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Our team

Our Team

Our team adopts a community organising approach to champion early years development, address isolation, and support physical and mental health, particularly focusing on maternal well-being. We strive to break down any barriers hindering families' access to health and social services. Through a range of weekly workshops, we create a playful space for kids and a secure environment for parents to forge supportive connections and share their experiences.

By establishing reliable connections, we effectively engage with hard-to-reach communities that typically do not access local health and social services. Parent Action has demonstrated the substantial impact of community organising methods. An evaluation conducted by King's College London revealed that, after six months, 68% of mothers who participated in our Mumspace group fully recovered, despite 40% being at the threshold for mental health intervention initially. Originating in Southwark, South London, the project has expanded to Leeds, North Tyneside, and Lewisham.

We believe in the power of parents and the importance of taking action. We listen to your concerns and support you in collaborating with others to effect positive change for your family and community. As part of our broader commitment, aligned with Citizens UK, we collaborate with schools, universities, faith groups, charities, and others in the community to drive social change benefiting the wider communities we serve. Additionally, we offer practical support and activities for families, ranging from planting fruits and vegetables in our allotment to parenting courses and peer support for mental health — prioritising the well-being of parents.

Josephine Namusisi-Riley, Parent Action Lead

Josephine Namusisi-Riley

Parent Action Lead

Josephine is a wife and mother of three children. She joined Parent Action in May 2017 and is responsible for the strategic and operational running of Parent Action in Southwark. An experienced manager she brings extensive experience of community development and voluntary sector work including 5 years as an Advice Worker with the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, 15 years in the HIV sector providing support and advocacy to families affected. After this she worked as a Service Delivery Manager for School-Home Support (SHS), a national charity that works in partnership with schools to tackle the underlying issues that affect children's ability to learn. Josephine has also worked as a Mentor with Way4Ward, a project based in Brixton supporting you people in care and served as Governor at Corpus Christi Primary School in Brixton Hill for seven years up to January 2019. More recently, she served as chair of the Well_Lab Wisdom Advisory Board at Brink and is an independent Trustee of the Maudsley Charity. In 2021, she founded the anti-racism initiative White Allies as an alternative way to tackle racism.

Josephine is also a qualified Reflective Practice Supervisor.

Contact josephine.namusisiriley@citizensuk.org

Grace Romero, Parent Organiser Southwark

Grace Romero

Parent Organiser Southwark

Grace, who lives in Camberwell, was an expectant mother in the pilot project. She is Latina and knows the numerous challenges the Spanish-speaking community faces. From 2015 to 2021, she coordinated the Espacio Mama group, which was dedicated to improving parents' well-being by providing a safe space where they could express themselves, belong, and socialize and for children to learn to play and be ready for nursery. She connected parents with various Latin American institutions and services in the community so that families could obtain relevant information to improve their lives.

Grace has now taken on a new role at Parent Action as a Community Organiser because she is passionate about ensuring that Spanish-speaking parents participate in social justice actions and that Latin American parents are integrated.

Contact: grace.romero@citizensuk.org

Layla Meerloo, Senior Project Manager

Layla Meerloo

Senior Project Manager

Layla joined Parent Action in late 2018 to develop a community-led cooking project to support families overcome the challenges to healthy eating and combat childhood obesity in Southwark. Now she is supporting the team to deliver a range of projects on mental health, community organising and our volunteer programme. She is passionate about community health and nutrition and her experience includes community outreach, running nutrition workshops and cooking classes in marginalised communities in Mexico. Layla is a Spanish speaker and has experience of translating, teaching, research, project development and TV production.

Contact: layla.meerloo@citizensuk.org

Werda Omar, Project Coordinator

Werda Omar

Project Coordinator

Werda's journey at Parent Action started as a volunteer at our Mumspace groups as well as going on to participate in our Black Maternal Voices group and Be Well Hubs project. She was particularly drawn to Parent Action and Citizens UK’s emphasis on building on and harnessing collective power, and most importantly, using this to deliver real, tangible changes to people's everyday lives.

She has an interest in design, child development and an academic background in social anthropology. She hopes to combine her academic knowledge in understanding communities, with her people skills and creativity to help in sharing and communicating the great work being done by the Parent Action community.

She also hopes to bring her experience in managing projects, facilitating training and people development to help support the whole team with various projects.

She is passionate about social justice and in helping to build a world in which ordinary people have a chance to shape their lives and the places where they live.

Contact: werda.omar@citizensuk.org

Ellie Demetri, Project Manager

Ellie Demetri

Project Manager for Mental Health

Ellie is our Project Manager for Mental Health. She joined Parent Action as a Family Food Club volunteer in 2019 and has a background in community engagement. Ellie’s focus is on improving parents access to mental health services and advocating for parents participation in building programmes that can support their wellbeing. Ellie believes that for services to be truly accessible we must involve those using them, and the wider community, in all stages of the design-process. There are lots of ways we can look after our wellbeing, and for Ellie this is getting outdoors and connecting with nature.

Contact: Elena.demetri@citizensuk.org

Rose Peake, Project Manager

Rose Peake

Project Manager

Rose spent over 10 years as an Early Years teacher and advisor in Lambeth and Wandsworth primary schools. She is passionate about early intervention and working with parents of babies and young children. She leads a team of dedicated volunteers to run MumSpace in Camberwell and loves creating a safe and supportive space for Mums to be, grow and develop. She has spent time in Latin America working in schools and is supporting the work of Espacio Mama to help integrate Spanish speaking parents into our community.

Email: Rose.Peake@citizensuk.org

Wendy McConnell, Parent Organiser North Tyneside

Wendy McConnell

Parent Organiser North Tyneside

Wendy is our Parent Organiser in North Tyneside. Before she joined Citizens UK she volunteered at her local primary school helping children with phonics and numeracy along with behaviour development and set up a playgroup for local Mums.  Wendy started her career in retail and was the store manager at Newcastle United Official Club Store. As well as her Parent Action duties, she still works part time at St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School in North Shields.

Contact: wendy.mcconnell@citizensuk.org

Mena Amnour, Parent Organiser

Mena Amnour

Parent Organiser

Mena is our Parent Organiser living in Camberwell. She is childcare trained and has worked in many nursery settings. After taking time off to raise her family, she started volunteering at MumSpace in 2017 supporting all the activities, with a focus on babies. Mena went on to join Parent Action in April 2019 as a Parent Organiser. She set up and started our newest group Babies@Mumspace, specifically for babies under one. She has four children and is passionate about the well being of parents and children in her community.

Email: mena.amnour@citizensuk.org

Kady Channer, Parent Organiser

Kady Channer

Parent Organiser

As a Parent Action mum myself I am really pleased to be a part of a community driven organisation, where I will be specifically addressing parental, young people and child mental health. I have joined Parent Action to lead a project aimed at training and empowering parents to deliver parental workshops to their peers.

Currently I am an EPEC facilitator delivering parental workshops and I have a background of special needs education-teaching assisting, working in schools for over 8 years alongside a dynamic range of people. Mostly supporting children with autism, I also have lots of knowledge and experience with a variety of learning barriers and child mental health support.

I have a degree in Business Studies with Spanish as well as a Masters of Science in Psychology, I hope to use my understanding of child development to inform and empower parents to be confident and intentional in their parental styles.

Overall I am looking forward to using my skills and experiences to support the whole team with the various projects across the organisation.  

Contact: kady.channer@citizensuk.org

Munira Nesredin, Associate Parent Organiser and Rose Voucher Assistant

Munira Nesredin

Associate Parent Organiser and Rose Voucher Assistant

I started as a parent at Parent Action then became a Parent Leader and started volunteering at groups in 2018. I was also on the Parent Action Steering Group to represent parents. I am an EPEC and Book Sharing facilitator. I am passionate about working with communities and connecting them to opportunities to learn and develop. Before joining Parent Action, I volunteered for three years teaching Arabic and cultural studies at a supplementary school.

I enjoy supporting parents in the Parent Action community especially to become leaders in the future, build their confidence to be empowered and make a change. I want to encourage families to live a healthy lifestyle by having Rose Vouchers for Fruit and Veg and help them to be more engaged in healthy activities. We in Parent Action believe Healthy families give a good start in early years for children and beyond.

Contact: Munira.Nesredin@citizensuk.org

Mery Calderon, Associate Parent Organiser

Mery Calderon

Associate Parent Organiser

Mery is a Latin-American mum who has the same issues as other Spanish-speaking mums. She is happy when she helps them to be a part of our community. Mery coordinates Espacio Mama.

She joined Parent Action as a mum attending to the groups when her baby was 3 months. she was doing volunteering for Rose Vouchers in First Place three years ago and she studied Child Care and was working as a Nursery Practitioner. She wants Spanish-speaking mums to be able to access all the services and support available in the local area.

Contact: mery.calderon@citizensuk.org