Become a Mentor
Meet the Team
Paul Dayes, the Director of Exit Foundation is himself an ex-offender. Paul has now made it his life’s passion to stop young people from taking the same path and making the same mistakes that he once made. Paul does this via one-to-one mentoring, life coaching and group sessions, including public speaking and workshops. Since setting up the Exit Foundation organisation, Paul himself works tirelessly in the field alongside the rest of his staff members. Together, the Exit Foundation team help people exit their old lifestyle for a new beginning as Paul himself has done.
The mission statement that Paul chose for the Exit Foundation organisation is ‘Love never fails’. Paul TOTALLY believes in this statement.
Michaela – Case Worker
Michaela has worked with children and young people from the ages of 5 – 18 for over six years. She has a degree in psychology and a particular passion for working with vulnerable young people, youth offenders, and those with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.
Whilst volunteering at Newham Youth Outreach Services she met Exit Foundation founder Paul and began volunteering alongside him. Michaela currently works for Exit Foundation as a detached worker in Waltham Forest and Newham. She engages with youth on the street, offering advice, support, and mentoring to steer them in the right direction.
Daniel – Case Worker
Daniel was born in South London and comes from a loving and supportive family. From a young age, Daniel would play up at school, associating with older boys who smoked cannabis and were considered to be ‘cool’. By the age of 11, Daniel himself started smoking cannabis and experimenting with recreational drugs. This then led Daniel into cultivating and drug dealing which became his way of earning money. As a result of his lifestyle, Daniel found himself addicted to crack cocaine and heroin; he was funding this through crimes such as theft, fraud, deception, and dealing. For 23 years he was in and out of prison more than 40 times and has spent over 8 years of his life behind bars.
At the age of 39, Daniel contacted Exit Foundation. At this point, he had reached an all-time low and had given up on life. Exit Foundation reached out to Daniel and directed him into Teen Challenge’s residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. Whilst there Daniel became a Christian and committed to helping others via his personal experiences.
Daniel’s life has now totally changed. He has achieved a level 3 award in Education and Training and is now using his past experiences to help transform the lives of young people. Daniel now works for Exit Foundation as a caseworker and mentor.
Pauline – Professional Development Trainer
Pauline has spent the past 23 years working in adult education. She is an experienced educator as well as assessor and has a vast amount of experience in working with offenders.
For 17 years, Pauline worked in the prison service, writing and delivering courses to help prisoners reach their full potential on release from jail.
5 years ago, Pauline established a teaching and training centre that runs courses accredited by City and Guilds. This centre in East London helps people turn their lives around from life-controlling addictions and its related criminal behaviour.
Since the centre opened, almost 230 certificates have been given out, some of which have taken their recipients to higher levels of qualification. One man has recently received a first-class honour in law, while another is now a fully-qualified chef.
Pauline joined the Exit Foundation team to offer professional development training to staff in care homes as well as writing and co-delivering gang awareness sessions. She is also involved in delivering skills for life courses for troubled youth in East London.
Martin Berry – Staff Member
Martin has a background in substance misuse and has worked alongside vulnerable young people with social and youth offending services, pupil referral units, and educational projects. As part of a nationwide team, Martin covered the South-East of England as a ‘breaking the cycle’ team coordinator, protecting parents and children from the separation that substance misuse can often cause. He now serves as a teacher at Teen Challenge London and is also a senior mentor for Exit Foundation.
Martin McClaren – Staff Member
Having experienced a dysfunctional and complex lifestyle, Martin developed a passion for supporting the cause for change.
“In my experience, the visions of individuals that are subject to dysfunctional lifestyles have been blurred by crime drugs and alcohol. I try to help challenge these thoughts and work with our clients to present a clearer vision about hope, family, forgiveness, housing and employment” said Martin.
In his previous roles, Martin worked as a community drug and alcohol care coordinator, writing reports for courts, social services, mental health and GP liaisons and facilitating pathways into detoxes and rehab.
Martin has worked in this field for over 13 years. He finds it exceedingly gratifying to witness when the young people that are referred to Exit Foundation change and become positive contributors to society.
Greg Burnett – Volunteer and Mentor
Greg grew up on the streets of Ipswich. In 1991 Greg found himself serving a 9-year prison sentence for the crime of armed robbery. Whilst in prison Greg transformed his life by becoming a Christian.
On his release in 1998, Greg secured himself a job in ‘roadworks’. In 2008 Greg started visiting prisons on a weekend to work in prison ministry. This included Greg giving testimony to other prisoners informing them that it was ‘never too late’ to turn their lives around. In 2015 Greg started working with Exit Foundation as a volunteer mentor. Greg is a valued and committed member of Exit Foundation whose desire is to see people exit street life.
Wonton the Shih Tzu – Therapy Dog
Wonton is the Exit Foundation and Newham YOS therapy dog. Wonton is a very important part of the Exit Foundation team who travels around with Paul whilst meeting the young people during their one on one mentoring sessions. Wonton sits in the back seat of the car and is available for engagement with the young people should they wish to do so. Wonton has become the most popular team member of all!
The commitment of our wonderful mentors and volunteers is essential in enabling Exit Foundation to help improve the lives of those in need. At Exit Foundation, we’re proud to work with mentors who have experienced and exited a gang or crime-related lifestyle themselves.
We are always on the lookout for dedicated and trustworthy mentors to join the team. If this sounds like you, and you’d like to use your experiences to impact the lives of others, you may be our next team member!
To register your interest, please get in touch by filling out the form on our contact page. A member of the team will get back to you to answer any questions you might have and begin the mentor application process.