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ALEX Sayers, director and founder

Prior to founding Element in 2016 Alex worked in theatre access and participation. Feeling that it didn't go far enough to engage diverse audiences, she became a Year Here fellow. During the fellowship she worked as behaviour and learning support in a pupil referral unit, and developed a programme called 'Face Time' that supported young people to understand and talk about anger. Outside of work Alex enjoys trips to the theatre, reading, and spending plenty of time by the sea.

 
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Elo Acland, CEO and founder

Elo began her career working for international charities including Amnesty International and International Citizen Service before moving into more locally focussed youth work. During her time as a Year Here fellow she worked as an employment support advisor in a leaving care team before meeting Alex and founding Element in 2016. Outside of work Elo loves painting, playing piano and taking naps. 

 
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Maeve Slattery, Programme Manager

Maeve joined Element in September 2018. Previously, she worked in North Kensington as a senior community worker for The ClementJames Centre. In this role she provided 1:1 employment, educational and advice & guidance support to young people and adults in the local area. She also as ran a Women's Empowerment Programme and arts projects for young people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Outside of Element, Maeve writes and performs poetry, takes embroidery classes and tries (with the help of a very patient friend) to learn Arabic.

 

We also work with an incredible bunch of advisors, creatives, and volunteers who help make Element the best it can be. Their talents and experience stretch across financial strategy to government policy to branding to youth justice to impact measurement to art and design.

 

 

How Element Began

Elo and Alex started Element in 2016, using insights from their professional and personal experience. When Elo was an Employment Support Adviser in a Leaving Care Team, she felt there was a gap in holistic, wellbeing focussed support. Many young people were lacking opportunities to develop their confidence and creativity. When Alex was working in a Pupil Referral Unit, she saw that students struggling to express difficult emotions would manifest this in complex behaviour. It was clear to us that an innovative and creative approach was needed to support young people's personal development and wellbeing.

Element fuses our core beliefs: that emotional wellbeing is the foundation from which to succeed in all other aspects of life; that success comes from clear purpose and motivation; and that creativity is the best way to get there. 

 

Emotional wellbeing should be our starting point. Without it, practical support is not enough for the most vulnerable young people.
— Action for Children

Around 62% of Looked After Children and 72% of those in residential care have some level of emotional or mental health difficulty.
— National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

 

Think young people where you work would benefit from Element?

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