Founder & CEO
Mike was an Army Officer for 8 years, where he saw the impact that positive leadership and mentoring had on the lives of young men. He served two tours of Afghanistan and took part in dozens of exercises around the UK and abroad. Mike has a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Nottingham and an MRES in Strategy & Security from Exeter University.
Inspired to found the project after volunteering in Feltham Young Offenders Institute, Mike was convinced of the need to combine team sport, mentorship and role modelling for young men. As the project's CEO and Founder Mike has seen the project grow from a pilot project in HMP Wandsworth, to delivering ongoing projects in Prisons and Young Offenders Institutes and the community.
Grace has joined 3Pillars Project as she believes in the positive and influential support sport can have in a person’s life. “Sport helps develop lasting relationships that build a foundation for mentoring and therefore the scope to help people in the community is inspiring”.
Alongside attaining her MSc in Custodial Environments and Leadership, she has worked in the prison and probation service. In those roles, Grace was able to work with many individuals in custody whom she believes would have benefited greatly from the work 3Pillars does. “My passion is to help build positive futures for the guys we work with alongside working with different organisations that share the same goal as us”.
Bringing a breadth of experience to the team including working in multiple prisons as well as working with victims of all crime. Milka has a background in Psychology, Forensic Psychology and uses psychological approaches in mentoring which underpin her ability to engage with mentees. Milka initially worked in a number of gyms, qualifying at the age of 16 as a Fitness Instructor then Personal Trainer and now to being a Consultant Mentor for 3Pillars Project. Milka says "sport has taught me is resilience; the ability to learn that even if you’re knocked down, you can pick yourself up and bounce back even stronger".
Peter served in the British Army for 40 years and experienced the full effect of Service life from private soldier to Lieutenant Colonel. Since leaving the Army, Peter has worked with a renewable energy company and as a consultant, working closely with executive teams, supporting and developing strategy and leadership. Peter is a qualified psychotherapist and holds an MBA.
Jen joins 3Pillars to develop future programme capabilities and opportunities through partnerships for the charity. With a strong set of values derived from playing and coaching rugby herself she now uses her experience to help others thrive in society. From studying the an MSc in the Sociology of Sport, working in Sport Development within Higher Education and at Dallaglio RugbyWorks Jen saw first-hand the power of sport to mobilise communities. "I love working with people, whether that be participants, colleagues, partners or stakeholders. Together we are stronger". Also a Mental Health in Sport trainer and RFU Coach Educator Jen is always keen to develop herself and embrace life-long learning.
Tom joined 3Pillars Project as a Development Intern in January 2021 whilst studying for his Masters in International Security & Terrorism at the University of Nottingham. After completing the three-month internship, Tom remained an intern for the charity and continues to offer his free time to develop our programmes.
His Masters and Undergraduate degree gave him sufficient but limited experience and understanding of the criminal justice system. But the internship has started his wider curiosity to explore the practice of rehabilitation for people during and after their time in prison and what services are provided once a person has been released.
“Enrolling on the 3Pillars internship has given me the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system and value the importance of sport intervention in providing a positive distraction for young people in prison and fostering cognitive behavioural therapy."
Mentor & Coach
Darren believes sport can have a huge impact on people’s lives. It can unlock the potential in others and with positive role models, mentoring, coaching and support the chances of reoffending can be reduced. He has over 21 years of experience working within the prison service as a Prison Officer and for several years during that time as a Sports Tutor. He was awarded the accolade of the Festival of Learning’s National Inspirational Tutor of the Year for his passion and his services to offender learning.
Darren has gained his qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status and is enthusiastic about the development of others. He has completed several endurance events and races including Ironman triathlons, an ultra-marathon, Arctic Expeditions in Greenland, and Norway and most recently cycled solo from Nordkapp, Norway to Valletta, Malta, 3,493 miles in 55 days. Within his role with 3Pillars’ he wants to “support and share my experiences in the hope to change lives and make the world a better place”.
An experienced boxing coach and former semi pro footballer. Steve is a 3Pillars Rugby Academy graduate. As a course graduate, he then volunteered as an Assistant Coach in Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institute, alongside the 3Pillars delivery team. Working with Young Offenders in prison and forming positive mentoring relationships has been Steve's most rewarding work with 3Pillars to date.
A former professional boxer, National Amateur Champion and Level 3 Personal Trainer, Steve joins 3Pillars as a Coach. He is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Choice Theory Mentor. Steve believes in Mike and his dream, and the sense of team that 3Pillars brings.
Dr Hannah Baumer has a PhD in Forensic Psychology from Royal Holloway University. A member of the Research and Evidence Group for the Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime, Hannah's research interests include theories of motivation, masculinity, and the use of sport in prisons and community settings to promote behavioural change.
Hannah currently leads two research projects: with young people in the community and with young offenders. As 3Pillars Development Lead she supports the development of programmes to give young people the support and motivation they need to lead positive lives.
Lamahl is an Assistant coach with 3Pillars Project, bringing a wealth of experience in sport and sports coaching. A keen footballer in his youth, Lamahl played for West Ham Juniors. He is a Level 1 FA football coach and also a Level 2 qualified gym instructor.
Lamahl has an infectious energy in the gym and the power to engage with people from all backgrounds. If you're lucky, he might also beat you in a game of chess.
Rugby Coach & PTI
A former Sergeant Major and Royal Army Physical Training Instructor, Will is an expert fitness instructor and currently studying for a degree in sports science, Will enjoys charity fundraising events, from sponsored fire engine pulls to assault course challenges and is a volunteer youth mentor in South East London.
Niall, a strength and conditioning coach for the Royal Ballet and London Broncos, is a certified RFU Level 2 Rugby Coach and a (CSCS and ASCC) strength and conditioning coach. He is a rugby coach for King’s College and Middlesex and plays for Wimbledon Rugby Club (National 2 South). Niall works on our course at HMP Wormwood Scrubs and enjoys using his coaching skills to engage and inspire prisoners.