We are a dedicated team who are passionate about what we do. Find out more about us, where we’ve come from and what we do at Future First.
Chief Executive Officer
Matt joined Future First as Chief Executive Officer in January 2018. Previously Matt was Director of Partnerships and Policy at UK Youth, leading on cross-sector partnerships, income generation, impact management and national policy.
He has worked in the education and voluntary sectors for 25 years, and since 2004 in charity leadership; as Director of Operations at School Councils UK - a national education charity specialising in youth participation and active citizenship in schools, and more recently leading on the delivery of the successful Social Impact Bond funded, education-to-employment initiative, ThinkForward. Matt also founded the social enterprise, Treetop Training and Education, providing a range of consultancy, training, professional development and project management services to the education and youth sectors.
Chief Operating Officer
Melanie became part of the Future First team in January 2015 as our Director of Operations, joining from Project Oracle where she supported youth organisations to develop their impact evaluation. She has over ten years’ experience across the social, public and private sectors. Her experience includes five years working with the education charity MyBnk. She joined the organisation at the start-up phase and led its expansion to work with over 400 schools and youth organisations across the UK and initiating similar organisations around the world. Prior to joining MyBnk she trained as an Actuary, and has a degree in Economics from the University of Nottingham.
Director of Programmes
Chloe joined Future First in July 2015 as Director of Programmes, leading the programmes team to ensure excellent delivery across our member schools and colleges.
Chloe brings with her significant experience of developing youth engagement programmes in both the not-for-profit and private sectors. Chloe has worked for the Prince’s Trust designing and delivering pre-employment training programmes for NEET young people, in addition to developing in-house apprenticeship and graduate schemes in the construction sector. Chloe recently completed an Executive MBA at Henley Business School and is now studying for an Msc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management at Cass Business School.
Alumni Programme Officer
Before joining Future First in 2017 as an Alumni Programme Officer, Charlotte lived in France teaching English and studying at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Lyon. For the past year she has been a Mental Health Advocacy worker for a local charity in Edinburgh, collaborating with a team of volunteers to support and empower vulnerable members of the community. She is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people and volunteers for youth organisations around London. Charlotte also has a first class honours degree in French from the University of Edinburgh.
Alumni Programme Officer
Alex joined Future First in 2018 as an Alumni Programme Officer for the North and Central team.
Alex studied Combined Arts at Durham University before going on to gain a PGCE at the University of Manchester. Over the years, Alex has worked in schools throughout the Greater Manchester area, initially as a Teaching Assistant with a focus on Special Educational Needs and then later as a Primary School Teacher.
More recently Alex has worked as a Customer Services Team Leader for Dogs Trust Manchester where she specialised in customer relations as well as the implementation and delivery of volunteer and staff training.
Alex is passionate about the benefits of building alumni communities in state schools and colleges and strives to raise aspiration through her role as Alumni Programme Officer.
Press and Publicity Officer
Sue joined Future First in spring 2012 as our Press and Publicity Officer.
Sue has significant experience in print and TV. She’s worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes, newsreading, reporting on and presenting half hour documentaries on social, economic and political issues in Britain and abroad for broadcasters including BBC and ITV. Through bringing up three daughters, Sue’s helped with literacy in schools and developed an interest in education, specifically special needs and children in care. She’s written for The Daily Mail, Daily Express, Sunday Telegraph and Observer. She has a BA in Communication Arts and Media from Leeds University.
Alumni Programme Officer
Before joining Future First as an Alumni Programme Officer in 2017, Nabila volunteered as a tutor and coach for a number of years. She worked with organisations such as Team Up and University Education, supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to motivate and encourage them to realise their full potential. Nabila has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford. At university Nabila developed access and welfare schemes for minority students, regularly coordinating events to ensure their support and inclusion.
Regional Lead - London and South
Joy joined Future First in January 2017 to work with schools and colleges across the South East and lead a team of Alumni Programme officers in this region.
Joy has a background in volunteer recruitment and management. She has previously worked for Raleigh International, recruiting young people for overseas voluntary programmes, as well as Oxfam where she managed a team of volunteers organising events for the national Oxjam Music Festival. She spent most of 2016 working abroad with the YMCA, which developed her interest in working with young people from various backgrounds. Joy has a degree in Geography from the University of Bristol.
Dave joined the team in April 2014 as a Developer. He works on all aspects of Future First’s tech offering, but prefers ‘back-end’ aspects such as database work.
He has previously worked in IT support and IT recycling/refurbishment, and has volunteered for a charity which sends refurbished computers to schools and community projects in Africa. In his spare time, David designs, builds and programs small computers based on 1980s-era processors.
As our Communications Officer, Jess takes a leading role in the development and implementation of Future First’s communications strategy.
Jess has a first class honours degree in Journalism from City University London. At university Jess wrote about issues relating to social mobility and education, interviewing inspiring people across London and in her hometown of Cambridge. Prior to joining Future First, she volunteered in events, communications and fundraising at an animal conservation charity and worked as a PA and receptionist.
Head of Innovation and Development
Emma joined Future First as an Alumni Officer in August 2016 before heading up our Innovation and Development unit in 2017. Prior to working at Future First, she was an English teacher for three years in East London and Essex. She has been a Widening Participation Advocate for King’s College London, improving social mobility for students living in deprived areas and has led numerous youth groups which campaign for human rights. Emma has a PGCE in Secondary English from King’s College London and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford.
Andy joined Future First in 2016 to coordinate projects run in partnership with our employer partners.
Andy previously worked for a school governor recruitment charity where his passion for improving the lives of young people grew.
Alumni Programme Officer
Martin joined Future First as an Alumni Programme Officer for the North & Central team.
Before joining Future First Martin was a Support Worker at two specialist colleges in Manchester, assisting young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, complex health needs, communication disorders and autism. Martin has also worked as a Play and Youth Worker at the Addy Young People's Centre in Manchester, running engaging activities for children. Alongside his role at the youth centre, Martin worked as an 'Explainer' at the Museum of Science and Industry, where he delivered interactive science shows to school groups and the general public. Martin studied History at the University of Manchester, where he completed an internship facilitating the training of peer mentors.
Harry joined Future First in 2017 to assist the alumni department. Harry left Sixth Form in 2015 to go travelling. He returned with the determination to help improve the lives of young people after the experiences he encountered.
Alumni Programme Officer
In 2017, Sophie joined Future First as an Alumni Programme Officer to work closely with schools and make a difference to the lives of young people.
Before joining Future First, Sophie completed a BSc Honours in International Studies with The Open University. Studying international development reinforced her belief that education is the best investment in society, and is the best way to prepare people for their futures. She went on to gain a PGCE at the University of Sussex. Sophie has three years experience working in schools in Essex and Brighton, as a teacher and volunteer. She believes that anyone should be able to achieve what they want to, regardless of their background and is committed to having an impact through sharing this message.
Regional Lead- North & Central
Beth joined Future First in January 2017 to work with schools and colleges across the North and Central Regions and lead a team of Alumni Programme Officers in the Manchester office.
After training to teach at the University of Brighton, Beth worked as an an English teacher for 10 years in Sussex, Surrey and Greater Manchester. Beth's teaching experience in the state comprehensive sector developed her interest in how a student's background can impact their future, and she has also volunteered as a mentor for young people with a social justice charity. Her experience as a lead teacher of both GCSE and A level has also led to a sound appreciation of the importance of career education in schools. Beth has a first class degree in English Literature from the University of Sheffield and an MA in English Language from the University of Lancaster.
Regional Lead - London and South
Anna joined Future First in August 2017 to work with schools and colleges across the South East and lead a team of Alumni Programme Officers in this region.
Prior to this, Anna taught Modern Languages in two London secondary schools, having completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in 2015. Outside of work, she is involved in a number of refugee and migrant support networks in Hackney as a volunteer English teacher. She holds a degree in French and German from the University of Oxford.
Project Manager - Alumni & Programmes
Amy joined Future First in 2017 as an Alumni Programme Officer and now manages projects to develop and grow the Future First programme.
Prior to this, Amy worked as a Primary school teacher in the London Borough of Bexley. She gained her PGCE from the UCL Institute of Education as part of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Amy is committed to empowering young people to achieve fulfilling futures. She continues to volunteer her time to youth based organisations that support the educational and personal success of young people, both in the UK and abroad. Amy also has a first class honours degree in Geography from the University of Exeter.
Alumni Programme Officer - Devon and Somerset
Lucy joined Future First in 2016 as an Alumni Programme Officer to work with schools across Cornwall Devon and Somerset.
Prior to this, she worked for a charity that supports and advises single parent families. As a Programme Lead, she provided delivery and development of projects to support single parents in building the skills and confidence needed to return to work, training or education.
Lucy draws on her own experiences of growing up in the South West to strive to improve social mobility in the area and is committed to delivering projects that support young people to improve their confidence motivation and skills. Lucy has a degree in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Central Lancashire where she first worked on youth community projects.
Alumni Programme Officer
Before joining Future First in 2018, Emily tutored English to pupils from underprivileged backgrounds, in order to prepare them for their GCSEs, and volunteered at Refugee Action Kingston's homework club. She is committed to ensuring pupils from all walks of life have equal educational opportunities. Emily has a master's degree in Romantic and Victorian Literature from Durham University and a degree in English Literature from the University of York.
Laura joined Future First in August 2015 to work with schools and colleges across the South West and lead a team of Programme and Alumni Officers. In 2017, Laura moved into Future First's tech team to become our Digital Officer.
Prior to that, she worked for an education trade body in various roles, from finance to HR, through to marketing and events, working directly with both private English language schools and further education colleges. She has recently completed a Master’s in Education, Gender and International Development at the Institute of Education, where her interest in education grew and she decided to look for opportunities within the state education system. Laura has a BA in French and Linguistics from the University of Manchester.
As Chair, Christine leads the Future First board and supports the senior leadership team to ensure Future First has maximum impact on schools and colleges across the country. Christine is probably best known for her role as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector at Ofsted. However, she has also been a teacher, headteacher, director of education and local authority chief executive. Christine received a CBE in 2006 for services to education and local government.
Deji is the Executive Director at J.P. Morgan, working on the European Loan Trading desk. A supporter of Future First since he joined the alumni network at in his old school in 2008, Deji joined the board in 2010. Deji is the founder of a mentoring programme between J.P. Morgan and South Camden Community School, encouraging City workers to engage with and support young people at the school. He has a degree from Oxford University in Economics and Management.
Robin studied at Bristol University and worked at PwC to hone his financial accounting and business skills between 1993-97, before working alongside Noel Hayden in IDM. IDM was sold to Gameplay in 1999 and in 2001 Robin co-founded Gamesys alongside Andrew Dixon and Noel Hayden. Outside Gamesys, Robin invests in start-ups and is a trustee of Zing, a charity which supports charities helping young people to realise their potential. Robin is married, with three kids and enjoys playing and watching lots of sports.
Michael’s background is managing and investing in global education services (careers information, international schools and colleges) and risk based information software businesses. He is actively involved in the commercialisation of University technologies. He chairs the Commercial Board at the University of Liverpool and manages two spin out companies at City University London. Prior to this he was CEO of an investment group investing in education and CEO of one of the UK’s most successful University spin outs (UCL). Michael has an MSc and Sloan Fellowship from London Business School.
Lindsey founded Pollen Street Capital in 2013 after leading the spin out from RBS. She has been a private equity investor for more than 15 years with a particular focus on the financial services sector. Since 2005 she has led the team managing the RBS Special Opportunities Fund. Prior to RBS, Lindsey spent six years at Cabot Square Capital, Ltd., a London-based private equity firm where she was a Partner, focusing on operating investments in real estate and other asset backed investments, together with investments in the financial services sector. Lindsey has a First Class Honours degree in Accounting and Finance and studied for an MPhil in Finance from Strathclyde University
Sally is Chief of Staff at Fidelity International (FIL) with responsibility for global human resources, corporate affairs, corporate property services and the FIL Foundations. Prior to this, Sally was FIL's Global Head of Human Resources and responsible for performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, recruitment and senior search, employee relations and succession planning. Sally joined FIL in 1999, first as a Senior HR Executive Director in 2004. Prior to this, Sally worked at PwC in Human Resources. Sally is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
Conservative MP for Norwich North
Education Campaigner and Journalist
Former Schools' Minister
Baroness Estelle Morris
Former Secretary of State for Education
Dr Sarabajaya Kumar
Teaching Fellow at LSE