Senior Programmes Operations Manager: James Bajcer

I am very fortunate to work for an organisation and have a role that is fundamentally about creating impactful partnerships that fundamentally make a lasting change to people’s lives. Working with colleagues across the Trust, it is my role to ensure that together with our partners, we continue to achieve great outcomes and grow our support wider to reach more young people facing disadvantage. Having worked in the charity sector for over 10 years, I am incredibly passionate in wanting to make a difference to others and am proud that through the partnerships the Trust have and are developing, I can do this.

Outside of work, sport has always been a huge part of my life, whether watching or playing and am thankful to for the years of taxi journey’s from my parents to football matches or golf tournaments across the country. This love for sport continued, studying it at Staffordshire University and am fortunate that I have been able to combine this passion and hobby with my work.

I can be contacted on [email protected]

Sarah Lanchin – Programmes Operations Manager

In my role as Programmes Operations Manager I work with the Programmes Operations Team to ensure that the Trust’s programmes are delivered effectively and efficiently across the regions, making sure that they have a positive impact and that young people get the best experience possible.

It’s really exciting to be part of the Trust and such a unique organisation. I have worked in the voluntary sector for 20+ years working for local, national and international organisations on a range of young people’s projects and services, my background is in youth work and I enjoy doing what I can to ensure every young person has access to opportunities and a positive future.

When I’m not at work I can be usually found outdoors, sometimes up a big hill or mountain, other times running about with tyres and kettlebells. I like being active and have attempted in the past many mud runs, three peaks challenges, bike rides etc , I am not the fastest or the most refined but my aim is to give things a go!  I also take chocolate, coffee and cake very seriously as part of my fitness regime – it’s all about balance!

You can contact me on [email protected]

Alexandra Kurek: Programmes Officer

As Programmes Officer I am responsible for supporting the delivery of programmes ensuring that partners have what they need to make them run smoothly and successfully.

Before working for the trust I had many years experience working within a National Governing Body, my roles included working with athletes as well as programmes involving young people and charities both locally and nationally. This experience led me to realise this was the path I wanted to take in the future, I am now lucky enough to work across all three of these areas in my role at the trust.

When not at work I try to fit in as much sport as possible. I am currently, quite literally, having a crash course in road cycling, and will be taking on a mountain in the Alps very soon!

You can contact me on [email protected]



Area Development Manager, Central: Ian Boyd

My role as Area Manager is around developing and embedding our transformational and inspirational mentoring programmes across the West Midlands, East Midlands and East of England. Working closely with our excellent teams of local Strategic and Delivery partners, my job is to support them in making sure the current programmes are delivered as effectively as possible, paying particular attention that the exit routes and outcomes for young people are as strong as possible. Another big part of the role is around planning for the future and ensuring that the support is sustained in the long term, ultimately meaning that we can deliver more work and are able to support as many young people as possible.

I love the variety of my role and having worked in the Charity Youth sector all my career, starting out studying Youth and Sport at Birmingham University, this role feels like the perfect way to bring these two worlds together; working with athletes as they support young people facing disadvantage.

Outside of work I am big into completing personal challenges, with running being a large part of my life at the moment. Over the past year I’ve gone from no running, to completing around 650 miles in training and races. The pinnacle for me will be taking on a lifetime goal of running my first marathon event, the London marathon in April 2017. When I am not running, I love spending time with my beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters in our life in Loughborough.   

I am also leading the development of our volunteering opportunities: Operation Giveback. If you feel you are able to give something back and are interesting in volunteering some support for either the young people or athletes that we work with, we’d be very interested in hearing from you.

I can be contacted on [email protected]




Senior Area Development Manager, North: Sarah Gray

As part of the Programmes Team at the Trust, it’s my job to support the sustainability and growth of transformational and inspirational programmes in the North of England. My areas cover Yorkshire, Humber and the North East of England.  

I’ve had a sporting career so far which has included working at a professional football club and for Lincolnshire Football Association. I was particularly interested in working with people with disabilities and providing football activities for all.  

When not at work I love to cycle or craft with any materials I can find, everyone loves to create don’t they?! I love to sew and create new projects.

You can contact me on [email protected]

Area Development Manager, North East:  Sarah Keenan

As the Area Development Manager for the North East, it’s my job to support the sustainability and growth of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s transformational and inspirational programmes in the North of England. I am responsible for developing a network of key partners passionate about ensuring the delivery of positive outcomes for young people across the North East of England.

During my career I have been fortunate to have worked in a number of countries with both charitable and public organisations. I have worked within Youth Engagement, Education and Training, Health and Social Care sector. All of my roles have had a youth focus and I am passionate about ensuring all young people are given the opportunity and tools to make positive choices in their lives. Through my work as a strategic delivery partner with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust I was fortunate to see how effective the programmes in support young people to take control of their lives.

Although I am passionate about the work I do, I also enjoy the theatre, sitting down with a good book but my true love is travelling.



Area Development Manager, South West and South Wales:  Richard Snook

I am responsible for developing and growing the Trust’s programmes for young people facing disadvantage across the South West of England and South Wales. I work with our partners across my regions to ensure our transformational programmes are both sustainable and are delivered to a high quality.

I have worked in the charity sector for nearly 13 years for both International Development and Child Rights organisations. My passion for supporting people was largely inspired by the work I watched my Dad carry out in East London to support the community when I was growing up. I have been also lucky enough to travel and work in various countries in Africa which helps to put into perspective how fortunate we are. I have a Masters in International Development Studies and have also studied counselling.   

When I am not working I spend most of my time playing with and entertaining my two young children and after years of talking about it, I have finally taken up boxing!

You can contact me on [email protected]




Senior Area Development Manager, South: Elly Virgo

I am the the Senior Area DEvelopment Manager for London, Essex & Kent and am responsible for fundraising, partnership development and overseeing young people’s programmes in this area. I have worked previously for local government and local charities as well as a stint in the private sector but have a real passion for developing great partnerships that empower young people who face disadvantage.

In my spare time I am a Trustee for a charity supporting women facing domestic abuse. I also likes to play netball, sing karaoke and eat cheese (although not all at the same time). My favourite animal is a raccoon, which I developed a fondness for after a childhood trip to Oregon.

You can contact me on [email protected]

Area Development Manager London and South East: Layla Hall 

Hi, I’m Layla and I’m the Area Development Manager for London and the South East, working with a wide range of partners to deliver positive outcomes for young people through our transformational and inspirational programmes.

Prior to working with the Trust I have worked in the development of sport for the past 10 years as a Sport Development Manager, Partnership Development Manager and as a Strategic Manager for a successful School Sport Partnership in a North London Borough.  I am extremely proud of the association that I created and managed, whereby the profile of school sport and PE in over 100 member schools has helped to enable pupils to start and stay active, by excelling through sport. 

Alongside my work with the Trust you can find me out and about with my specialist consultant hat on, working for organisations such as London Sport and the Youth Sport Trust as a Development Coach and Mentor, supporting schools and colleagues to improve the provision of school sport and PE.

My love of sport and in particular athletics was founded at a young age, with my mum telling me I was running before I was walking! You could regularly find me featured in the athlete’s bible – Athletics Weekly, where yes, I have kept all of the magazine cuttings – with my favourite headline saying “Layla leads Hall the way”. Unfortunately my athletics career was short lived due to illness and injury, but I did manage to clock up a few county and regional titles in track middle distance running (1500m & 800m) and cross country.

You could say that Dame Kelly Holmes is a bit of a hero of mine – so for me to have the opportunity to work for the Trust that fully embodies my shared belief in the power of sport for young people, is a win-win role for me.

You can contact me on [email protected]ekellyholmestrust.org

Area Development Manager, North West and North Wales: Leigh Hall

My role as Area Manager is to support the development, sustainability and growth of transformational and inspirational programmes in the North West of England and North Wales. I work with strategic and delivery partners in various areas to ensure programmes are being run effectively for young people.

I am passionate about working with young people, particularly those who experience multiple disadvantage and believe that every young person has potential. I believe in the Trust’ ethos and the impact athletes can have on young people.

Having a strong youth work background, I began my career at the age of 18 when I got my first part-time youth work role, from there my enthusiasm for working with young people grew. My degree in Dance helped develop interest in physical activity, plus I also did various pieces of work with offenders. After taking a year out to travel I decided that this kind of work was what I wanted to do.

I started with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in summer 2016. You can contact me on [email protected]

Area Development Manager, Scotland: Brenda Leask

My role within the Trust is to plan and develop a strategy for Scotland, making sure the trust have a presence in Scotland over the next 3 years. I'll be working closely with delivery partners to increase the number of programmes delivered in Scotland and supporting more young people in Scotland to develop, grow and reach their full potential.

I am working with the Trust as I have seen the fantastic impact that the programmes and athletes can have on young people, helping to transform their lives forever. I have previously worked with the Trust during the Glasgow Commonwealth games, supporting vulnerable young people to become volunteers at the Games. 

I have been a Youth Manager within Shetland for a number of years, as well as working within Education Scotland to deliver the Developing Scotland's Young Workforce strategy.  I like to work with teenagers and find their energy inspiring!

I have a busy life outside of work, with a husband, 3 kids and a dog - it just never stops.  I like to play hockey competitively, representing Shetland.  I also like to try new sports like women's football and recently completed a triathlon. 

My favourite animals are horses and especially Shetland Ponies.  One day I would like to trek the Patagonian mountain on horse back. My greatest achievement is having 3 beautiful kids! 



Research and Impact Manager: Arrti O'Hare

The focus of my work is around research, evaluating our programmes and informing our work going forward. I consider myself really lucky in my role because I get to link-in with colleagues, athletes, young people, partners, and other researchers.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and friends, cooking, eating, exercising and catching up on sleep!

You can contact me on [email protected]



Research Officer: Whitney Otchere

I'm the Research Officer for the Trust which in a nutshell means I create surveys, write reports for funding bids and keep the rest of the organisation up to date on recent research findings. 

I have a lot of experience in the Third Sector as before working for the Trust I worked for a youth charity and prior to that I worked for Amnesty International as a community organiser.

When not at work I enjoy food, travelling and music. Having won a hula hooping competition when I was eight years old, I have experience of transitioning from a sporting background into a professional career!

You can contact me on [email protected] 



Senior Athlete Manager: Claire Bennett

My job is to support athletes in our GiveBack Team, whether that be supporting an athlete’s career pathway progression or ensuring that our delivery team are well supported, I deal with all things athletes. I also support with the strategic planning and development of our athlete goals, and make sure that we are on track to delivering our targets set within our business plan.

I was a former elite athlete in fencing and initially joined the Trust in Jan 2013 as an athlete mentor. Even though I had some amazing moments during my fencing career, including winning a Commonwealth team gold medal, I had no idea how to transfer my skills into the ‘real world.’ I found the Trust at a difficult time in my life when I had just retired from fencing and I felt a bit lost. I know first-hand the positive impact the Trust can have on both an athlete’s and a young person’s life. Using my experience to support others gives me a huge sense of achievement and fulfilment. Something that I am very proud of at the Trust is developing athlete support transition workshops for our athletes and recently launching our very own women’s staff leadership programme to support with the progression of female leaders at the Trust.

In my spare time, I do fencing commentary on Eurosport which I love, and I am currently qualifying to become a performance life coach. I enjoy keeping fit, baking - not quite Great British Bake Off standard but I’m in training - walking my parent’s dog Sunny and begging my husband for a dog of our own!

You can contact me on [email protected]



Athlete Officer: Julz Adeniran

I work alongside the Athlete Manager and Head of Athlete Programmes, to support our GiveBack Team. Liasing with our Athlete Team Leaders, it’s my job to manage all aspects pertaining to our 150-200 strong team of athlete mentors and represent their interests. Having first joined the Trust in 2011 as an athlete mentor, I’ve worked on the breadth of young people programmes; allowing me the privilege of experiencing first-hand the difference our programmes can have on a young person’s life.

Still a current athlete myself, with Olympic ambitions, I compete in the 110m hurdles internationally. When not in the office, I can be found on the track or in the gym at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, where I train five hours a day, five days a week. Since making my international debut in 2005, I’ve enjoyed representing England and Great Britain at World and European championships and Grand Prix events. Now at the mid-point of my sporting career, I recognise the challenges that transitioning to a life after sport can pose for sports professionals, and so it is extremely rewarding to be part of a team that supports individuals facing this reality.

You can contact me on [email protected]



National Programmes Officer: Ben Barnes

I’m responsible for the delivery of all of our Programmes in Mid and North England, North Wales and Scotland, coordinating and working with our local delivery partners, athletes, teachers and schools. I ensure everyone feels supported and has all the right tools and information in order to make our programmes a success.

Since the days when Captain Scarlet, Stingray, Spice Girls and Rugrats were trendy and cool, I’ve always been actively involved in sport. This led me to becoming an athlete in swimming and triathlon and then transitioning into employment within the sports sector working with national governing bodies and leading expeditions as far as South East Asia and South America.

When at work you’ll most probably find me making/educating the London staff on how to make the most satisfying Northern brew they’ve had. Out of the doors and into the blue sky you’ll find me mostly eating at new yummy places, indulging in great Christmas ideas from Fanny Cradock, sheltering Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with a brolley at Wimbledon or at Heathrow jumping on a plane with a surfboard or pair of ski’s heading to my second home of Canada.

You Can Contact me on [email protected]






Fundraising and Supporter Care Assistant: Jennifer Clough

I work within the programmes team to research and complete funding applications to Trusts and Foundations, as well as looking after our individual donors. Working here is my first job since I graduated from university in 2016. While I studied I worked in a school for children with learning disabilities as a fundraising and administration assistant.

In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and volunteering at a mental health charity as a youth support officer and helpline volunteer. I work in the third sector because I want to do something every day that feels worthwhile and helps people.

You can contact me on [email protected]



Employee Engagement Manager: Marie Robson

I have the exciting role of promoting, recruiting and supporting those who wish to run, jump, swim (or anything else) to challenge themselves to raise funds for the Trust.  I also liaise with those who wish to raise funds through other activities, from cake sales and dress down days to company-wide initiatives to inspire the health and well-being of the workforce.  If you have an idea, for you and/or your colleagues, family and friends, get in touch!

I’m a true bucket list keeper, and most importantly I enjoy ticking items off!  Number one on the list is swimming with Great White Sharks, although I’m still to achieve this!  To date I’ve enjoyed mud runs, a half marathon, skydiving, bungee jumping, fire walking, and in 2016 I trekked the Inca Trail to Maccha Picchu.  In 2017 I’m taking on 17 personal challenges including wing walking and I’m always keen to find out new ideas from our supporters.

I’m passionate about ensuring every supporter who chooses to raise funds to support our athletes and young people facing disadvantage has a positive experience, and then spreads the word to others to get in touch and also make a difference.  You can make a difference!

Contact me on [email protected]