Our Team


Meet our Trustees and CEO

Susie Besant
Chief Executive Officer

Susie is the CEO of One-Eighty, and also co-founded the charity in 2011, following two years spent within the Oxfordshire County Council, in the Youth Offending Service, where she carried out prevention and intervention work, in addition to conducting research around the links between young people's engagement in criminal activity following disengagement with education. As a result of this work, she and a colleague published the Raise The BAR programme - now a training tool delivered by the charity to support schools, local authority groups, and organisations wanting to run prevention programmes for groups of young people in a school setting. 

She studied and gained a degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Studies in Oxfordshire, and continued to train in areas such as Counselling, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and charity management courses that have enabled her to lead a fun and professional, psychology-focused, and evidence-based team of skilled intervention staff to deliver high-quality and outcomes driven work with young people for seven years. Susie is passionate about supporting young people to have hope and turn their lives around, in addition to providing staff with a supportive and inspiring work environment to develop in, to enable them to think creatively about what techniques to use with young people and families. 

In addition to being responsible for the overall operations of One-Eighty, Susie's role enables her to work alongside a board of skilled and experienced Trustees to make strategic decisions for the benefit of young people, and seek opportunities to gain support and partnerships with other organisations also striving to offer vulnerable young people valuable support they need to thrive. She also loves swimming, playing board games, photography and modern art, and spending time being adventurous with her family. 

Mike Simm
Chair of Trustees

Mike Simm spent his career in Children’s Services in Oxfordshire.

His many roles included commissioning, managing disability services, Head of the Youth Offending Service and, when Social Care and Education merged, Head of Children’s Services. He had two extensive secondments to the Department of Health in Strategic Planning and Child Protection.

 Since retiring, he has been Chair of Governors at two local schools and for 3 years Chaired Elmore Community Services, a charity for adults with multiple severe problems.

Jonathan Fisher
Trustee – Social work and Safeguarding

Jonathan has been a social worker for more years than he would care to admit and has a range of experience in adult and children’s services. He was lecturing in social work at Oxford Brookes University until recently and is now retired. He has also had a spell working overseas with Malaysian Care as a trainer and consultant. He is now thoroughly enjoying his new role as a granddad. For leisure Jonathan can be found in the garden or allotment and sometimes doing a bit of singing or acting with local amateur dramatic groups.

Alison Pierazzini
Trustee – Treasurer

Biography coming soon.

Gareth Lewis
Trustee – SEN

Gareth spent the majority of his career teaching physical education in a main stream secondary school, before taking on a number of pastoral and vocational roles. This led him into the area of Special Education and he eventually became Principal of Swalcliffe Park School, a residential special school for students with autism.

Having retired in 2011, he was coaxed back to Interim Headship of the Oxfordshire Hospital School for 18 months.

He is trying to make a better job of being retired this time!

His interest in sports has never wavered, playing and coaching rugby throughout. For the past eight years, he’s helped coach Witney Wolves, a squad for players with special educational needs. He also helped as a part time care worker at Pennyhooks Care Farm and is a Trustee for LVS School Oxford, a school for students with autism.

Syam Menon
Trustee – Business and Strategy

Syam was born in India, raised in the Middle East and then lived in Canada, Malta, France, Thailand, Dubai and is currently based in Oxford.

He finished his Bachelors in Engineering and then Masters in Business Administration. He is a senior executive in an IT firm and has a passion for coaching and developing people.

When not working you will find him pursuing his love for music, food, leadership studies and motorbikes. He does think sleep is a waste of time!

Tom Gardiner
Trustee – Intervention and Development

Tom is a final year medical student at the University of Oxford and is looking forward to starting his first job as a doctor next summer. His clinical experience lends itself to an understanding of the breadth of evidence-based psychological interventions One-Eighty offers its young people. And his work in the healthcare policy arena have given him the insight into new avenues for growth and development within the sector.

Aside from medicine and policy, Tom enjoys letting his hair down acting in, and organising, the annual Oxford Medical School pantomime, which raises thousands of pounds for charity every year.

Hilary Johnson
Trustee – Child and Adolsecent Psychiatrist

Hilary became a trustee in 2019 and offers clinical supervision for One-Eighty staff.

She has worked as a Child Psychiatrist for over 20 years and has particular expertise in helping children and young people who have intellectual disability, Autism, ADHD or sleep disorders.

In her spare time, Hilary enjoys being a beekeeper!