THE TEAM

CEO

David Arden – CEO
david@theworkavenue.org.uk

A biochemistry graduate from Brighton University, David has a background in business change, project and programme management and delivering strategy and has held roles in the public, private and not for profit sectors.  David has overall responsibility for the delivery of the Work Avenue strategy and is accountable to the board.

 

As Chief Executive, what do you do at Work Avenue?  My main role is to develop and implement the strategy so Work Avenue can continue to extend its reach and offer excellent existing and new services, and to ensure my team have all the support they need to make this happen!

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world?  I haven’t travelled nearly as much as I would have liked, Kenya is a beautiful country, and I have very fond memories of travelling around the Masai Mara but if I had to choose it would have to be Israel for all the obvious reasons.

 

Interesting fact about you?  I’ve been watched playing 5-aside football by both Michael Owen and Gary Lineker (but neither offered to become my agent)!

Employment Team

Emma May – Director of Operations and Employment 
emma@theworkavenue.org.uk

A law graduate from Manchester University and qualified HR professional, Emma has a background in HR management, psychometric assessment, outplacement and careers guidance and has held roles in the public, private and not for profit sectors.  Emma supports David in the overall management of Work Avenue, and is also responsible for the provision of all services to our job seeking clients.

 

As Director of Employment and Operations, what do you do at Work Avenue?  I provide the services we offer to our job seeking clients so my amazing team of advisers and placement managers and I can help them earn a living to support themselves and their families.  I also help David develop and implement the strategy so Work Avenue can continue to extend its reach and offer excellent services.

 

If you could write your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be?  Chief People Pleaser

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world?  So it’s a little spot, midway between Bournemouth and Sandbanks on the beautiful Dorset coast.

 

Interesting fact about you?  I am pretty good at cryptic crosswords and the hardest killer sudokus.  Oh, and I have written a diary every day since I was ten.

Yael Solomons – Job Placement Manager
yael@theworkavenue.org.uk

A law graduate from UCL and qualified HR Professional, Yael manages Work Avenue’s job placement service, supporting Work Avenue’s network of employers with their recruitment needs. Yael also runs regular workshops and individual mock interview practice sessions for the employment division.

 

What problem are you solving at Work Avenue? Bringing together job seekers and job vacancies, providing my colleagues with snacks

 

If you could write your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be? Job Matchmaker

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? A surgeon – I’ve always been fascinated by medicine despite having the completely wrong skillset

 

Interesting fact about you? I am distantly related to our Director of Operations & Employment, Emma, by marriage

Hannah Dahan – Employment Adviser
hannahdahan@theworkavenue.org.uk

Hannah is a qualified Careers Adviser with extensive experience in providing careers advice in education settings and advice centres. She has a background in helping clients achieving their goals, including getting into university, apprenticeships, employment and work experience.

 

What makes you a great employment adviser? I have a level 7 Postgraduate Qualification in Careers Guidance as well as 10 years of experience in Careers Education, Advice and Guidance. I have previously worked in youth services and further education colleges. This has meant that I have advised on not only careers and job hunting, but also have a strong knowledge of the education system and how to apply for university and apprenticeships.

 

Favourite hobbies? I enjoy Pilates, going abroad (pre Covid) and spending time with my toddler

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world? That’s a tough one as I travelled a lot pre Covid, but I really loved Bali

 

Interesting fact about you? I stayed with a tribe in the Colombian Jungle for 5 days

Richard Linden – Employment Adviser 
richard@theworkavenue.org.uk

With a number of years’ prior experience working for a welfare to work provider, Richard has a real passion for supporting people from all walks of life into employment. He is committed and enthusiastic about helping people overcome challenges and realise their potential. Richard is also a children’s entertainer, a keen snooker player and a life-long Spurs fan.

 

What makes you a great employment adviser? The key to being great at your job is to love what you do – I enjoy helping, inspiring and motivating people, I always have. I see the positive in people and believe in their potential. The biggest reward for me is when clients work really hard and achieve their desired career goal.

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world? Standing at the top of Ben Nevis mountain in Scotland on a clear day will take some beating

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? Probably Harry Kane, playing for Spurs against Arsenal and scoring the winning goal

 

Interesting fact about you? I once gave careers/employment advice to a former cast member of EastEnders

Melanie Pearl – Employment Programmes Manager
melanie@theworkavenue.org.uk

Melanie has extensive experience in coaching and supporting individuals to achieve their career potential. A MCIPD qualified HR professional and Career Coach, she works at senior level within the private, public and not-for-profit sectors combining her up-to-date industry knowledge with expertise in helping clients to find work and career opportunities.

 

As Employment Programmes Manager what do you do at Work Avenue? I review and develop our programme provision to ensure we are providing something for everyone as well as meeting clients on a one-to-one basis to help them to make realistic career choices, equipping them with the skills and confidence to secure a job that will further their career.

 

If you could write your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be? Listener, empathiser and facilitator

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? I absolutely cannot sing so I’d love to be able to entertain a huge audience with my voice like Adele or Katherine Jenkins – but it’s so far from who I am so I’ll happily stick with the job I love doing where I get to meet new people everyday.

 

Interesting fact about you? My very first student job was waiting on tables in a fish and chips shop in Southend where I earned 60p an hour before moving on to something that couldn’t be more different, teaching kids at a local Cheder.

Melissa Athersych – Job Placements Coordinator
melissa@theworkavenue.org.uk

Melissa is Work Avenue’s Job Placements Coordinator, supporting the activities of the employment team and providing a friendly and efficient service to our clients. Melissa’s background in Fashion Design means she brings creative solutions, drives collaboration and enhances client relationships. An advocate for community, social and environmental topics. Melissa has also studied Sustainability at UAL, volunteers for charities and most recently made scrubs for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Favourite hobbies? Illustration, travel (pre Covid) and massive film buff.

 

Interesting fact about you? I sang in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West End productions!

 

Favourite place in the world? Italian Countryside – and anywhere I can experience new cultures and languages.

Business Team

Joanna Sadie – Head of Business

joanna@theworkavenue.org.uk

Joanna is a Business Adviser for Work Avenue. Following a successful career in Sales working for high profile media owners Joanna established her own Sales Training and Consultancy business. She has extensive experience helping founders and directors of SMEs and Start-Ups devise business plans, develop sales and marketing strategies and working with them on leadership, personnel and commercial issues.  Joanna is also a qualified corporate coach and is passionate about helping clients to set and achieve their business goals.

 

What makes you a great business adviser? I love my role as Head of Business – the diverse range of businesses that I am helping makes each day interesting and inspiring, so I bring great enthusiasm to the role. My background in sales and marketing means that I am able to provide very practical help and support so that a client is able to see progress as we work together.

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? A Metropolitan Police homicide detective

 

Favourite hobbies? Eating out with friends or family, running on Hampstead Heath and before Corona – travelling!

 

Interesting fact about you? I am the daughter of a farmer so grew up on a farm outside Nottingham!

Kim Davidson – Business Adviser
kim@theworkavenue.org.uk

Kim is a Business Adviser for Work Avenue. After starting out in PR, with clients including Pampers, Maltesers and Lands’ End clothing, she then set up her own business providing exercise classes to pre-school children which she has run for the last 14 years. More recently she has also been helping run and grow a communications training company. Kim loves working with people and helping them to achieve their ambitions.

 

 

What makes you a great business adviser? I like people and I like to help them achieve their goals, and at the same time I have run my own business and know the difficulties and pitfalls.

 

Favourite hobbies?
My favourite hobbies are exercise and musical theatre – watching it professionally and performing in it amateurishly!

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? I’d quite like to swap places with a member of the Royal Family for a day – but just for the one day.

WAGE (Work Avenue Generating Employment)

Jeremy Bohn – Director of WAGE
jeremy@theworkavenue.org.uk

Jeremy is the Director of WAGE, our Social Enterprise. He started his commercial career in the recruitment industry working for his way from junior consultant through to Director of several agencies before branching out to form his own specialist headhunting business. More recently he took on the challenge of running and managing the community’s leading golf and country club, completing a change management programme to modernise and transform the member and visitor experience.

 

What will you bring to Work Avenue?

Apart from doubling the male presence in the office I shall be bringing a  combination of commercial and people skills that will enable WAGE to achieve its goals. These are to support people getting into and returning to the workplace via training them in key disciplines as well as offering an inexpensive service to start ups and entrepreneurs by utilising those recently trained cohorts coming through the Social Enterprise.

 

Favourite hobbies?

All sports really but especially golf which I play off a scratch handicap and represent Maccabi GB.

 

Interesting fact about you?

The part played by Robert de Niro in the film Casino was based on my real life cousin – so be careful if you get on my wrong side!!

Operations Team

Jo Diamond – Head of Marketing
jo@theworkavenue.org.uk

Jo graduated from Leeds University with a BA Honours in Politics and has over 13 years experience in marketing and fundraising. Jo has worked at Europe’s largest broadcasting network and one of the UK’s biggest Jewish charities. Her experience and diverse skills from both the charity and commercial sectors brings a fresh approach as she heads up the Marketing division at Work Avenue.

 

As Head of Marketing, what do you do at Work Avenue? I ensure all Work Avenue’s comms are as clear as possible, so the community know exactly how we can help them earn a living. I am lucky that I get to work closely with the entire team, ensuring that all events and services are communicated to the correct audience.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I love playing tennis and spending time with my family & friends

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world? It would have to be either Cape Town or Israel…both in very different ways!

 

Interesting fact about you? When I was 12 I had surgery for scoliosis and as a result have 2 metal rods and a few screws in my back

Yael Schlagman – Operations Manager
ys@theworkavenue.org.uk

Yael is Work Avenue’s Operations Manager and is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of Work Avenue’s operations, events and training courses. Trained as a dental nurse, Yael has several years’ experience in working with a range of databases, CRM and accounting systems, as well as a flair for graphic design. Yael utilises her strong and varied skillset to drive the ongoing business and employment activities at Work Avenue.

 

If you could write your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be? Deputy CEO

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world? Iceland, even though I hate being cold

 

Favourite hobbies? Making and then eating bolognese

 

Interesting fact about you? I had chicken pox 3 times as a child

Ali Gurfinkel – Client Liaison 
ali@theworkavenue.org.uk

Ali is the Client Liaison at Work Avenue. She absolutely loves engaging with the job-seekers and entrepreneurs that Work Avenue supports, particularly as she believes that talking and listening to clients, and collating stories of their experiences, is one of the best ways to help the Work Avenue team measure its services. Ali has a real passion for community matters; she is currently a wellbeing governor at a local primary school and she volunteers for GIFT. She used to live in Israel and New York, and has previously worked in financial sales for a number leading banking and brokerage institutions.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I love reading; getting lost in a good book is one of the best escapes & chill-out experiences ever. Thanks to my son, I love watching Tottenham Hotspur and enjoy waxing lyrical about Harry Kane, Son and the rest of the crew. I also like baking and eating!

 

Favourite place in the world? That’s an easy question to answer…. TEL AVIV…. Coolest, funkiest, happiest, craziest place in the world

 

Interesting fact about you? I had a part in the English National Opera’s production of Tolstoy’s War & Peace at the London Collesium when I was nine years old. Not because I can sing, but because I was cute and nicely fitted the costume of a Russian doll!!

Shoshana Cohen – Building Manager 
shoshana@wehub.org.uk

Shoshana is WE Hub’s Building Manager and the first point of contact for members and visitors. As an effective communicator and problem solver she provides solutions for WE Hub business users. Having worked within the charity sector in similar roles,  Shoshana brings with her a wealth of creativity.

 

Favourite hobbies? Netball and Photography

 

Where’s your favourite place in the world? WE Hub of course

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? Talia Herman who sits next to me so I can see what I’m really like

 

Interesting fact about you? I ran in the Jerusalem Marathon twice

Talia Herman – Receptionist 
reception@theworkavenue.org.uk 

Talia is Work Avenue’s receptionist and is responsible for meeting and greeting all Work Avenue clients. With her friendly personality and positive attitude, she makes sure all clients and other visitors feel welcome and have everything they need when they are in the office.  Talia’s previous experience in a reception role in a professional services firm ensures that she has all the skills and attributes necessary for a busy front office here.

 

What makes you a great Receptionist? I love meeting new people and welcoming them to Work Avenue. It is great to get to talk to everyone who walks through our doors.

 

Favourite hobbies? I love a good holiday, any opportunity and I am on a plane. I also love to follow my beloved team, Tottenham Hotspur

 

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? Shoshana Cohen, we sit next to each other and I’d want to know what I’m like

 

Interesting fact about you? I probably know more about Spurs than most men!