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Office hours: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Meet the Staff


Julie Bayford

Julie BayfordChief Executive Officer

Julie's career began in childcare before becoming involved in youth and community work and completing a degree in Informal Education in 2010. Julie started working for Phoenix in 2012 as Youth Participation Leader and immensely enjoyed her work supporting young people, much experience was gained about deafness in this time. In 2019, Julie took on the role as Chief Executive Officer at a time of transition for the charity and has since been enjoying the challenges of leading the charity.



Sam Hollier

Communities Participation Leader


Sam is a qualified youth worker with more than 20 years’ experience working with young people and families. She fell in love with BSL more than ten years ago and in 2022 started her level 6 qualification, continuing on to her interpreting qualification in January 2023. She has come to Phoenix from Hertfordshire County Council and promises to bring passion and enthusiasm into every project that she delivers. Outside of work she loves to be outdoors and is a keen open water swimmer as well as spending time reading and having fun on stage. She is really pleased to be part of the Phoenix family and to offer engaging and exciting activities.

Laura Bone

LauraCommunication Support and Individual Support Worker

Laura started learning BSL level 1 as a hobby in her spare time and loved it so much she continued on to level 2 & 3. She has previously worked as a communication support worker at Bedford College and has worked with us at Phoenix since 2015. She enjoys working with the Deaf community and the young people here at Phoenix, helping them develop their skills and have fun!



Angela Radford

AngelaAdministrator and PA to the CEO

Angela worked within the education sector for nearly 20 years.  Eighteen of these were spent at The Saint John Henry Newman School as admin assistant, working her way up to become Office Manager. “It was an amazing place to work in and I feel very privileged to have been part of the community, making lots of good friends over the years”. After working at the Lister Hospital for 9 months during the pandemic, Angela went onto work at Herts for Learning in Stevenage. Sadly, due to the effects of the pandemic the role was mainly working remotely and she missed the interaction working with people, which led her to take up this new role at Phoenix Group where she is excited to be on board to support this amazing charity.



Jodie Laing

Activities Co-OrdinatorJodie

Jodie was a teacher in secondary schools for most of the last 20 years, mostly in the Seattle area of the United States.  Jodie and her family relocated to the UK in 2017, partly to be closer to her husband's family.  She enjoys helping children and young people grow and develop and had some connections with the deaf community in the US. Jodie also enjoys spending time with family friends, reading and travelling.



Lucy Buckley

LucyCommunication Support

Lucy has worked for many years as a CSW in secondary schools and colleges. She has BSL Level 6 and a degree in Deaf Studies from Bristol university. Her last role was an LSA at a Deaf school and now she is delighted to be volunteering for The Phoenix Group.  She has been a freelance CSW for Phoenix in the past so will be known to some of our members.



Gemma Johnson

GemmaFundraising Co-ordinator

Gemma's work with people with additional needs began in a voluntary capacity in 2014. Her most recent role before joining Phoenix in 2024 as freelance Fundraising Coordinator was as a Director and Project Manager of an award-winning specialist service in North London.
Gemma also creates and delivers horticulture based developmental frameworks and curriculums for SEN provisions which focus on increased well-being, independence and work skills.
In her spare time Gemma is a keen card player, avid documentary watcher and enjoys all things country with her beloved working labrador Pops.


Will Hextall

AngelaPlay Worker

Will has worked as a SEN TA at a primary school and a drama teacher at a weekend stage school. He is passionate about creativity and the power it has to change people’s lives for the better. When he isn’t helping to run fun activities as a Play Worker at Phoenix, he can be found screenwriting, acting and filmmaking. Will is thrilled to be working for Phoenix and grateful to witness the difference it makes on the lives of our young deaf community.



Caitlyn Bridgman

Play Worker

Caitlyn is training to become a teacher at a primary school in Stevenage and really enjoys working with children and observing their progress. Caitlyn has enjoyed working with Phoenix as a play worker in school holidays and uses her teaching experience to help children learn in all areas. Caitlyn has been learning BSL since 2022 and she is very pleased to be able to communicate more effectively with our BSL using children and families.