Gary Bowman is our manager. He has returned to the voluntary sector, his natural home, after 25 years experience of serving communities through leading on community development, community safety and neighbourhood regeneration and renewal for public sector led organisations in Sandwell, Birmingham and Burton.
Gary has a strong commitment to ensuring the voice of local people is heard and to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. He appreciates the vital role that schools play in local community life and sees Handsworth Association of Schools' huge potential to be a leading agency in schools' improvement, developing future citizens and tackling poverty and poor health.
Project Engagement Manager
Debz Bonnique is our Project & Engagement Manager. She is an experienced Education practitioner and Community Development Manager with over 30 years of experience within the Education and voluntary sector, predominantly with children and families across Birmingham.
Debz has also run her own business, providing a range of family learning and youth programmes for children, families and young people.
As an adult/college tutor it has always been very important for her to build positive links between home and school and the community, by creating opportunities for families and schools to work together. She was responsible for the co-ordination and development of a large outreach parent partnership team, which involved supporting and developing parents as co-educators. Her role as chair of Governors for two local schools, has given her an insight into the strategic and operational management of schools, which is very useful in her role at HAOS.
Debz is a positive person who believes anything is possible and always encourage and motivate others to believe the same.
Debbie Thomas is our Office Administrator. She has many years of experience working for the NHS in hospitals and for the Clinical Commissioning Group in varied roles as Executive Assistant, HR Adviser, Project Officer & Healthcare Assistant.
Debbie was a School Governor for over 12 years with a committed role as Chair of the staffing committee. She began working with HAOS as volunteer providing administration and project support.
Debbie has been a volunteer member of her local community group for residents in collaboration with the local Police, Councillors and MP in highlighting and responding to crime prevention and supporting safety procedures.
Debbie is passionate in supporting projects where the heart of the matter is for children, families and citizens.
Food Hub Coordinator, Family support worker and Community Connector
Having worked in the local area for many years Jennifer has a positive relationship working in local schools. She has experience of managing afterschool school provisions for local children and Jennifer is committed to supporting family life and helping to support parents. Jennifer is responsible for managing and organising our food bank activity and promoting and developing the service through schools and community partners. As a Community Connector, Jennifer also has an outreach element to her work which means she can get to know our community better for the benefit of families.
Stephen is an environmental artist and educator who has run interactive ecological workshops and designed installation and exhibitions at major national events and venues and international exchanges in Europe* .Through his 20 years as a socially engaged artist, he has designed and run dozens of schools programmes and initiatives working in primary, secondary schools, universities and community spaces. His philosophy is that everything we do is culture and that culture becomes habit. In order to become an environmentally sustainable culture, we have to offer people more than information alone, but also empower them to have the agency to increase awareness and change their behaviour. Therefore ,socially engaged art is a cultural agent to make behavioural change possible. As our Green Mentor, Stephen is responsible for training and supporting young people to become Green Influencers to help them make environmental change.
*National Trust properties- Mottisfont, Croft Castle, Quarry bank mill.
Other venues- Olympic park,Hall Place,Ironbridge, Selfridges (London-Ultra lounge)
Galleries- Hauser and Wirth Somerset,Whitechapel,Tate modern,Watts Gallery.
Project Development Lead, Funding, Community Connector
Ruth Edgcumbe has worked in the charitable sector for many years, developing and running a wide range of initiatives and programs for children and families. Ruth has been able to secure funding over the years to ensure that many educational and community projects have taken place. She has a strong mental health focus being a psychology teacher and is trained in mental health first aid. Her role as Project Development Lead means that she is able to work alongside others to conceptualise and bring to life projects that strive to improve children's lives.