Meet the Trustees

  • Samira
  • September 21, 2022

Natalie Speranza – Chairperson.

Natalie Speranza – Chair. Natalie is a qualified solicitor of England & Wales and Australia, with over 17 years’ experience in leadership roles in commercial in-house teams, supporting businesses across EMEA, US and APAC regions. She has varied industry experience, mainly in tech, professional services and property. Currently, Natalie is Legal Director for global telecommunications start-up, Dense Air.

Afrin Alam

Afrin has been with FYA for over 8 years working as a young ambassador, supporting a number of projects including peer education and events. She is passionate about getting involved with her local community and raising awareness for particularly mental health issues. She has an educational background in psychology completing an MSc in Cognitive and Clinical neuroscience. She currently works in the civil service in operational delivery

Jane Boddington

Jane is a Marketing Consultant with fourteen years’ communications experience in developing marketing strategy, campaign planning and management, paid media and brand partnerships. Her experience spans both agency and client-side, across a wide range of sectors including retail, entertainment, financial services, travel and the public sector and she is experienced in youth marketing, having worked as Communications Planning Lead for four years at the National Citizens Service. Jane is passionate about community and social mobility and has a particular interest in youth work.

Patricia Marron

Patricia has worked in fundraising for over eleven years including Major Donor and Corporate Fundraising. Patricia is currently Senior Corporate Partnerships Officer at the Cardinal Hume Centre, a homelessness prevention charity in Westminster. Patricia has also volunteered at various charities, including a disability charity in Peru.

Halima Nessa

Halima has nearly 20 years of experience in the youth sector, from starting her career as a youth worker to senior leadership roles across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Her experience includes youth social justice, sustainability, education and development of services that offer early intervention, recognition of youth sub cultures and also community participation and development. Halima has keen interests in the areas of research methods and evaluation for youth work. Halima works as CEO for a youth arts charity who support young people leaving the social care system.

Daniel Pitt

Daniel is Creative Director & Chief Executive of Old Diorama Arts Centre (ODAC), the arts creation and community centre in Euston, and a partner organisation of FYA. He’s worked in programming, producing and executive roles across contemporary performing arts, specialising in revitalising programmes, organisational change and audience development. He joined ODAC in 2021 from Chisenhale Dance Space in Bow. Previous roles include co-directing outdoor arts project In Your Way, co-curating 2018’s Roundhouse CircusFest, and four years as producer at Cambridge Junction arts centre. He started his career at Crying Out Loud, where he helped turn Piccadilly Circus into a surprise circus as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Lorna Ponambalum

Lorna has been a teacher for 24 years and was a senior leader and designated safeguarding lead for over 15 years at Haverstock School in Camden. She now divides her time between inclusion consultancy and leading training around safeguarding. Lorna is also an Education Programme Leader overseeing a 16 – 19 continuing Maths and English Programme for Fleet Tutors. Lorna was a school governor at a local primary school, St Dominic’s Catholic primary school and is now a local advisory board member at Whitehall Park School in Islington.

Mark Seaborne

Mark has over twenty years’ experience in the financial industry. He worked in investment banking from 2000-2012. After that he co-founded an asset management company for which he currently sits on the board of directors. Since 2020 Mark has been an active volunteer with FYA, working at the Cumberland Youth Club and as a part of Regent’s Park Community Champions. He has a PhD in Astrophysics.

Rosemary Swainston

Rose specialises in SEND, autism and advocacy projects with girls and young women. Currently working as Head of Development at Caxton Youth Organisation, her focus is on fundraising, strategy and charity development. Previously a production coordinator for television documentaries, Rose then moved over to start working in youth clubs promoting the arts. She is passionate about working in the youth sector and empowering young people to achieve their potential.

Emilie Vanpoperinghe

Emilie is a qualified accountant and holds a MBA from ESSEC, France. She has over 15 years’ experience in Finance and Corporate Services working both in the private and charitable sector in the UK, India and France.
Emilie is currently CEO and founder of Oddbox, a purpose-driven business tackling food waste by rescuing delicious fresh fruit and veg which deemed ‘too big’, ‘too ugly’, the ‘wrong’ colour, or ‘too many’ from going to waste.

Alice Weavers

Alice is a qualified youth worker and PhD student, specialising in youth participation (and was a former Youth Participation Officer at FYA!). She is currently working on an ESRC-funded national study on young people’s post-16 education transitions and researching youth participation in national policymaking. Prior to this Alice worked in youth policy for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, bringing young people’s voices into national policy making. Alice also volunteers at a youth club and Girlguiding unit.

Brian Willmore

Brian started his working life as a Trainee Youth Worker in his native Yorkshire in the late 1990’s. By the age of 23 he had moved into management and at the age of 28 he was one of the youngest Heads of Young People’s Services in the country and the trajectory continued to his current post as Assistant Director of Care & Support at Origin Housing. Brian has worked all his career in local and central government and is a very proud working class northerner and is committed to social action and empowering communities.


Dr June Crown CBE – June is a local resident and was a founding chairman of FYA. She is a public health doctor and Past President of the UK Faculty of Public Health. She has acted as special advisor to the World Health Organisation and to overseas governments on public health and health care reforms. She has served as Chairman of Age Concern England and as Chairman and Trustee of several other charities. She was also Deputy Chairman for Brighton University for seven years.

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