Stephen Piscopo, Youth Programme Coordinator
Stephen has spent the last five years managing programmes aimed at encouraging social integration amongst young people through social action projects and campaigns. He has done this through the National Citizen Service with the Challenge, the UK’s largest social integration charity, working across West and South London in particular. Stephen has a strong background in volunteering too, with previous roles with TEDx and most recently with Apples and Pears who build programmes with communities and enhance the education of children within new cultural environments. Stephen also has a passion for social enterprises and demonstrates this through his blog, A Vital Good, looking at why we buy things with a social purpose.
Stephen is driven by a desire to work towards a culture where we can provide an equal opportunity to learn and develop, regardless of background and without prejudice.
Alao Abiola, Programme Facilitator
Alao has spent the last year helping young people bring their visions to fruition with Arise Vision, a London based social enterprise. His passion to see young people flourish dates back to his involvement with the Castlehaven Community Centre, of which he served as a volunteer engineer and co-ordinator. This desire equally reflected in his engagement with the British Council, in his role as Ambassador of their Power in the Voice Programme. A project which successfully encouraged some of the most disadvantaged young people across Africa, to find strength in expression, through poetry. Since then, Alao has gone on to receive degrees in Sociology and Social Research, consistently using his skillset to contribute to socially aware research projects at institutions such as Lancaster University.
Jade Rogers, Programme Manager - Young Gifted & Female
Jade has spent the last year volunteering internationally with local entrepreneurs in Kenya and children in Cambodia, supporting them to strengthen their communities. She has previously worked for the social integration charity The Challenge on the National Citizen Service, setting up and delivering programmes across East London and the West Midlands to support the development of young people and encourage them to become active citizens within their communities. Alongside social integration and youth empowerment, Jade also has a passion for music and organises small charitable music events in her spare time.
Alex Baine, Founder/CEO
Alex has spent the past 8 years developing and managing social projects in London, Japan and India, spending 2 years at UnLtd India, an incubator for start up social entrepreneurs. During his time at UnLtd India, Alex was part of the founding team behind Bombay Connect, a collaborative workspace in Mumbai for people with ideas and passion for positive social change. Also whilst in India, Alex developed and ran programmes for Journeys for Change, an organisation taking public and private leaders on transformative journeys through India to help them create a greater positive impact in the world. Alex has been involved in a variety of social projects throughout his career, including the Japanese Homeless World Cup in Tokyo and the OSCAR Foundation in Mumbai. When returning to the UK in March 2011, Alex saw an opportunity to put his experience to good use and set up London Football Journeys (LFJ). He is the visionary behind the project and has one goal; to ensure LFJ reaches as many young people as possible.
Emmanuel Akin, Ambassador
Being one of the first ambassadors to join LFJ in 2012, I have had the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences through working with young people all over London. I am creative with my ideas and have a wide range of knowledge and approaches to help make a future for young people where they can associate positively with each other under the banner of peace and harmony. As an LFJ ambassador I have become a confident speaker and I use this ability to inspire and encourage young people to get involved and participate to their full potential. Working with young people all over the capital has benefited me through new learning experiences and presented challenges for me to reflect on and overcome.
Halema Hussain, Ambassador
As an LFJ ambassador I represent the programme and encourage young people from different communities to break down negative perceptions of other areas. There are many people in this world who suffer from everyday battles of division between communities and society. My job is to bring people together and make a difference in their lives.
Being an ambassador for LFJ has helped me develop leadership skills such as organisation, communication and teamwork, as well as helping to build confidence and self-esteem and take on responsibility of leading other peers and young people. I believe we should never forget we are a citizen of this world and there are things we can do to lift the human spirit. I think the secret to changing people’s perceptions is to just focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Rachel Yankey OBE, Arsenal Ladies & England Footballer
“Young people participating in LFJ don’t just talk about change. They make it happen by advocating tolerance and peace and encouraging their peers to become positive members of their communities. LFJ is creating a community of young leaders, uniting an often divided city, celebrating differences and embracing similarities. Having seen LFJ for myself I am delighted to be a Patron for their work.”
Don Macdonald, Chair of Trustees
Don has extensive experience of youth work and education at the grass-roots in inner city London, as well as over 25 years management with voluntary and public organisations providing services for disadvantaged groups. During this time he helped initiate a successful national charity for which he acted as CEO and a viable social enterprise for which he acted as MD. He has also provided consultancy, research, coaching and training at Universities and other institutions. Don has been a trustee of LFJ since 2013.
Amy Barbor, Trustee
Network Learning Manager at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). SSE’s mission is to address inequalities and social exclusion by supporting social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to transform their talent into real social outcomes, in the form of sustainable solutions to poverty and disadvantage in communities. As Network Learning Manager Amy looks after the quality and learning of all SSE’s franchise schools around the world.
Amy is also a fellow of SSE having worked for 8 years running her own Social Enterprise; Living Lens. Living Lens sought to link up groups of marginalised women and girls with decision makers or service providers using creative projects, primarily video to make change and build partnerships.
Greg Stylski, Treasurer
After graduating from UCL with a degree in East European Studies with Polish, Greg started his finance career as a volunteer gift aid clerk with Comic Relief back in 2005. he enjoyed his time there so much that he stayed as a finance assistant for both the Red Nose Day and Sport Relief campaigns and his finance career really kicked off. WaterAid followed, where Greg received most of his financial training, whilst working as a finance officer and he became professionally qualified as a chartered accountant (ACMA) in 2010. He now works as the Financial and Fundraising Accountant for VSO, supporting the senior management team with all income budgeting and reporting.
Toby Hopwood, Trustee
Toby is a communications and marketing professional who specialises in using marketing, communications and engagement to achieve positive social outcomes. Toby works with NGOs, public sector organisations and social change agencies, helping them to develop strategies for improving communities and promoting health and wellbeing.
In past roles, Toby has worked for the Department of Health, the National Consumer Council and the National Social Marketing Centre, as well as NGOs in Bolivia and India. He is currently an Associate at Uscreates, the social impact consultancy, and Renasi, the community development social enterprise
Alexandra Park, Trustee
Alexandra is a corporate lawyer working in London. She has a range of experience in corporate and finance transactions. Alexandra also has extensive experience in project management and tax advisory/compliance, having advised a large number of multinational corporations on various tax projects. Alexandra is a Fellow of the RSA and a Member of the CISI and the ATT. Alexandra worked as a volunteer for a various charities in the past prior to joining LFJ’s board.
Kuki Taylor, Trustee
Changing the mind-set of not just an organisation but of an entire profession has been a great challenge, one that I have relished for four years, leafing on promoting the UK Bar’s social responsibility whilst also building the foundation for a national charity’s sustainability and maintaining its increasingly vital service. I also have six years’ experience in public affairs (central and local government), corporate communications and fundraising. The challenging experience of converting those unengaged with the benefits of volunteering to our most enthusiastic supporters has been deeply rewarding for both the charity and I. I have experience of living and working in developing societies such as Yemen, Indonesia, and northern Ethiopia.