Our People


Rosa de Guero
Founder and Director 

Rosa has lived in Camden since the age of 5 and is the founder of Survivors Can Shine. She grew up in an abusive environment, abused by her primary caregiver. She went to bed in fear and woke up in fear, silenced by her abuser through shame, guilt, fear and a misplaced need to protect her.

Although signs of abuse were clearly evident, she was labelled a 'Problem Child' and passed on from one school to the next. She could not concentrate in class or relate to other children as she had long since become an adult. No one asked questions and she was too afraid to tell. She found through music, dance and drama she was able to express herself. She didn't realise then, just how important these forms of expression would be in helping her survive her childhood.

Aged fourteen, Rosa ran away from home to escape her abuser. She thought the worst was behind her, she did not know that you cannot hide from trauma. This led her down endless paths of self-destruction as she attempted to suppress the painful memories.

Both Rosa and her brother, a Deputy Head Teacher and Child Protection Worker, suffer from lifelong physical and mental health conditions medically linked to trauma. In 2017, they finally spoke out and took their abuser to court seeking justice and accountability for the abuse they suffered at her hands. Their mother was acquitted of all charges. Rosa took to social media, reaching out to other survivors and organisations who raise awareness of child abuse and the systemic injustices which fail so many.

Rosa is a strong campaigner and has worked with organisations across the UK raising awareness and supporting survivors of abuse. She has given talks on her lived experience and the impact of childhood trauma at universities and safeguarding conferences. She is an active member of the forum for the Truth Project and has contributed to the review of victims’ law held by the Victims Commissioner for London. Rosa was appointed Child Abuse Ambassador for ‘Respect Yourself’, a charity providing advocacy and support for young people.

Through her work Rosa saw the pattern of abuse, trauma and predictable outcomes related to mental and physical health. She was shocked by the lack of open conversation and opportunity for children to speak out and be heard. She founded Survivors Can Shine to lift the taboo on speaking about abuse and break the silence that abusers rely on. She created the I Shine, Speak Out Ambassadors for Change programme to provide a platform to empower children and celebrate their voices. Leading with a multi-agency approach and establishing transparency between services, her mission is to ensure that no child is left without a voice.

'I no longer feel ashamed or that I have to hide from my childhood, the determination I had to survive as a child is what gave me the strength I have to continue today.'

Cath Bennett
Director and Child Protection Lead

Cath is an Education Safeguarding Officer working alongside social workers and supporting schools in safeguarding their communities. Cath worked for over 20 years in primary education within the South London area as an Inclusion Manager and Assistant Head.

She describes the most significant impact within her teaching career as a safeguarding lead. Cath recognised the stress school staff face on a daily basis, balancing safeguarding along with fulfilling curriculum and OFSTED requirements. She specialises in childhood trauma (ACES) and the impact of domestic abuse on children.

Through working within education and children's social care Cath soon recognised the need for more explicit teaching and age appropriate learning opportunities around child abuse. After meeting Rosa and hearing about Survivors Can Shine, Cath saw this as the opportunity to use her knowledge and expertise, to help develop the 'I Shine, Speak Out'  Safeguarding programme, with the aim to help as many children 'speak out, be heard, be safe'.

Montana Aguelo de Guero Barrera

A graduate in performing arts with a wealth of experience in mentoring and co-facilitating workshops for children and young people, Montana represents young people's voices on the board of directors.

Montana has taught theatre in inner city schools and run drama therapy  workshops at young offenders' institutions.

She is a member of performance group So La Flair, a solid group of young women pushing boundaries of storytelling to disrupt and dismantle dominant discourses of race, gender, sexuality and class. The group's touring show sold out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022.

Montana has a passionate belief in the power of performing arts to act as a catalyst for young people to develop responsibility and pride in their own creativity, amplify their voices on issues that matter to them, and create social change.

Jaidon-Rhys Williams-Silvera
Project Coordinator

Jaidon-Rhys, also known as ‘Teddy Reiss’, is a project coordinator with Survivors can Shine. Doubling as a producer and artist, he expresses himself through his lyrics and is passionate about creating a positive change through music. In 2018, Jaidon founded an organisation called Rap Association C.I.C, a community interest company that uses rap as a tool to educate, entertain and empower. Within Jaidon's educational history, he has studied Economics, Finance, Business Studies, AAT Level 3 (accounting) and received 1st class honours Bachelor's Degree in Music Industry Practice. He uses his organisational skills to coordinate and co-facilitate Ambassador for Change workshops, working closely with the Founder-Director to strategise towards healthy growth and sustainability.

“Working with Survivors can Shine has given me a sense of accomplishment I’ve haven’t had at other workplaces. Supporting young people in changing the narrative and creating positive messages through music to create social change is incredibly rewarding. ”

Lily Smith
Project Coordinator

Lily has spent the last 6 years of her career working within the non-profit sector. From fundraising at one of the largest mental health charities to running the communications at a mental health and wellbeing organisation for students, she has experience across both small and large organisations.  

She graduated in 2016 with a degree in Media & Communications and has gone on to run events at organisations like The Times & Sunday Times, before making the jump into the charity sector after looking for something more rewarding.   

Lily has recently completed her foundation course in Counselling & Psychotherapy and is obsessed with all thing’s psychology. She’s keen to use her passion for psychology to help ensure young people feel empowered. Sometimes all it takes is someone that’s willing to really listen.  

“I am so happy to be part of the Ambassadors for Change Programme as I know first-hand the importance of feeling like you can speak out. I want to be a part of shaping the generations to come and changing the narrative around abuse to ensure that children can create solid foundations to thrive.”

Jamala Osman
Community Engagement Coordinator / Workshop Facilitator 

Jamala Osman is a dynamic and accomplished individual, with a remarkable background and a passion for empowering others. Jamala has dedicated her life to supporting young people in reaching their goals and unlocking their full potential.

At the age of 21, Jamala made history as the youngest bank manager in the country for Barclays, showcasing her exceptional leadership skills and determination. Despite facing adversity in her own childhood, Jamala emerged triumphant, breaking barriers and achieving success in the corporate world.

Jamala's journey took a turn towards inspiration and advocacy when she transitioned into a role as an award-winning motivational speaker. Her compelling story and unique perspective have earned her recognition on prestigious platforms, including a TED Talk, where she shared her experiences with audiences worldwide. Her impact resonates deeply, making her a sought-after speaker who leaves a lasting impression on every individual she encounters.

Being named Rotary Great Britain and Ireland Young Person of the Year is a testament to Jamala's commitment to making a positive difference. Over the past five years, she has dedicated herself to supporting young people on their journeys, helping them discover their strengths and overcome obstacles. Her coaching skills are unparalleled, and she excels at guiding others toward their goals with empathy and encouragement.

Jamala's work at Survivors Can Shine reflects her deep-seated passion for helping and inspiring young people. As the Community Engagement Coordinator, she plays a pivotal role in creating a supportive environment, fostering a sense of community and empowerment.

Despite facing personal challenges in her own life, Jamala Osman has emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience. Her story is not just one of triumph over adversity but a source of inspiration for those she engages with. Through her dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment to uplifting others, Jamala continues to make a significant impact on the lives of those she touches, proving that survivors can indeed shine.

Workshop Facilitator

Shocka, is a rapper and mental health advocate from Tottenham, London, and our biggest Ambassador for Change here at Survivors Can Shine. He gained recognition for being part of Grime collective Marvell.

After dealing with mental health issues himself, Shocka is now a successful rapper, poet, author, TED talk speaker, self love advocate, and mental health activist, on a mission to show the truth behind mental health illnesses. He uses his lived experience with crime and poverty to shine a positive light on areas that have seen so much negativity. He's also just released his first book 'A Section on my Life'. 

Shocka has been a key supporter of Survivors Can Shine from the beginning and a great inspiration, particularly to the young black men and boys that we work with. By showing strength through vulnerability, he has paved the way for others to know that it's ok to speak up and be heard. 

We are so honoured to have him on board.

Leroy Da Silva
Workshop Facilitator

Leroy Da Silva is a multidisciplinary artist who has an extensive portfolio in music and film. His music is known for its unique beats, catchy melodies, and thoughtful lyrics. 

Leroy has gained the attention of Sir Lenny Henry and the Royal Television Society for his short film “The King of the Forest” and its impact on audiences. He is also the founder of the community led multimedia hub NESW and has organised events and art exhibitions, showcasing and highlighting his passion for not only music but also visual arts. 

Leroy works with Survivors Can Shine as a workshop facilitator and brings his passion for music and arts into his work with children and young people. Leroy believes in the power of uplifting children and helping them feel empowered to speak out.  

Pariss Castro-Richards
Ambassador for Change, Media Spokesperson,
Assistant Project Coordinator

Pariss is a great asset to Survivors Can Shine.

She graduated from the University of Leeds and is determined in pursuing a career in Law. During her time at university, she ran a dance society of over 150 members.

Her performing arts background combined with her professionalism makes her a charismatic and engaging spokesperson for Survivors Can Shine.

Pariss has previous experience volunteering with other charities that aim to improve childhoods and create happier homes.

Within Survivors Can Shine, she assists with event planning and management, helping with creative visions, and uses her academic background to perform administrative tasks. Pariss recently appeared on GB News live, alongside our Founder, Rosa, for an important discussion with Sir Alastair Stewart OBE on child abuse.

With lived experience, having witnessed first-hand the effects of child abuse and its potential to ruin lives, Pariss is incredibly understanding, empathetic and compassionate. She has personally overcome much adversity during her childhood and believes having a good support network is crucial. She is extremely passionate about giving back to children and improving the lives of those who have been victims of abuse.

We are proud to have Pariss as an Ambassador for Change!

Non-Executive Directors

Charles Browne

Charles is the CEO of a London-wide non-profit, 2TR Football, which delivers life and employability skills for young people, through a vibrant and inclusive new football game called 2-Touch Rulz. He has over 20 years' experience of working with diverse groups of young people.

Charles loves bringing communities together, and supporting young people to achieve great physical and mental health. His goal is to ensure that every child can have a positive path in life through skills, training and employment opportunities.

Charles is passionate about safeguarding and protecting the rights of children and young people. He's a great advocate for our mission of keeping children's voices at the forefront so that no child is left without a voice.

Survivors Can Shine welcomes Charlie's expertise in project management, strategic planning, marketing and PR to our board.

Joe West

Joe West is the Head of Philanthropy at Bloomsbury Football Foundation, a London-based sport for change charity. He holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Leeds. Leading the fundraising team since 2021, Joe has played a key role in growing the organisation to support over 5000 young people a week to access the benefits of regular participation in football.  

His work at Bloomsbury is informed by his desire to create positive and supportive environments for young people, and his belief in the pivotal role that sport can play in improving people’s lives.  

We are so thrilled to have Joe be a part Survivors can Shine and we know that his work in philanthropy and fundraising will play a huge role in the growth of Survivors Can Shine.

His passion and dedication for young people and protecting their rights will make him a pivotal part of our organisation.   

“I’m so proud to be part of Survivors Can Shine and support their work in empowering children to advocate for their rights, ensuring that every child is seen and heard.” 

Marsha Hutton

Marsha Hutton, also known by the alias Empress Star Love, is a Spoken Word Artist and an expert by lived experience. She expresses herself through her lyrics and is passionate about creating positive change through her music. It is a great privilege to have Marsha on our team and grow with us as an organisation. She joined Survivors Can Shine over 2 years ago, during this time she has recorded and performed our 'I Shine, We Shine' track, played a key role in our Ambassador for Change community events, and has gone on to complete numerous courses, such as, Advanced Safeguarding, Project Management, NGO training, Team Leading and Youth Mental Health First Aid. As one of our senior Ambassadors for Change, Marsha demonstrates how you can shine through adversity and be an inspiration to others.

"It is a pleasure to be involved with the organisation, I have had the opportunity to learn new skills and the work I am doing with Survivors Can Shine has helped me to recognise my strength and self-worth, I have also gained confidence in my abilities as a mother. My son loves taking part in the workshops and the walk and talk sessions with Sunny the therapy dog. I have seen such positive changes in his behaviour since he has become an Ambassador for change. I am excited to see what the future holds for the organisation, I know great things are on the horizon. I'm proud to bring my experience and skill sets to the board and I am committed to using my voice to raise awareness and empower children and young people."