Meet the team

Tom Bulman

After growing up in London, I travelled widely writing articles for The Cape Cod Times, then studied for a BSc at London School of Economics.  After working a year for the students union there, I taught English for five years at a west London secondary school where I set up a business mentoring scheme and evaluated its impact for an MA in School Improvement.

After moving with Kate and the kids to Milton Keynes in 1996, and a short spell of teaching at Stantonbury Campus, I began developing and delivering employability education and training activities for Worktree (then ‘Countec’).  Inspired by City-As-School in New York, I set up and ran Citischool, a work-based ‘school without walls’ for excluded teenagers.

With funding from UK government research scholarships, I have visited the Netherlands, Germany, USA and Australia, to observe projects for disengaged teenagers and advise on employer engagement strategies.  In recent years, I have travelled to Uganda, China and India to deliver Employability Now workshops and Facilitator Training for Worktree.  I like teaching the employability skills STEPS and helping facilitators to make effective use of positive feedback.

I am also Community Organiser for Citizens:mk and Action Learning Facilitator for the London School for Social Entrepreneurs.

In my spare time I enjoy playing football and bashing at piano and sax.

Theresa Mercer

I grew up in villages in and around Leighton Buzzard.  From my first day at school, all I ever wanted to be was a teacher (as well as a ‘pop star’ of course). 

Although I loved studying I was rubbish at sitting exams and after many attempts just couldn’t get my A levels.  I left school and ended up working for a housing association in Tring.  Inspired by a manager there (still a good friend), I decided to go into Human resources and soon achieved my CIPD accreditation CIPD through night school at De Montfort University in MK.

I had a couple of different HR jobs, allowing me to build my skill set, and then fell pregnant with my first child in 1998.  I was able to take a career break of nearly 8 years, but after the first year of my daughter (born in 2002) starting school I became bored and needed to use my brain again!  That’s when I met Tom and Bhupinder and started working with them in 2007.  The rest is history and I love it!

My spare time is taken up by two teenagers and living life to the full – and sometimes getting to be a ‘pop star’.

Bhupinder Roda

I was born and grew up in Leicester and moved to Milton Keynes in 2002 after getting married. My first job interview after moving to MK was with Worktree (then ‘Countec’) and I was appointed as Administrator.  My roles have varied and changed over the years.  I am now Event Co-ordinator, making sure that all resources including volunteer guests are present at sessions in schools and elsewhere.  I never thought I’d be doing what I do now which is helping to make a difference to young people where the world of work and employability skills are concerned.

I studied BA Hons Business Administration at Demontford University in Leicester and never dreamed I would be working so closely with schools and young people.  I enjoy what I do and enjoy working with my very supportive and fun colleagues.  

Tabitha Beesley

I grew up in Salisbury and. after completing my GCSEs with reasonable passes, I realised that I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. So I enrolled in a Youth Training Scheme. After two years of trying various jobs I began a career as a CAD artist and engineer within the automotive industry.

I married, divorced, had my first child and married again, moving to Milton Keynes and inherited 3 full time step children. Here my life changed dramatically. Having married a farmer and moved onto the farm, it was inevitable that I would get sucked into the world of farming and away from the CAD world. After juggling both careers I realised that I enjoyed farming so much more and so threw myself into a new career in agriculture.

I joined Worktree (Countec as it was back then) as a volunteer going into primary school in 2009 to talk about Farming and agriculture. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it remarkably rewarding. From there I moved on to volunteering to talk to older students in the Career Workout sessions and now I am very happy to be a member of the Worktree team as a Facilitator.

In my spare time (what little I have) I enjoy keeping fit through HIIT, reading and, as I like helping people, engaging in a variety of volunteer work when I can. I always have a house full of children.

Nicola Parkins

Originally from the Midlands and now settled in Milton Keynes but in between I studied at university in Liverpool, completed my PGCE in London and then worked in London and Wendover before arriving in Milton Keynes.

I always loved sport so being a PE teacher was a natural and obvious choice. However in “those days” careers guidance wasn’t really available which is why I think what Worktree does is amazing.

I’ve worked in secondary education all my career and a few years ago became involved in careers education at my school and through that met and worked with Tom ,first at Countec and then Worktree. Now I work as a facilitator for Worktree alongside my teaching career which is such a privilige and a joy.

Michelle Theuma

I was born in Harrow and moved around every 1-2 years as my Dad’s job as a Building Society Manager meant we moved when he was promoted – it certainly helped me to make friends quickly and learn how to establish myself every time I went to a new school.

I went on to University where I studied Modern English – Language, Literature & Linguistics, with the intention of becoming an English teacher. However when I left Uni my perspective had changed and I wanted to work in business and make money!  I became a Mortgage Advisor for all of 6 months – not my bag at all! Then a friend asked me if I had ever considered working in Recruitment so I applied and got my first Recruitment job in 1997 recruiting Accountants.

After 6 years in the large corporate world I joined Onyx Recruitment in 2003 where I am now a Director. I saw Worktree give a presentation on how local businesses can help give their time and I went along as a guest to Career WorkOut which I loved. I then started to get more involved and now enjoy facilitating Career WorkOut Sessions as well as Apply For That Job Workshops. I consider myself very lucky to have found something that utilises my skills base gained from a career in recruitment for over 20 years and which is so fulfilling.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters, volunteer for several charities and mentor young women in schools and the local community to help them build confidence and develop employability skills.

Our Sponsors

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University of Buckingham Logo Business MK Logo University of Buckingham LogoTXM Recruit Logo MK Community Foundation Logo Dentons LogoL&Q LogoLynx Networks LogoPersonal Group Logo