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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nicola Pollock, Trustee
Nicola is Director of the independent funder John Ellerman Foundation, where she develops the strategic direction of the Foundation and advises on governance and grantmaking. She has a background in providing, developing and supporting advice services at national, regional and local level, before joining the newly formed National Lottery Charities Board, where she was based in the North East of England. Nicola previously worked for the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is a trustee of Big Local Trust and Chair of the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.
Keshinda Gage, Trustee
Keshinda practices as a qualified lawyer in the City of London. Keshinda has been working with and mentoring young people for the past ten years in inner city London. In doing so she has been active in providing opportunities for young people to follow her footsteps in a law career. She has also been active in volunteering for homeless and health causes in her community and across the country. Keshinda is passionate about the work she does and utilises her knowledge and skills to the best of her ability to benefit those around her. At the core of her being you will find a lady that stands for empowerment and justice.