Our Team

Bob Clarke, Founder and CEOBob Clarke, Founder and CEO

Bob has been a professional editor for over twenty years, and personally funded the first two years of MAMA Youth Project’s operation.

Bob started his television career in 1982 as a Video Tape Operator for Humphries Video Services. He went on to join The Services Sound & Vision Corporation in 1987 where he cut his teeth as an editor on different types of programming including light entertainment, news and documentaries. Following BBC training, Bob became a freelance editor and worked at various facilities in Soho, before setting up his own- bcPost.

In 1996 Bob took this facility to the next level by purchasing his first Avid Media Composer, which attracted clients such as the BBC, Endemol, Ginger Productions and Tiger Aspect. Then, in September 2005, MAMA Productions funded an experiment and recruited young adults to make an entertainment show called ‘What’s Up’. This experiment proved so successful, it led to the formation of the MAMA Youth Project.

In 2008, Bob decided to put all future commissions through the MAMA Youth Project, using talented newcomers who had worked on ‘What’s Up’. This enterprise became very successful and turned over 45,000 in 3 months. However, due to the legal limitations of a charity earning income, Licklemor Productions had to be formed – which is now MAMA Youth Project’s commercial arm.

On a personal level, Bobs great strengths are his creativity, adaptability and ability to understand what a client wants. He is also quick to recognise new talent and give them the opportunities they need. 

Read Bobs full bio here: Bobs Bio.pdf

Cristina Ciobanu, Chief Operating Officer

Cristina Ciobanu, Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Cristina is involved in all aspects of running the organisation, managing activities ranging from funding to building training programmes and the day to day running of the charity. Working alongside our CEO towards the sustainability of the charity, Cristina also became a director for Licklemor Productions, the production arm of the charity. 

Since she joined MAMA Youth in 2012, Cristina worked her way up from being a runner, researcher, AP and then a Producer for Seasons 8 and 9 of What's Up TV for Sky 1. Cristina studied for her Journalism and Social Communication BA in Romania and Norway and worked as a news reporter, a time when she developed her passion for video production that leads her to complete an MA in Film and Video Production at West London University in 2011.  

When she is not in the office she still goes by Rihanna's "work, work, work, work" lyric, has fun with family and daughter Alexandra and enjoys a lazy holiday. 

Caroline Clarke, Project ManagerCaroline Clarke, Project Manager

Caroline worked in the broadcast industry as a Librarian initially with Humphries Video Services back in the eighties. After being there for 5 years she decided to up root and go and work for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, as a Librarian Researcher.

On returning back to UK, Caroline quickly found a permanent position at Visnews as a Librarian and Archive Researcher, and then from there went to post-production at BBC Television Centre.

After bringing up two boys and many years of voluntary work including supporting families of offenders, Caroline joined MAMA Youth Project in April 2013, as Project Coordinator.

It has been fitting that Caroline has been able to join the charity as she has been involved personally and financially as the wife of our CEO, Bob Clarke.

Shanice Osbourne-Simpson, Project Coordinator

Shanice Osbourne-Simpson, Project Coordinator

Shanice  joined MYP as Bob and Cristina’s Personal Assistant. She help's manage their day-to-day schedules.

Before joining the company, Shanice always had a passion for the creative industry which led her to study Television Production. A year after graduating she got her first role within Post-Production starting as a receptionist and later became an account handler. She would manage accounts such as Sony, BBC and British Pathe.  She worked in Post-Production for 4 years.

During the lockdown in 2020, she did a couple of months freelancing as an admin assistant for Cocoa Magazine then later landed the role of PA at MAMA Youth Project.

When she started to work with MAMA Youth, she thought it was a great opportunity because she got to learn more about the TV industry and it has given her a chance to work with young people.

Voluntarily, Shanice worked with young people for over 10 years where she was able to get involved with community events and outreach reach work. Being a Personal Assistant is a great combination of both her interests.

Mariana Magnavita, Outreach ManagerMariana Magnavita, Outreach Manager

Mariana gained a BA in Film & Video at the University of the Arts London in 2004. She spent many years focussing on a career in music and during that time was involved in creating music videos for her songs. ‘We Walk Alone’ won best music video at The Indie Gathering International Film Festival 2011. The music video for her song ‘Things That Go Around’, won special mention at The London Short Film Festival 2014, in the Music & Video category.

Mariana joined MAMA Youth Project in 2013 as a volunteer and soon after started working there as Training Coordinator. Right from the start the charity’s ethos and aims were the ideal combination for her: bringing together her passion for the creative industries, a real desire to create societal changes through grassroots steps and the joy of being able to contribute towards changing young people’s lives in a positive and lasting way.

In 2014, Mariana was promoted to Head of Training and during that time until 2018 was involved in helping to create, through MAMA Youth’s training programmes and post training support, holistic and fully comprehensive life changing opportunities that improve young people's confidence and kick start their career.

In 2018 Mariana went off on maternity leave and came back to the organisation in 2020 as Outreach Manager, liaising with other charities and youth groups, as well as managing the recruitment process for the charity’s training programmes. For her there is nothing better than to be able to reach out to young people who are hungry for a life changing break!

Amanda Brannan, Programme Director

Amanda Brannan, Programme Director

Amanda has worked in television for 30 years. An accomplished broadcast professional across multi platforms she has had over a decade of experience at Producer level delivering world class content for Sky Sports, having worked her way up from Editorial Assistant to Head of Special Features.

With extensive post-production and live international broadcast experience, she is proud to have been part of BAFTA nominated and award winning production teams on numerous occasions.

During her career as a Senior Producer for Europe’s leading entertainment broadcaster, Amanda
feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to mentor and coach a multitude of upcoming talent
within large cross functional teams and it is these skills that she feels brings most value to the
MAMA Youth Project.

Amanda was a member of Sky’s Women in Leadership programme at it’s inception and has always
been dedicated to being an inspirational role model for mentees, supporting junior staff through
their training to help secure them high profile roles within the industry.

Having worked with CEO Bob Clarke over many years, Amanda witnessed with admiration as he built
the charity from scratch while supporting a family and working full time. As a mother of four
children herself, she shares Bob’s passion for the development of young people from all
backgrounds and is delighted to utilise her experience and expertise in her role at MAMA Youth as
well as having the opportunity to give something back to an industry that has supported her all her
working life.

Jemimah Mensah-Coker, Lead Production Trainer & Associate ProducerJemimah Mensah-Coker, Lead Production Trainer & Associate Producer

Jem has worked in the media industry since 2012 where she started off as a production intern at Casual Films UK.

Afterwards, she became a trainee researcher for What's Up TV which gave her the ability to think creatively and develop ideas for the show. Following the training, Jem worked on amazing productions such as Fortitude, Murder in Successville, The Wright Stuff and Greatest Ever Movie Blunders. 

In 2016, she took a break for a year to pursue her passion and complete an MA in Screenwriting at the London Film School.

Whilst working in the TV industry, Jem joined a film collective called Makbeth Productions where she divided her time between co-writing and working as a script supervisor.

In 2019, Jem worked as an Assistant Producer for What’s Up TV, and recently became an Associate Producer, lead trainer and staff member at MAMA Youth Project.

“It is an absolute honour to work for an organisation that prioritises in giving a voice to the voiceless and creating opportunities for young people to work in the industry.”

VJ Davidson, Talent ManagerVJ Davidson, Talent Manager

VJ started her TV production career at the BBC over 25 years ago, working as a Producer and Film Director across CBBC, Education, Specialist Factual, Entertainment, News and finally as an Internal Communications Manager working closely with the then Director-General. VJ then moved on as Head of Production and Series Producer on a range of new and innovative programming for a Sky ethical & family channel, nurturing new production talent and bagging several "Best Channel" awards along the way.  

After being headhunted to form and lead a multi-disciplined team to create the BETT award winning Reach Out CPD, she then moved on to event management and student recruitment at Barts and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry (Queen Mary University of London). 

VJ moved to Raw in Spring 2022 with particular responsibility for Diversity and Inclusion, both across the core staff and all of the production teams, by identifying and championing creative talent from ethnic minorities, talent with a disability, and talent from low socio-economic backgrounds. She revamped the work experience offering by devising and launching the Rise at Raw Programme, which has quickly become a positive industry disruptor. VJ was a client of MYP and hired alumni whilst at Raw – so it was a natural, but some might say, fortuitous progression for her to move to a Talent Manager role at MAMA Youth Project in Summer 2023, where she continues to pursue her deep passion, to create opportunities for creative talent from underrepresented backgrounds. She is on a mission!  #RepresentationMatters

Najma Bettendorf, Talent CoordinatorNajma Bettendorf, Talent Coordinator

Najma joined MAMA Youth Project in October 2022. Her interest in the creative world of Film and TV was apparent at a very young age. She loved all creative means of telling a story or to be taken on a journey. Fascinated by how programmes were created she decided to complete a Bachelor Degree in Film, Television and Photography. She successfully went on to work for MTV in London and BBC South in Southampton as a Runner, Researcher and Production Assistant.

She then chose to start a new life in Paris where she met her husband and had her three children. There she worked for StudioCanal International and France 24 for a few years before following her husband to New York, USA and concentrating on their family. She continued to have one hand in the creative world by taking photographs of her experience and time across the pond.  

Being back in the UK for a few years, she was hungry for a new creative challenge which brought her to her new role - Talent Assistant at Mama Youth. She is thoroughly enjoying her new career path and is excited to be part of the family, advising and supporting so many young people get their first, second and subsequent roles into the industry from under-represented backgrounds. She champions the unique and special concept of MAMA Youth, every opportunity she gets and is waiting eagerly to see it grow and expand to help more young people nationwide. 

Ioana Kasozi-Batende, Executive & Talent  Assistant

Ioana Kasozi-Batende, Executive & Talent Assistant

Ioana spent the early years of her career working as an Artist Liaison, booking and managing artists for live shows. She then went on to work as an insurance claims processor for 2 years before deciding to explore her passion for writing which led to her gaining over seven years experience in scriptwriting for interactive storytelling apps.

On a mission for self development, Ioana participated in the MAMA Youth Digital Media Training in 2022. After successfully completing the training and becoming MAMA Youth Alumni, Ioana decided to join the MYP team in hopes of being able to help inspire others to explore their passions and turn their lives around through the training. 

Jenny Cortes Ybañez, Content Producer and Production trainer

Jenny Cortes Ybañez, Content Producer and Production trainer

Jenny is an international presenter and producer based in London after a four-year stint working in Asia. 

She is a broadcaster and content creator with over ten years of multimedia experience across various genres, including news, lifestyle, culture, and travel programming.

Jenny started her career in the industry in production at the BBC, then later worked on various international projects and shows at ITN Productions. She was a London Correspondent for ABS-CBN Philippines in London and previously produced a mental health show for Sky Channel 203.

In China, her job in front and behind the camera involved travelling around the world's most populous country,
exploring its vast culture, lifestyle, and daily life.

Before working abroad, Jenny was a What’s Up TV presenter in 2016.

In 2023, Jenny joined the MAMA Youth Project team as a Content Producer and Production trainer.

“I remember how hard it was to get my first gig in the media industry. I wish there had been an organisation like the
MAMA Youth Project when I started. Now, I get to produce and present content, but also help and work with the
future generation of this industry.”

Anthony Knight, Fundraising ManagerAnthony Knight, Fundraising Manager

Since completing a degree in Criminology from London South Bank University in 2013, Anthony has worked across the third sector gaining 10 years worth of experience. As an experienced Fundraiser, he is passionate about advancement of employment opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and their financial education.

Anthony joined the MAMA Youth Team in March 2023, bringing a wealth of experience from across the social justice sector. Anthony is responsible for income generation and developing our fundraising strategy to expand our provision so that we can support even more young people from under-
represented communities.