Our team

Executive team

Nathan Sansom

Nathan is our CEO. He works with Trustees and the Executive team supporting The Access Project to set and fulfil its strategic goals.

Nathan’s most recent roles have been within charities focussed on improving life chances for young people. He has been responsible for programme design and scale-up in senior roles at The Challenge Network, Starfish and Frontline. He moved to the third sector from a successful career in the civil service, including serving as the Programme Director responsible for National Citizen Service (NCS) — the coalition Government’s flagship youth programme.

Sarah Hayter
Sarah is the Finance Director.
 
She trained as a science teacher on the Teach First programme before subsequently re-qualifying as a chartered accountant with accountancy firm BDO. She then went on to work for the social work charity Frontline, initially leading the finance function and more recently returning to the organisation in a compliance role.
 
Sarah holds a BA in Natural Sciences.
Fay Mahdi

Fay is the Impact and Strategy Director for The Access Project.

 She is responsible for maintaining and improving our impact with our young people as we grow, and for supporting our strategy development.In previous roles with UK charities she has led the design, quality assurance and evaluation of humanitarian and development programmes in a number of countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Fay studied Arabic and French at the University of Edinburgh and has an MA in Anthropology of Development from SOAS.

Stephen Hudd
Stephen is the Partnerships and Communications Co-Director at The Access Project.  He leads on partnerships so that we can reach more young people, improve our impact and develop new strategic projects.
 
Stephen has specialised for several years in senior interim roles and consultancy in fundraising and related areas.  This has included Director roles at St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, St Luke’s Hospice (Harrow & Brent), Alzheimer’s Research UK , Independent Age and SSAFA.  He was previously Director of Fundraising, Marketing & PR at Coram for six years and then Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at EllenorLions Hospices for four years.
 
He has a degree in Business Studies (Marketing).
 
Stephen works part time (Wednesday- Friday) as a job share with Georgina Pope.
Georgina Pope

Georgina is the Partnerships and Communications Co-Director at The Access Project.

She leads on partnerships and fundraising and is tasked with growing our income so we can reach more young people, improve our impact and develop new strategic projects.

Georgina previously spent several years as Development Director at campaigning organisation Liberty and has worked for several charities helping young people overcome barriers, including I CAN and Children in Crisis.

Georgina studied Anthropology at UCL before gaining an MSc from SOAS in Violence, Conflict and Development. She is a certified member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Georgina works part time (Monday-Wednesday) as a job share with Stephen Hudd.

Stuart Sheldon

Stuart is the Operations Director and is responsible for high quality delivery across all operational areas.  

Stuart’s most recent roles have been senior positions within the higher education sector, including serving as Operations Director at Kaplan and National Head of Assessments at The University of Law.

Stuart holds a BA in Leadership & Management from the Open University and was the Open University Business School Leadership & Management Student of the Year in 2018. 

Lucy Ball

Lucy is the Programme and Volunteering Director and is responsible for school relationships and high quality programme delivery across all of our schools in all regions.

She previously worked at a business pyschology consultancy, leading a team of PAs and Project Managers, before joining The Access Project.

Lucy holds a BA in English Literature, an MA in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, and a PhD in the memorialisation of the British slave trade.

Finance team

Colin Buck
Colin is our Finance Manager.
He trained as an accountant before moving into the project management of financial systems changes within services organisations. He has implemented systems for lawyers, accountants, actuaries, consultants and a shipping company. He is Finance Director of London’s first community-owned pub and was a primary school governor.
Colin is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA).
Lynne Brown

Lynne is Senior Operations Coordinator, providing finance, HR and office support.

She has worked for a variety of organisations in HR & training roles and also spent four years tutoring adult learners in IT and office admin skills.

Impact and strategy team

Alice Dee
Alice is our Head of Programme Development.
 
Alice studied Biological Sciences at Durham University. After finishing her degree, Alice was President of her College and subsequently President of the Students’ Union. During this time Alice focused her energies on improving access to higher education on both a local and national level.
Matthew Abley

Matthew is a Senior Attainment Coordinator.

He previously taught secondary English after completing the Teach First Leadership Development programme, during which time led on a variety of school access, inclusion and enrichment projects for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Matthew holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, and a masters in educational leadership (Teach First) from Warwick University.

Alisa Zhiteneva

Alisa is our Data & Insights Coordinator (0.6) and a Volunteer Experience Coordinator (0.4). 

She previously worked for a charity in Glasgow supporting disadvantaged children engage with education. Alisa studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University after which she worked in cell biology research at the University of Edinburgh.

Sophia Sterling

Sophia is our Student Engagement and Transition Manager. 

Her previous roles have included developing Peer Assisted Learning and academic writing programmes for undergraduate students.

She has a degree in English Language and Communication from Kingston University.

Holly Brown

Holly is our Impact Manager, University Readiness. 

Prior to this she completed a PhD looking at health, gender and the body in contemporary American fiction at Ghent University, Belgium. In 2017, she was a Visiting Scholar with the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute for the Arts, Los Angeles. She developed an interest in improving access to higher education in her previous role working as a Learning Support Assistant at a large London secondary school. 

She also holds an MA in Comparative Literary Studies from Goldsmiths University, and a BA in American Studies from the University of Nottingham.

Lauren Amery

Lauren is our Insight & Evaluation Manager.

Prior to joining The Access Project, Lauren managed impact evaluations for a range of organisations, producing insights to help inform local and regional decision-making.

She has an MA in Social Research from University of Birmingham. 

Operations team

Cheryl Lee

Cheryl is our Operations Manager & Deputy Child Protection Officer as part of Operations Team, providing recruitment, HR and office support.

Cheryl studied English Literature at Roehampton University and has gone on to work in various professional services roles including Business Development and Project Management for both private and public sectors. She is currently training towards a Psychotherapy M.A and is passionate about helping people to reach their full potential.

Riaz Hathiari

Riaz is our Systems Manager.

He has previously worked as a Salesforce Administrator in the charity industry.

Emily Jeffreys

Emily is the Operations Co-ordinator at The Access Project. She helps keep things running smoothly behind the scenes, helping out with recruitment, staff on-boarding, off-boarding and general operations.

She has a Degree in Business Management from the University of Surrey and is currently setting up her own fashion company! Emily was awarded the Overall Contribution to the Business School on Graduation Day, and did the first ever Graduate speech at University of Surrey.

 

Sarah Berry
Sarah is the People Strategy – Senior Project Manager at The Access Project and is working with the team to design, develop and implement our people strategy. 
 
Sarah originally studied for a BA Honours in Classics at the University of Swansea and moved into HR with a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of the West of England. Sarah’s wide ranging experience has been built up from working in generalist HR Management roles at customer service organisations and professional services. 
 
Sarah has a young family and volunteers as a primary school governor, CIPD Steps Ahead mentor and is a Tutor with us. 
Jennifer Guerin

Jennifer is the Policy and Safeguarding Manager/ Child Protection Officer.

She previously taught English as a foreign language in Vietnam, and was a manager in a centre of a tuition company. She is also a Volunteer Childline Counsellor. Jennifer has a degree in History from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Psychology from the University of Derby.

Lynne Brown

Lynne is Senior Operations Coordinator, providing finance, HR and office support.

She has worked for a variety of organisations in HR & training roles and also spent four years tutoring adult learners in IT and office admin skills.

Partnerships and communications team

Alice Reilly

Alice is the Head of University Partnerships at The Access Project. She leads on developing and sustaining our partnerships with universities so we can reach more young people.

Before joining The Access Project, Alice has worked in a range of roles across the education sector. Most recently at UCL where she developed programmes to raise attainment of Pre 16 pupils underrepresented in higher education. Prior to UCL Alice spent 4 years working at Teach First, recruiting students and graduates for the teacher training programme and training Careers Leaders in schools.

Alice studied a Psychology degree at Newcastle University. 

Sam Gough

Sam Gough is the Head of Communications at The Access Project. He leads on communicating the work that the charity does to audiences through a multitude of channels.

Sam has over a decade of experience working in communications – including working in universities, local authorities, and also four years working for an NGO based in Lebanon that worked with war-wounded Syrian refugee children.
 
Sam studied English Literature at the University of Manchester. 
Alison Perry, The Access Project
Alison Perry

Alison is the Corporate Partnerships Manager. She develops and maintains partnerships with companies to secure income for the organisation, and engages corporate staff to support young people through volunteering.

Prior to joining the Partnerships team, Alison has had a variety of experience in frontline retail sales roles and most recently was a key member of the buying team for the charity PDSA, during which she gained experience of building effective internal and external relationships in order to drive the income of the bought-in new goods range.

Alison has a BA in History with History of Art & Design from the University of Wolverhampton.

Anastasia Terzoglou

Anastasia is the Communications Coordinator at The Access Project.

Anastasia started her communications career as an intern at a housing association. She has now worked in the third sector for the better part of a decade, specialising in internal communications and staff engagement.

Anastasia likes to use her skills to communicate creatively, and loves sharing best practice and learning from her peers.

Ruth Joyce
Ruth is our Trusts & Foundations Manager. She previously worked in the fundraising department in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and also has 5 years’ of experience supporting sixth form students as a Higher Education, Careers and Gap Year Coordinator.
 
Ruth has an MA in Medieval Literature and Culture from Birkbeck University of London, and a BA in Medieval History from Queen Mary University.

Programme team

Adam Joseph-Kerr

Adam is a Senior University Access Officer and UAO Lead Diversity & Inclusion. 


Adam holds a Law degree and an MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics from the University of Birmingham. Before joining The Access Project Adam supported several research projects in Birmingham Law School. He has experience in the higher education and the third sector.

Amy Darch

Amy is a University Access Officer at The Access Project.

Amy has a BA in Politics with International Relations from the University of York, and recently completed an MA in Applied Human Rights.

She previously volunteered as a Mentor at Refugee Action York, supporting her mentee through the University application process. In past jobs, she has led volunteers to deliver human rights workshops in schools and has worked on a project at the University of York on access to university and scholarships for people seeking asylum.

Amy has also worked with organisations such as the York Human Rights City Network and the York Poverty Truth Commission as a researcher.

Charlotte Osborne

Charlotte is a University Access Officer in London.

Before joining The Access Project, she was elected as the President of the Students’ Union at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she secured policy change in relation to Widening Participation, Diversity and Inclusion.

Charlotte has a BA in History of Art from The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Ellie Edwards

Ellie is the University Events and Student Enrichment Manager at the Access Project. Previously, she worked in an Addiction Charity, working with young people suffering from parental substance misue. Ellie studied International Relations and Politics at the University of Sheffield, and has a Masters Degree in Middle East Politics from SOAS.

Iwan Phillips

Iwan is a University Access Officer at Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford. He attended University of Sheffield where he completed a BA in History & Politics and an MA in Politics, Governance & Public Policy. As well as this he worked as a Widening Participation Mentor delivering Outreach sessions to students from underrepresented backgrounds in local schools.

Olivia Bailey

Olivia is a Programme Manager in London.

Previously, she was a Senior University Access Officer at George Green’s School for 2 years. Olivia studied a BA in Media, Culture and Society with 1 year studying abroad in the Czech Republic.

Rubinder Sanga

Rubinder is our Online Tuition Manager and Tuition Quality Assurance Coordinator.

In her previous role, Rubinder acted as a leadership coach and mentor for qualifying and newly qualified teachers.

Rubinder holds a PGCE in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham and obtained a degree in Economics and Management from Aston University.

Taija Clarke

Taija is Senior University Access Officer & Quality Assurance Coordinator (University Readiness). 

She previously taught English as a foreign language and ran career guidance workshops whilst volunteering in Tanzania. Taija has also volunteered with various UK based charities, working closely with vulnerable groups; including a role as a mentor at a social mobility charity. Taija graduated in Sociology from Brunel University London. 

Adam Runacres

Adam is a University Access Officer & Quality Assurance Champion – (Tuition), London at Bishop Douglass School and Hornsey School for Girls. He previously worked as a PhD Tutor at The Brilliant Club and Programme Officer at UCL AnthroSchools.

Adam completed his undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge before doing his Master’s and PhD in Anthropology at UCL, examining the local social impacts of tiger conservation in central India. 

Andy Hollings
Andy is a Programme Manager in London.
 
Before joining TAP, Andy worked in the employment and skills sector.  His last role was with a charity, helping disadvantaged young people to achieve their potential.
 
Andy studied Business Administration and Public Policy Management at Aston University.
Christian Moulding

Christian is a Senior Programme Officer and Quality Assurance Coordinator (QAC) (Tuition). 

Prior to joining TAP, he has worked as an SEND Teaching Assistant where he developed an interest in the education sector before he went on to study Ancient History at Durham University.

Erica Johnston

Erica is a University Access Officer in London.

She is an alumnus of The Access Project. Before joining the Access Project she worked in a variety of roles, including delivering and facilitating the University of Bristol’s access schemes, helping pre-undergraduates decide which university to attend, and working as a summer camp counsellor. 

She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Bristol.
Mairead Nolan

Mairead is a Senior University Access Officer & Quality Assurance Coordinator (Tuition). 

Prior to this, she has worked for children’s charities including Give Something Back to Berlin and The Tutor Trust. She has also worked at Randstad as a university support worker and has experience in content writing for student related websites.

Mairead studied English Literature at the University of Leeds.

Penelope Webb

Penelope is a University Access Officer in the West Midlands at The Access Project.

Before joining TAP she was a teacher working in a variety of schools across Birmingham, many in challenging circumstances acting as a strong advocate for the students and their families. She has an undergraduate degree in music from The University of York and a postgraduate qualification from University of Reading.
Sadhika Yasmin

Sadhika is a University Access Officer in the Midlands. She applied to university through an access scheme graduating with First Class (Hons) in biomedical science at the University of Birmingham.

Since graduating, she has worked at UHB as a clinical data officer and also as a Covid follow-up clinical co-ordinator. She also volunteers as a mentor for a youth organisation called Anima Youth.
Tom Breed

Tom is a University Access Officer at The Access Project based at Central Foundation Boys’ School in London.

Before joining The Access Project, Tom did a PhD in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. During his time as a graduate student he served as a teaching assistant and course leader for a number of courses, was involved in mentoring programmes, and took part in a campaign with the United Steelworkers to unionise graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh.

Tom also holds an MA in Language and Cognition at King’s College London, and a BA in philosophy from the University of Warwick.

Aidan Young
Aidan is a Senior University Access Officer.
 
He previously worked as a teaching assistant in a number of London schools, often supporting children with SEN needs. Aidan has also volunteered as an immigration paralegal in a Law Centre. He holds a degree in Law from the University of Southampton, and a Masters in Migration and Diaspora Studies from SOAS.
Beth Pennyfather

Beth is a Senior University Access Officer in London.

Digby Mason

Digby is the University Access Officer at Dixon’s Academy Cottingley in Bradford.

Before joining TAP he has previously worked as a volunteer coordinator for a community shop in Yorkshire, as well as volunteering as a tutor for Action Tutoring. He has an MSc in Environment, Culture, and Society from the University of Edinburgh, and a passion for combating educational inequality. 

 

Fatima Farooq

Fatima is a University Access Officer at The Urswick School and City of London Academy Highbury Grove.

Prior to this Fatima completed the Teach First Leadership Development programme and has worked as a Secondary Science Teacher alongside having experience as a Deputy Pastoral Leader. She holds a First honours degree in Biomedical Science from King’s College London and completed her PGDE (Science) at UCL Institute of Education whilst on the Teach First programme.

Megan Scanlon
Megan is the Online Tuition Coordinator and an alumnus of The Access Project. Prior to joining the Access Project she worked in a range of roles including as a Senior Mentor for the NCS programme.
She also has a degree in Social Policy and Criminology from the University of Birmingham with her dissertation on the impact of Universal Credit.
Rachel Holmes

Rachel is the Programme Manager East Midlands & Quality Assurance Coordinator (QAC – University Readiness).​ Prior to this, Rachel was a Senior University Access Officer for Holte School in the West Midlands.

Rachel’s former career was as an English teacher for 13 years. During that time she was Achievement Leader for Year 11 and completed the NCSL Leadership Pathways qualification. Rachel holds a PGCE in English from The University of Nottingham and obtained a degree in Literature, Life and Thought from Liverpool John Moores University.

Sam Johnson
Sam is a Senior University Access Officer in the East Midlands and Senior Events Officer.
 
Before joining the Access Project, he worked supporting student societies at both Exeter and UWE Students’ Unions, as well as spending a year as a foreign language assistant in the German town of Langerwehe.
 
Sam studied Maths at the University of Exeter.
Tom Welch

Tom is a University Access Officer in the East Midlands at The Access Project.

Before joining The Access Project, he worked as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Lincoln Law School. He is currently working toward the completion of a PhD that examines the relationship between statelessness, refugeehood, and international law. Tom studied Law and Criminology at the University of Lincoln and has an MA in Applied Human Rights from the University of York. 

 

 

Amelia Schofield

Amelia is a University Access Officer at Kensington Aldridge Academy and University Academy of Engineering Southbank.

Prior to joining our team, Amelia worked for a public services campaign group, and as an English language assistant at two French secondary schools.  Amelia holds a degree in History from the University of Cambridge and has an MA in Global History from Freie Universität Berlin.

Charlotte Husjnak, The Access Project
Charlotte Husnjak
Charlotte is a University Access Officer based in Central Foundation Girls’ School in London.
Before joining The Access Project, Charlotte mentored students across the UK with multiple access charities. She has also worked alongside the University of Cambridge, creating and running various widening participation programmes. Charlotte has hosted university access events for students in England and Wales, and has delivered workshops to international students in China, South Korea and Japan.
A previous Free School Meal student, Charlotte holds both a BA and Masters in Education from the University of Cambridge.
Eleanor Myers
Eleanor is a University Access Officer at Lister Community School and Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys. 
Her previous roles include mentoring with NCS, as well as working with LSE’s Widening Participation programme and as a volunteer in International Development. She holds a degree in Social Anthropology from LSE.
Holly Rowe

Holly is our London Programme Manager

Prior to joining our team, Holly has worked in diverse roles including as a foreign language assistant for the British Council and as an Event Coordinator.

Holly holds a degree in Politics and French from the University of Bristol and a Master of Public Policy from King’s College London. She specialised in European integration and has a keen interest in education policy.

Naomi Burley-Baker

Naomi is Deputy Programme Director at The Access Project.  She is responsible for school relationships and high quality programme delivery across all our London Schools. She is also responsible for all the Centrally Delivered Provision across all regions, including our Societies Programme and University trips.

She has previously worked on the Mayor of London’s School Programme as well as in Social Housing.

Naomi has a degree in Geography from University of Liverpool.

 

 
 
Rebecca Foster
Rebecca is a University Access Officer in the West Midlands.
 
 
Before joining The Access Project, Rebecca worked in various roles across the voluntary sector, including as a caseworker for survivors of human trafficking and refugees, and as a sex education workshop facilitator.
 
 
Rebecca studied Psychology at the University of Sheffield.
Sara Papamichael

Sara is our Senior Programme Manager (London). Prior to becoming a Programme Manager, she worked as a University Access Officer for two years, delivering the programme in two of our schools.

Her previous roles have included teaching English as a second language, along with mentoring for youth charities.

She has a degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Sussex.

Will Ainsworth

Will is a Senior University Access Officer & UAO Lead – Events Volunteer Coordinator at The Access Project.

His previous roles include time spent as a part time volunteer tutor for a refugee charity, as well as a placement in Kenya where he delivered a series of social mobility programmes. Most recently he worked for international young person’s education charity Never Such Innocence, managing the organisation’s international education programme and creative arts competition that invited young people to reflect on conflict.

Will holds a degree in Human Geography from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Volunteering team

Abbey Cameron

Abbey is our Volunteer Experience Coordinator at The Access Project. Her career focus has been education, moving into the charities sector after teaching English as a foreign language and supporting educational programmes in Japan and Italy.

Abbey first studied English and Italian at the University of St Andrews. More recently, she completed an MA in Comparative Education from UCL Institute of Education.

Mary Skelton

Mary is the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator at The Access Project. She has worked and volunteered with numerous charities.

Since returning to the UK from New Zealand, she was working with the Alzheimer’s Society as Side by Side Coordinator where she managed and coordinated the volunteers. Prior to this she also worked in education supporting students with their Career & Progression options.

Alafia Chung

Alafia is a Volunteer Experience Coordinator at The Access Project. 

She previously worked in the education sector, focussing on inclusion and pastoral care, before joining The Access Project. Alafia holds a BA Hons in History and Politics and an MSc in Development Management. 

Michaela Wood

Michaela is the Volunteering Experience Manager at The Access Project.

She has previously worked in a similar role for a charity helping young offenders to resettle in the community upon release from prison and ultimately reduce re-offending.

Michaela has a BSc in Criminology and Sociology from Royal Holloway University of London.

Harry Hodges, The Access Project
Harry Hodges

Harry is the Head of Volunteer Recruitment at The Access Project. He leads on recruiting volunteers, so we can continue to provide young people with our highly impactful tutoring.

Prior to joining The Access Project, Harry spent a number of years working within the charity sector in roles focused on volunteer management, international volunteering and community development. He has joined us from Student Hubs, where he developed an approach to embedding volunteering within different academic courses at Kingston University. He has specialised in widening participation and reducing barriers to engagement for volunteers from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Harry has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Greenwich, and started his career as an elected officer with Greenwich Union of Students.

Sarah Stephenson

Sarah is our Volunteering Experience Coordinator at The Access Project. She previously worked as an employment screening coordinator and is excited to bring her skills into the charity sector.

Sarah holds a BA in The History of Art from the University of Sussex.

The Access Project Volunteer Team
Lottie Whalen

Lottie is the Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator at The Access Project.

She has previously worked in Higher Education and the charity sector. Lottie has a PhD in English Literature from Queen Mary University of London.

Suzanne Janes

Suzanne is Deputy Volunteering Director at The Access Project.

She previously worked in Programme and Volunteer Management in the Canadian charity sector and is a qualified GCSE and A Level teacher.
 
Suzanne holds a BA in International Business and Languages from Sheffield Hallam University and a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages from The University of Sheffield.