BIPC Lewisham Ambassadors are a group of local entrepreneurs who have benefitted from business support during the Start Ups in London Libraries (SiLL) project, which functioned as the previous iteration of BIPC Lewisham. Ambassadors are now passing on their experience by attending networking events and panels, supporting other small business owners through their own start-up journeys, and promoting BIPC Lewisham resources to the wider public.
Fiona Wedderburn-Graham and Jennifer McLean (Amaze Associates)
Fiona has a background in local government, and specialises in helping people establish self-leadership in their own lives and build confidence and purpose. Her own myriad life experiences inform her drive to help others redefine their accomplishments and achieve new and ongoing goals.
Jennifer’s involvement in coaching began during her work as a senior manager in children’s services and education. She formalised her leadership training in 2008 with an Institute of Leadership & Management L7 qualification. Jennifer’s particular interests are leadership, career change and business start-ups.
Working together as Amaze Associates, Fiona and Jennifer empower clients to take charge of their lives, businesses and work, build their confidence and provide them with real tools to turn those challenges into successes.
David Bourroughs (Buddies for All)
David has had many roles during his career: researcher, data analyst, marketer, campaign manager and the facilitator for the implementation of social care plans and budgets. With over a decade of experience in the private, public and charitable sectors, he has expertise in operational management, business communications, content management systems, supporter development and editorial direction.
David’s own experience of living with cerebral palsy, hearing loss and speech impairment inspired him to found Buddies for All, an innovative Community Interest Company which aims to support disabled Londoners in overcoming social isolation. They do this by offering online, telephone and face-to-face buddying support and are currently free to use.
Mel Nichols (Chayses Boys Book Club)
Mel started Chayses Boys Book Club in 2016 in response to a lack of extra-curricular activities for young boys aged 10-16 in the London Borough of Lewisham. The goal was to increase the boys’ literacy levels while providing a safe space for young black boys outside of the school setting.
The book club also offers boys opportunities that may not have otherwise been afforded to them. Mel takes the boys on trips to educational and corporate institutions to broaden their academic and social horizons, as well as enhancing their future career aspirations. Thus far, destinations have included the Houses of Parliament, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, ITV (where they learned how to produce a news programme), Microsoft, Royal Institution of British Architects, and the Institute of Engineering and Technology. The bookclub also sponsored some of the boys to complete an aviation course with Fantasy Wings, where they were awarded CIPD certificates and flying lessons.
Instagram (Chayses Boys Book Club)
Instagram (Chayses Pantry)
Hannah is an interior and homewares designer based in Deptford. After a long career in visual merchandising and retail design, Hannah branched out and founded her own business, Hannah Drakeford Design, in 2020.
Hannah's designs are bold and bright and convey her passion for all things mid-century. Alongside interior design and her online homewares store, Hannah also shares her creative furniture upcycling tutorials on social media and offers her one-of-a-kind apartment as a location for filming and photo shoots.
Esther Jacob (Authentic Worth)
Esther Jacob is an award winning multi-hyphenate: blogger, workshop facilitator, motivational speaker, author of 6 books on personal development and founder of Authentic Worth Publishing. Esther supports aspiring authors in turning their stories into published books and believes that a book is one of the best ways to stand out, add value in the lives of others and leave a unique legacy in the community.