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Meet Our Team


Philip Burch

Founder and Director

Philip Burch

Philip has had a lifelong association with work-based, vocational learning in catering establishments in London, Paris and the West Midlands. He discovered early in his working life that through the further education system he could help students find their niche in catering. This not only gave him a buzz, but gave students a real sense of pride and achievement which they gained in vocational aptitude, practical skill and confidence: turning second chances into real successes.

His career led him into operational and strategic management in the FE sector developing people, students, systems and the curriculum. His own professional achievements validate taking a skills-based route into a satisfying and successful career. Philip led the successful Aimhigher project in Northamptonshire for 7 years.

From these fundamental principles Philip is a founder Director of the similar organisation “Aimhigher Northamptonshire Ltd”, a not for profit company working with young people in schools, colleges and the workplace to support their progression to the next level of learning.

His passion for progression among disadvantaged groups is also embodied in the principles of The Progression Trust where he is Director of Compliance and Quality.

Philip sees the potential for ‘second chance’ principles to be realised through the both organisation’s activities. He believes that providing an awareness of appropriate educational and vocational opportunities and the aspiration to capture them, young people will develop and apply a positive, systematic approach to their journey through education, training and work which will provide benefits for them.

Telephone: 07896 746035


Ann Comerford

Director

Ann Comerford

Ann originally came to Aimhigher at the start of the project in May 2003 and was the Project Administrative Officer. Her role was to support the Co-ordinators and the Development Officers in the planning and organisation of events both internally and externally, maintain diaries and calendars and to control all the financial processes for the project. She was also responsible for HR for the team and was the lead on communications for the project. The role and the range of responsibilities grew as did the project over the years and Ann remained with the project to its close at the University of Northampton in October 2011.

Ann has a strong sense of value for the ethos of the Aimhigher project and the work it undertakes and was determined that there should be an opportunity for this work to continue. She wants the new Aimhigher Northamptonshire Ltd to have the opportunity to succeed for the young people of the future. She is aware that we are operating in difficult times, but we have a good brand, a range of services to offer together with qualified and capable staff as part of the team. She knows that we need to support and overcome a range of obstacles to ensure that our young people can progress to their next level of learning, and yes it can be done.

Working with our Partners is also a valuable part of the work we do and being able to work collaboratively on some of our projects has proved and will continue to prove to be invaluable. We are grateful to those who have support us in the past and are continuing to support us now, but also to those who are new contacts, welcome and we look forward to new and exciting ventures.

Telephone: 01536 413435 or 07521 153701

Email: office.aimhigher@gmail.com


Helen Aouina

Associate

Helen Aouina

Helen has worked in the education sector for over 10 years. Her work has ranged from being a Teaching Assistant in Primary Schools to more recently being appointed as a Careers Guidance Counsellor in Secondary Schools. However much of Helen's experience in supporting young people has come from working in student facing roles at two large FE colleges; she was the Aimhigher Co-ordinator and Personal Tutor for Engineering students at Milton Keynes College and a Student Services Executive at Tresham College. A key position that Helen has held is that of Development Officer for FE and WBL at Aimhigher Northamptonshire where she was responsible for raising awareness and aspirations in relation to alternative routes into Higher Education. Once the official government-funded project had ended in 2011, Helen continued to work with Phil and Ann on a freelance basis and delivered on the successful Enable NEET project. Helen completed the Information, Advice and Guidance NVQ Level 4 in 2011 and has been putting this valuable qualification into practice ever since.

She believes in seeing and bringing out the best in people, and supporting them to achieve their full potential so is therefore very well-suited to her career in working with young people.


Rina Patel

Internal Verifier for AIM Awards

Rina Patel

Rina graduated in 2002 with a BA Hons in Human Resources.  She has worked as a Study Coach at Waltham Forest College were she was head hunted by Connexions.  She trained as a Personal Advisor with Connexions  specialising in teenage parents and teenage pregnancies, which involved working with a range of other support agencies. This role she was involved with in both London and Northampton.  She took the decision to become self employed in 2008 as an assessor, and careers advisor.  She is qualified as IQA, gained her PTLLS and in 2013 graduated with a PGCE

She is currently engaged as the Internal Verifier for Aimhigher's accrediated qualifications


Nasib Hindocha

Nasib Hindocha

Sib has over ten years experience in the Recruitment and HR sector. Having worked for recruitment agencies and in-house for large corporate companies, Sib’s experience is valuable to the business and to our customers.

Sib has a Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualifying her to train and guide adults in need of employment support. She also has a Practitioners Certificate in NLP and has undertaken a course in Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Sib has extensive experience in supporting individuals through recruitment processes by assisting them in gaining employment through group and one to one coaching in employability skills, communication skills and confidence building.

By delivering relevant training Sib likes to help prepare individuals for the challenges they may encounter in the world of work, this increases knowledge, self awareness and self esteem which is key to AimHigher’s objectives. Sib is passionate, empathetic and keen to help individuals understand themselves better to allow for positive changes to improve their quality of life.