We work with young people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Here is what some young people say about their experiences with us:

"I now understand how to deal with conflict and injustice so much more"

"I like being able to discuss difficult issues and how we can support others"

"I feel more accepted at college and have a better understanding of people's emotions"

Our work is delivered by a small but responsive team whose members are skilled and experienced.​

Photo of Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

Lucy is our 16+ worker empowering young adults leadership and teamwork.

Lucy has a background in community work, youth work and informal education. She prioritises participation and getting young voices heard. She is committed to the restorative model, especially as a means to tackling harms to identity.

Anna Butler

Anna first came to RJ Working through a social work placement as part of her open university degree.

Anna is a committed environmentalist and equalities campaigner, she has a strong understanding of young peoples’ perspectives and collaborates with other team members in delivery of our group work in person and online. 

Nicky Abrahams

Nicky Abrahams

Nicky is our Schools Programme Lead and works with Cornwall’s leading schools in restorative practice. She is also introducing our work to schools where it is not yet established, and building relationships to help develop it. 

Nicky has a background in social work and voluntary sector work, including working with children with special educational needs and disabilities. Nicky is especially passionate about how restorative practice upholds equal opportunities, social justice and human rights. 

Deborah Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell

Our CEO Deborah is an active Quaker. She supervises our team developments and represents our team at Conferences nationally and internationally.
An independent Social Worker, Deborah is the RJ Working Restorative Practice lead and provider of professional supervision.

Yasmine Fosu

Yasmine has been an advocate for Restorative Practice at Penryn Campus where she co-ordinated a project which creatively recorded students’ experience of racism.   Initially recruited by RJ Working as an Intern, Yasmine undertook our 3-day certificated training in October 2019.  She has since become a sessional team member supporting RJ Working’s commitment to championing equalities with Cornwall’s young people. With Josh Rogers she has developed innovative ways of working including our Tackling Racism Restoratively workshops.

Josh Rogers

Josh joined our team after training with us in 2019; he brings a strong understanding of the relevance of Restorative Practice for building community among young people and for communicating about climate change.

Since Covid-19 Josh has led the transfer of our interactive group work to online settings supporting young people to stay in touch with each other in times of disruption and disconnection. 

Josh leads work showing the relevance of Restorative Practice not only for interpersonal conflict but also for young people’s global citizenship, this includes our Tackling Racism Restoratively workshops, working collaboratively with Yasmine Fosu.


Bernadette Chelvanayagam

For eight years Bernadette was a trainer and facilitator with the Zebra Collective, implementing a strong social justice mission.  Her work included training Children’s Social Care staff and Foster Carers in ‘Cultural Competence’. Within this time, she became a valued colleague, collaborator and consultant for RJ Working, having shared in their foundation training in the ‘Balanced Model’ of Restorative Justice from Ulster University.  Bernadette currently uses her skills and knowledge in the legal context of clinical negligence, addressing different forms of harm, denial and toxic acceptance. She is also taking up a training/facilitator role with RJ Working to empower young people to lead Restorative Practice development in schools.  Bernadette is a Trustee of Refugee Support Devon. 

Belle Benfield

Belle brings her creative strengths to RJ Workings mission. An experienced mural artist and young peoples’ worker. She is enabling us to use visual arts as part of our comprehensive off to communities and groups. Belle undertakes direct work with young adults and with children and in collaboration with partners.

Michelle Bowley


Michelle joined us in June 2021 with over 7 years’ experience working in accounts with various clients, charities, CICs, CIOs through employment and her accountancy practice.

Michelle is responsible for all of the finances within the company and supporting the team in all areas of finance.

We also collaborate regularly with others:

Annemarie Bala

Annemarie is a Photography graduate who studied at Falmouth University and speaks several languages.
Anne is currently developing creative practice for community development. She is skilled at promoting independent learning, integrating her skills and knowledge of Restorative Practice.

Ellie Stacey

Ellie is a former Primary Headteacher and chair of the Cornwall Refugee Resettlement Network.
She is using her expertise to supervise the development of our work in Primary Schools.
Ellie brings valuable leadership through her experience of Community Development and sponsorship of refugee families.

Paddy Dowling

We have the support of international photojournalist Paddy Dowling who covers major humanitarian crises for NGOs around the world. He is passionate about social justice and increasingly his work involves portraiture of children coping with adverse circumstances. He works with Educate a Child a project of Education Above All.

Our Board of Directors steer the organisation, bringing valuable expertise and a wealth of experience:

Abi Cowls

Abi Cowls is passionate about championing young people and is a Mental Health Advisor at Penwith College. She has a Forensic Psychology background and first became interested in RJ when on a placement year in the prison service. Abi completed her Restorative Leadership training with RJ Working in 2018 and since then has been a valued youngest member of our board. Abi’s experience of growing up in Cornwall and direct work with young people bring the needs of our target audience to every board meeting.

Lesley Chandler

Lesley Chandler is the Chair of our Board of Directors and an active Quaker. Formerly a Secondary School teacher, Lesley volunteers as a workshop facilitator for a charity which builds relationships and reduces violence in the community and in prisons (Alternatives to Violence Programme). She is an active member of the Camborne/Pool/Redruth communities and is the Quaker Representative for Cornwall Churches Together. A founder member of RJ Working, she feels that schools are the natural place to foster Restorative Practice.

Stephen Spooner

Stephen Spooner is an experienced and expert practitioner in Family Group Conferencing. Stephen completed his Restorative Practice training with RJ Working in 2016 and led aspects of our Restorative Service Quality Mark process. Stephen is now supervising our Family Group Conference Service.

Guy Watson


Guy Watson is a theatre maker and cultural producer in Cornwall. 

As Co-Creative Producer at Trebah Garden, Guy leads the development of cultural work for Trebah’s 300 seat open-air amphitheatre as well as the organisations engagement, events and education programmes. He is the Artistic Director of Cousin Jack’s, a Cornish theatre company that creates work to inspire children and their families; the company is well known for its 5-year-running stage adaptation of The Mousehole Cat. Guy is also a trustee for The Acorn arts venue in Penzance and an active member of the Cornwall Venues Network.

Guy is  deeply inspired by RJ Working’s approaches and is honoured to be able to play a part in the organisations development.

Jamie Mitchell

Jamie Mitchell holds a degree in economics from the University of Bristol, he is highly numerate and enjoys oversight of the financial resources which are vital to our organisations sustainability. He is also a committed environmentalist.

Susannah Storey

Susannah Storey is an experienced and expert leader in education, specialising in building community to strengthen schools in times of challenge. She has had an extensive career to date, including 10 years as part of the Senior Leadership Team of a London school, then 5 years as Head of a Cornwall school. Susannah is currently Head of St Day and Carharrack Community School and is passionate about the success of Restorative Practice in improving relationships between members of a school community. Susannah’s dedication to marginalised groups and empowering all young people will be an invaluable asset to our team. 

Atiha Sen Gupta

Atiha Sen Gupta is a writer who is interested in telling the stories of those who stitch the red carpet rather than those who stand on it. 

For theatre, Atiha has written for Hampstead Theatre (What Fatima Did, 2009) and (State Red, 2014), Theatre Royal Stratford East (Counting Stars, 2016), Derby Theatre (Abi, 2018) and RADA (GIG, 2019). For TV, Atiha has written for SkinsHolby City and is currently writing for EastEndersAtiha’s work has been nominated for the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award and the John Whiting Award (2010) and Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award (2015).   

Atiha is excited to be joining the Board of RJ Working and is looking forward to finding the places where theatre and restorative justice intersect; particularly as they both centre empathy in their practice.

Derek Hayes

Derek Hayes supported RJ Working in 2015 as a Fellow of the RSA engaging Falmouth University animation students to communicate Restorative Practice principles in short films. This gained support from voices including Jenny Agutter and Dawn French, and was shortlisted for the ‘Cutting Edge’ category of the national Restorative Practice Awards 2016. In 2017 Derek joined the Board of Directors, bringing his commitment to creative Community Development and to filmmaking.

Our Patron: Mark Walters

We are delighted to have the support of Dr Mark Walters renowned international academic based at the University of Sussex. Mark is author of Hate Crime and Restorative Justice: Exploring Causes, Repairing Harms.

Prior to his tragic death in 2016, our first patron was Lionel Morrison. Lionel was recognised for his contribution to ending apartheid in South Africa. He was also the first black president of the NUK and the Chair of Notting Hill Housing Association. Lionel is central to our short film Making A Start which you can view here.