Whatever It Takes was founded in late 2019 to break the destructive cycle of children and young people at risk of or committing crimes so that, instead, they make a positive contribution to our society and build better lives for themselves.
Over the last 9 months the founders; Sophie Humphreys OBE, Rebecca Cramer, Josh MacAlister and Michael Clarke, have made excellent progress in establishing WIT, raising funds, working with key stakeholders to refine WIT's proposed approach, preparing the launch of the first pilots, and appointing a Chief Executive and a Director of Practice. This work was led by Rebecca Cramer, as founding director seconded from her role at Reach Academy, thank-you Rebecca for your efforts over the last 9 months.
Michael Steel joins the organisation on 17 August 2020 as Chief Executive of WIT. Prior to joining WIT, Michael founded and was Chief Exec of a healthcare business that provides urgent treatment centres to support busy NHS A&E departments across London. With a reputation for high quality services, the organisation grew rapidly to 11 centres treating more than 750,000 patients per year. Before that, Michael worked in strategy consulting with Booz Allen & Hamilton and founded and grew a spin off consulting firm with 3 colleagues. Michael has an MBA from INSEAD and a master’s degree in Economics from Oxford University.
Colin Cliff joined WIT in June as Director of Practice. Before joining WIT, Colin worked for 9 years with The Challenge pioneering and delivering programmes focused on building a more integrated society. This included the design and development of the National Citizens Service (NCS) programme which would grow to be delivered to over 200,000 young people around the UK. Prior to this Colin worked extensively with young people from a range of backgrounds through projects in South East London. Colin is a JNC qualified Youth Worker with a degree in Youth and Community Work from The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission.
Michael and Colin are responsible for the next stage(s) of WIT's development. This will see the launch of 2 initial pilots and then a further 3 pilots to prove the value that WIT's approach will bring to children, their families and the organisations that are currently supporting them. Michael and Colin will also be responsible for building the WIT organisational infrastructure in readiness for a national roll-out following the successful conclusion of the pilot stage.
Sophie Humphreys will continue in her role as Executive Chair and the other 3 founders will all sit on the Board of WIT as non-executive directors, together with new non-executive directors Pamela Parkes and Nick Pendry.
Pam is an experienced senior executive, practicing in progressive Human Resource Management, Organisation Development and Service Design, with an extensive track record of delivering measurable success at some of the most challenging and ambitious local authorities in Central and Greater London and is currently based at Essex County Council. Nick is the Director of Children's Social Care in the London Borough of Croydon. He is a social worker and a family and systemic psychotherapist who has worked across local authority and CAMHS settings.
We are confident that the innovative approach of WIT will support children and young people to change and transform their lives, and in the benefits to society that this transformation will produce.
We look forward to working with you to deliver this vision and thank-you for your support and interest to date.
Sophie Humphreys OBE