The Team

Staff

Image of Kate Hollinshead

Kate Hollinshead

Head of Operations
kate@equaliteach.co.uk

Kate has a BA Honours degree in Politics and German from the University of Bristol and a Masters degree in Managing Equality and Diversity (Distinction) from London Metropolitan University. Starting her career with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme in Berlin, Germany, she then spent four years delivering equality training with anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card, before joining EqualiTeach as Head of Education in 2013. Kate has experience of delivering training to a wide variety of audiences, including schools, universities, Young Offenders Institutions, prisons and mental health institutions, and she is a confident and experienced public speaker, having spoken at numerous high-profile events, including the ODIHR European Conference on Combating Racism towards Muslims and various Trade Union conferences across England. Kate has previously completed research into the experiences of transgender people in the workplace, has written articles for the journal Race Equality Teaching, and has co-written numerous publications for teachers on racism, Islamophobia, disability discrimination and Fundamental British Values. 

Image of Sarah Soyei

Sarah Soyei

Head of Strategy and Development

Sarah holds an MA in Equal Opportunities and Society (Distinction) and has been working in the field of equality for 14 years, delivering equality training to over 7000 people throughout the UK. She has overseen the development and delivery of educational programmes working with over 300,000 people. These have included programmes of work commissioned by the government, EHRC, over 20 Local Authorities and private sector organisations. Sarah has authored several publications in the field, including bespoke equality toolkits for organisations such as Home Group Housing Association and TeachFirst. She is working with UNESCO and ODIHR an on international approach to countering intolerance and discrimination against Muslims. An experienced public speaker, Sarah has delivered presentations at the House of Commons, London’s City Hall and several national and international conferences.

Image of Rachel Elgy

Rachel Elgy

Programme Manager (Education)

Rachel is a firm believer in the power of education to create positive change and has worked in various roles focussed on educating and empowering young people to become active citizens in their schools, communities and beyond. She has just completed an MA in ‘Gender Without Borders’ at Kingston University, throughout which she has explored the concept of intersectionality and considered the multifaceted ways that different individuals may experience discrimination or prejudice. She takes steps to tackle injustices and advance equality wherever possible, having volunteered for Help Refugees, and more recently by challenging Islamophobia in the British press, attempting a Judicial Review against the Independent Press Standards Organisation. In September 2018 she joined a cohort of “emerging leaders” to take part in Clore Social’s Leadership Programme, with support from Rosa UK. 

Claire Currington

Operations Manager

Claire has over 15 years of experience in operations and frontline coordination, including skills in complex project management, gained largely from working in events organisation. After completing a BA in English Linguistics and Literature at the University of Birmingham, Claire worked for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge in a number of visitor-facing roles, including managing and coordinating teams and physical resources to support the Museum’s programme of activities and events. Claire worked closely with the Education team to support gallery-based and hands-on teaching across the museum environment for diverse groups of all ages and backgrounds, providing a stimulating learning environment and encouraging creativity and alternative ways of seeing. Claire brings effective and efficient project management experience from her more recent work with the University of Cambridge Development Office as Events Organiser, along with skills in problem solving and successful collaborative working across diverse project groups with multiple stakeholders.

At EqualiTeach, Claire supports business operations to enable smooth working across the team. This includes coordinating diary management and bookings for workshop delivery, supporting day-to-day activities and contributing to longer term planning. She is passionate about the importance of equality and diversity education to reduce discrimination and support inclusion, and enjoys providing the support which enables the team to work with diverse groups and audiences throughout the UK.

Image of Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson

Senior Education, Training & Strategy Officer

Jennifer has a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Nottingham and a PGCE in Religious Education from the University of Birmingham. She began her career as a teacher of RE in a greater-London school, later becoming head of department. During this time she worked with young people on issues surrounding equality, diversity and critical thinking. Creating thought-provoking schemes of learning that allowed students to explore their values and develop a deep understanding of others was at the heart of her practice. As head of department she delivered workshops to colleagues on various issues, including ‘raising standards’ and promoting ‘Philosophy for Children’ across the school. Jennifer helped establish several inter-departmental working groups and developed whole-school strategies for SMSC. She mentored trainee teachers and worked with other schools to help improve their religious education provision. Jennifer has recently undertaken work promoting health and wellness in local workplaces and with individuals within the Bedford area.

Image of Gabriella Craft

Gabriella Craft

Business Development & Training Officer
Gabriella holds a B.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Reading and an MPhil in European and Latin American Comparative Cultures and Literatures (Distinction) at the University of Cambridge. During her time at university, she was President of Reading University Italian Society, a committee member for Reading University ERASMUS society and a volunteer at Jimmy’s, Cambridge. She has experience working with young people of all ages, abilities and educational needs having spent a year working in Italy as an English Language Assistant and an English Teacher for Adults, Teens and Early Learners alike. At EqualiTeach, Gabriella facilitates workshops and training on issues of equality with young people and adults, as well as developing and creating new activities, workshops and educational resources. Her role includes leading and collaborating on the development of regional and national funding applications and responses to invitations to tender. Gabriella is also a member of the Equalities Award team.

Olga Nasiridou

Youth Education Officer 
 

Olga is passionate about the crucial interface between education and human rights. Motivated by this passion, she studied Early Childhood Education (University of Western Macedonia, Greece) and Social Anthropology specialising in development (University of Cambridge, UK). She focused her work on education and human rights during her time at Save the Children International where she supported refugee children and teenagers to regain stability in their lives. She has also gained experienced in the education sector as a tutor volunteer for underprivileged students in Greece and in the UK promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. Her experience and studies has helped her to realise that education constitutes one of the most powerful weapons of every person in order to use their full potential and thrive. She therefore seeks to enhance the quality of education, ensuring that all children are treated equally without being recipients of any discrimination. Her current role at EqualiTeach CIC will give her the opportunity to ensure that students co-exist peacefully with others, allowing them to flourish at school.

Image of Georgina Manning

Georgina Manning

Programme Support Officer
georgina@equaliteach.co.uk

Georgina has 15 years’ experience of working with children, young people and communities in a variety of settings. Alongside her role her at Equaliteach she is also a practising artist, making and exhibiting her own work across the UK.  Through her career she has worked with schools, local authorities, galleries, community groups and secure settings. Much of this work has focused on working with young people to overcome challenges, and develop self-confidence.  Through roles within the community she has been responsible for organising and supporting a range of projects and events, including putting together community events and trips, supporting community groups, running consultations with young people and organising networking events for professionals working within the community.  Some of the recent projects Georgina has been involved with include projects with Cambridge Art Salon and Care Network, The Gibbered Gallery in Harlow. She was also highly commended by the Big Draw for an event delivered in partnership with Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

Image of Michael Chidgey

Michael Chidgey

Youth Education Officer (Strategy and Development)
 

Michael holds a BA in English and Theatre Studies from the University of Warwick and an MA from King’s College London in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory. His academic and professional interests are interdisciplinary and wide-ranging: alongside his work with EqualiTeach, he recently published his first academic article, a piece on the intersection between dementia and graphic novels.

Michael has worked in the education sector in a range of capacities. Whilst a student himself, he tutored at Explore Learning. At Warwick University, Michael headed up the Shakespeare Society, a student organisation that devised educational workshops for school pupils who would otherwise not have been introduced to Shakespeare’s plays. In between his degrees, Michael worked as a Learning Support Assistant and a LAMDA instructor at a south London grammar school; and he is currently on the books of The Great Men Project, a London-based charity who deliver workshops on alternative masculinities for schoolboys across the capital.

At EqualiTeach, Michael enjoys uniting his academic interest in theory-based topics with his practical experience teaching in classroom situations. He is motivated to promote the emancipatory force of critical thinking in UK schools.

Photograph of Sheza

Sheza Afzal

Education, Training and Strategy Officer
 
Sheza has a BA Honours degree in Philosophy and has 10 years of diverse teaching and training experience across six countries. She started out teaching English as a Second Language (ESOL) and Business English in the UK, Malaysia and Brussels, before working for the British Council delivering courses and workshops in Intercultural and Communication Skills and Teacher Training in Thailand and Sri Lanka, as well as Academic Skills at higher education institutes in Belgium and The Netherlands. Her work has allowed her to work with and engage with people from a variety of backgrounds, including young people in classrooms, teachers and educators, business professionals, civil servants and politicians, factory and manual labourers, and NGO workers. She recently completed an MA in Asian Studies: Politics, Society and Economics, where she focused broadly on issues of language, identity and culture, and more specifically on minorities and affirmative action. She is passionate about working on projects and initiatives that actively promote equality and diversity and has volunteered as a mentor for refugees with Refugee Action (The UK), as a liaison officer for women and children refugees (Belgium), and as project coordinator for the Syrian Diaspora group at The Hague Peace Projects (The Netherlands).

Laura Schrier

Youth Education Officer
 
Laura holds a BA in Peace and Justice Studies and Arabic from Tufts University and is currently earning an MA in Social Justice and Education from UCL.  Laura is passionate about working with youth from diverse backgrounds and educational programming centred on justice and equality. She speaks Spanish and Arabic and has spent the last four years working with forcibly displaced populations in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and the US. She has worked on a wide variety of programs in refugee communities, including refugee resettlement, youth empowerment initiatives, educational programming in refugee camps, livelihood initiatives, and refugee labour mobility schemes. Laura is also a yoga teacher and is passionate about incorporating mindfulness practices in educational settings. 

Advisory Board


Sebastian Amyes

Advisory Board Member 

Sebastian is Emeritus Professor of Microbial Chemotherapy in the University of Edinburgh. He has both a PhD and a DSc from the University of London and is a Doctor honoris causa in the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest. Most of his career was spent in Edinburgh but, as an academic, he has undertaken research and taught in universities and hospitals in all continents. His research had concentrated on the problems of antibiotics and bacterial resistance and this has focussed extensively in the developing world, particularly India, Africa and South America. Although he has published more than 500 articles, he feels his main achievement has been the supervision and care of more than 50 PhD students; many of whom came from outside the United Kingdom and had to cope with the trials of integration not only within their working environment but also in society as a whole. Sebastian trusts that his experience of other cultures and the blatant and cruel intolerance he has observed during some of his travels, will allow him to play a significant role in contributing to the success of EqualiTeach.

Lila Begum

Advisory Board Member
 
Awaiting Bio.

Lucy Goodyear

Advisory Board Member
 
Lucy has nearly 10 years’ experience working within the Oil and Gas Industry after deciding against further study at university. At the age of 19 she took a job working as a Trainee Geophysicist in Bedford and never looked back. After 5 years working in a technical capacity, Lucy made the move into the commercial side of the industry to become an Account Manager. As such Lucy is now well versed in the art of negotiation, marketing and client presentations. Lucy is delighted to have been asked to join the EqualiTeach Advisory Board and is looking forward to bringing her commercial experience to the team, as well as learning more about equality and diversity along the way.

Joella Hazel

Advisory Board Member
 

Joella is an equalities practitioner who is passionate about social justice, particularly dismantling racism and driving forward women’s rights. She believes empowered individuals and communities are strong drivers for creating positive change and she enjoys working with community groups and people to help build their strengths and achieve goals.
When not leading work on equalities within local government, Joella can be found on her yoga mat.
Joella has a BA Honours degree in Sociology with Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Central Lancashire and a Masters degree in Racial Equality Studies from Middlesex University. 

 

Image of David Landon Cole

David Landon Cole

Advisory Board Member
 
David is a doctoral candidate at the University of York, researching the effects of different forms of civil society opposition to the far right, and has been awarded ‘most enthusiastic lecturer’ for 2015/16 by the students’ union. Before returning to university, David worked with international affairs thinktanks (ACUK, ATA), and in public affairs and public relations. He was raised in Brazil, and has worked in the USA and Spain. He holds a BSc (Government) and an MSc (Comparative Politics) from the London School of Economics.

Paul Mortimer

Advisory Board Member
 
Paul is an ex professional footballer who in a 15 year career player for premier league football for the likes of Charlton, Aston Villa & Crystal Palace, as well as representing England at u21 level. On retirement he qualified as a coach and spent the next 10 years coaching the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Wimbledon, MK Dons and Charlton at academy level as well as being first team coach at Brentford and assistant manager of the Sierra Leone national side. Paul spent over four years delivering equality training with anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card where he delivered to trainee and experienced teachers, and at universities, Prisons and young offender institutions. He has experience in public speaking having delivered talks at numerous events. Paul is a qualified counsellor and will be taking up private practice later on in the year.
Image of David Tweats

David Tweats

Advisory Board Member
 
David obtained an Honours degree in Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Sheffield in 1971 and a PhD on microbial genetics at the University of London in 1975. His first post was as a Researcher at the University of Swansea, where he has held an honorary professorship since the year 2000. David has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 40 years, including holding a Vice Presidents role in a global company, helping to develop many drugs including those for HIV infections, asthma and in the last decade, neglected diseases affecting the Third World such as African Sleeping Sickness and River Blindness. David has held a non-Executive Director post in a biotechnology company (Kirkstall Ltd, 2008-2011). He has had an active interest in Social Justice issues for many years and is currently organising a series of debates locally on issues such as the need for foodbanks, social housing and migration. David supported the Show Racism the Red Card organisation for a number of years and EqualiTeach since its inception.