as a Music Composer/Producer and Audio & IT Engineer, including a BSC in Creative Music Technology and a Level 3 Diploma in IT. Beyond his title, he channels his passion for music into transforming the lives of young people as a youth mentor, utilising innovative and creative interventions that empower young people
Senior Youth Mentor
Hello, I'm Ramone, a Youth Mentor at Blesst since 2022. I've run three diverse businesses and I'm pursuing an MBA in entrepreneurship. With over a decade of experience as a championship-winning National League Basketball Player, I've learned vital life skills.
Beyond sports, I'm a creative soul who finds inspiration in motivational speakers, podcasts, music, and spoken word. I've personally experienced the impact of mentoring, which is why I actively seek it from my peers and the community.
My mission at Blesst is to empower young people to reach their potential. Let's create an environment where they can thrive. Join me on this journey of growth and success!
Head of Professional music composing / Sound engineer
Started playing music at the age of ten, performing at school and church learning a range of instruments like Drums, guitar, keyboards, bass, and brass instruments like the trombone and trumpet. After years of playing in the church, Vince left to become a professional and started out with a George Benson tribute. This was the start of Vince's professional career. He has played and shared the stage with a lot of professional artists to name a few: Musical Youths, Ub40, Apache Indian, Eek a Mouse, Frankie Paul, and Freddy Mcgregor.
The theatre is also where Vince has applied his skills. He was a performer for Banner Theatre which is a political touring theatre company based in Birmingham. Music production is also another skill Vince has. He is one of the heads of music at Blesst Studios.
Youth Mentor and Coach
I am a sessional worker and part of the Mentor and Coaching team at Blesst. As a former placement student, who studied a BA Hons in Childhood Youth and Education Studies in October 2022, there have been many rich and invaluable skills and experiences that have shaped me and developed my practice on this journey. I have had the honour of receiving mentorship from Richard Campbell and Martin Glynn, who have encouraged, empowered and equipped me to overcome challenges especially ones that arose through academic studies or leading and facilitating small group sessions.
When I officially joined the Blesst team in January 2023, I was presented with more opportunities to further my development through learning and engaging with different communities and organisations. For example, Citizens UK and Birmingham stories, which I helped in supporting their campaign and bringing awareness to their cause. Being part of this family has helped me feel seen, supported and heard. I value how we truly hold each other up and teach young people to show up for each other by nurturing a space that makes them feel safe to embrace new challenges and build their resilience when faced with academic difficulties.
Youth Mentor and Program Coordinator
I am a dedicated and passionate professional with a strong commitment to youth and community development alongside a degree in International Relations and Politics. My career has been driven by a desire to create positive and lasting impacts on the lives of young people and the communities they belong to.
Over the course of time I have gained valuable experience working in various roles within the youth and community sector:
I have served as a Youth Program Coordinator, where I designed and implemented engaging and educational programs tailored to the unique needs and interests of young people. These programs have ranged from leadership development initiatives to recreational activities that promote teamwork and social skills.
My experience as a Youth Mentor has allowed me to build meaningful relationships with young individuals, providing them with guidance, support, and a safe space to explore their potential. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of mentorship in shaping the future of our young children
Film and Media Coach
My name is Aaron Wiggins and I have been working with Blesst for several years as part of the film and media team. After graduating from Nottingham Trent University, with a First Class Honours in Broadcast Journalism, I embarked on my media journey working in film and TV. Since working with Blesst, we have produced a number of short films and documentaries on community issues (such as the lack of black donors in the NHS and the Engaging Environments project with Earthwatch). We have also been a part of several Blesst projects with young people - developing their skills in media and film. Working with young people in video, we have seen them develop in skills and grow in confidence. Many young people that we work with, struggle academically but instead have natural creative skills. Our resources, enable us to cultivate those skills - increasing their confidence in the process by getting young people comfortable in being both in front of and behind the camera as well as teaching them editing skills.
Youth Leader Advisory Board
Dedication, Expertise, Passion and Youth
"Young people should be at the forefront of global and community change and innovation, empowered, they cna be key agents for development and peace. If , however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. So lets ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of there societies.
BLESST Youth Advisory Leader Board comprises of young individuals, who provide a mixture of productive elements in the growth of the young community. BLESST YLAB comprises individuals who attend diverse educational institutions including schools and colleges. However, they are unified by a shared aspiration to witness the growth and development of their community, which serves as a common thread that binds them together.
The youth Board’s mission and goals are guided by the BLESST Directors, and Youth Board young people voices and co decision making through board meetings, community listening events, community organising, social actions and research to help and support, youth, young people and families within the local communities of Birmingham.
When I joined Blesst Ylab, my confidence was impacted a lot. I have gained a big responsibility within Blesst Ylab. It has been a great journey so far with the others in Ylab and we have created strong friendships. Blesst Ylab has helped me with my well-being in very positive ways and helped me understand issues within society in more depth.
When I joined Blesst Ylab, I've learnt a variety of things. One of the main things I've improved on is public speaking and my confidence around new people. By joining Ylab, I've had the opportunity to join multiple youth projects that range from educational and academical research, to social actions and youth leadership. My mentors have been very helpful in my journey and they've helped me through exam stress or just any difficulties I experience overall.
Ever since I joined Blesst Ylab, my confidence has improved drastically and my emotional well-being has been impacted in a very positive way. My mentors have helped me develop new skills and have supported me through very stressful times like balancing my time between education and Blesst. I have been involved in various projects that raised awareness of serious problems such as asthma and climate change
By joining Blesst Ylab, I feel like I've grown to be a more confident person and I am able to express myself more by helping others. I have developed my own boundaries and learned more about myself through my fellow friends in Blesst Ylab and the help of the staff.
As of joining Ylab I have been given a plethora of opportunities. I was able to learn new things and grow as a person. Ylab has been like a family to me. The mentors have been there for everyone all the time, through thick and thin. We are a tight-knit community with open arms. I am proud to be Ylab.
Throughout my experience in Blesst Ylab, I have developed confidence and communication skills. Blesst Ylab has given me opportunities such as youth inspector and asthma project. By being part of these projects, I have advanced my knowledge and skills.
In Blesst I have gained a big boost of confidence. I have learned how much potential I have. I learnt how to appreciate my life and myself. I learnt to appreciate everyone else and I have learnt to be a better person.
India Swaran Bogle
At BLESST I feel my confidence has improved massively. My time at BLESST YLAB has been great and the listening has helped my self-confidence and self-esteem. I love coming to BLESST and I’m disappointed when I do not get to go. I am grateful for BLESST because I have grown massively as a person. I was very shy and not a very social person before BLESST but I am a more social person.
Since I joined YLAB, it has been an incredible journey. I have learned many valuable skills which have advanced me as an individual such as learning to become a role models for my peers and younger children. I have also learnt resilience and gained more confidence whilst being in BLESST YLAB The confidence was gained in public speaking at events.