Tender is a charity that works to promote healthy relationships based on equality and respect.
Using theatre and the arts, we engage young people in violence prevention, enabling them to recognise and avoid abuse and violence.
Tender was established in 2003, since then, we have worked with thousands of young people and professionals to educate them about positive relationships and creating supportive, abuse-free communities.
We challenge attitudes which tolerate, condone and normalise violence and increase skills in safeguarding against unhealthy relationships.
We work in schools, youth centres, pupil referral units, offices and healthcare settings creating tailored projects which offer support and meet specific needs. Tender aims to engage, to challenge, to entertain and to provoke a fundamental reassessment of our tolerance to abuse.
Susie McDonald – Director
Susie has worked for over 20 years as a theatre practitioner, addressing issues of discrimination and social exclusion. 15 years ago Susie began to look at how drama could be used within the domestic violence arena when she developed and piloted the Zero Tolerance Respect Campaign in Thurrock, Essex. Having set up the education programme at Tender in 2004, she became Tender’s director in 2010. Susie lives in North London with her partner and three daughters.
Rebecca Holmes – Communications and Training Coordinator
Rebecca has come to Tender from the US she where graduated from Vassar College with a B.A in Drama. Since graduating Rebecca has taken part in several Theatre for Social Change projects in the United States, gaining experience with GETheatre and Girls Learn International. Her interest in this field brought her to Goldsmiths University of London where she recently completed her Master’s in Applied Drama
Doireann Larkin – Development Manager
Doireann moved to the UK from Ireland in 2007. As Tender’s Campaign Manager, she works with young people to develop creative campaigns that promote healthy relationships. As well as her work at Tender, she volunteers for the National Domestic Violence Helpline run by Refuge and Womensaid. In the office, she will mostly be heard trying to explain how her name is pronounced over the phone (It’s Dir-in).
Daisy Douglas – National Partnership Coordinator
Daisy trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School on the 3 year BA acting course. Prior to joining Tender she spent 10 years as an actor and facilitator. Daisy has worked extensively with young people’s organisations as a facilitator/director. Organisations includes; National Youth Theatre, Mousetrap, Tender, Natural Theatre Company, RSC, City Lit, Steam Industry, Shakespeare Schools Festival. Daisy joined Tender full time in 2013 as National Partnership Coordinator. She coordinates both our London projects as well as our National delivery.
Jake Tily – Education Manager
Since graduating from Central School of speech and Drama Jake has delivered a number of arts based projects with young people and adult community groups, including Tender’s Healthy Relationship Project. In 2011 he joined Tender full time and is now responsible for the work in schools. As well as his work at Tender, he is on the board of trustees at Broken Rainbow UK.
Sandra Vacciana – Programme Manager
Sandra began her career as an Actor/Teacher and worked for companies including Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, The Albany and Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre. She then became involved in Youth and Community Development initiatives. She worked in the Culture Service for Southwark Council as an Arts Officer and has delivered a range of youth arts projects to young people for charities including Save the Children, Lewisham Young Women’s Resource Project, London Youth and Working with Men. Sandra is also a freelance trainer and tutor. Her most recent work includes running seminars for MA students in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths College.
Mary Chilton: Youth Engagement Manager
Mary is originally from Manchester. She moved to London to study Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has worked as a drama practitioner at a number of arts organisations including Haringey Shed and DreamArts. Alongside her practitioner commitments Mary worked as a learning support assistant specialising in PRUs, SEN schools. In 2011 Mary joined the Tricycle Theatre as Creative Learning Manager and worked on projects with young refugees, the Irish Traveller community and young people in high gang crime areas. In 2013 Mary went on to work at Shakespeare’s Globe where she managed training for acting students, most of which were from the USA. Mary was a chaperone on Britain’s Got Talent and London 2012 opening ceremony. She considers herself to be both a cat and a dog lover but is not lucky enough to own either…yet.
Ellie Rudd – Education Coordinator
Ellie has worked as an arts facilitator since graduating from the University of Kent MDrama course in 2010. She also worked helping to build the Lincolnshire One Venues Young People’s Programme across 10 arts venues, including creating mini festivals, music events, exhibitions and workshops for, with and by young people. Ellie coordinates a Healthcare Outreach Programme in rural Kenya every year and regularly fundraises for that and other causes. She has three cats; Oscar, Charlie and Special, and has a penchant for animal themed hats. Email us