Thanks to sponsorship from the East of England Co-op. We were able to offer 1-2-1 Speed mentoring to women of all ages at the festival. See below for the wide range of mentors who were available on the day to speak to.
Also stay tuned for updates on future mentoring projects.
Stef Thorne – Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre
Stef works at the University of Suffolk and leads the Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship team and the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC). Stef is a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange. Stef is passionate about the economic impact of higher education institutions and supporting diversity in entrepreneurship. She founded the Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship (SCFE) in 2016 to act as a focal point for supporting diversity in entrepreneurship through events, knowledge exchange and research. Stef is a Governor for a local primary school in Ipswich with responsibility for the Curriculum Committee and STEM and is keen that girls are encouraged and inspired to engage in science and innovation. Stef is a full time Mum of four children and devotes her time to raising them in the beautiful county of Suffolk where she was also born.
Red Cactus Media
Remi Morrison, founder of Red Cactus Media is a Nigerian/British producer who has credits including music videos, feature films, corporate videos and short films. With over 7 years in music/media PR where she has worked for companies such as Global Radio, home of some of the biggest radio stations in the U.K such as Capital FM; FOX Channel and Purple PR where she worked on campaigns for national artists and LoveBox Weekender. She moved to the area and after find a lack of creative companies that met her skills set she created Red Cactus Media and encorporated video production in her business. Her work and clients are focused in East Anglia and getting young people, especially young women into the industry is a big passion of hers.
I have a positive outlook on life and feel I can help others find and develop their skills, capabilities and understand what success means to them. I balance work with caring for 3 adults with different needs. I have experience of work in Retail, Financial Services, Telecommunications as well as the Education sector and my passion is helping young people, particularly young women succeed.
Chief Superintendent, Suffolk Police Constabulary
Tonya joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1996. She has served in both uniform and detective roles up to her current rank of Chief Superintendent where she holds the post of County Policing Commander.
Tonya describes herself as a career detective as much of her service has been in detective roles, predominantly in Safeguarding. She has been involved in some high profile cases managing investigations involving Child Abuse; Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Children (SUDIC); Adult Abuse; Honour Base Abuse; Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking.
As chair of the Suffolk Association of Women in Policing (SAWP) Tonya has a keen interest in diversity in policing.
Bal has been campaigning on issues of violence towards BAME people since 2008 and shares her own experience of a forced marriage with others to raise awareness, reduce the isolation of victims and increase reporting. She describes herself as an ‘empowered survivor’ -her darkest past being now ‘her greatest possession’.
Bal worked for Suffolk Constabulary for 7 years to combat Honour-based Violence and is now a trainer on Domestic and Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage, FGM, Modern Slavery and addiction across the UK.
At the first BME Suffolk Business Awards she was announced winner of the ‘Judges Special Award’ and nominated as Business Person of the Year.
Shayra is the Centre Manager at the Bangladeshi Support Centre, where she is a source of support, advocacy and advice for 40 different local communities.
Franstine was determined to provide for her children and improve her own prospects, so worked in many jobs while studying for her Chartered Institute of Personnel Development qualification. She worked for Suffolk County Council and ISCRE before developing her own training business delivering programmes on race, gender, disability, bullying, harassment and discrimination.
In 2008, she began working for Suffolk Constabulary diversity unit to improve its practice and aspirations and through this she became the first woman and first civilian ever to be elected president of the National Black Police Organisation.
Nowadays she also provides coaching and mentoring and is a dynamic and engaging public speaker as well as a champion for equality and diversity.
Rohima is an interview coach and resource manager for KCOM with a background in Psychology and Management. She is also trained to support individuals at Lighthouse.
Tonia Wilson, a Project Manager with Volunteering Matters, is an inspirational role model who runs an extraordinary project: Women Against Sexual exploitation Speak Up (WASSUP) This supports marginalised young victims of crime to become safe and to inform others to learn from their experiences.
She has taken an approach which has been empathetic, non-judgemental and selfless to provide an initial point of safety for these victims whilst they grow the strength to move away from danger.
Tonia has inspired many young victims to become survivors and to move into education, training, volunteering or employment. She believes that victims should not be defined by their past but instead to be empowered to move on, head up and proud. Inspiring and coaching others to do the same.
Julie Bateman-Evans recently retired as an Assistant Director after 35 years working in social care. Her main specialisms are mental health and adult services but over the years she’s probably worked in or managed most types of social work provision as well as spending a good stint in social work education. She is an original member of the Ipswich Women’s Festival group and sits on the action group for the WVWV100 festival. Julie recently became a magistrate and would love to see more young people apply to sit on the Ipswich bench especially as a third to a half of current JP’s will shortly be retiring. She trained as an executive coach and mentor with the Institute of Public Management and is passionate about supporting peoples development. However being a parent to 3 young adults with different interests and talents keeps her in touch with not only how tough it can be out there to follow those dreams but how important it is to realise your true potential.