Staff changes in the IGNITE team at VANEL

This month we’ve bid a sad farewell to members of the IGNITE team and at the same time we’ve got a happy hello for new team members.

Over the past month Danielle, Ellie and then Nicole have all departed for new roles. This was exactly as planned. Their roles in the IGNITE team were for the one year and we’ve been really pleased to have them as part of the team working with other young people across the area.

Danielle led on the Money for Life and Climb the Money Tree training and support projects for IGNITE, both of which were helping young people understand money better. Danielle has now moved on to work as a tutor at Grimsby College teaching business management within some specific subject areas.

Ellie was very active in IGNITE on environmental projects including world oceans day and plastic and litter picks linked to our Anglian Water campaigns and especially with connections to Cloverfields Primary School. Ellie also connected to NCS and has now moved on to be a Primacy Teacher at a local school in Cleethorpes that she connected to through her time with NCS.

Nicole represented IGNITE on the local Nexus forum and recently supported the Longstrip Wildlife project. She also helped to organise themed weeks for IGNITE such as youth work week. Nicole has now moved over to Cambridge Park school as a teaching assistant.

These roles were about giving the staff members opportunities to learn and develop themselves too whilst helping others, and we’ve been really pleased that Danielle, Ellie and Nicole have found new opportunities from their experiences. Thanks to each of them for their help

Jean-Louis was the fourth role in our IGNITE team and he’s done something a bit different! He recently graduated from the University of Hull (well done) and has decided to both continue his studies (now an MA in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation) and to continue in his role with the IGNITE team. So Jean-Louis is staying around!

We also said goodbye to Dan recently. Dan hadn’t been with the IGNITE team for the whole year but suddenly got offered a dream job opportunity with an engineering firm based in Hull. The offer was too good to ignore so he’s off now on the next stage in his career. Thanks to Dan for his work and support whilst he was with us.

The IGNITE team before August 2018!
So what about the new IGNITE team?

Jenny Hodson and Victoria Russell are still around as our backbone for the IGNITE programme – no change there. And as explained, Jean-Louis Plaatjies is still with us. And this week they are joined by three new Youth Mentors – Kirsty Greenfield, Shaun Curtis and Jessica Pearson.

Read on for introductions from each of them…

The latest IGNITE team September 2018


Kirsty Greenfield


Hi my name is Kirsty. I have just completed an MA in Traditional Music at the University of Sheffield and my dissertation focused on folk songs that were collected in Lincolnshire in the early 1900s. As well as researching folk songs I also perform them regularly and I am also involved with a community group called ‘Folk round ere’, which aims to promote folk music, song and dance in North Lincolnshire. I am also crazy cat lady, I currently have four cats; Runa, Ragnar, Frida and Leafy.

Shaun Curtis


I’m pleased to now be a member of the IGNITE team after working with them for the last year on various projects and opportunities. I’ve already had to chance to run my own project, Longstrip Wildlife, which is due to launch soon. I’m hoping to bring new skills to the team and inspire new project leaders to use different technologies in their projects to gain even better results. My main background is in computer technologies, however I’m also involved in environmental awareness and sports, particularly basketball.

Jessica Pearson


I’m Jessica. I’ve just completed my masters in Environmental Change and International Development at the University of Sheffield. Whilst studying for my masters I have also been volunteering with charities based in Grimsby and Sheffield. I have an interest in women’s rights which led me to a doing a placement in Kilimanjaro for my dissertation research on women’s land rights looking at women’s right to own land, the discrimination they face in terms of their land rights and the strategies that organisations use to empower women. I am keen to develop this interest in my own project with Ignite about menstruation management in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area.

Don’t forget Jean-Louis


Hi my name is Jean-Louis, the returning member to the IGNITE team! I have recently graduated from the University of Hull where I studied Sport and Exercise Science and did a Systematic dissertation review on the Effects of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids on the Cardiovascular system. I am currently studying a MA in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation. And of course I’m a big sports fan – mainly basketball and athletes.

Welcome to all these new team members and no doubt you’ve speaking to them as you connect to the IGNITE project over the coming year.