Caroline joined First Step in 2022 to lead and manage the charity, coming with an extensive 25-year background in management and practitioner roles in the charity sector, particularly within the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Sectors.
Caroline is passionate about ensuring that male survivors and their supporters are valued, listened to and that they take an active part in the organisation and their own healing. She is committed to building on and developing a trauma-informed organisation for all staff, volunteers and clients.
In her spare time, Caroline enjoys yoga and walking.
Service Coordinator & Clinical Lead
In addition to being our Service Coordinator and Clinical Lead, Stuart is a qualified Person-Centred Counsellor, having initially joined First Step as a volunteer in early 2020. He has comprehensive experience in working with clients who have complex mental health conditions as a result of sexualised trauma, both with First Step and a similar organisation. Stuart works in partnership with all stakeholders, facilitating our passion and drive to deliver the highest standard of counselling and support for all service users. He strives to promote a warm and supportive environment for all staff, counsellors and volunteers.
Emotional Support Worker
Michelle is First Step’s Emotional Support worker. She is a qualified Person Centred counsellor, having joined First Step in 2021 in a voluntary role. She has experience working with supporting people with complex Mental Health conditions. Michelle has extensive experience of holistic therapies.
Michelle’s role will also include the organisation of peer group activities and courses to raise confidence and promote the well-being of our clients. Michelle is passionate about the healing journey and facilitating growth within others by holding space for them to be heard and understood.
Mark Evans, Chair
After studying at Leicester University, Mark joined the NHS working in the Department of Public Health Medicine in West Birmingham, before travelling to Hong Kong where he worked in environmental engineering. After spending several years backpacking, he returned to the UK and settled in Leicestershire, enjoying a varied career working in IT services before retiring. Mark has held senior roles in both large corporate and SME organisations, both in the UK and abroad, and is an experienced board director and business owner. Someone who is solution focused, Mark is drawn to projects that have purpose and bring direct benefit to people. Inspired by the transformational impact First Step can have on the lives of survivors of sexual abuse, and those who support them, Mark is motivated to ensure this important work continues and develops.
Having been a counsellor for around 30 years, Fauna has worked in a variety of mental health settings. While living in S E Asia she gained experience in organisations working specifically with suicide, HIV and AIDS, and particularly enjoyed working in a multi-cultural environment. After returning to Leicester, she managed a local charity supporting women who had been sexually abused in childhood, an area that became especially important to her. Fauna was then appointed as Director of a generic, local counselling organisation, where she recruited and managed a large team of volunteer counsellors, most of whom were trainees on placement. She has gained extensive experience of charitable and voluntary sector organisations, acquiring funding and liaising with local authorities, the NHS, various trusts and foundations and other key stakeholders.
Kirandip brings a diverse range of experience from working with vulnerable victims to currently working in a CAMHS service as a Specialist leading clinical decision maker. In previous roles she has worked as a Crisis worker at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre and becoming an accredited Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). Kiran works as a Community Volunteer for Leicestershire Police and worked for Domestic and Sexual violence charities in Leicester. Kirandip is skilled in using social media and has supported the development of multimedia videos for First Step and the development of the new website which has attracted more self-referrals. Kirandip has grown up in Leicester and has links and knowledge of the demographic of Leicester and provision available for service users.
Born and raised in Leicester, Rahoul studied Business Management at Lancaster University. He currently runs a digital marketing agency and has extensive experience in PR, marketing, communications and social media. An experienced Trustee, he has worked with young people and championed the voices of the most vulnerable in society, including those with mental health struggles. Rahoul’s motivation to join the Board of Trustees stems from wanting to help give male victims of sexual abuse a voice.
Jon presently works in the public sector, with experience of safeguarding and identifying vulnerability, as well as supporting victims of sexual abuse. He has worked for charities since the age of 17, with his first role working for Victim Support visiting victims of crime. Jon is an experienced trustee, having served as a trustee and chairman of two charities that offered relationship counselling and behaviour change courses for domestic abuse perpetrators. He specialises in problem solving, change management and modernisation, having previously introduced one of the first fully online appointment booking and diary management systems in the relationship counselling sector. Jon is a great believer in counselling and therapy, and is passionate in supporting First Step to reach everyone who needs it.
Mick Studley, Treasurer
Mick spent 28 years in Leicestershire Police, retiring as a sergeant, and 19 years in the voluntary sector working with and managing victim services as Divisional manager and Deputy Locality Director. He is passionate about victims of crime receiving the best support available and, in particular, those surviving the most challenging situations such as male victims of sexual abuse.