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.

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

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

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

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

Therapeutic Child Care Consultant

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

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

Chantelle Brown - Ascent Fostering Agency

Chantelle Brown

Fostering Support Worker

Job Role/Experience:

I have a BA Psychosocial degree and have spent many years mentoring and supporting those in looked after care, prison and in the community. I am a part of the leaving care scheme which helps me, help our young people, prepare for independence. My role is to support and equip our young people with the skills to be the best versions of themselves, no matter what.

Favourite thing: Food
Least favourite thing: Not Listening; one person must listen whilst the other speaks, how else are we going to understand each other?
Superhuman Power: Being able to read minds

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

Laura Martin

Supervising Social Worker

Job Role/Experience

My role is to offer emotional and practical support for our foster carers in their role in caring for looked after children. I retrained as a social worker in my 30s having spent the previous decade working in international events logistics. Wanted to do something more meaningful and use my undergraduate degree in psychology. I conducted my child protection training in a high-pressure London borough, it was here I realised the value of a good foster home and the difference it could make to vulnerable children at the most difficult time in their life.
From my first few weeks at Ascent, I knew I'd found a very special organisation that was more like a second family than a place of work and I haven't looked back since!

Favourite thing: Under consideration (to many to choose one!)
Least favourite thing: coriander, way to ruin a good dish!
Superhuman Power: My ability to find the silly in the sensible
Personality Type: Entertainer - ESFP

Cheyenne Kinsella-Beaumont

Student 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

Mark Croffie

Mark Croffie

Student Social Worker

Job Role/Experience

I am currently studying for a degree in social work and have a keen interest in working with children and families. At Ascent, I co-work cases with the SSWs, carrying out tasks to gain valuable experience in practice. Before training to become a social worker, I worked in a residential school for children with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour, supporting them with their emotional needs and working with them to achieve independent life skills.

Favourite thing: Football and Formula 1!
Least favourite thing: Drawing to conclusions too quickly
Superhuman Power: Empathy


Kielly Cameron

Student Social worker

Job Role/Experience

I’m undertaking my 3rd year placement here. I will be working as a student social worker, making use of every opportunity I have such as completing reports, attending meetings, visits etc. I would also work alongside social workers and other professionals to gain experience into the social work field.

Favourite thing: Being adventurous
Least favourite thing: Being bored
Superhuman Power: Reading minds


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

Awards and Accreditation - Ascent Fostering Agency