be_ixf;ym_202107 d_27; ct_50
Back to Our People

Our Staff

Our staff make City Year UK happen! They share our commitment to tackling educational inequality and giving young people the skills they'll need in their future lives.

Programme Team

headshot of Zipporah Kissi
Zipporah Kissi
Programme Manager, London

Zipporah repped the red as a Volunteer Mentor in 2010, when City Year was founded in the UK. Since then, she has progressed through the organisation and is now the Programme Manager for London, as well as the National Alumni Engagement Lead. She is passionate about supporting young people so they can recognise and realise their true potential.

Who is your hero?
I don’t have one. However, I am grateful to know of people (past and present, directly or indirectly) who have inspired and influenced me to be the change I want to see.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
‘The Shack’ by William P Young.

What is your best career advice?
You got this! Be sure to tell yourself this in those moments when you wonder if you are ‘enough’ and doubt your ability to overcome.

Read more

headshot of Dean Thomas-Lowde
Dean Thomas-Lowde
Programme Manager, Greater Manchester & The Black Country

For the past 20 years, Dean has worked as a Senior Leader in Education, Consultant and Director in some very challenging urban environments. Dean’s previous roles have seen him establish himself as a business leader in education, with responsibility for growth and educational experience. He understands that working to develop a different approach is vital.

Who is your hero?
My dad. A man who always taught me to never stop learning, strive to achieve your goals and always be the person you want to be.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Maya Angelou’s "I know why The Caged Bird Sings".

What is your best career advice?
Kaizen: a Japanese business philosophy, meaning continuous improvement.

Read more

headshot of Sharon Webley
Sharon Webley
Programme Manager, West Midlands

Sharon has had a long career in education working with children and young people to attain and achieve. She is passionate about this goal. As Programme Manager for City Year West Midlands, Sharon inspires, motivates and leads a team and cohort of 18-25 year olds to be the change they want to see in the world. Each One, Teach One.

Who is your hero?
Heroes, no, not so much but many famous and not so famous people I admire some of whom are not alive today. Right now, I am in awe of US comedian Dave Chappelle, who like Shakespeare’s Fool, urges us towards our socially responsible selves.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
It’s hard to pick one but ‘An Evil Cradling’ by Brian Keenan has stayed with me for decades.

What is your best career advice?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb.

Read more

headshot of Beverley Anim-Antwi
Beverley Anim-Antwi
Impact Officer, London

Beverley is in her second year as an Impact Officer at City Year UK. She successfully manages a team of Volunteer Mentors at a secondary school in London. Beverley’s priority are the Volunteer Mentors, ensuring they are supported professionally and personally throughout their year on the programme, so they are able to make a difference in schools.

Who is your hero?
My mother, my origin.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"To Kill a Mockingbird". I read it when I was 15. Atticus’ closing argument in court, even now, still gets me.

What is your best career advice?
Remember why you chose it - and If you haven't figured out what it is yet, look and take opportunities that you think you might enjoy.

Read more

headshot of Sofia Ayub
Sofia Ayub
Impact Officer, Birmingham

Sofia is an Impact Officer at a secondary school in Birmingham, where she manages a team of Volunteer Mentors. She is passionate about supporting young people to be the best version of themselves, personally and professionally. Sofia likes to explore self-development and understanding one's potential, and wishes to make a difference in society.

Who is your hero?
People who have endured severe difficulties in life yet remain kind and sincere.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
The Quran. I have found it to be scientifically, poetically and theoretically exceptional - a real guide book for life.

What is your best career advice?
Remember your intentions of why you started and never forget your purpose (and all jobs are important).

Read more

headshot of Fateha Begum
Fateha Begum
National Careers Progression Lead & Impact Officer, London

Before becoming City Year UK’s National Careers Progression Lead as well as Impact Officer in London, Fateha’s career journey started with her own year of volunteering in the charity/youth sector.
She believes in youth voice, she believes in the power of mentoring - and how access to opportunities enables young people to shape their lives and break glass ceiling.

Who is your hero?
I have been inspired by individuals who despite enduring challenges and obstacles strive to share kindness.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Quran - a soothing yet timeless guide.

What is your best career advice?
Never stop dreaming; each experience will only add to your final destination.

Read more

Headshot of Fiona Bradshaw
Fiona Bradshaw
Impact Officer, Greater Manchester

Having previously worked in secondary and primary education, Fiona joined City Year UK to continue to support young people in their development. She is passionate about leadership, skills development and mental health. Her favourite City Year founding story is ‘Stone Soup’ which reminds us that we are strongest when we pool our resources, skills and talents.

Who is your hero?
Annie Kenney, a suffragette. She was born and lived near to where I grew up. She reminds me that anyone at all can make a difference.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne. There are some really powerful symbolic moments throughout. Coupled with it being written from the viewpoint of the innocence of childhood, it really hits home how poorly people are treated at the hands of others.

What is your best career advice?
The best way to work out what you want to do is to try lots of different things. Everything you try will give you an insight into what you do (or don’t!) want to do as a career. It doesn’t matter if you find it at 25 or 65 - use all your experience to find the perfect career match for you.

Read more

Headshot of Christina Bryan
Christina Bryan
Impact Officer and National Learning & Development Coordinator

Christina is in her sixth year of service with City Year UK, and takes pride in her role as an Impact Officer in the West Midlands and National Learning & Development Coordinator. She is committed to and conscientious about what she does, and strives to create conditions for young people to thrive. The mission of City Year, the collective workforce behind it and the passion of the volunteer mentors on the front line continues to inspire and energise her, year after year.

Who is your hero?
My oldest brother has always been a beacon of love and light, a role model and a fundamental figure in shaping my character and pushing me to succeed.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. Interconnected characters collide set against the backdrop of a shifting Indian landscape from Independence to 1975’s State of Emergency.

What is your best career advice?
Take pride and put care into what you do. Seek support when you need it. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes. Appreciate people/colleagues at all levels.

Read more

headshot of Elin Finnegan
Elin Finnegan
Impact Officer, Coventry

Elin is a Coventry based Impact Officer, with a wealth of educational experience and a lifelong love of learning. In her role, her main priority is to ensure the very best outcomes for the young people she works with, and to bring positivity to those around her. She is an idealist who strives for a better future for all, and the ethos and culture of CIty Year UK empowers her to work towards this vision.

Who is your hero?
Not necessarily a hero but in awe of her bravery: Edith Cavell. She saw beyond discrimination, helped those in need and sacrificed her life whilst helping others.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The Power of Positive Thinking" - it reinforced my own beliefs but also helped me to influence others' way of thinking too.

What is your best career advice?
Always enjoy what you do; that’s when you will be at your most productive. Embrace change and be flexible.

Read more

headshot of Beth Gilbert
Beth Gilbert
Impact Officer, West Midlands

Beth is talkative, enthusiastic and passionate about empowering young people to achieve. Beth is an Impact Officer, and her role at City Year UK is to support a team of Volunteer Mentors on their year of service.

Who is your hero?
My mum and dad. They raised me to know that they would support me through everything - I aspire to show others the love that they showed me.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"To Kill A Mockingbird" - I first read this when I was 13, and it was the first book to make me realise how powerful books can actually be!

What is your best career advice?
Seek to do what you love; then you’ll love what you do.

Read more

headshot of Kirsty Graham
Kirsty Graham
Impact Officer, The Black Country

Kirsty is passionate about inspiring a love of learning in young people. Supporting the wonderful Team Ubuntu in the Black Country allows Kirsty the privilege of being part of the team’s individual social action and professional development journeys. Kirsty’s natural habitat is the school environment! Here you will find her sharing her enthusiasm for enriching children’s lives through mentoring.

Who is your hero?
Jacqueline Wilson - her writing explores the experiences of those children who live outside of a fairytale life. Her books are brave and I feel she paved the way for other children’s authors to be the same.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
The Bible. I’m not especially religious as an adult. However, the parables shared with me in Catholic education helped me to navigate and make sense of real life challenges as a child

What is your best career advice?
Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you to diversify your skill set. Don’t shy away from something out of your comfort zone, especially if you are only required to ‘dip your toe into the water’. You never know, you may love it!

Read more

headshot of Hannah Gregory
Hannah Gregory
Impact Officer, Greater Manchester

Hannah returned to City Year UK after completing the programme herself in 2017/18. She now works as an Impact Officer in Greater Manchester, enjoying helping her teams gain as much as she did from the CYUK experience. One of Hannah’s favourite tools within City Year UK is WYPIIWYGO - What You Put In Is What You Get Out!

Who is your hero?
My Grandma (or Mama, as we call her!). She has not had the easiest life, but still she spreads so much joy and positivity in the lives of everyone who knows her. I aspire to be as kind-hearted and warm as she is.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The Power of Nunchi" by Euny Hong. It’s a book about the traditional Korean practice of ‘nunchi’: mindfully reading what people are thinking and mastering situational awareness.

What is your best career advice?
Be thankful for challenges and opportunities to grow and learn. Routine can be comfortable and easy, but it won’t help you develop in the long run.

Read more

Paul Maloney
Impact Officer, London

Having worked in the education sector for over 20 years as a teacher and senior leader, Paul has been able to develop his expertise in inclusive education, challenging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn, grow and to be successful. Now, he has an exciting opportunity to work within the charity sector, to learn new skills, and have new experiences - all while positively influencing the Volunteers who work within our schools, as well as directly impacting and embedding new ideas and different thinking through the City Year culture.

Who is your hero?
My father. An amazing Dad, dedicated Grandfather and loving Husband. He was my best friend and I miss him dearly, but there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about him. He still gives me the strength and courage to overcome adversity and to try and better myself as a person each day.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Black Box Thinking" by Matthew Syed. Black Box Thinkers see failure as the very best way to learn.

What is your best career advice?
View every person you meet as a door that may lead you to a new opportunity.

Read more

headshot of Indra Mitra-Duggan
Indra Mitra-Duggan
Impact Officer, London

Indra is in her third year as an Impact Officer at City Year UK. She joined CYUK because she believes in the power of young people, and the difference they can make in society. Indra enjoys supporting and developing her team of young volunteers so they can get the best out of their year of service.

Who is your hero?
Malala Yousafzai is one of my heroes because she is a young lady who despite facing danger to her own life, has been determined to fight for women’s rights and education for all girls. She is devoted to the cause, courageous, and a wonderfully inspiring young person.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The War on Women" by Sue Lloyd-Roberts. This book is a reminder of the struggles that women face all over the globe and the determination by many to fight back. It is a painful, yet powerful read.

What is your best career advice?
No matter what career stage you are in, whether you are looking for your first job or have years of experience, it's important to never stop learning. Be curious and ask questions.

Read more

headshot of Kirstie Owens
Kirstie Owens
Impact Officer, West Midlands

Kirstie has been an Impact Officer at City Year UK since 2019 and was a Volunteer Mentor from 2016 to 2017. Kirstie is passionate about giving back, and hopes that the VMs gain as much from the programme as she did. One of her favourite tasks has been co-writing the Christmas Pantomimes for the West Midlands.

Who is your hero?
My Grandma. She is the strongest person I know, and always puts others before herself, even in her most challenging times. She is an inspiration and I don’t go a day without seeing her. I would love you all to meet her, but you can’t leave until you’ve had at least a cup of tea and a biscuit!

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rose. Though not overly profound, I remember being in year 1 and being fascinated by the rhythm of it. This book really opened my eyes to the world of reading.

What is your best career advice?
Always put everything in writing.

Read more

headshot of Laura Pennant
Laura Pennant
Impact Officer, Birmingham

Laura is an Impact Officer at a secondary school in Birmingham, where she supports a team of volunteers to mentor students within school. Laura is passionate about education and the development of young people to achieve their best and thrive.

Who is your hero?
My mum.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The Red Tree" by Shaun Tan (ok, so it’s mostly pictures but it is powerful!).

What is your best career advice?
Ask yourself every now and then... are you working to live, or living to work?

Read more

headshot of Ryan Pollock
Ryan Pollock
Impact Officer, London

Ryan is an Impact Officer at a London secondary school, where he supports his team of Volunteer Mentors to develop their personal and professional skills and to thrive in their work with students. Ryan believes in the power of young people to make a difference and is committed to creating a positive impact through his work and actions.

Who is your hero?
My hero is Johnny Cash, a man who used his fame to campaign for important causes like Native American rights and prison reform. Although he had many demons and made numerous mistakes, his example shows how we all have the ability to overcome our flaws and be a force for good in the world.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Based on a true story of a horrific murder of a family in Kansas, "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote is a mesmerising in-depth character study which humanises the two young men who committed the reprehensible act.

What is your best career advice?
Don’t trust your gut; it is often wrong. Instead, do as much research as you can into career options and rank your options according to the most important criteria to you. Pursue your top options, and revise your plan every six months to keep on track.

Read more

headshot of Emily Sadana
Emily Sadana
Impact Officer, London

Emily is a dedicated Impact Officer, committed to creating ripples of change through the teams and schools she serves in. Always keen to get involved with additional City Year tasks and engage in the culture, she is the ultimate team player!

Who is your hero?
My hero is Neville Longbottom, as although he is not a natural leader or typically brave, he is loyal to his friends and overcomes his own cowardliness to save the day.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
The most powerful book I have read is "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It is a great reminder to follow your dreams and fulfil your destiny, in spite of any setbacks or obstacles you may face. There is no time limit on your dreams, but you do need to persevere.

What is your best career advice?
Best career advice would be to do what you love, and love what you do. When you are passionate about the cause, you will work hard at it without even realising...and that makes the day go a lot quicker!

Read more

headshot of Oliver Wheeler
Oliver Wheeler
Impact Officer, West Midlands

Oliver is an Impact Officer at City Year UK. He has worked in both primary and secondary training schools managing teams of volunteers. Always keen to get involved with additional City Year tasks, he has co-written the first City Year UK pantomime and runs the City Year Football Club.

Who is your hero?
President Josiah Bartlet - an inspiring but flawed genius.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"The Smeds and the Smoos" - the book tackles tough themes such as prejudice and inclusion, and shows how a younger generation can model and influence the outdated views of their elders.

What is your best career advice?
‘Man plans, God laughs’ - your life plan can be upended by any unexpected change (a pandemic anyone?), for better or for worse. Just go with the flow and see what happens.

Read more

headshot of Philomena Wheeler
Philomena Wheeler
Impact Officer, The Black Country

Philomena is currently serving as an Impact Officer with Team Idealism at Wodensborough Ormiston Academy in The Black Country. She is committed to her work and motivated to support others to reach their full potential. Philomena graduated from Loughborough University in 2016 with a degree in Sociology and the drive to make a positive difference to young people in society.

Who is your hero?
My Dad, for showing me how to keep going when the going gets tough.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Stolen Time: One Woman’s Inspiring Story As An Innocent Condemned To Death" by Sunny Jacobs.

What is your best career advice?
Don’t be afraid to change direction and take on new opportunities.

Read more

Volunteer Recruitment & School Partnerships

headshot of Louisa van der Heyden
Louisa van der Heyden
National School Partnerships and Volunteer Recruitment Manager

For the past nine years, Louisa has worked within the third sector as part of recruitment, sales and partnership teams. She has led regional sales teams across the North West and Yorkshire for NCS The Challenge, and was thrilled to be able to join City Year UK in 2019 as the Schools Partnership and Volunteer Recruitment Manager, leading both teams nationally.

Who is your hero?
A hard one! I don’t think I have one particular hero but am inspired by lots of different people I have in my life: friends, family, colleagues past and present...

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini.

What is your best career advice?
Don’t over-complicate things, keep it simple and get the basics right first.

Read more

headshot of Nadine Nelson
Nadine Nelson
Senior School Partnerships Officer

Nadine cares deeply about contributing to a mission she believes will have a positive impact on others. Since 2014, Nadine has worked within sales, recruitment and partnership teams within leadership and management roles. Nadine joined City Year UK in January 2021 from Ambition Institute, where she spent two years as a School Partnerships Manager. She worked with senior and system leaders in schools serving a high percentage of pupils from disadvantaged communities. Inspired by these leaders, Nadine is driven to continuing to support schools where CYUK has the potential to make a real difference.

Who is your hero?
My hero has to be my mum. She has navigated some very difficult and challenging situations in her life in order to live authentically and with integrity. She inspires me to live my truth and I am beyond grateful to her.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. I resonated with the experiences of racial inequality I experienced as a mixed race child. It was a hard read but I learnt so much about the impact of systematic racism and I didn’t feel alone.

What is your best career advice?
Check in with yourself regularly to see if you’ve become stagnant by being in your comfort zone too long, and to see if you keep working too fast and hard and beginning to feel overwhelmed. It’s also important to create sustainable work patterns and habits. They will help create a work environment conducive to delivering your best work.

Read more

headshot of Usaama Kaweesa
Usaama Kaweesa
Volunteer Recruitment Officer, London

Usaama has been a Volunteer Mentor, team leader and is now a Recruitment Officer. He is someone who lives to encourage others, to get young people’s voices heard and for them keep learning and improving themselves, and to create genuine positive change.

Who is your hero?
Barack Obama.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Black and British: A forgotten history" by David Olusoga.

What is your best career advice?
“You’re very opinionated, you ought to think about getting involved in politics.” - A-level Law teacher.

Read more

headshot of Choven McIntosh
Choven McIntosh
Volunteer Recruitment Officer, West Midlands & The Black Country

Choven is the Recruitment Officer for the West Midlands and the Black Country. She joined City Year UK in February 2020. She has worked in the charity sector in various roles such as a Support Officer, Mentor and Volunteer Coordinator. She is a team player, solution-focused, and shows warmth and empathy to everyone that she meets. Additionally, her positive energy and work ethic is the forefront of what she does.

Who is your hero?
My mom, as she is my biggest inspiration.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Black and British: Queenie" by Candice Carty-Williams

What is your best career advice?
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Personal Tutor at Secondary school

Read more

headshot of Adam Umarji
Adam Umarji
Volunteer Recruitment Officer, Greater Manchester and Coventry

Adam is the Volunteer Recruitment Officer for Greater Manchester and Coventry. He joined City Year UK in December 2020. He has worked in the charity and education sector in various roles such as a Project Officer, Pastoral Mentor and Volunteer Coordinator. He is always working for young people, ensuring their voices are heard and they reach their full potential.

Who is your hero?
I have been inspired and motivated by many people throughout my life, but mostly by my parents who have instilled in me my values and taught me the importance of reaching my full potential.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
The Quran. A timeless material and spiritual guide.

What is your best career advice?
Say yes to the things that scare you!

Read more

External Relations

headshot of Bob Hughes
Robert Hughes
Development Officer (Corporate)

Bob is passionate about education and equality, and has previously worked as a teacher, volunteer coordinator and Student Union representative. He joined City Year UK to help empower young people to achieve their best and break through the barriers in front of them.

Who is your hero?
My sister: a daily reminder to me of the importance of hard work and resilience - and remembering to have fun!

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Straight Jacket" by Matthew Todd. It is about shame and self-esteem, and as cliché as it sounds, it changed my life when I read it!

What is your best career advice?
Be brave enough to be kind. I love this, not only because being kind and thoughtful is the right thing to do - but because it is amazing how much better you feel about things when you take a moment to step back, and not react immediately.

Read more

headshot of Obinna Nwosu
Obinna Nwosu
Development Manager (Trusts, Foundations & Statutory)

Intuitive ronin musicologist, specialist DJ, art agitator, resistance advocate and renegade for social change that believes art can be an instigator, a mechanism for transformation and a strategy for making, creating and fighting for freedom; elitist for the people and now making trust and foundation funding happen for City Year UK.

Who is your hero?
Toni Morrison - every word full of power and meaning, and carefully placed..

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" by Public Enemy - ideas that unlocked my understanding of the world.

What is your best career advice?
Love it and lead it...

Read more

headshot of Amy Smock
Amy Smock
Senior Development Manager (Corporate)

Amy joined City Year UK in November 2016 as part of our Development team. Having worked in the Charity sector for over 13 years (at organisations including Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the British Heart Foundation), Amy has a wealth of experience working with companies, building relationships between the organisations and supporting the delivery of their Corporate Social Responsibility goals.

Who is your hero?
My mum, she is incredibly strong and has been a great role model to me.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

What is your best career advice?
Own your mistakes, there is always a solution to any problem.

Read more

Headshot of Ruxandra Connolly
Ruxandra Connolly
Marketing & Communications Manager

A multifaceted creative professional with 12+ years of marketing, digital and advertising experience spanning the arts & culture, education and commercial sectors, Ruxandra is currently leading the marketing and communications strategy at City Year UK. Working closely with all teams, Ruxandra manages a variety of major marketing campaigns and initiatives, both on- and offline, while implementing a full rebranding process across all platforms. Outside of work, she is also a photographer and writes fiction.

Who is your hero?
I don’t have a hero as such, but there are a handful of people that I look up to or am inspired by, at the top being my mum who is the most selfless and resilient person I know and my daughter who is constantly teaching me something new about myself and life in general.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Hard to choose just one… “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse and Marilynne Robinson’s trilogy "Gilead" / "Home" / "Lila" - I read them at completely different times (late teens / late twenties), but they stuck with me as, in essence, they all explore what it is that fills our life with meaning.

What is your best career advice?
Don’t settle for comfortable, settle for something that you love doing. Getting there (or finding out what that is) can feel disheartening at times, but do not shy away from taking risks and keep exploring your options.

Read more

headshot of Ketishia Vaughan
Ketishia Vaughan
Marketing & Communications Officer

Ketishia is the Marketing & Communications Officer at City Year UK, and is based in London. She looks after a lot of the visual-creative side of CYUK, including the social media activity and a large portion of the photography, written copy and graphic/print design. She also coordinates the blogs and other contributions from the Volunteer Mentors about their City Year experiences (which is her favourite part of the job).

Who is your hero?
Michelle Obama. She embodies civility and grace, and she made American history while still staying relatable and down to earth.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
George Orwell’s "Animal Farm". It’s a short but powerful retelling of historic events - its simplicity gives it more of an impact.

What is your best career advice?
Stay ready, so you don’t have to rush ready - and keep your (proverbial) house in order. You never know what might be around the corner.

Read more

Central Services

headshot of Hodan Abdullahi
Hodan Abdullahi
Data Officer

Hodan facilitates data collection, providing the organisation's first line of Salesforce support, monitoring Salesforce and other data systems and processes and supporting the Impact and Data Manager. She joined City Year UK to make a difference to those who face education inequality.

Who is your hero?
My mother. A woman who taught me to be resilient and kind.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Atomic Habits", by James Clear.

What is your best career advice?
Venture outside of your comfort zone.

Read more

headshot of James Hunt
James Hunt
Human Resources and Operations Manager

Over the past 6 years, James has worked in the third sector, starting his work in HR at the NCS The Challenge before joining the City Year UK team. A committed people and operations generalist, James is currently completing two masters degrees: MBA, MSc HRO, alongside his work for CYUK.

Who is your hero?
Stephen Fry, who said, ‘“I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it”.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill.

What is your best career advice?
"You must be the master of your own kingdom" - Guy Ritchie

Read more

headshot of Mahjabin Monzur
Mahjabin Monzur
Finance Manager

Mahjabin initially joined as a Finance Officer and is now the Finance Manager at City Year UK. She has been with the charity for the past five years. She is a part qualified accountant (ACCA affiliate) with over eight years of experience working in the charity sector focusing on disadvantaged youth, particularly from BAME communities. She is responsible for overseeing the Volunteer Mentors’ payment process across the sites, managing and supporting the Finance Officer as well as business partnering with other departments of the organisation, led by the Financial Controller. She is also a mom to two little boys.

Who is your hero?
My parents who have been my pillars of strength every step of the way.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"Reclaim Your Heart" by Yasmin Mogahed.

What is your best career advice?
Believe in yourself, seek to learn from your mistakes and be truthful and dedicated in what you set out to do.

Read more

headshot of Sophie Segal
Sophie Segal
Impact, Data and Evaluation Manager

Sophie oversees data collection, monitoring and evaluation across the organisation. This includes the data strategy and systems to efficiently provide real time insights into the impact of City Year UK.
Sophie has always advocated for children with special educational needs and empowering young adults to achieve their potential.
Sophie’s degree focused on child development, autism spectrum, mental health, public health and social psychology. Coupled with her practical life experience (being a Mummy to two young children with ASD and sensory processing difficulties), this positively informs her approach to supporting others through the City Year ethos.

Who is your hero?
Oscar Wilde

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
Maya Angelou’s "I know Why The Caged Bird Sings".

What is your best career advice?
You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks that come your way. And that takes having a sense of humour about yourself and others.

Read more

headshot of Mariyam Sowe
Mariyam Sowe
Finance Officer & Operations Coordinator

Mariyam worked at a five-star hotel for five years before joining City Year UK in 2017 as Operation Coordinator as well as Finance Officer. Having a rich experience in customer service, this role enabled her to work hand-in-hand with staff, volunteers and external customers which she is very passionate about.

Mariyam is currently on maternity leave.

Who is your hero?
Anita Smith - founder of the Bansang Hospital Appeal. The Bansang Hospital Appeal is an award-winning charity dedicated to improving healthcare delivery in a remote region of The Gambia. Since 1992, its founder Anita Smith (MBE MRG) has dedicated her life to reversing its once terminal decline.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
The Quran which is a source of guidance.

What is your best career advice?
Never give up on your dreams, do not let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Like they say, the only disability in life is a bad attitude.

Read more

headshot of Alison Vaughan
Alison Vaughan
Finance Controller

As Financial Controller, Alison is responsible for the day to day operations of the Finance Department and all financial reporting. She is a chartered accountant, and began her career with EY, where she worked in the audit practice.
Alison first got to know City Year through her role as an Investment Manager with Impetus-PEF, the organisation who helped bring City Year to the UK.

Who is your hero?
Jacinda Ardern - for her compassionate and empathetic response to the Christchurch shootings and her leadership in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the most powerful book you have ever read?
"This is Going to Hurt" by Adam Kay. Adam’s humorous diary of life as a junior doctor does not prepare you for the dark ending where he retells the sad events, the impact on him and his decision to give up medicine.

What is your best career advice?
Don’t be afraid to make big changes in your career. Opportunities don’t always arise at convenient times but don’t let that stop you seizing them.

Read more

National Strategic Partners
  • Bank of America logo
  • The Vertex Foundation Logo
  • DHL UK Foundation Logo
  • National Grid Logo
National Partners
  • CVC Logo