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  • Clifton Moor Business Village,
  • 14 James Nicolson Link, York,
  • YO30 4XG
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Meet the team

We are leaders, innovators, and problem solvers.

Our team is a mix of lived and professional experience leaders who work together to solve problems for children’s services. We have a wide partnership of consultants, associates, trainers, and do-gooders who all want to see children leave services in a better place than when they entered them.

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Meet our team

Luke Rodgers BEM

Director of Strategy

As a Lived Experience Leader, Luke has a passion for and expertise in creating projects that benefit the lives of care-experienced people, ensuring their experience is at the heart of all projects and training facilitated by The Care Leaders. By understanding and giving a voice to lived experience, we gain the knowledge to develop our services to best serve young people. This is a translation process, where stories are turned into strategies, ensuring children’s social care is developed from the lives of the people who have experienced it. As founder of The Care Leaders, Luke has led work in the USA, Europe, and nationally in the UK, working with leading organisations in the children’s sector including The Fostering Network, the University of Oxford’s Rees Centre, as well as a wide range of local authorities, fostering agencies and the Department for Education. Luke has won recognition for his work that includes ‘Entrepreneur of Excellence’ in 2015 from the National Diversity Awards, the ’Young Social Entrepreneur Award’ in 2014 from Unltd, and ‘Children’s Achievement Award’ in 2013 from Children and Young People Now. Luke’s commitment to improving outcomes for young people and families was recognised through the award of the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, and in 2020 he was invited to be a Fellow at the Saïd Business School, Skoll Centre for Social Enterprise at the University of Oxford.

Sharzad Gemmell

Head of Digital Marketing

Sharz, is a seasoned Digital Marketer with a career spanning over six years. With a focus on crafting and executing comprehensive digital marketing strategies, Sharz has consistently driven brand awareness and revenue growth for diverse clients and organizations. In Sharz's current role as a Head of Digital Marketing, she leads a dedicated team that plays a pivotal role in supporting overall business operations while delivering exceptional customer care. Her expertise has been instrumental in developing and managing an online e-learning platform and training program, facilitating the successful onboarding and engagement of more than 5000 learners. Through these efforts, Sharz has empowered individuals with valuable knowledge and skills in Children's Social Care. Adept in social media management, content creation, and strategic communications, Sharz has significantly elevated The Care Leaders' digital presence and brand recognition. Collaborating closely with leadership teams, she have successfully designed and implemented impactful communications and marketing strategies for prominent clients, including Suffolk County Council. Notably, their contributions played a crucial role in the successful launch of The Family Business, an apprentice program for care leavers. Beyond their core responsibilities, Sharz has been a driving force in various projects, including The Care Leaders Fellowships, where they designed and facilitated marketing modules, contributing to the empowerment of lived and professional leaders through a comprehensive leadership program.  

Karylle Phillips


Karylle is an experienced educator and trainer. As a care experienced leader, author and graduate Karylle has focused her research and professional development on areas of; the promotion of children's rights within services, authentic youth participation, youth justice and its impacts on the black care experience and raising the attainment for care experienced learners. Karylle has worked with many leaders in the field of children's social work and is a keen sharer of knowledge.

Sarah Hoyle


Sarah is an Illustrator, Animator and Designer from Oxford. Her aim is to work with people to visually communicate their ideas in the best possible way and create work with purpose. Sarah has worked on projects for organisations including Ashmolean Museum, The Wildlife Trust, London Natural History Museum and Bloomsbury.

Matt Sayle

Graphic Designer

Matthew Sayle is a graphic designer with over 25 years experience working for global brands, independents, charities and local authorities. He built a successful design studio partnership in northern England and more recently works freelance under the moniker TWIIST. Alongside design projects he also assists artists to produce screenprints and other creative and technical requirements. When not obsessing over art and design, he can be found walking Cooper around the rural north east.

Sarah-Jo Loveday

HR and Legal Representative

Sarah Jo is a senior HR Consultant with a passion for helping organisations achieve their vision by strengthening their ability to drive transformative change in their leadership, culture, and employee experience. She is an experienced Employee Relations specialist, accredited mediator, and HR lecturer. Sarah Jo is a London Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) Member Expert (HR) providing HR services to the LCCI's members. She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a Fellow of the Institute of Consultants, and an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is the founder of peopleknd., a London-based HR consultancy that helps organisations on key HR and People & Culture matters such as employment law, performance management, People Strategies, ED&I, staff engagement, HR policies & procedures, restructuring & redundancy, workforce planning and organisational development. Sarah Jo is a lifelong supporter of children's rights and education. A former children's rights charity founder & CEO.

Emma Gibbins


Emma is a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Sussex, she has written for a range of digital and print publications including Courier, Metro, Women's Health, and Intrepid Travel. She also regularly writes for print supplements distributed alongside The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, and the Evening Standard. You can see some of her other writing here and follow her on LinkedIn here.

Care Leavers Middlesbrough Children Matter Youth Voice Bucks The House Project Buckingham Council Department For Education Leeds City Council
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