The Wickers Charity
Supporting young people in Hackney
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Our Team

The people behind the wickers

 

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Yvonne Martin

A charity worker specialising in fundraising, events organisation and day-to-day administration.

Yvonne has been involved with charities over the last ten years working for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust and Agents Giving.

“When I was approached by local businessman Henry Smith, CEO of Aitch Group, that he wanted to build a charitable organisation to help reduce knife crime amongst youths at risk and provide a distraction to gang life, I put my hand up without hesitation!  Aitch Group had been supporting HWFC founder and football coach Bobby Kasanga in his efforts in creating a sports channel to attract young people at risk off the streets. But now it was time to build a broader platform to provide more comprehensive services and The Wickers Charity was formed. Henry asked if I would accept the position of Operations Manager to which I replied most definitely".


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Wendel Henry

Hackney born and bred, Wendel Henry still lives in Hackney and has dedicated most of his life to doing charity work.

"I have always had a passion for boxing and still maintain, to this day, my connection with Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green. A chance meeting with Yvonne Martin, operations manager of the Wickers Charity, opened an opportunity for me to becoming a Trustee and an integral member of the charity’s operations team at the Hub.

Here at the The Wickers Charity Hub, the team and I facilitate workshops and courses and provide group activities to distract our youths at risk of drifting into knife crime and gang life.

I am really thrilled to be a Trustee working at the Hub and specially on taking the #saveouryouths programme forward".


HENRY SMITH

Born and raised an East Ender, Henry Smith, CEO of Aitch Group, has raised funds for the Richard House Hospice, Teens Unite by getting to the North Pole and Breast Cancer by climbing Machu Picchu. Henry now thinks it is important we support the youths at risk in Hackney and has recently found The Wickers Charity.

“I’m proud to call East London my home. Since starting Aitch Group in 1995, I’ve seen the area change in unimaginable ways. Yet, one thing has always remained the same, East London’s strong sense of community and buzzing soul.

From starting off converting houses into bedsits to now regenerating industrial areas with approximately 300 new homes, offices and leisure, I’ve always had the passion to support the local community and build sustainable environments for people to live and work.  Aitch Group is formed of exceptionally talented individuals who share this vision, which makes Aitch Group a truly inspiring place to work. We place great importance on giving back to the areas that we operate in, that’s why we support a range of local charitable organisations.

Now is the time to really come together and help our youths at risk. We aim to provide them at the Hub with all the assistance needed to improve their confidence, skills and get employed but most important of all to distract them from drifting into knife crime and gang life.

Come to The Wickers Charity’ Hub and meet up with Bobby Kasanga and Yvonne Martin and find out how we can do this together”.


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Chelsea Reynolds

Chelsea Reynolds is the Director of Aitch Group and has worked alongside Henry Smith for over six years. When she heard Henry was setting up The Wickers Charity, Chelsea knew instantly she wanted to be involved.  

“I want to show young people that there is a different life, a different world, out there. Everyone can have the same opportunities when you put in 100%. You can have knockbacks but just keep going, they only make you stronger.

This is my first involvement in a charity and I’m thrilled to be part of such a fantastic cause - helping the younger generation to improve school grades, pursue goals and in turn save lives from gang related crime.

I’m proud to know that The Wickers Charity is making a positive impact on the future of young people in East London".


Tessa Matchett

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Tessa is the Head of Press for ITV Studios, the world's fastest production company making over 8,500 hours of tv every year.

"I met Bobby in 2016, when I took my twin boys along to train and play for Hackney Wick FC. I was so impressed in seeing the way Bobby is with the kids  - the way he inspires them; acts as a role model and creates a community in the heart of Hackney which allows the kids to thrive. I wanted to support this work and when Henry and Bobby created The Wickers Charity, I was honoured to become a trustee and play my part in providing young people with an alternative to gang crime".