Our Team

Rachel Tungate: CEO

I have lived most of my life in Essex, my childhood, was spent with my parents and brother, in a small country ‘chocolate box’ village, where I have fond memories of my friends and I spending summer days out on our bikes, going from house to house when we had run out of food!!!   When I was 12 years old my parents moved to Benfleet, which is where I have continued to live with my own family.  I completed my secondary and further education in Benfleet.  

During my career I have always enjoyed studying, in-fact I do not think a year has gone by where I have not studied!! I have never been a natural academic and I have always had to work really hard to get to where I want to be and to achieve the best results possible.

Click here to continue reading about Rachel


Helen Murphy: Counsellor

I’m Helen, I have been a qualified counsellor since 2016, training for this takes 4 years. I have a decade of experience working with children and adolescents from the hardest to reach groups. I am passionate about working with young people who are vulnerable in terms of their lifestyles, families and exploitation. As a qualified counsellor I have experience supporting children between the ages of 6-19 in having a safe space to explore emotions, thoughts and process in a creative way or through talking. I have experience counselling anxiety, depression, self harm, LGBT, aggression, substances and abuse. I have worked with pupils in a behavioural unit, Youth Offending team and I have held Child In Need and Child Protection cases as a multi-systemic therapist working in partnership with Essex Social Care, this was where I met Rachel! I also have my own private practice, counselling adults and children.

Personally, I’ve lived in Basildon all my life; I went to school there and grew up knocking about the streets with the locals. Although this was a LONG time ago and I feel I have a good understanding of the trials and tribulations of being a youth, the pressures and confusion, the desire to fit in but at the same time wanting to be an individual. My own experience through adolescence very much lends itself to the career path I’ve taken.

These days I am married, with two children now in their 20’s, they also grew up locally and had their own experiences, which I of course observed and supported them with.

I teach and perform dance for adult women, I enjoy being creative with art and costuming and set design. I believe having a hobby to immerse oneself in provides a good balance with work and family life. 

I really enjoy working for Kool Carers, I always leave the sessions feeling happy and excited as I can really see the difference we are making to these splendid young people.


Bonnie Gibson: Sessional Youth Worker

I have a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and BA (Hons) in Psychosocial Studies which underpin my approach to working with children and families and adults with complex needs.

The approach I use is solution focused, motivating and empowering those facing difficulty to achieve their goals, realise their own strengths and be able to build up their own resilience to facing complex issues.

I have over 20 years experience of working with children and families and adults in a variety of areas including mental health, mentoring, education, teenage parents, youth offending, youth work, life coaching, teaching, social care, eating disorders and weight management. I have  worked with a variety of services and agencies across Essex.

With Kool Carers I look forward to supporting young carers and their parents to achieve their full potential in a fun, creative and non judgmental environment.



Emily Mitchell: Volunteer

I have a BTEC in Health & Social care. For 11 years I was in girl guiding, working with other young girls in learning independence. I fundraised £4300 in total to complete voluntary work abroad in India. I worked in a woman’s refuge in the slums and taught English lessons to their children.
I currently work as a teaching assistant in a special needs school, my dream job! I’m very happy to say that I wake up in the morning looking forward to seeing all the lovely children I work with; and watching them learn new things day by day. I’m Level 4 in British Sign Language and I am always trying to learn new signs for my hard of hearing students.
I’m diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum. To others I may seem different, but I try my best to think of those around me before myself and to always remain positive when something may appear tricky. Resilience is my main goal! I try very hard to make sure I adapt my communication skills, but it is still important to know that sometimes being different is okay 🙂 
I joined volunteering at Kool Carers for the people. Like one big happy family, my aim is to show compassion and friendship to the young people, provide reassurance when needed and to offer advice. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the children and strongly admire their strength to remain positive when times can be tough.
My Interests: Travelling, photography, gardening, making sensory toys, spending time with my dogs and trying different things.