AIM Kent has a happy, caring, friendly team: Zoe (Chair), Yoona, Sheena, Penny (Treasurer), Nikki, Kim (Trustee), Kate (Trustee), Huong, Clare and Anna.
"I am really proud to be the Chair and Co-founder of AIM. Over the past seven years we have supported a large number of children prepare for the 11plus and have shared their journey. My professional background is in mental health advocacy management and more recently a role within the National Youth Advocacy group. As an advocate I have a strong passion for fair treatment, social justice and supporting people to have a voice. I believe education is a strong driver for social mobility and fair access to the grammar school system is vital. If you asked my AIM children, they would say snacks were my most valued contribution! I have three boys Josh 16, Alessio 11, Zac 9 and two beautiful dogs, Betty and Wilma. AIM is incredibly lucky to have such a skilled leadership team, brilliant, engaging tutors, committed volunteers and support from our local grammar schools."
"I have been involved with AIM for five years - my main role is to act as Treasurer, but I am also involved in fundraising and in helping with the weekly tutoring sessions and motivational activities. My professional background is in accounting, although I did a degree in English at Leeds University. Whilst living in Hong Kong for a few years in the late nineties, I spent some time teaching English to Chinese children. I am married to Fraser, have four children aged between 22 and 16 and an 8 year old Labrador called Molly! I was inspired to join AIM after my own children went through the grammar school selection process and I became aware of how unfair access to Kent's grammar schools is. I wanted to be part of a charity that seeks to offer the same advantages to children from low income households as those enjoyed by their more affluent peers. I have loved seeing AIM's children thrive over the last five years and I am thrilled that we are now able to expand our programme to the Tonbridge area."
"After a 20 year career in marketing, mainly in business-to-business publishing and events, I gave up full time work to study for a Masters degree. I now work part time in a local school. I have one daughter at grammar school. In my free time I love travel, running and Disney+."
"Before having children, I lived for a couple of years in Japan and then worked in a Japanese travel company in London. I now work in a local primary school part time and am a tutor for the Kent Test. I have two boys and enjoy pilates."
"After training as an English teacher, I taught in London and Paris before returning to Tunbridge Wells. I now run around after two of my own children. I enjoy counteracting the chaos with a bit of yoga when I get the chance! I was drawn to AIM as I feel passionate about the inequalities of the Kent secondary school system. The charity does a brilliant job in supporting a group of students every year who wouldn't otherwise be able to access 11+ tutoring. AIM provides a really positive experience, regardless of 11+ results."
"When my husband and I moved to Kent from Scotland 6 years ago we were introduced by
one of our daughters to Zoe Catania, founder of AIM. I think I may have asked “so what
exactly does AIM do?” When I was made aware of the difficulties which exist for low income families in being able to access tuition for the eleven plus; the disparity in opportunities for those sitting the 11+ regardless of academic ability and what AIM was trying to achieve, I wanted to know more. My background is in law and although I retired from practice several years ago, I still sit as a Tribunal Judge in the south east, several days a month. Much more importantly, I am a grandparent to five grandchildren, all of whom attend school in the Tunbridge Wells area and who will go through the 11+ system. The ethos of AIM, its objectives of “levelling the playing field”, giving bright children the opportunity to achieve their potential and promoting inclusivity all appealed to me. Perhaps of equal value is the confidence which AIM promotes in the children who are lucky enough to come within its reach. So, of course, I became a volunteer. My role is limited in that I am no teacher, I still can’t understand non-verbal reasoning and I probably would fail the 11+. I can , however, invigilate, I can mark papers and I can offer help where needed. It’s truly a rewarding experience."
"I really enjoy being part of the AIM team. I passionately believe in more children having the opportunity to access our wonderful local grammar schools. I live in Tunbridge Wells and have 2 sons, a daughter and a Chihuahua called Bonnie. My working background is in property and I now work part time for a global relocation company. I love spending time with my family, walking the dog and swimming in the sea!"
"After a number of years working as a solicitor in London, I left my job to focus on my children, who are now four and six. In my spare time I enjoy walking the dog, playing tennis and swimming. I was introduced to AIM by Nikki, who described the fantastic support provided by the charity to children and families navigating the challenges of the Kent grammar school system. I believe strongly that all children should have the same opportunities in life so it’s been great to be part of the invaluable work done by AIM."
"I am self-employed in the dentistry crown and bridge industry with over 10 years experience. I am currently going through the 11+ journey with my son. I came across AIM whilst looking at Grammar schools for my son and it really inspired me. I am really happy to be able to be part of AIM. I truly agree with what they stand for and what they strive for."
"I have gone through the 11+ process with my own two children and have also tutored another two children to pass the Kent Test. My own journey made me realise how much of an undertaking this is for families and how much of a gap this creates between children of different backgrounds. Joining AIM is my way of playing a role within my community, to help children have the opportunity to pass an exam that they would have missed out on otherwise."
We are always happy to welcome new volunteers. If you would like to lend a hand, please don't hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are particularly interested in hearing from volunteers in Tonbridge who would be willing to spend an hour a week helping to support the tuition sessions, with a couple of extra hours in November, May and July to help with the assessment morning and mock tests. We have experienced volunteers ready to train you and we are a very happy, caring, chatty team!
All volunteers will be ask to complete a DBS check and provide two references. We are a registered charity and can provide accreditation for workplace volunteering schemes.