The professional team at Ascent Fostering is a dynamic mix of people. We have experienced social workers, mentors, administrators, and a therapeutic practitioner who helps us reflect, and work in an innovative and creative way with young people.

We believe effective support and team work is the best way of achieving good outcomes for young people.

Managing Director - Ascent Fostering Agency

Mark Pomell

Managing Director

Job Role/Experience:

I have been managing services and teams for longer than I care to remember, I enjoy supporting people and helping the team reach its full potential. I believe that all children can become successful adults despite previous set backs. I’m committed to creating safe places where children thrive.

Favourite thing: “Laughter”
Least favourite thing: “people who don’t see the potential in people!”
Superhuman Power: Dancing…….
Personality Type: Campaigner - ENFP

Finance Director - Ascent Fostering Agency

Mark Hobbs

Finance Director

Job Role/Experience:

Mark qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in 2002 and went on to hold a range of senior financial management roles at FTSE 100 companies during the next decade. Alongside this, Mark has spent 20 years developing and leading work with young people. This culminated in 2010 with him founding youth charity Reaching Higher a thriving organisation supporting young people in the Croydon community. Mark combines his passion for young people with his management experience to good affect at Ascent Fostering.

Favourite thing: Sharing laughs over a good meal with friends and family.
Least favourite thing: Going to the gym on a cold winter’s morning.
Superhuman Power: Indestructability. To protect myself against my children’s ambushes!
Personality Type: Advocate - INFJ

Sita Alexander - Ascent Fostering - South London Fostering Agency

Sita Alexander

Fostering Practice and Development Lead

Job Role/Experience:

I have worked with children and families in a variety of setting such as: child protection, looked after children, residential care, fostering and education.
Part of my role as the Fostering Practice and Development Lead is to help develop Ascent’s therapeutic strategies and resources for supporting foster carers and children in their placements. In addition, think creatively about the team’s development and practice. I feel passionate about enabling children to feel cared for, supported and being part of a family.

Favourite things: Travelling, Music and Food
Least favourite thing: Liquorice all sorts
Superhuman Power: Breath underwater
Personality Type: Consul - ESFJ

Nicky Challen Probert - Ascent Fostering Agency

Nicky Challen-Probert

Senior Supervising Social Worker

Job Role/Experience

I qualified as a Social Worker in South Africa in 2001 and worked within fostering for 1 year after qualifying and then a further 3 years with Refugees and Asylum Seekers before travelling to the United Kingdom in 2006. I have been in fostering since arriving in the United Kingdom and have worked within various roles. I have supported foster carers, managed/Supervised staff, worked with social work students, completed fostering assessments, managed independent assessors, including quality assuring assessments in preparation for panel presentation. Furthermore I managed the fostering panel process and have sat on fostering panels as a panel advisor. I also have experience of conducting various training and workshops and was active in supporting sons and daughters of foster carers. I love what I do and hope that I can affect lives positively. I am patient and calm in my approach and strive to work in partnership in order to create positive outcomes for children.

Favourite thing: Vacationing with my big blended family
Least favourite thing: Heavy Traffic
Superhuman Power: I am told that I am physically strong
Personality Type: Adventurer - ISFP

Supervising Social Worker - Ascent Fostering Agency

Remi Oyerinde

Supervising Social Worker

Job Role/Experience

My career started off as a trainer and mentor within the home office – delivering human rights legislation training to staff. I went on to work for the Probation Service for 5 years, initially as a Programmes Tutor delivering accredited groupwork programmes such as those on domestic abuse and anger management, I progressed to become a treatment manager for the latter three years. I qualified as a Social Worker with Goldsmiths University in 2014 and was working for Lambeth children’s Social Care at the time as as a Family Support Worker. My current Role as a Supervising Social Worker involves supervising foster carers in order to ensure that our young people are afforded the best opportunity to flourish and grow in a safe and nurturing environment.

Favourite thing: Singing, Silly moments and hanging out with my children.
Least favourite thing: Avocado
Superhuman Power: Remaining calm in the eye of the storm.
Personality Type: Protagonist - ENFJ

Zoya Byelovolova - Ascent Fostering Agency

Zoya Byelovolova

Team Manager

Job Role/Experience

I have extensive and varied experiences of the practical side of social work, which include managerial (team management and independent review) and advisory roles; I have also worked within and outside of local governmental structures.

I am passionate about children’s welfare and my main interest is around relationships between attachment and trauma, as well as the benefits of therapeutic fostering.

Favourite thing: helping others
Least favourite thing: Onion gravy
Superhuman Power: Being able to stay optimistic in any circumstances
Personality Type: Advocate - INFJ

Trudy Darien - Ascent Fostering Agency

Trudy Darien

Organisational Psychotherapist

Job Role/Experience

Trudy Darien has spent over 25 years working in the care profession with looked after children and young people. She is a qualified youth and community worker and has a M.A. in therapeutic child care.

Trudy devised and implemented an experiential training programme which has demonstrated that by employing these methods exemplary outcomes can be achieved.
Trudy is passionate in her belief that “All looked after young people need therapeutic intervention”.

Additionally, Trudy works directly with young people; who have complex attachment histories particularly those who have no formal diagnoses or those who act out or opt out of formal structures.

Favourite Thing: Veganism
Least Favourite thing: Putting petrol in my car
Super human power: Only needing 4 hour sleep
Personality Type: Protagonist - ENFJ


Karen Bellaby

Recruitment and Marketing co-ordinator

Job Role/Experience:

My background has primarily been within the hospitality industry, working for major International hotel chains and Independent luxury hotels across the globe in sales and marketing. I am transferring my skill set to Ascent Fostering, this is my first venture into social care and I’m loving every minute of it, my role is to help create awareness of Ascent Fostering and to encourage the recruitment of new foster carers.

Favourite thing: Chocolate of course!
Least favourite thing: Public transport in the rush hour.
Superhuman Power: The ability to ride Rollercoasters all day long and not get sick.
Personality Type: Campaigner - ENFP

Diana Fonseka

Finance Manager

Job Role/Experience:

To provide support to Mark Hobbs and to use my knowledge & experience to implement more structured Finance Management Reporting & Processes.

Prior to Ascent, I have mainly worked for small to medium sized companies in various industries and gained invaluable experience from all of them.

A few years ago I decided to work part-time to enjoy a more balanced work/home life & to help look after my granddaughter.

Favourite thing: Socialising with my family & friends.
Least favourite thing: Rude people
Superhuman Power: Ability to feed my sons & their friends from a virtually empty fridge!
Personality Type: Consul ESFJ

Pat Bingham Peters - Ascent Fostering Agency

Pat Bingham Peters

Finance Administrator

Job Role/Experience

I have many years working in Investment Management on the relationship and product management side. The experience gained has given me an overview of many aspects of life.

Favourite thing: Laughter - in particular a child’s laughter.
Least favourite thing: Negativity
Superhuman Power: Invincibility

Gwen Smithen - Ascent Fostering Agency

Gwen Smithen

Team Co-ordinator

Job Role/Experience:

To provide comprehensive and efficient administrative support to Ascent Management Team, Supervising Social Workers and foster carers.

Background: 22 years Local Government, Housing, Children Services and partnership working with the Home Office. I am passionate about working with families and find it really heart-warming to see when a child's journey from a difficult start in life flourishes with their foster family, adapting to a healthy environment, enjoying and achieving in a nurturing and loving home.

Favourite thing: Travelling
Least favourite thing: Feet on seats on publictransport!
Superhuman Power: Very good perception of people apparently (the Gwendar)
Personality Type: Consul - ESFJ

Carole Rosser - Our Team - Ascent Fostering Agency

Carol Rosser

Admin Assistant

Job Role/Experience

I have several years’ experience as an administrator working at Bupa Care Homes, completing necessary reference checks on new staff and creating their personnel file. Dealing with payroll queries. Purchasing all the equipment for the home, stationery, linen and all the nursing goods required to keep the home operational, i.e. gloves, aprons, pads, light bulbs etc etc. I have transferred these skills to Ascent Fostering, processing new foster carer applications, completing reference checks, updating foster carers training records on our database and generally assisting the Administrator.

Favourite thing: Cookery programmes
Least favourite thing: Cleaning and tidying my daughter’s bedroom
Superhuman Power: The ability to find space in an already packed freezer.
Personality Type: Consul - ESFJ

Kevin Garry - Ascent Fostering Agency

Kevin Garry

Mentor Co-ordinator

Job Role/Experience

5 years

Job Role: My Role as mentor coordinator is to work as a conduit between the young person in the home and their care. My role is to understand the needs of the young person and be the advocate for them whist understanding and supporting the carers views. I build relationships with the young person, help them explore new hobbies and interest and prepare them for independent living.

Favourite thing: Making people laugh
Least favourite thing: People who can't say sorry
Superhuman Power: The power to morph, To have the powers of the person I have morphed into so I get to experience everything
Personality Type: Mediator - INFP

Supervising Social Worker - Ascent Fostering Agency

Cheyenne Kinsella-Beaumont

Supervising Social Worker

Job Role/Experience:

I am currently studying in my 3rd year and I will be graduating in the summer. I will be co-working cases with the SSW’s at Ascent, completing child progress reports and making use of every learning opportunity available.

Favourite thing: Food, for sure!
Least favourite thing: Getting out of bed
Superhuman Power: Invisibility
Personality Type: Mediator - INFP

Abigael Coulibaly

Abigael Coulibaly

Student supervising social worker

Job Role/Experience

I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology last year and I'm currently in the process of completing my masters degree in social work. I will be gaining a depth of information from the team at Ascent and I look forward to using this knowledge in practice.

Favourite thing: Eating
Least favourite thing: Mice
Superhuman Power: Invisible powers
Personality Type: Defender ISFJ

Vicky Samul

Vicky Samul

Occupational Therapist

Job Role/Experience

Vicky is an Occupational Therapist with a specialist interest in working with children with social emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties. She’s worked across a wide range of health and educational settings including mainstream schools, specialist schools, Child Developmental Centres, and community settings.
Vicky works with the Ascent Fostering team delivering training to foster carers and the wider team. In addition, Vicky also works directly with young people and their foster carers.
Vicky is passionate about supporting young people to thrive by creating sensory enriched environments to help them feel safe and nurtured. She uses a wide range of therapeutic methods to support the young people and families she’s worked with including sensory based approaches, sensory attachment techniques and core Occupational Therapy approaches. She is also a Just Right State Children and Parents Programme Facilitator and integrates this within her interventions.

More details about Occupational Therapy can be found at:

Favourite thing: Being by the sea
Least favourite thing: Peas and mice
Superhuman Power: The ability to fall asleep anywhere
Personality Type: The Defender (ISFJ-T)

Melissa Felix

Student Social Worker

Job Role/Experience:

Student Supervising Social Worker

I am a 3rd year Student, currently on my final placement at Ascent Fostering Agency. I am in the process of completing my BA Hons Degree in Social Work. I intend to accomplish a variety of experiences and knowledge which is valuable to Social work practice whilst I continue to develop with the sphere.

Favourite thing: Food
Least favourite thing: Insects
Superhuman Power: Clairvoyant
Personality Type: Defender


If you would like to contact us, you can do so in a variety of ways.
Send us an email, give us a call or say hello on social media!

If you have any questions about fostering, do not hesitate to ask us and we will provide you with all the information you need. Ascent Fostering has over 25 years of experience in fostering children and our team can support you every step of the way.

Call Us: 020 3757 0070
Email Us:


Ascent Fostering Agency
Hillcrest House
51 Woodcote Road