Meet the Manager making an impact

One of the first members of the Evolve team whom headteachers new to our service are likely to meet is Damon Fox.
Damon has worked for Evolve for a decade, initially as a Health Mentor in Lincolnshire, before moving into regional management. He forged long-standing and positive relationships with headteachers, and has been supporting a new Regional Manager in developing this further.
In his current role of National Impact Sales Manager, Damon helps to share our passion and mission for transforming the lives of children and young people with senior leaders within health and education across the UK.

“Previously, as a Health Mentor and Regional Manager, my aim was to help pupils thrive by being active, happy, healthy, confident, engaged and in the right frame of mind to learn. Nothing has changed in that regard in my new role,” Damon says. “I meet with new school headteachers to share our innovative programmes and how our Health Mentors make a significant impact on pupil attendance, attainment and behaviour.
“In my role I am often the teaching staff’s first point of contact with Evolve. During initial school meetings I listen to each school’s needs and advise them on how best we can support them. I set out a clear vision on how we will support the school and describe how we will make Project HE:RO a bespoke programme for their pupils.
“I also explain the benefits and the impact the programme can have for the whole school, including staff, parents and the community. Evolve’s intervention spreads wellbeing beyond the pupils. I also introduce the Regional Manager for the area where the school is located, as they play a key role in the programme.”
Damon says his insight and experience mean his role has many other benefits for schools. “I can be another point of contact for them on any queries around Project HE:RO and share national publications relating to education that may support their work in school.
“By visiting schools nationally, I am also a conduit to pass on ideas of best practice I have seen working effectively in schools,” he explains. “I use social media to engage in educational chats, workshops and opportunities to learn from others working with children.
“Through social media I share and celebrate the work Health Mentors are doing in schools, which boosts their confidence and recognises the impact they are having on the pupils in their schools.
“By meeting with new schools regularly and extending Evolve’s reach to more children, I also get to create job opportunities for aspiring Health Mentors who want to join our team and our mission to improve children’s lives.
“Creating new Health Mentor positions benefits pupils, as this provides them with a role model in school and someone they can turn to for support with wellbeing and academic issues. Health Mentors have the time and patience to help unlock pupils’ talents so they can flourish in their school life.”
Damon reveals that since September his input has resulted in the creation of six new Health Mentor roles, 12 new schools joining the Evolve family and over 360 pupils benefiting from Project HE:RO.
His plans include working alongside the rest of Evolve’s Business Development team to add more value to Project HE:RO, as well as showcase ways in which schools can benefit from Health Mentors.
“In turn, I am also looking to support schools where I can, with opportunities of funding that will help ease the current pressure on budgets in education,” says Damon, who is also a school governor with an understanding of these pressures.
“To extend the work I am doing, I am also supporting Regional Managers and local schools with our out-of-hours provision, XLR8. This programme uses Health Mentors to extend children’s learning through school holiday periods, helping them to learn important life skills and improve their performance, self-confidence and wellbeing outside the traditional school curriculum.
“This is an area I have had experience in since we began running them five years ago, as well as during time I spent in the USA working with children with different needs. It helps unlock talent, raise esteem and confidence, and also build friendships.”
Damon is always willing to go that extra mile for Evolve. In fact, the keen park-runner is in training to run the London Marathon for Heart Research UK.  Evolve Health Mentors deliver the charity’s Healthy Hearts sessions in schools in England and Wales to encourage children to make healthy lifestyle choices.
“Our nation’s schoolchildren face a future of poor heart health, due to physical inactivity and obesity, with one in three youngsters overweight by the time they leave primary school,” Damon added.
“Through Project HE:RO we have been working for 10 years in primary schools to encourage healthier lifestyle choices and wellbeing. Now we deliver the Healthy Heart schools programme and I have seen how effective this is, I wanted to do my bit to raise funds and awareness.”
Damon welcomes meetings with schools to discuss ways to increase the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff, and how Evolve can support them around the criteria for the new Sports Premium Budget in September. He is also able to discuss the new Healthy Schools ranking that is linked to Ofsted ratings.
To arrange a meeting with Damon, please email him at damon@evolvesi.com or call him on 07966 750318. Follow him on Twitter at fox_damon