MEET THE TEAM
'in order of appearance'
Rachel Bentley OBE
Co-Founder and CEO
Rachel strategically directs the global operations of Children on the Edge. This involves identifying overlooked children living on the margins of society and, in relationship with local partners, pioneering new initiatives to help these children thrive.
She has been leading Children on the Edge for over three decades and does occasional consultancy work for UN agencies in the area of children's rights. Rachel has an MSc in Development Management and a Masters of Advanced Studies (MCR) in Children's Rights. In 2022 she was awarded the OBE for services to the protection and education of marginalised children worldwide.
She is accompanied by a mischievous chocolate brown labrador called Monty, who steals most of our food and a new pup called Zuma, who steals most of Monty's food.
Esther leads our communications team and liaises with project partners to obtain the latest information about our work, in order to communicate it to anyone who will listen. Part of this is ensuring that the children and communities we work with have their voices heard and are able to tell their own stories.
She works with Amy and Jemma to ensure that our audiences and growing team are resourced with communications that effectively reflect our brand, values and international programme activities.
Esther has an MSc in International Political Communication, Advocacy and Campaigning.
International Education Officer
Sarah has applied her talents to a number of roles at Children on the Edge and is currently responsible for the development of our education programmes. She works with our partner organisations to plan the curriculum and ensure effective teaching and learning for the children we support around the world.
She's no stranger to our programmes and over the years and has supported the development of our Monitoring and Evaluation in Africa and the Middle East; including living and working in Uganda.
She is a qualified teacher and holds an MA in Education and International Development.
Eloise leads our fundraising team and helps build new partnerships with companies and brands who want to support Children on the Edge.
Eloise has an MA in Social and Political Sciences and has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years. She loves living by the sea, and trying her hand at growing veg at the allotment.
International Communications Officer
Amy is an experienced rights campaigner who currently uses her skills to amplify the latest information from the international programmes we support. She creates bespoke communications materials to resource our team, refresh our online platforms and provide in depth updates for the press and our generous funders.
Amy has an MSc in Development Studies, and when she's not sprinting after her two wonderful children, can usually be found running, cycling or swimming in the sea.
Sophie is responsible for writing our grant applications and reporting back to all of our wonderful funders. She also researches new funding opportunities; ensuring we can continue to run our projects successfully.
She has worked for 13 years in similar Trusts and Statutory funding roles for a number of different UK and overseas charities.
Communications and Marketing Officer
Jemma keeps our Children on the Edge community up to date with all things digital. This includes campaigning and communicating the latest news about our programmes and fundraising activities via video, e-news and social media .
She has a BA in Journalism and a CIM certificate in Professional Digital Marketing.
Jemma has over eight years experience in fundraising support, charity events and communications.
Finance and Compliance Manager
Lisa looks after all things finance, keeping an eye on all our amazing fundraising income and working with our international partners to keep things on track and compliant.
When her head isn't buried in a spreadsheet or in our database, she loves to take a dip in a sea or run with her black labrador Pip.
Lisa has a BSc in Social Policy & Administration.
Monitoring & Evaluation Manager
Gemma loves working at Children on the Edge so much she has two jobs with us! She not only creates beautiful grant reports for our donors, but works alongside our international partners to develop effective monitoring and evaluation systems for the programmes we support.
Gemma has an MA in Gender and International Development.
Annie helps motivate and support our fundraisers and donors. She helps everyone who donates, takes on a challenge event or raises money in their school or clubs to see how their fundraising helps create protective environments for children living on the margins.
Annie has worked in the charity sector for years and loves travel, live music and dogs! So Lola and Monty are looking forward to some great walks and maybe a trip to a music festival with Annie!
Finance & Data Officer
Ben works with Lisa to help keep our financial procedures and data in check and is a dab hand with anything IT or tech related.
Ben moved with his family to West Sussex from Cornwall, where he worked for a children's mental health charity. He was so good as their Admin and Finance Manager, that he still works remotely for them alongside his role at Children on the Edge.
Ben completed a degree in teaching and worked as a primary school teacher in Devon before moving to the charity sector. He lives with his wife, son and their family dog and loves to run, far! Ben is no stranger to a marathon and once ran 55 miles in a 24 hour ultra event. He dreams of running the London marathon one day and hopes that one year, his luck will prevail in the ballot!
Fundraising Officer (Partnership & Events)
Melanie works in the Fundraising team supporting The Body Shop at Home fundraisers and supporters, as well as leading our own fundraising events and challenges.
Melanie worked for The Body Shop for over 24 years and was part of the original launch team for The Body Shop at Home in 1994.
She has been an avid Children on the Edge supporter since the early days, from managing team fundraisers (including a parachute jump despite her fear of heights) to hosting visits to Romania and Moldova for The Body Shop at Home, to volunteering at our office.
She has volunteered in the charity and NGO sector for many years, inspired by her work with Anita Roddick, and describes joining Children on the Edge as ‘coming home’.
Stuart Gallimore (Chair) - Retired as Head of Children's Services for both West and East Sussex County Councils, Stuart's long term experience and knowledge is perfectly suited to guiding our Board of Trustees
Paul Suter - Paul was Finance Director of Harwoods Ltd for over 20 years and is able to bring essential financial skills to the organisation.
Helen Pattinson - Helen is the Co-founder and Director of Montezuma's Chocolates. She brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience in growing a bespoke brand into a global business.
Sarah Wickens - Sarah brings support and business expertise as the Director of Chichester based business, Store Property. She has been a vital supporter of our work since 2012.
Walter Jones - Walter has an extensive background in education, being headmaster of two schools for 18 years. He has also kindly given his time as a volunteer with Children on the Edge since 2012.
Monty is named after our favourite chocolate company - Montezuma's - and is an essential part of the organisation.
He comes into work each day with our Co-founder and CEO - Rachel. His responsibilities range from greeting visitors, to bin clearance and providing foot warmth under desks.
Lola joins our Executive Director - Ben at work every day.
Her boundless energy and frequent cuddles mean she's responsible for keeping the team happy and motivated at all times. She's yet to learn the art of self control, so we do have to hide our lunch, unless we want to share. Monty is working on developing her office etiquette.
Zuma is Monty's younger brother, and the newest member of the pup patrol at Children on the Edge.
Zuma enjoys chasing Lola up and down the corridor before crashing out on his bed for a nap.
Monty has welcomed the new addition to the family with much patience and grace.