Children’s charity Barnardo’s are paying tribute to the retiring manager of the BASE in Whitley Bay after 25 years with the charity. Carla Franchi started with the charity as Deputy Manager at its Palmersville Training and Skills centre in North Tyneside and has been the Children’s Services Manager at the BASE since January 2003.

The BASE is a safe and inspirational youth environment, with programmes developed with children and young people to build confidence, self-esteem and emotional well-being. It provides individual support and group engagement programmes in-centre and outreach in the community to address health, social and learning needs that have an impact on the well-being of children and young people aged 11-25.

Without Carla’s leadership as Children’s Services Manager, many young people would not have had the opportunity to engage in health and social support groups, bespoke learning programmes, intensive support and advocacy that they needed. She is known to all the staff at the BASE as a really forward-looking person who is caring and approachable, a calm presence who is supportive and a fantastic listener.

Director of Barnardo’s East Region, Steve Oversby said:

“Carla is a consummate professional who is always looking to develop new ways of working that make a real difference to the vulnerable young people, children and families we work with. She will be hugely missed by everyone at Barnardo’s.”

Carla says: “I’m so proud of the excellent work that staff deliver at The BASE for children, young people and families. I’ve enjoyed working with the staff and volunteers who are really the heart and soul of Barnardo’s. Day after day they are committed to making a difference – employing a ‘can-do’ attitude to make a positive impact on young people’s lives.

“Our service users have always been at the centre of what we do here at The BASE, shaping our provision to meet their needs and striving always to improve outcomes for each individual engaging in our services. The BASE started delivering services from this location in October 1986 and I feel privileged to have been able to contribute to its continued development, serving those most in need within our communities for just over half of that time!”

Carla says she is looking forward to having the freedom to travel, spending more quality time with her family and friends from around the world and enjoying new life experiences in her retirement.