Our people


Mike Farrington

Since graduating from Cambridge in 2003 years Mike has dedicated himself to supporting the most ‘at risk’, vulnerable and isolated young people in a variety of settings including the Prince’s Trust, Pupil Referral Units and Romsey Mill. Between 2015-2020 Mike managed the 15 strong Youth Development Team at Romsey Mill, supporting over 1,000 ‘at risk’ young people per week across Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Mike remains with Romsey Mill on a part-time basis leading the delivery of the Level 2 and 3 Qualifications in Youth Work and, as well as being a director, is employed by Concrete Rose as the Operations Lead.

Matt Negus

Matt is a chartered accountant with over 15 years of experience working with companies in and around Cambridge. Currently he is Group Chief Financial Officer for a local electronics firm and a Trustee of Kingsgate Community Church.

Our people

Advisory Board

James Bennett

James is a Graduate of both St. Andrews University (BSc Geography) and St. Martin’s College (Post Graduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work) and is currently the Programme Manager at Romsey Mill. He is part of the Leadership and Management Team and oversees Romsey Mill’s two pre-schools, the Aspire programme supporting young people with ASC, the youth work team and the young parent programme. James is the Designated Safeguarding Lead for Romsey Mill, a role he has performed for 12 years. He delivers safeguarding training for staff and volunteers.

Aleyejah Omenesa

Aleyejah is passionate about supporting young people who have faced significant challenges growing up and brings a wealth of experience to the team. Having spent a significant portion of her own childhood in care, and continuing to support other young people currently in care, Aleyejah’s unique perspective ensures that the young people’s experience remain at the heart of the support we offer. Aleyejah works for a local Cambridge based company, lives independently and is excited about joining the advisory board of Concrete Rose.

Tim Pilkington

Tim is passionate about drawing people together to make an impact – particularly in the lives of young people. Tim is currently a Partner at the Good Partnership where he has a special interest in projects that sit at the intersection of faith, NGOs, business, and policy. Prior to this, he was the CEO of World Vision UK and he has broad experience, from teaching, to consultancy at Arthur Andersen, to major international corporate with Shell, to Cambridge University. Tim has also engaged extensively at senior levels of government and international bodies and has significant board experience, including as a Trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and a Fellow at Hughes Hall, Cambridge University.

Revd Sophie Young

Sophie is an Anglican Priest and is the Bishop’s Officer for Homelessness in the Ely Diocese. On a day to day basis, she is Chaplain to the Homeless and Streetlife Community of the City of Cambridge and often works alongside adults who have been in care as children, and who now find themselves homeless. As well as working with statutory and voluntary organisations across the city to improve services for those people experiencing homelessness, Sophie works with churches and university college chapels helping them to think about how they can best support the homeless community. Alongside being Chaplain, Sophie is one of the Priests at St. Bene’t’s Church in the city, and before becoming a priest her career was in Human Resource Management.

Our people

Policy, Partnerships and Development Team

Ed Sanders

Ed brings an array of strategic, creative and business experience to Concrete Rose having had senior policy and strategy roles in local government and with a Police and Crime Commissioner and in his current employment as Strategic Director in a local business. Educated at Cambridge (Modern Languages) Ed’s varied professional CV includes time as a Russian and Linguistics teacher, a cricket coach, a software developer and author. Ed will support Concrete Rose in policy and strategy development and, in his own words, is “genuinely very humbled to be working alongside some incredible people to bring meaningful change to the lives of vulnerable young people.”

Juliet Allan

Juliet’s background is in marketing and communication, primarily in financial services and the arts (particularly in music). She is a volunteer mentor for care leavers and formerly chair of school governors with a remit for children with special educational needs. Juliet is passionate about music as a tool for building communities and individual resilience. Her role at Concrete Rose includes development work with a focus on our innovative models for residential settings. 

Our people

Special Advisors

James Copeland

James is head of business and commercial development at The Fostering Network. He and his wife fostered whilst bringing up their three young birth children and are passionate about creating better outcomes for children in, and leaving, care and building communities around them. James has worked with local and national government and fostering and adoption agencies across the UK, designing, trialling and developing projects to find homes for some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. James is a Manchester United fan, an early morning runner and a guitarist.

Diane Hicks

Diane has 30 years experience working in the charity sector including consultancy roles for a number of organisations. She has been the Operations and Resources Manager at Romsey Mill since 2015. Her current role includes managing matters relating to HR, buildings and facilities (including overseeing three community centres) and the administrative team. Diane also has ultimate responsibility for areas of policy and procedure including health and safety, equality and diversity and GDPR.

Matthew Boardman

Matthew is a solicitor, Chartered Tax Advisor and a director heading up the legal department at a financial management firm. Matthew read law at Cambridge University, graduating in 1999. He went on to qualify as a solicitor with a Cambridge firm in 2004.

Patrick Tomlinson

Patrick has worked in services for traumatised children since 1985 beginning as a therapeutic residential care worker. He has held roles as team leader; senior manager; Director; CEO; consultant and mentor. His organisation development services have been provided in Australia, Japan, UK, Ireland, Romania, and Portugal, among others. The therapeutic models that Patrick has worked on have gained widespread recognition and he is the author of numerous papers and books including Therapeutic Residential Care for Children and Young People: An Attachment and Trauma-informed Model for Practice (Barton, S., Gonzalez, R. and Tomlinson, P. (2011)).

Hayley Farrington

Hayley is currently a SENCO at a primary school in Huntingdon. She has 20 years teaching experience including 10 years in alternative provision settings. She has experience as a teaching and learning lead and has been the Head of Key Stage 3 and 4 at Oakfield PRU in Leicester and the Amber Centre PRU in Huntingdon.

Dillon Jenkins

Dillon is a marketing and web design entrepreneur with a specialism in brand design, development and communication. The CEO and founder of Little Lemon Media he works alongside multi-national and national companies whilst also maintaining a portfolio of local businesses..

Rachel Hales

Rachel is a Strategic Consultant and the founder of Get Synergised, a bespoke consultancy service that brokers and facilitates partnerships and opportunities between businesses and the charitable and public sectors to build thriving communities. Rachel has dedicated over 20 years to working directly in communities in either a work or voluntary capacity to drive social change and improve the lives of individuals, with the belief that everyone should be given the opportunity to thrive and flourish.

Stuart Hannah

Stuart is an experienced ACP registered Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist with a passion for work in all aspects of child and family mental health. His career started in therapeutic child care and he was a social worker before starting his clinical training in 2003. He has a particular interest in finding ways to creatively take the clinic to those who are most unlikely to attend

Our people

Administration Team

Graham Brewer

Graham is a retired RAF Logistician who is currently a trustee of a charity supporting over 400 orphaned and vulnerable children in Eswatini, Africa, where he regularly leads teams to undertake work in support of this large project. He is also a volunteer community bus driver and a support pastor at KingsGate Community Church Cambridge.

Jay Brewer

Jay has many years of administration experience. She served in the RAF for 12-years, civil service for 9-years and has worked with various charities in an administrative capacity. She is also a support pastor at KingsGate Community Church Cambridge.

Our people

Independent Panel

Heather Forder

Heather is a registered social worker and since 2017 has been Service Manager at Sunflowers Care Ltd, a care home for children with complex health needs in Cottenham. Prior to this Heather worked in fostering, initially in Cambridgeshire County Council for Family Link, and then from 2010 in the charity sector for Scope. Heather was registered manager at Scope Fostering Services 2012 – 2017 and was also Advisor to the Independent Foster Panel during this period. Heather’s interest in working with diverse and marginalised communities lead her to study MA (Hons) Social Anthropology with Development at The University of Edinburgh before moving to Cambridge to study MA Social Work at Anglia Ruskin University.

Alan Mitchell

As well as a company director Alan has been a local authority foster carer for over 10 years.  With his wife he currently looks after three foster children alongside his own birth children.