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Raise Your Game 2020-12-14T19:34:32+00:00

Supportive strategies to GROW your Business!

Knowing how to keep your business going can be tough. How do you decide what your priorities are and how to strategise to create growth?

At Croydon BME Forum, we want to support business start-ups to navigate those early stages and provide an understanding of how to build a viable business.  The Raise Your Game Programme worked with 16 organisations to do just that.  It gave each of them attention and help with capacity building as long as their business needs responded to or met the local needs within the Croydon community; they were working towards improving their financial planning, service delivery, governance and management and their turnover was 50k or below.

The sixteen organisations were fully engaged in the programme over the five weeks and 100% of participants rated the course ‘very good’ with the overwhelming majority of participants reporting that their expectations were either ‘fully met’ or ‘partially met’: 57% and 43% respectively we had a 100% overall satisfaction rating.

Please find further information about a selection of the participating organisations below:

Angélique Vassel is the Founder of WalkwithMeUK, a CIC that equips Parents, Carers, Foster Carers and Guardians with strategies and tools to practically manage challenges

such as violent, aggressive, controlling, destructive, self-harm behaviours from their children and young people that are often linked to e.g. school exclusions, special educational needs, grooming and child exploitation. They strengthen and rebuild relationships within families and communities using the Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) approach to create an enriched and harmonious lifestyle.

Tell us about what you do?
WalkwithMeUK offers Peer to Peer Group Sessions, Information Workshops, 1:1 Support,
Emergency Advice and Advocacy. Those that have graduated have the opportunity to
attend a monthly NVR Support Club to share ideas, be supported and to support each other.
The Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) approach is a principle that was used by Martin Luther
King, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi and is now used within schools, families and
communities. As well as equipping those mentioned above, we also train professionals to
use it (staff development).
We want to increase our reach to the wider community remotely and make a positive
difference in as many families as we possibly can. Long term we want to be known as a non-
judgmental approachable grass roots organisation that strengthens and rebuilds relations
within families and communities, to reduce conflict, regain love, empathy, respect and
encourage families to remain connected. We also want to enable as many families within
communities to live an enriched and harmonious lifestyle.

What made you want to start your business?
In 2014 I was given an opportunity to work with parents using the Non-Violent Resistance
(NVR) approach with a peer to peer Domestic Violent Support Group of parents that had
challenges with their partners and children. Having first-hand knowledge of using the tools,
I was able to apply my lived experience and intensive training offering reassurance and
comfort to these highly vulnerable parents literally guiding them in how to apply the tools
on a daily basis. Over time, these parent’s lives started to blossom and for one parent, they
were in a particular situation that was really difficult. I practically had to plead with her to
hang on in there. I told her “You can do this, if you Walk with Me you will see change”. This
is the closing of her lengthy testimony ….
“I will never be able to thank Angelique enough for her help. There are no words to
describe how she helped me to live again. Myself, my children and my immediate family
are forever grateful to the lady who I walked alongside, who got us through a nightmare
when we felt alone, isolated and demoralised by not only my ex but by every other agency
and government body. Because of Angelique, I am now living in light as now I am able to
look after my family, work and socialise”.

What is your purpose?
Our purpose is to increase better education outcomes and reduce the number of young
people being at risk of entering the criminal justice system. We do this by equipping parent
carers, guardians and professionals with the principles/tools of the NVR approach to create
peace. Our motto is ‘Connection before Correction’ which is paramount to promote the
cycle of positive change within families and communities.
Are there any current projects that you want to share and promote?
We deliver the following which are scheduled online:
○ Innovative and Interactive Parent Group Programme for 5 weeks Online to Learn the NVR tools.
○ Information workshops of how we work with parents

For more information/referrals and commissioned projects contact

What value do you bring to the community?
By equipping parent, carers, guardian and professionals with the NVR tools it enables
safer and less destructive communities. Creating awareness of their surroundings and what
is taking place in society, we Initiate best practice to address serious youth violence,
encourage a better understanding of what potentially could be creating barriers, reduce
conflict, guilt, blame and shame.  We work with other organisations to support the wider
family’s needs.

What did you hope to gain from being on the Raise Your Game Programme?
Since taking part in the Raise your Game Programme I feel more confident with the
governance aspect of running a business and have a better insight and understanding of
running a business effectively without making things too complicated.

What business tip/advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Follow your dream and passion. There are many ways to set up a business, with the
right guidance you can only but strive for what you believe in. You only live once –
go for it and embrace every moment!!!!
Having the BME Forums support, belief and trusting in what I do, gave me the
opportunity to progress onto another level.

Diane Rouillon is the Assistant Director of Centre of Change: Counselling, Mentoring and Tutoring Service. Their purpose is to eradicate the barriers to excellent mental health care

that exist due to socio-economic divisions and to make high quality personal development services accessible to all in the community.

Tell us about what you do?
•  Centre of Change was started some 12 years ago as a community organisation in response to the need for reasonably priced professional counselling in the area.
• Our vision is to normalise mental health so that stigmas around it are challenged and broken. The value we bring to the community is excellent mental health provision and self-development
• Our strategy for the next 3-5 years is to expand our service team and also expand our client base to ensure we are better serving harder to reach and vulnerable
groups within our community.
Any current projects that you want to share/ promote?
• Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies is a core value within our organisation. In conjunction with Sport England and Croydon Voluntary Action, we started a 12-week online exercise programme called Fit and Flexi. Although the programme is already underway (Sept 30 – Dec 26 th inclusive), please contact X for more information.
What did you hope to gain from being on the Raise Your Game Programme?
• We have been going for 12 years but due to organic growth and increased demand for our services, we only started to focus on formal business expansion strategies about 2 years ago. By joining the RYG programme, I hoped to pick up some hints and tips about fundraising, bid-writing and general pointers for running a business effectively.
What business tip/advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
• Have the right team around you from the start.
• Take risks and believe in yourself.
• Perseverance and resilience are a must as there will be many knockbacks and false starts along the way.
• Never give up
• Never be afraid or too proud to ask for help from those who have gone before you.

Masked Men have been running for one year and gained a place on the Raise Your Game programme with the hope of networking with other charities.

They offer a community outreach service that addresses inequalities faced by migrant men and with the help of professional advisers and volunteers, Masked Men works to address mental health issues and promoted an early intervention approach.

Masked Men also run community integration workshops to encourage the elimination of discrimination faced by migrant men.  They are currently running a monthly zoom programme addressing addictions among migrant men and the impact on their families.

They bring value to the community by organising events that provide one to one counselling services to migrant men in the community, raising awareness of the impact of substance addiction and promoting an early intervention approach to addressing the mental wellbeing of migrant men.  Their long-term vision is for their outreach services to impact all communities within London and its surrounding areas.

The business tip Masked Men would you give to other entrepreneurs is: “Be prepared to learn”.

Contact details:                                                                                  


Mobile: 07983 405 700

Hugh and Karen Hill are a husband and wife team who collectively have over 60 years of experience working in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.

As senior managers in social work with therapeutic, Executive Diploma and Operational and Strategic Management NVQ5 qualifications, they have had a front line career specialising in child protection and providing families with tailored support and intervention services. As Operational Directors and Family Proceeding Court Experts, over the years they have developed specialisms’ in domestic violence, individually facilitating women’s and men’s groups whilst conducting both residential and community parenting assessments.
As practitioners and company directors they have used their skills, experiences and resources to create a safe environment for disaffected and hard to reach families which led to them founding Karugh ATC LTD. This is a private limited company that is keen to provide support for clients to gain access to their services from either their private or charity structures. Karugh ATC specialises in both domestic violence support and working with families to recognise abuse. It provides residential and community assistance for families that have challenges that include child protection, domestic violence and support to individuals wanting to live independently.
Karugh ATC believe in drawing on the inner strengths and knowledge of the family to find solutions. They then provide them with the means to learn how to identify and use their individual resilience within their family to make sustainable long-term changes. They aim to help families achieve their targets by providing in 1-2-1 reflection sessions, support groups, modelling, roleplay, workshops and childcare provision.
Karugh ATC like to offer opportunities to those that would normally fall through the gaps or those individuals or families that might feel they need someone to not only listen to them but offer professional guidance. They support them to recognise areas affecting their everyday life opportunities and encourage families and individuals to reflect on the need to consider whether change is in their best interest.
To compliment the services provided by Karugh ATC a team of consultants, experts and specialists are commissioned to deliver bespoke support systems or assessments.
As Croydon residents most of their lives, Hugh and Karen give back to their community by dedicating two days a week to community projects and initiatives. For the last four months they have provided weekly one-to-one sessions in both the Wellness Centre and Croydon Voluntary Action. Offering both drop-in services and appointments in a safe space has enabled individuals to talk about how they are feeling, do safety planning within abusive relationships and have conversations that can lead to nurturing a relationship to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.
Through Karugh ATC Ltd they also intend to invest in the BME community by providing intervention and support services through both their limited company and registered charity. Karugh ATC are currently working on a partnership with some of their local churches to develop a community program which will enable church members to access both the programs and groups offered.
Hugh and Karen recently completed the Raise Your Game programme with the aim of ensuring their charity is SMART and congruent with their company articles and community engagement strategy. ,
They found Karl Murray – facilitator – to be an inspiration as they felt that the course solidified their learning with both theory and the foresight to encourage peer support and group learning.
The best advice they would like to share with others is:

1. To believe in your vision
2. Trust individuals that will nurture your passion
3. Identify business partners that compliment or enhance what you are doing
‘We appreciate the supportiveness of both Andrew and Debi, without both of whom this course may have never happened. “You all recognised the need in the community and actually took a small group and raised our game.” Thanks to all those who have supported us during what has been a
difficult year for the majority.’
Karen and Hugh Hill

A talk with Caroline Townsend, Young Future Care

Strapline: We work on your past and present for a better future.

Young Future Care provides a safe place and increases the life chances for young people.  They lead the way in raising aspirations of young people and enable them to make a positive contribution to society and the world via their talents.

Young Future Care implements the Secure Based Model within their work and provides opportunities by delivering individually tailored supported living, behaviour programs, development programs and interventions to young people, aged 16+ through mentoring, education, training and other activities to enrich their lives to succeed.

Aspire and Achieve London CIC is committed to investing in the future of tomorrow

and supporting the development of young people. We work to minimise the challenges young people face and maximise their accessibility to valuable opportunities.

ASPIRE AND ACHIEVE – A Community Interest Company – The achievement of an aspiration in itself. The aspiration to establish a platform, in which we will work to support other people in identifying their aspirations and believing that they can and will achieve them despite all barriers.

bE empowerment (
Chalice Richardson is the Director of bE Educated & bE Empowerment CIC who run intervention programs and awareness workshops to highlight the dangers of

gang membership and work with young people regarding serious youth violence. Adding to his knowledge as a qualified social worker,
Chalice uses bE as a vehicle to focus on the susceptibility of being groomed and exploited and the
one-to-one mentoring helps young people to understand how they are being put at risk by gang
activity, both via their participation, and as victims of gang violence.
The vision is to create more appropriate material for infant school engagement for child-friendly
workshops that address the many social issues that have a negative bearing on the community from
pre-school and primary school age. By targeting services at an earlier age, groups at risk stand to
benefit, as the work would serve as a preventative means for those who could be easily cajoled or
influenced into criminal or undesirable lifestyles.
Tell us about what you do?
bE recognises that young people are sometimes criminalised instead of supported by some of the
institutions and organisations created to tackle gang culture and therefore has a holistic approach to
deliver a host of preventative and family-supported workshops on a variety of platforms including
secondary schools and London Local Authorities. To realise our aims, it is important for bE to see the
young people and families, not just for who they are, but also for the position they are in when our
engagement commences with them. We believe that in life, there are many situations and
circumstances which may have impacted the lives of persons with whom we come into contact. As
such, these circumstances inform our full assessments for one-to-one work and the basis for the
decision of which type of intervention is required.
bE acknowledge that children who take part in criminal activities, serious violence and other
degenerate gang activities may lack supportive families, coupled with the lack of, or absence of
positive role models to foster supportive relationships. We use an approach which supports the
wider family to work through the stages of denial and understand the levels of complexity when
their child is a gang member and may be vulnerable and potentially at risk.
Taking into consideration that the family may be unable to meet basic needs, have poor parenting
methods and negative generational cultural practices, bE sees helping with structural, institutional
and personal hurdles as an important factor. There is a need to improve relationships between
young people, their families, and communities based on respect, mutual trust, and empathy – all of
which are vital components to successful relationships.
What value do you bring to the community?
It’s not uncommon to have some individuals or even families that are reluctant to engage with
statutory services. This is often due to a possible mistrust of the intentions of such statutory
services by young people who have developed an opinion based on historical intervention, peer
influence, or second-hand information. Non-statutory organisations such as bE, have built a
reputation of trust with individuals and families, thus making us most suited to access communities,
and deliver excellent support and mentoring services whenever and wherever it is required.
What’s your strategy for the next 3-5 years?
To be an active and present force in schools, have a wider presence on community radio, have a
syndicated podcast to engage and reduce the amount of gang inductions and school drop-outs.

Are there any current projects that you want to share/ promote?
bE has ongoing parenting programmes, African-centric education, gangs work and serious youth
violence intervention – all via zoom.
What did you hope to gain from being on the Raise Your Game Programme?
Raise Your Game allowed me to be part of a community with young organisations such as bE and by
being part of the sessions, I came away feeling more confident with the support and guidance given.
Karl (the facilitator) gave some invaluable advice and it was appreciated.
What business tip/advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
• Be brave
• Promote yourself
• Give yourself time to become what you vision your organisation to be as anything that is
worth doing is worth the time and effort needed to materialise
For more information and commissioned programmes contact:

About Me
I am Juliyah Brown, the Founder ot Gold Mine Mind (GMM). I am an Author, Teacher, Trainer, Counsellor, Coach, Carer, Single parent, Mentor and
I have fused together a number of skills sets in order to create Gold Mine Mind.

How long has GMM be going for?
Just over a year now.

What does GMM mean?
I believe that our minds are like “gold” and we need to “mine” out the gold that is within our “mind” We all have so much gold to discover within and GMM, is here to help you do just that!

What is GMM’s purpose?
I saw that there was a need for women over 40+ who were going through some form of identity crisis, women who were at a “Cross roads in their lives”:-
Women who “felt lost”, Women who were questioning themselves as to what they should do not next, which way to go from here.

Women recovering from a long term illness and asking themselves now what?
Women considering at a career change, or becoming their own boss and feeling fearful and inadequate.

Women who become redundant and feeling what now?
Women now responsible for ailing parents and feeling drained and strained. Women now becoming the “Bank” for their growing children and looking, how to
make create more money to meet these growing needs. Women who were entering in, inside of, or coming out of a broken relationship with friends, family, partner, business associates, other. Namely, anyone or thing that made them feel less than who they truly are and these women are need, the are looking to self love and find themselves again GMM wanted to help them to transition to transform more into their good, better, best self, through primarily a toolkit, courses, coaching and consulting.

GMM’s vision
To be a known as the company that helps women to transition to transform. To facilitate that change for women to live their life on their terms. GMM, enables
women to find their gold in their mind and let their light shine, locally, nationally and internationally.

GMM, empowers women to live EPIC lives, a life of no limits to face their fears and to keep on keeping on and to get up even when they fall down. To get up, even when others are mocking, jeering, criticising, creating obstacles, GMM, will encourage you to see opportunities, possibilities of hope, instead of despair.
To get started and not be crippled by fear. .GMM, is here to show you that you are more than enough, you are amazing, you have greatness in you, you can create
your life!

Current Project 1: a unique toolkit: Crushed to Sparkle I have written my first book as a toolkit for GMM. Crushed to Sparkle is a holistic healing self discovery, journey Journal journey. Where the reader discovers the beautiful story of themselves. They will meet their past, present and future self as they turn the pages and honestly complete the activities within. Once they have finished the book they have their own HERstory or HIStory, as they are the content creator, so this book is totally personalised, customised and tailored by the reader, as it is from you, to you, by you, with love.

Your next steps count
1. Kindly check out the Crushed to Sparkle website:
2. To Purchase your toolkit and take immediate action on your life.
3. Also, register your interests in our future courses.

Current Project 2: Women on a MISSION!
Get in contact with me on to be part of a growing tribe of a diverse group of women supporting one another to achieve their dreams.

What value does GMM bring to the community?
GMM, helps to create a nurturing and nourishing safe have to thrive and find their happiness, when a woman is operating in such a balanced state, she is able to make any environment that she is in a more loving, caring and impactful space.

What’s GMM strategy for the next 3-5 years?
GMM, to put UNITY, back into CommUNITY, to help more people to transition to transform. GMM will be looking to strengthen it’s community arm providing
resources to positively impact:
Young people, with employment, enterprise skills and to help develop their entrepreneurial spirit.
Pensioners, to have better quality and enjoyment of life and To give prisoners looking for a second chance to make a positive change in their lives, access to facilitates for them to create a new meaningful life aiming towards setting up their own business.
GMM strategy is to create a village of people looking out for one another and positively supporting each other.

What did you hope to gain from being on the Raise Your Game Programme?
More clarity in vision, meaningful business contacts, to restructure and streamline my business, know the legalities and requirements for an effective board to steer the business in the right way.

What business tip/advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Look at your life experiences, your hobbies and interests, situations you have overcome and areas that you excel in and then consider fusing these into a product
or service to solve a burning question in your life, community, or global issue.
Just, .give it a go, get started!
If you never, give it a go, you will never know, so be forewarned not to live a life full of regrets, MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT, just decide to decide and commit to that decision, follow through on it, whatever the outcome, know that you DID IT!

Lorna Jones obtained her Science degree before qualifying as a Certified Trichologist from the prestigious International Association of Trichologists.

She undertook her clinical training in various parts of the world and her special interest in hair research has led to Lorna attending global conferences and seminars thus enabling her with evidence-based up to date and relevant advice.

Tell us about what you do?  

I treat and educate people on how to prevent against hair loss, how to deal with hair loss when it is discovered, and how to maintain overall good health. I have a holistic approach to the treatment of hair loss is, as many types of hair loss are multi-factorial. I bring much needed information and hope to many people and a place for people to be able to share their experiences in a safe, supportive environment. My vision is to empower women and men to deal with hair loss at an early stage and to educate barbers and hairdressers so that they can spot different types of hair loss to sign post their clients to seek treatment .

What made you want to start Caring for Hair? 

I started the business two years ago because I saw that there was a gap in the market for hair loss practitioners – especially for men and women with afro-textured hair. Many people get their information from social media, including Dr Google and YouTube so I wanted to be able to treat hair loss with evidence-based knowledge and treatment and educate the general public.

What’s your strategy for the next 3-5 years?  

I have set up a support group, working with a group of women who suffer from a type of hair loss that primarily affects black women called CCCA (Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia). I have partnered with a company in the USA, who have 10 similar support groups and we have set up the first international group. I intend to lead this group and be the focus for any research in this country, whilst the scientists continue to investigate this condition.

I also intend to grow the educational webinar programme, to include annual conferences.

Are there any current projects that you want to share/ promote? 

Yes, I run a series of educational webinars that began seven months ago during the first lockdown.  They have continued as there has been an overwhelming response to them, with requests to cover more and more content. I currently have a Christmas Special set of webinars, which are advertised on Eventbrite. They are also on my website:  

What did you hope to gain from being on the Raise Your Game Programme? 

To be able get support to be able to grow the business,

What business tip/advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? 

Ensure that you are passionate about your business as people will pick up on your energy and will be willing to work with you.

Lorna Jones
Certified Trichologist
Caring for Hair
0203 916 5311

Floating Counselling Community is a multi-award-winning Counselling company,

that offers real tools and strategies to empower and educate parents to deal with their past trauma and build resilience and confidence in themselves and child. Celestina Oniye-Thomas, CEO & Psychotherapist at Floating Counselling, and creator of Impact Parenting Formula, she is an Integrative Psychotherapist with a focus on Cognitive behaviour therapy, to bring real change in behaviour and outlook on life from the soul outward, and author of Art Of Disciplining With Love.