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About us

Our Support Officers know what our clients are going through, because they’ve been through it too! These are our stories.

Charmaine Sewell

Chief Executive Officer

I set up R.E.S after experiencing first hand the challenges of having a criminal record, being in prison and experiencing discrimination related to my offending past. As a young child I grew up around violence, drugs and alcohol. I left the family home at the age of 14, by 15 I was homeless and living on the streets abusing drugs and alcohol. 

I was in and out of prison until my early 20’s when I walked into a company like R.E.S and was struck by the support I was given and the worker’s belief in me. This inspired me to change my life and I started volunteering, later finding employment supporting ex-offenders and those in recovery.

I had the idea of R.E.S many years ago, and in 2014 was determined to focus on it full time. I started working voluntarily, building the business and applying for funding. In 2015, I gained sufficient income to become the sole employee.

I have used my personal experience to lead by example. I try to empower people who feel ‘stuck in a rut’ to achieve positive changes in their lives through volunteering, training and employment opportunities.

The team

All of our team have lived experience of addiction, substance misuse or offending. They have been through what our clients have been through, that is why they can be trusted to provide the most practical and understanding support and guidance.

Julie Branch

Client Practitioner

I have come from a background of addiction, experienced domestic violence, homelessness and have been through the criminal justice system which has affected a balanced lifestyle and my own emotional wellbeing, I never thought I would gain employment with my history. 

I was a client of Reformed East Sussex, where they supported me in finding voluntary work and courses. This helped me with my confidence issues and increased my self-esteem. Then I started volunteering with a substance misuse service which gave me understanding of working with people and supporting clients. I gained knowledge and skills of a support service, which gave me the confidence to apply for the job at RES.

I am thrilled to be a part of the team, I think employment is so important, it gives people meaning, self-respect, self-worth and a solid foundation that you can build on to have a successful future.

What our clients say

We’re so happy when we hear a client has made a positive change, gained employment or made a big leap towards a better future.

Directors

We are thrilled and honoured to have these directors backing us up and providing essential knowledge, expertise and passion to help us make a real difference to people’s lives.

Anna Burke

Non Executive Director

I have a background in Social Enterprise and in teaching, specialising in recovery and rehabilitation.  My heart and soul belongs to fighting social exclusion, but I also have a wide range of practical skills and experience I can bring to Reformed East Sussex.  I have myself launched and managed a successful social enterprise as well as supporting others with start-ups so I’ve ‘walked the walk’!

I’m very proud to be a Director of Reformed and to be able to support Charmaine in this fantastic venture.

Paul Sellings

Director

Paul has over 30 years police experience mainly dealing with crime and criminals. Paul understands that there are reasons behind offending that sometimes sending people to prison can’t solve.

He is passionate about the work that Reformed East Sussex  carry out and is sure that their work is having an incredibly beneficial effect locally.

He believes that if this work is encouraged and nurtured there are people whose lives can change direction resulting in fewer victims, safer communities and making our county a better place to live.

Paul is delighted to be a Director at Reformed East Sussex and will give Charmaine and the team all the support he can.

Lee Whitmore

Director

Lee has been working for the Probation Service for ten years and has worked with hundreds of people to help them lead the life they want to. Lee has experience of governance of a charitable organisation as a Trustee for Mediation+ since 2014.

Lee understands that the reasons people commit crime can be complex and the road to rehabilitation is challenging, but there are some common themes to many success stories. Securing meaningful employment is one of the most significant achievements on many people’s journey to break the cycle of offending. Reformed offers a great package to help people on this journey.

Lee is delighted to be involved with Reformed and wants to support the valuable work of the organisation to help more people gain the skills and opportunities to work. This is an exciting time for reformed as the team grows to meet the needs of an increasing client  group. Lee hopes to bring experience of rehabilitation services, providing advice and support as a member of the Board, to help Reformed deliver its service and continue to grow.

Help us make a difference to people's lives

By donating to R.E.S you are enabling us to further help improve the lives of vulnerable people in your community. Please only donate what you feel you can spare. Thank you so much for your continued support.

We believe in people

If you want to turn your life around and are committed to making a change we can help you rebuild. We support current and previously imprisoned adults and recovering addicts turn their lives around and build self-esteem.

Working with community partners our support is focused on intervention, prevention and reduction in offending and substance misuse. We’ll help you either find employment or help improve your employability.