Say Hello to Our Staff
Meet the people who help make The Gap Centre the warm and welcoming community hub we all know and love
Andrew Bent (Andy)
CEO and Founder
Hi, I'm Andy as well as being the current CEO of the charity, I founded the charity back in 2000. I am as passionate today about the work of the charity now as I was when I set it up.
It's been amazing to have worked along some awesome staff and volunteers over the years, and to have listened to the countless testimonies as to how the charity as impacted upon the lives of individuals and families.
Social Action has always been in my blood going to the Salvation Army from a very young age. Just after the devastating tsunami I went out to Indian on a mission, which confirmed my calling to come home and help people however I can.
During lockdown I spent some time working in my garden at home which as now become my safe place, I love sitting in the cool of the evening listening to the crackling of the fire, whilst just gazing into the sky.
I absolutely love brass bands and military music. Sad I know....
Louise Colledge (Lou)
Time2buildup Coordinator looking after volunteers, work experience and student placements
I have volunteered on and off at The Gap since 2019 and been employed since Oct 2021.
I met Andy after my daughter and I starting growing and selling plants to raise money for charity, Andrew offered to support us with opening a friendship group at The Gap. I loved the family feel and passion for the community and really wanted to be more involved.
I enjoy the outdoors and gardening, spending time with my children, reading crime novels, listening to music and watching reality TV. I love animals, I own two dogs, a bunny and a cockatiel,
I’m accident prone and have fallen down the stairs at least 15 times!
Time to play practitioner
When finishing college, I was looking for work. One of my friends at college had been working at The Gap for some time and told me I should come and have a look. I then applied for a role of playworker, and the rest is history! I've now been here for 7 years.
One of my favourite things to do is eat and travel! I love trying out new food and restaurants as well as finding food festivals to visit. Even on my long weekend holidays, the main activity is eating! Talking of festivals, I enjoy going to my annual music festival with friends. I also enjoy walking weather it be local or further afield if it’s not raining.
Tell us a funny thing about you: I have a fear of puppets, porcelain dolls and ventriloquist dummies!
I have been working at The Gap Centre for over 6 months and I’m really enjoying my time there. I got involved with The Gap when I first started doing my placement there for my second year of uni, I loved working with the children and staff so I decided to become a member of staff. The Gap centre made me realise that I really enjoy engaging with the children and helping them develop their skills.
One of my favourite things to do is go out shopping with my sisters and I enjoy taking out my niece for walks when I’m able to do so. I also really enjoy time to my self where I can do self care and watch Netflix. A funny thing about me is that I can not stand tomatoes and whenever I go out to eat I say I’m allergic to them so I make sure they don’t add them on.
Time2connect Coordinator and Cook
In this role at The Gap I have been able to combine my passion for cooking with the opportunity to help and empower people. I prepare meals for our After-School provision, run our Community Café and work on projects that offer individuals support with practical and social matters. My aim is to connect the community in a meaningful way so that people can celebrate, give back to, and shape their local area.
In my spare time I enjoy days out with my family, cooking, listening to music and anything football related.
My only claim to fame is meeting one of the Weasley twins from Harry Potter although I don't know which one!
Our Wonderful Volunteers
As well as our paid staff we have lots of volunteers supporting us. We are always grateful for the help.
We currently have volunteers running sessions and groups, helping in Admin and supporting in Play Work. Volunteers are vital to support the running of our Charity. Please contact Louise@thegaponline.org for more information