We would like to thank our volunteer trustees for doing an amazing job and keeping us focussed on our vision to
Unlock potential with young people and their communities
Melanie WalkerChair of Trustees
Melanie was appointed Chief Executive in 2014. A nurse by background, Melanie has worked at all levels and in all settings in the NHS. She has a long history of working in mental health services and has also been a commissioner. Melanie was formerly Chief Executive of Newham Primary Care Trust and came to us from her role as Chief Executive of The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, Essex.
Melanie is a trustee and board member for NHS Providers, representing mental health trusts across the country.
Melanie received an MBE in 2019 for services to the NHS.
John joined the Board of Space* as a trustee as it was formed and has enjoyed learning and contributing to the development of the Board during the initial contract period. John has worked in the NHS in Devon since 1997 having previously worked and trained in the newspaper industry. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Torbay and South Devon NHS FT. An accountant by background, John has worked across most sectors within the NHS; Acute, Community, Adult Social Care and across both Commissioning and Providing sectors. John enjoys the outdoors, cycling and walking and values precious time with family and friends.
I have sat on the Board of Space*, as an Independent Trustee, since October 2017. Following my retirement from the legal profession in the previous year, I wanted to use my commercial experience in a different direction, and in the voluntary sector. I felt that Space* offered me the opportunity to do so, having been inspired by the organisation and its ideals in improving the life and experience of young people. A family history in the teaching profession, coupled with time spent over many years as a Parent Governor of my local primary school, gave me an interest in a broad range of educational issues. My personal interests include travelling ; the natural environment ; literature ; and supporting Exeter Chiefs, both home and away. I also work as a volunteer with Shelterbox, the west country based disaster relief charity.
I have had a varied career since graduating from the University of Nottingham and these include lecturing at Bicton College and teaching at Tiverton High School before qualifying as a chartered accountant. More recently I have been running my own accountancy practice based in Tiverton.
Caroline DownStaff Trustee
I’m Caroline and am the newly appointed staff trustee for Space*- I am part of the Community Youth work team providing support to our voluntary sector colleagues across Devon and I cover Torridge and the West. This year marks my 10th anniversary as a youth worker, 8 ½ of which have been with either DYS or Space*. I began working at Room 13 in Okehampton and though there is less ‘face to face’ work in my current role I am still extremely passionate about working with and providing the best opportunities for young people in Devon.
I have recently stood down after 15 years as a school governor (3 years as Chair) so was ready for a new challenge when this opportunity came up, and I’m really looking forward to working with all the Trustees to continue to shape the future of the service. In my spare time I like to walk my dog on Dartmoor and have been known to bake the odd cake!
Sue retired in 2016 from her post as Head of Education for Devon
County Council and has had many roles and posts during her career
including Head Teacher, inspector and primary phase adviser. She has a
MSc in Educational Research from Exeter University and was awarded an
OBE in 2011 for Services to Education. Sue is a governor at Exeter
College, sits on the board of trustees for a new primary school in
Kingsteignton and Member for a MAT in South Devon.
I joined the Board of Space* as an independent trustee in June 2019. I am a consultant to
board level executives specialising in leadership development, strategic communications,
governance, board effectiveness and organisational change. I am delighted to contribute my
experience to Space* as we plan for a future committed to ensure that youth services
continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of Devon’s young people. My previous
experience includes corporate communications, public relations and journalism. My home
has been in Devon (Exeter and Plymouth) for the last 20 years.
My journey with Space* started in November 2014, when I applied for a part time youth support worker position based in Totnes. I began a very happy employment that lasted 2.5 years, until I made the decision to dedicate all my time to Proud2Be, the LGBTQ+ social enterprise I co-founded in 2011 with my twin sister Maya.
My employment with Space* not only equipped me with many of the skills needed to run an organisation like Proud2Be but offered me countless opportunities to witness others lead with strength and from the heart.
It has been thrilling to watch Space grow and flourish in the last few years and I feel privileged to be able to contribute my skills, time and passion to this fantastic organisation by becoming an independent trustee.
Fiona ColeStaff Trustee
My name is Fiona, I’ve worked at DYS Space Ltd since November 2019 as Data Analyst and Support Officer, and now as a Staff Trustee.
Very quickly, the values of Space as an organisation became a way of life for me and I recognise these in everything Space does.
For almost my entire working life I have worked for Charities. Doing a job that I know will positively impact someone somewhere is very important to me. Coming from a background in data analysis I have the ability to understand, analyse and challenge a range of information, measuring how Space is providing an impact to young people across the many channels of youth work and other services that we provide.
I am very excited to work with our team of trustees and apply my skills, expertise and passion towards our organisation and help to steer it towards even greater success.
Kev HenmanStaff Trustee
Young people are often mis-understood, labelled or judged unnecessarily. That’s why we do youth work and provide other services to help make sense of their worlds. I’ve worked with young people for over 30 years in many settings. Lives don’t get any simpler for young people or for those working with them. However, our organisational values ensure that what we do, we do with integrity, respect and determination. By being collaborative, accountable to all stakeholders and being dynamic we strive to get the best possible deal for young people and their communities. Sometimes by stealth – sometimes by standing tall and shouting loud!