Sheza Afzal

Partnerships Manager

Sheza is passionate about addressing structural inequality and promoting social justice through learning and collaboration. With over 10 years’ teaching, training and facilitating experience across six countries, Sheza started out teaching English as a Second Language (ESOL) and worked for the British Council in Belgium, Thailand and Sri Lanka, before teaching Academic Skills in higher education.

Her MA in Asian Studies: Politics, Society and Economics (Distinction) allowed her to gain a greater understanding of the enduring global impact of colonialism and the importance of decolonising knowledge and curricula. She has collaborated on the creation of several learning resources for educators and schools to improve equality and promote inclusiveness in school communities.

Sheza has worked on several educational community-funded projects with young people, working towards how to tackle issues of inequality in schools. She enjoys working on initiatives that bring people of different backgrounds together and has volunteered as an employment mentor for refugees with Refugee Action (The UK), as a liaison officer for women and children asylum seekers (Belgium), as project coordinator for a Syrian Diaspora group at The Hague Peace Projects (The Netherlands) and currently for a grassroots community-building centre (LUOS, Tottenham). Sheza has been privileged to support and engage with a variety of people from all over the world, and she loves creating, organising and facilitating spaces for people to share and learn.

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George Atham

Youth Education Officer

George has a BA in English with a particular interest in the study of queer theory. He spent some time as an English teacher at a secondary school in inner London where his passion for diversity and inclusion was galvanised. George collaborated with colleagues in this school to develop inclusive schemes of work to tackle challenging topics, promote safe classrooms and start conversations around issues of equality. He also had several opportunities to deliver several subject specific CPD sessions to staff across the trust he was working in.

During his time as a student, he often felt a lack of inclusivity within the curriculum he studied. Reading great classics and beloved page turners, he found himself wondering why none of these stories were about people like him. When he reached university, he discovered Queer Theory and his passion for equality, building an inclusive curriculum and classrooms was solidified. Not only were there stories about people like him, but there were also academics and educators studying the texts he had grown up loving through a new queer lens. George believes it is essential that students of all identities and backgrounds see themselves in the curriculum they study. He is an advocate that we should not only strive for ‘acceptance’ for all, but for complete celebration and understanding of one another – particularly in our educational settings. He feels it is crucial to foster this culture of inclusivity to empower all young people to achieve.

George has a particular interest in championing the LGBTQIA+ community and students within our educational settings and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this passion for equity and celebration to the classroom through his role at EqualiTeach.

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Amy Crane

Senior Education, Training and Strategy Officer

Amy’s commitment to equality started young – she organized a petition in school, aged 8, campaigning to allow girls to take the milk trolley around the classrooms as well as the boys.  Her campaigning for equality and against prejudice has continued, both formally and informally and she has covered many, many miles protesting with a placard in her hand.  Professionally, Amy has over 20 years of teaching experience – half of this time was spent teaching Modern Foreign Languages in mainstream secondary school, whilst half of it was spent at an all-age area special school teaching children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.  Here she wrote the school’s first SMSC policy and delivered the accompanying staff training, took a lead in the PSHE curriculum and audited the SRE curriculum.  She has also tutored adults in Understanding Autism (Levels 2 and 3).  Amy has a degree in French and Spanish as well as her PGCE and more recently she has achieved a qualification in Equality and Diversity.  In her spare time Amy enjoys acquiring new skills (she has a Level 1 qualification in British Sign Language and is also a qualified fitness instructor), reading, travelling, and sitting on a stationary bike.

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.

Nasreen D’Agostino

Education, Training and Strategy Officer

Nasreen holds a BA in International Relations and International Development from Sussex University, where she focussed on topics regarding race, gender, intersectionality and religious identity.

Whilst at university, Nasreen was the President of the Coexist Society, a group seeking to bring together people of different faiths and no faith. It was within this role that Nasreen found practical and creative ways to bridge the gap between different groups, champion inclusion, facilitate important conversations and celebrate differences. This further inspired Nasreen to co-publish a report titled ‘Interreligious Engagement Strategies’ on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following university, Nasreen built on previous experience working with young people whilst volunteering abroad in Tanzania, where she facilitated in a local primary school. During this placement, Nasreen endeavoured to create engaging and informative workshops for students and to forge meaningful relationships with the local community, whilst taking active steps to balance the power dynamics which were at play. 

Prior to EqualiTeach, Nasreen’s work as a Mental Health Support Worker enhanced her knowledge of the issues faced by people with disabilities, particularly the stigma and stereotypes associated with those who experience mental health problems. This deepened Nasreen’s thirst for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion for all members of society in all facets of life.

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Rachel Elgy

Business Development Manager

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 holds an MA with Distinction 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. 

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Saira Hassan

Senior Education, Training & Strategy Officer

Saira Hassan is a recent graduate of the University of Oxford, where she read the MSc in Social Anthropology; during which she performed an ethnographic analysis into how education is used as a tool to improve social positioning among the African-Pakistani community. Previously Saira gained 1st Class BA and MA degrees in Religion, Culture and Society. During her tenure as Head of Religious Studies and Programme Leader at a leading sixth-form college, Saira also realised her ambition to understand and support children and young adults as a Mental Health First Aider. Saira went on to become a Trustee for CareStart– a national mental health charity which takes a culturally-sensitive approach to mental health, rehabilitation and social mobility. 

Saira has 10 years’ experience of championing equality, diversity, and inclusion for young people across both primary and secondary education levels, the highlight of which has been being awarded Mosaic Hero of the Month by HM Prince of Wales at Sandringham Estate. She is a human rights activist, and since 2021 has been a Community Champion for Remembering Srebrenica, regularly organising commemoration events to remember the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. Throughout all her previous experiences, Saira has strived to empower and motivate young people from all communities to achieve their aspirations and overcome any barriers.

Saira is determined to create a better future for disadvantaged individuals so they can showcase their talents, always striving to pass on her knowledge, experience and expertise to others. Saira is committed to seeing more diversity across all sectors; this new role at EqualiTeach will allow Saira to champion further equality, diversity and inclusion across institutions to enhance social cohesion across British society.

Yuki Hazlewood

Education, Training and Strategy Officer

Yuki has a BA in History of Art and completed a PGCE in Secondary History. She has spent a great deal of her professional career working within the realms of education and cultural heritage. This developed from initially working within the museum sector after which she dedicated the subsequent portion of her career on teaching Secondary History. She found that she was particularly interested in female education and issues to do with mental health in her teaching positions that began at a school boarding house. It was within this environment where her enthusiasm for discussing ‘big ideas’ and nurturing compassion amongst the students under her care was also harnessed. During her teaching, she worked with young people using a range of pedagogy to deliver lessons on crucial topics surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion such as the transatlantic slave trade, colonisation and genocide.

It is the blend of her personal and professional experiences that has given Yuki the ability to engage with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds. She completed an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at University College London and looks to amalgamate her specialist knowledge in the workshops she delivers with EqualiTeach to enhance the learning experiences of the students she encounters. 

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Kate Hollinshead

Head of Operations

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. 

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Jennifer Johnson

Education Manager

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.

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Jenna Lewis

Business Development Officer

Jenna has over five years of experience in marketing and a strong background in administration.

Over the years, Jenna has worked for a variety of organisations including Papworth Trust, a leading disability charity, providing administration support to the fundraising and volunteering team. The role not only gave her a variety of valuable skills, but also a good introduction to the importance of disability equality.

Following this, Jenna began to build her career in marketing, working for several technology manufacturers in Cambridgeshire. She brings with her a magnitude of skills including digital marketing, graphic design, sales administration and event planning.

At EqualiTeach, Jenna supports the business development team with aftersales care; monitoring and evaluation; and the implementation of the promotions and marketing strategy. She is proud to support the team at EqualiTeach in driving positive change and is committed to providing excellent customer service.

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Georgina Manning

Programme Support Officer

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.

Annie Miller

Senior Education, Training & Strategy Officer

Annie has several years of experience teaching across the entire primary age range, giving her a wealth of understanding of the academic and pastoral needs of each year group. She is passionate about the need for diverse curriculums which represent all areas of society and she has worked with multiple schools advising them on redesigning their curriculums to promote equality and diversity in all areas.

Her work as a PSHE coordinator furthered her passion for equality and resulted in opportunities to work with staff and young people on issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion. As part of this role she delivered staff training and supported colleagues to implement the new RSE guidance across the school, and mentored trainee teachers to ensure that PSHE was embedded in their practice.

Whilst training as a teacher, she contributed to a British Council funded project to deliver CPD courses for Malawian teachers across a three-year period, which focused on utilising locally available resources and group work to engage pupils in their learning. She also has experience of teaching in Ghana and working alongside pupils with additional needs in secondary schools.

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Sofia Persson

Youth Education Officer

Sofia has a BA in Human, Social & Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge where she focused particularly on structural inequality, the politics of Africa, and the anthropology of development and social justice.

Sofia has previously studied Education and Second Language Education in Sweden and taught in primary school, high school and in refugee education. As part of her work with refugees she worked on a program to support refugees to build their language skills and access meaningful educational and occupational opportunities. She also set up a project to increase voter turnout and local political influence among students from a refugee background.

During her time at the University of Cambridge, Sofia worked with her student union, where she particularly focused on making the application process more accessible for students from underrepresented backgrounds. She also worked with an NGO that strived to increase access to higher education for less advantaged students. It is here that she co-founded the organisation’s program for students from a refugee background and set up refugee camp-based projects.

Sofia is committed to promoting equality and social justice through education and is excited to combine this commitment with her passion for working with young people through her role at EqualiTeach.

Loushaé Pratt

Senior Education, Training & Strategy Officer

Loushaé holds a BA in Social Work; she has been working with children, young people and adults for over 10 years in varying capacities. These experiences and her own personal experiences have continued to promote her passion for equality and empowerment of all individuals.

Loushaé has worked with schools, community projects, churches, youth projects, universities, residential homes, local authorities and private social care organisations.

During her time in these settings, she has trained parents, carers and professionals in issues of equality and diversity – primarily around race, age and gender. In her work with young people, she has run small to large workshops in sessions on critical thinking, social skills and interpersonal conversations and relationships. 

Loushaé’s passion for equality and diversity was further developed in her time in social work where she worked directly with her local authority to contribute to the equality and diversity strategy of the Council and was the social work lead amongst senior management around how issues or diversity and equality were managed and understood within the workforce. This included presenting through team meetings and preparing training for forums and events. 

Loushaé is continually looking for ways to improve how individuals understand and apply equality and diversity throughout her volunteering and paid work and is passionate about empowering young people and adults to develop these skills. 

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Val Ross

Senior Education, Training and Strategy Officer

Val has worked in education and training for over 25 years.  She is driven by a passion for connection and promoting opportunities and spaces within which dialogue, understanding and empathy can be developed.  She is a skilled trainer and public speaker.  Val has a MA(Hons) degree from Edinburgh University in Sociology and Social Administration and post graduate qualifications in Housing Policy and Practice, Pastoral Theology and Teaching.

Val’s career has spanned several decades during which she has worked in the public, voluntary and commercial sectors engaging with business change and culture, developing housing policy and large-scale equalities training programmes.  Val has worked in Citizenship Education and Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and during her 11 years with The Anne Frank Trust she developed and delivered an educational programme across the East of England.  She is a skilled communicator and thoroughly enjoys creating relationships and networks with stakeholders.  Val is invested in empowering children, young people and communities to effect meaningful change, creating a society which is inclusive and within which everyone is valued.

Currently her interests are in intergenerational working, interfaith dialogue and in countering the influence of hate filled narratives.  Val is actively involved with her trade union and is currently a member of its Education Sector Committee. 

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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 20 years, delivering equality training to over 10,000 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.

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Tori Sprott

Youth Education Officer

Tori has a BA in Philosophy and is currently in her second year of an MA in Policy Studies in Education. She has a particular interest in Sociology of Race and Education and exploring counternarratives from a racial perspective. Areas of focus have recently included colour-blindness in education, gender and sexual orientation inclusivity in the Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) curriculum, and critical reflections on racial alienation experienced through higher education.

Tori has worked with young people of all ages; from mentoring Year 10 students to prepare them for GCSEs, to providing pastoral support for sixth formers, to overseeing attendance in an all-through school setting with a significant focus on safeguarding. She has a strong desire to be part of the change and broaden the mindsets and critical thinking skills of young people through her role at EqualiTeach. Tori seeks to also learn from the young people she engages with, creating an all-round beneficial pedagogical experience.

Advisory Board

Lila Begum

Advisory Board Member

Lila is passionate about supporting communities with welfare issues, promoting community cohesion and breaking down barriers. She has worked in a number of advisory and supporting case worker roles on welfare law, immigration, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour based violence and modern slavery.

Lila is the Anti-Slavery Partnership Coordinator for Bedfordshire and has been on the management committee for two women’s organisations in Bedford.

At present she is an executive member for Queens Park Orchard, Independent Advisor for Bedfordshire Police and Trustee for Creating Memories. Her future ambition is to take up cycling to raise money for charity.

Lucy Goodyear

Advisory Board Secretary

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. 

Dr David Landon Cole

Advisory Board Chair

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.

Cameron Paul

Advisory Board Member

Cameron is originally from Australia He moved to London in 2005 on a two year “holiday” and over 15 years later still finds himself in the UK. 

In 2010 Cameron moved out of London and in 2012 started his own accountancy firm servicing small to medium businesses.  Cameron has worked with EqualiTeach in a professional capacity for a number of years and was delighted to be asked to join the advisory board. 

He is looking forward to being able to help guide the future course of the business coming from the numbers side of things.

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Professor 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.