Gary Baron, the founder and director of YCDC, is a qualified adult, child and adolescent psychotherapist and counsellor with more than thirteen years’ experience of working with individuals and groups.
Before setting up a private practice, Gary worked as lead facilitator, project manager and education and youth development officer for Teens and Toddlers, an educational charity where he was responsible for the establishment of a youth organisation to support the emotional wellbeing of young adults and to help them gain work experience, amongst other places at Buckingham Palace.
At Kids Company, Gary worked as a key worker and therapist in primary and secondary school settings in East London. During his tenure at a boy’s secondary school, he developed and ran experiential workshops to support the emotional wellbeing of the boys, teachers and parents. He has also worked as a bereavement counsellor for Grief Encounter.
Meeting and working with adults, youth and children from all walks of life, Gary discovered that people’s individual stories often shared a common theme: a lack of meaning and purpose in their lives. This led Gary to create a unique holistic model that supports those affected by intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, gang related issues, abuse, addictions, anger, stress and anxiety.
Before training as a therapist, Gary worked as a chef and, combining his love of food with his therapeutic skills, Gary runs workshops in food therapy on demand.
Luke Smith is an actor, screenwriter, musician and a qualified personal trainer. At the age of 18, Luke undertook a UK music tour and featured on RnB singer Bio’s single ‘Do you think you’re special.’ Luke has also appeared on T4 On the Beach. Luke’s artist name is Luc Skyz.
Luke received a children’s BAFTA nomination for his screenwriting for the CBBC programme ‘The 4 O ‘clock Club. He has also appeared on the programme as the character B-Mode. He received an award from the North West Royal television for his work on the same programme.
Luke’s screenwriting and musical talents have seen him work in secondary schools supporting students in scriptwriting, acting, improvisation classes, directing, camera work and sound engineering. Luke uses his skills to help young people explore their story.
Debra Viller is a supervisor, counsellor, personal advisor, facilitator, youth and community worker QA assessor and trainer. Debra worked for Southwark Council for thirty-two years and for the educational charity Teens and Toddlers. More recently, Debra has been working in primary and secondary schools as a counsellor.
Debra managed youth projects and youth centres while at Southwark Council and was instrumental in supporting young people to achieve their potential. She has also trained volunteers and youth workers to work with young people using positive psychology. Debra believes all young people have the attributes to achieve their goals, as long as they are supported on their journey.
Zoe Pennant is a qualified educational psychologist, art therapist, personal development coach, dyslexia assessor, SEN specialist, author of children’s and adult books, foster carer and the founder of Dyslexia for the Wise.
Zoe is passionate about supporting children/young people with their education and learning style and works with families and teachers across London to understand and manage multiple special educational needs. In her many roles, Zoe has inspired children and young students to aspire to reach their academic goals and also to work through their challenging behaviours in school and at home.
Zoe also aims to bring her creative educational training to companies and use her skills to support employees to reach their potential.
Marcia Escoffery is a successful singer, voice and sound coach, mentor, songwriter, music and parent practitioner, meditation teacher and a qualified chef.
Marcia uses her skills in sound and voice coaching to support children, young people and adults to build their confidence and self-esteem.
She has run anti-bullying and entrepreneurial projects with young people and she is currently running parent and toddler groups in London. Marcia has worked in primary and secondary school settings, promoting the wellbeing of children, young people and teachers.
Lesley Sackey is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. She became the first British woman to win gold in boxing the European Union Championships in 2008 and was subsequently selected to represent the England and Great Britain boxing teams.
Lesley delivers workshops and seminars for business executives, using boxing and breathing as a personal development tool. She has also presented and produced independent films and appeared on Channel 4 ‘How to Get Fit Fast,’ and ‘Super Me,’ an educational programme for teenagers. Lesley uses her life and entrepreneurial skills to inspire young people, girls and women in particular, to work towards their dreams and goals. Lesley’s main focus is on personal development through coaching and mentoring.