MEET THE TEAM

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

Victoria Johnson

Senior Supervising Social Worker

Job Role/Experience

I obtained my MA in Social Work in 2015, after coming from a background of Medicine, Pathobiology and voluntary work with the homeless. It was through my work supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged; that my direction changed considerably and helped me to realise what really mattered to me. Since qualifying in Social Work I have had the privilege of working with Looked After Children, their families and foster parents for over six years as a CLA Social Worker for a local authority. I loved my job however, experience has shown me that finding a loving, nurturing and supportive home for vulnerable children is critical; from which everything else is possible. Trauma informed parenting is something which resonates with me hugely, as I have seen first-hand the positive impact that this can have on vulnerable children’s lives. Therefore, I am totally thrilled to be starting out on my new adventure with Ascent fostering as I am passionate about relationship based Social Work and hope to use my skills and knowledge to support foster parents to build a secure, safe and loving base from which our children can flourish.

Favourite thing: Cheeeese! Dogs and Dinosaurs
Least favourite thing: Dishonesty
Superhuman Power: Watching every cooking show known to man without ever being tempted to cook
Personality Type: Protagonist - ENFJ

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

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

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:
https://www.rcot.co.uk/occupational-therapy-children-and-young-people

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)

Daina - Photo

Daina Meggo

Student Social Worker

Job Role/Experience:

I am in my final year, studying at the University of Greenwich. I studied health and social care in college then progressed onto a BA International Business Management course and I am now completing my master’s in social work. In my first placement, I worked in a domestic refuge, supporting and empowering women who have fled from perpetrators, my experience supporting people in society has been rewarding and encouraging. I am patient and calm in my approach and passionate to work in partnership with other professionals to improve a child or a young person’s wellbeing in a fostering setting, part of my role is to shadow ascents social workers to improve my professional skills and expand my knowledge of how to use therapeutic strategies used in the fostering agency to support fosters carers and children in care.

Favourite thing: Spending quality time with my family and exploring different countries around the world
Least favourite thing: Snakes
Superhuman power: I am optimistic, I generally look on the bright side and expect things to work out for the best.
Personality type: Protagonist- ENFJ

Alanah Wampamba

Fostering Support Work

Job Role/Experience:

I have been working with looked after children, youth and women for the past 9 years. I obtained a Child psychology degree in 2018.
My role as a fostering support worker is to mentor and build relationships with young people and their carers. The role requires me to understand their needs and to provide support in areas where there may be a shortfall, for example; education, personal development and exploring new hobbies and interests.

Favourite thing: Going on fun adventures with family and friends, laughing and the sound of musical raindrops.

Favourite thing: Going on fun adventures with family and friends, laughing and the sound of musical raindrops.
Least favourite thing: Seafood
Superhuman power:Able to stay calm and collected in the most difficult situations.
Personality type: Protagonist (ENFJ-A)

Kira - photo

Kira Montague

Art Psychotherapist

Job Role/Experience:

I have worked therapeutically with children, young people and their families for over 15 years. My career began as a youth and family support worker at a South London based children’s charity, and it was there that I decided to train as an Art Therapist. I completed my MA in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy in 2017 and have since worked within the NHS, local authority, and schools.

Within my role at Ascent I deliver trainings and sessions to support foster parents use art and play therapeutically with the children in their care. Additionally, I work directly with young people, using mediums such as painting, drawing, clay and play figures to help them express, understand and process their painful thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Favourite thing: Being in wildlife.
Least favourite thing: The smell of cooking mushrooms.
Superhuman power: Can I have the powers of a cat?
Personality type: Advocate INFJ-A

CONTACT

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: hello@ascentfostering.com

ADDRESS

Ascent Fostering Agency
Hillcrest House
51 Woodcote Road
Wallington
SM6 0LT