Our Team

Rachel Tungate: Chief Executive

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



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.


Helen Murphy: Counsellor

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.


Ed Traynor: Sessional Support Worker

Hi my name is Ed and I have had the privilege to have worked with children and young adults since I left school at 16. Most of my work has been working with the Mushroom Theatre Company, that works with promoting inclusion between abled and disabled performers, teaching drama and providing workshops for youth centres and schools around self esteem, bullying, littering and many other subjects.

I have taught drama and maths in secondary schools as well as working as an accredited learning mentor for two years at Chase High School.

During a turbulent upbringing which led to me not fulfilling my full potential at school, I have tried to make it my main objection to work hard and put 100% effort into everything I do, while trying to support anyone that needs the help that I would have benefited from as child and through my teens.

I was introduced to Kool Carers when I ran a workshop on bullying for them, and love the work they do to support the community and help children and young adults to just be themselves and to take some time to relax and forget about theirs worries and concerns. I am hoping that I can help them on their journeys.

Sarah Gallaway: Volunteer

I’m currently studying for a BSc (Hons) in Horticulture at Writtle University College and will graduate in 2020. Whilst studying, I am also employed as a Horticulturist with a gardening company based in Chelmsford managing all aspects of domestic clients’ gardens. I’m passionate about plants, using our resources sustainably and interested in how connection to green spaces can make a difference to people’s lives.

Having spent nearly 30 years commuting to London and having a professional IT Procurement career, I have turned a pastime into a new career. I have excellent interpersonal, organisation and project management skills, which I bring to my trustee duties at Kool Carers.
Having grown up in Hawkwell, my childhood was spent with friends climbing trees, building dens and riding our bikes. We were always outside playing in the countryside and very much connected to

My horticulture passion was influenced by my late Father, as I recall pinching out the side shoots of our tomato plants and watering them. He, like his own father who was a Head Gardener at a Scottish estate, was a keen gardener – it must be in the genes!

I live in Hockley with my husband Mark and our four furry felines. Rachel has been a good friend of mine since our college days and I was very honoured to be asked to become a trustee of Kool Carers. We have a new allotment project getting underway in the summer of 2019 and I’m looking forward to sharing my horticulture passion and knowledge with the young carers as we develop the programme.

When I’m not in someone else’s garden, or my own, or studying; I play badminton, enjoy my photography, and spend time with family and friends.