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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

Digital Marketing Executive

Sharz is an experienced digital marketing executive, with exceptional content design and creative skills that deliver profitable growth. Working in the industry for over five years, Sharz played a key role in the evolution of the online learning platform for Edinburgh’s top tourist attraction, successfully executing digital strategies, increasing brand awareness and conversation rates. Sharz now has an intricate role within The Care Leaders, and is responsible for all content creation and digital marketing. With an empathic and understanding ear and creative thinking, Sharz will develop digital strategies that leverage profitable growth, attract key audiences, and improve user experience. Sharz has supported local authorities in the likes of Buckinghamshire, West Sussex, and Middlesbrough to create vibrant, inviting, and digestible marketing material to help promote leaving care offers and youth participation.  

Kayleigh Vinter

Project officer

Kayleigh has been with The Care Leaders as the Project Officer since March 2022 and supports in the delivery of The Care Leader’s projects, as well as supporting the work of the director of strategy. Kayleigh has five years of experience as a personal assistant and is currently in the process of completing her PRINCE2 qualification in project management.

Karylle Phillip

Facilitator

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

Illustrator

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

Writer

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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