Our Team

  • Katherine Sparkes, CEO

    Katie has a wealth of charity experience gained over the last 12 years including setting up a CSR consultancy, a charity and a CIC! She’s won lots of awards for her personal contribution to the global community including the Outstanding Young Person of the World Award 2012. Known for coming up with all sorts of creative, hands-on and sustainable solutions, she’s well versed at running community projects on local, national and global scales.

  • Jenni Woolfe, Project Manager

    Jenni is a project manager and policy professional with an expertise in equalities and human rights. Her career has spanned both central and local government, higher education, 3rd sector organisations and start-ups. Among other things, Jenni has helped to negotiate an equalities directive in Europe for the UK government, run national consultation campaigns and successfully bid for over £500k of funding for domestic violence services. Jenni has dedicated her career to and is passionate about removing barriers that prevent people from achieving their true potential.

  • Eva Fritz, Development Manager

    Eva has significant experience of project and program management focusing on process improvements and strategy initiatives in a global corporate environment. Throughout her career she has focused on driving results through collaboration and communication, Eva has led large and small projects ranging from tactical implementations to large scale strategic efforts. Eva often facilitates sessions to work through challenges or identify opportunities and ideas. Eva’s pragmatic and practical outlook has helped enable delivery where others have failed,  spending time to understand the problem at hand and the reality of the people involved. 

  • Michael Fuller, Consultant

    Michael is a social entrepreneur who loves creating and leading new organisations and ventures. Among other things, Michael has created a foundation to support innovative, start-up non-profits, launched an app to transform charity fundraising and run global projects for international charities. Michael’s passionate about supporting communities to create and lead their own solutions to problems they face, which is why he was drawn to Lightyear.

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  • Hasmita Chavda, UK Facilitator

    Hasmita is experienced in developing informal learning projects. She has led on projects and festivals that promote creativity and engage young people and their families with STEM. Her passion lies in facilitating moments and experiences that make people’s eyes light up with wonder and excitement.

  • Rhiannon Kearns, UK Facilitator

    Rhiannon trained as an actor at ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) on a Dance and Drama Award scholarship. She now works as an actor, teacher and drama facilitator. Rhiannon loves enabling children to use the arts to embrace their creativity and is excited to explore new ways of expression bringing together art and science. Whilst at ALRA, Rhiannon trained in many different movement practices and she loves using movement to tell stories.

  • Beth Caudle, UK Facilitator

     Beth is a performer, facilitator and creative producer who is passionate about engaging families and young people in the arts. Beth’s training and work combines movement, storytelling, physical theatre, puppetry, live music and circus. After studying Drama and English Beth trained in dance, physical theatre and circus ad Greentop, Sheffield. she is currently volunteering at Bristol Children’s Hospital and training to be a theraputic mentor.

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    Board of Trustees

  • Sowmi Krishnamurthy

    Sowmi graduated with a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a masters in business administration from Drexel University. After completing his career as an executive at ExxonMobil, Sowmi is looking forward to applying his corporate governance and commercial skills to expand the reach of Lightyear foundation. He is a firm believer in science and education as a key enabler in fighting poverty and raising living standards. Sowmi is excited to lead an enthusiastic team at Lightyear in bringing low cost creative science to children in sub Saharan Africa.

  • Peter Horne

    Peter is a physics graduate with a passion for the potential of Lightyear. By day he is an interim manager, and has a background in the civil service. He is also a trustee of Getting on Board. He enjoys seeing his children discover the world of science, and tries to spend his spare time on his bike.

  • Bella Williams

    Bella became involved in science communication, as a volunteer and committee member for the British Science Association. She graduated in Pharmacology and Neuroscience, and worked at science festivals and as a science-writer before becoming a consultant and evaluator in science engagement and outreach. She has been lucky enough to work across a huge range of scientific disciplines– all aimed at driving positive social change by helping people understand and interact with the world around them.

  • Robert Massey

    Robert is Deputy Executive Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, where he oversees external affairs. From PhD research in Manchester he went into teaching, local politics, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich. In his spare time he teaches his five year old daughter about science, enjoys cycling, cooking, and the cultural life of his home city of Bristol. Robert fervently believes that science can change the world for the better – and that everyone should see its benefits.

  • Mandip Englund

    Mandip graduated with a law degree from Nottingham University and is a solicitor with a global law firm. She has a wide range of international experience in advising boards, companies and stakeholders, particularly in times of distress. Mandip feels passionate about empowering young people with education and opportunity and hopes to use the skills acquired in the corporate sector to help the Lightyear Foundation flourish and improve the lives of others. In her spare time Mandip likes to spend time with her young family, read books and play guitar.

  • Francesca Ooi

    Francesca is a Neuroscience graduate with experience working in the biopharmaceutical labs for GlaxoSmithKline. She shared her passion for science in the classroom, training with Teach First as a secondary school science teacher. She has developed youth outreach projects for Engineers without Borders and has been a mentor and trainer for Teach First New Zealand. She currently develops science curriculum content for an education technology company and has a keen interest in helping young people towards science careers.

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