Our team

Aoife Gibson-Ebsworth

Executive Assistant to CEO and Administration Manager

On my first away day with Impetus, the CEO was asked why he chose to work for the organisation. His response was so moving and passionate. I see that passion in every member of the Impetus team every day, and it is truly amazing to be a part of that team.

Ashni Shah

Investment Director

“I’ve always felt so thankful for the teachers, mentors and role models around me when I was growing up. The charities that Impetus supports offer such mentorship and play a crucial role in helping young people to succeed in school and life. As we tackle the impacts of a global pandemic, I feel so proud to be able to work in partnership with such an inspiring community.”

Athene Jollands

Events Officer

“Since joining Impetus, I have been constantly struck by the exceptional knowledge, skills and determination of my colleagues. So many people are determined to create a fairer future for the next generation, however what sets Impetus staff apart is how they approach this challenge in a strategic and clever way which in turn enables our partner charities to excel and more young people to succeed”

Ben Brodie

Investment Director

"Working with some of our charities on their response to the Covid-19 crisis was eye-opening – I was so impressed by their understanding of the challenge, restlessness to maintain impact during lockdown, and their focus on ensuring long-term financial sustainability. I loved being able to support such driven teams through such a difficult period."

Ben Gadsby

Head of Policy and Research

“Too many of my friends from school didn’t get the opportunities I did, but the charities Impetus works with are putting that right. I love to hear the inspirational before and after stories from the young people those charities work with. Transformational change is possible.”

Read Ben's blogs.

Camilla Elwood

Investment Manager

“I was drawn to working at Impetus due to the incredible impact that the charities in our portfolio have on young people’s lives. Impetus are at the forefront of supporting some of the most ambitious youth-focused charities in the UK and being able to work with them on capacity building is both fascinating and rewarding..”

Charlie Rainer

Investment Manager

"In my first three months at Impetus I was involved in building the first cohort of the Impetus Leadership Academy – it’s a special feeling to be part of that team investing and developing incredible and inspiring people, all relentlessly working to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people. From top to bottom, Impetus is full of thoughtful, critical and purpose-driven people working towards a common goal. There’s nowhere else like it!"

Chiku Bernardi

Senior Investment Director

“At our team away day we held some success and failure awards – which were both hilarious and poignant. It felt great to see everyone in crazy wigs, cheering each other on. We hit gold every time we mix our robust and driven culture with caring and fun.”

Claudia R. Knights

Development Director

When I volunteered with one of our charities at an East London school, I saw that they had made a remarkable difference to young people - improving their grades at school and future aspirations. The charity was clear: they increased their impact by working with Impetus. This has given me confidence that the money I raise from donors really is a great investment.

Daniel Barker

Development Director

“I was lucky enough to attend one of our Impact Management Programme training sessions. As well as reminding me that I work with brilliant people, it was the first time I truly appreciated how difficult and how meaningful our work is. Considering the tough decisions that are needed to really put young people first and get the best results possible was an eye-opening experience.

Donna Maher

Philanthropy Officer

"After working in a school in an area of high inequality with students disengaged with learning, it was a complete eye-opener to visit one of our Charity partners and hear how motivated their students were during a tutoring session. It really hit home the Impact of the work that our charity partners do, and it’s a great feeling knowing that Impetus has driven that impact. Together, we are creating a fairer and more fulfilling education system for all young people."

Eleanor Harrison OBE

Chief Executive

Eleanor Harrison OBE joined as Chief Executive in September 2020. She has a wealth of experience leading non-profit teams around the world.

Read Eleanor's full bio here.

Harriet Gugenheim

Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships

“I love going to our volunteering sessions with donors and young people. One of my favourite memories was an afternoon in a city office with a group of young people and volunteers – at the beginning everyone was nervous and quiet. But by the end of the session, we were all hugging each other good-bye. It’s those moments, where our two worlds collide, when I really see the power of Impetus’ work.”

Heather Poel

Head of Engagement

“Coming from a small education charity working with young people, I was truly inspired by the incredible work that Impetus do to support such a diverse range of charities, each uniquely helping disadvantaged young people to succeed. Since joining I’ve been struck by how passionate and intelligent everyone is and I’m looking forward to being part of such a great team driving for change.”

Helena Vine

Policy and Public Affairs Officer

"What's so fantastic about Impetus is that we not only support our charity partners to achieve greater impact, but we also work in a policy capacity to ensure the barriers facing disadvantaged young people are tackled more broadly. When these two things work together, we have a bigger impact on the young people who need us the most, which is what Impetus is all about."

Irfan Umarji

Director of Finance and Operations

"Having spent over a decade working in the charity sector and many more years volunteering within both the youth and education sectors, I felt Impetus was a place where both my passions and career could meet. We’re all here to make a real difference in young people’s lives by being the driving force behind great charities and helping them deliver the right support to more young people in a truly unique and impactful way."

Jake Farrell

Investment Manager

“Earlier in my career I worked for a charity that was part of the Impetus portfolio and I saw first hand the transformative affect that support from the team can have. I’m inspired to try and give other charities the same incredible help that I received and to work with such impactful and thoughtful organisations.”

James Gubb

Investment Director

“The big thing I learnt from running a social enterprise prior to joining Impetus is that for a charity to have long-lasting impact on a young person’s life it’s not enough to have a good heart or a great programme; it requires constant self-reflection, dispassionate awareness of performance and making seriously tough decisions day-in, day-out. What I love is that Impetus has the guts to challenge charities to do so, constantly asking the difficult questions and encouraging those in our portfolio to do better and better... and they tell us it’s working!

Katherine Holdway

Human Resources and Learning Manager

“Within a few weeks of joining Impetus I got the opportunity to attend the annual Transforming Lives Dinner, it was great to see the way all staff came together to ensure the event was a success. More importantly, it was inspiring to see the young people that Impetus helps. Watching their personal journeys in the Impetus 2018 film really highlighted the importance of our work and made me feel proud and excited to have joined an organisation that is committed to making a real difference to young people’s lives.”

Kerry Greaves

Head of Events

“From my very first day at Impetus, the drive to reach as many young people as possible through our charity partners was clear. Small pockets of great practice are not enough. All young people are deserving of the chance to succeed, no matter the barriers they face. The Impetus model is unique in its ability to do that. I am proud to be part of such a dedicated team of people.”

Lucy Keating

Head of Communications

"‘Passion’ ‘positivity’ ‘opportunity’ and ‘hope’ were just some of the words charity staff used to describe their work during my first Delivering Impact workshop. Their dedication is testament to the impact they have on young lives, and show that charities aren’t an added extra - they are vital and transformative. I’m proud to work for an organisation that has a unique role in maximising benefit for vulnerable young people, a mission that is more important than ever in today’s uncertain world."

Matthew Heaven

Communications and Policy Intern

"Although I am a newcomer, I was quite impressed with how passionate everyone was in doing their part for Impetus' overall mission, as well as welcoming me as a new member to the team.

Impetus is tackling what I believe to be a very important yet somewhat overlooked issue with one's upbringing playing a significant factor in how well you are likely to do in life. I'm hoping that my input as someone who has thought that the education system has been deeply flawed for a long time will be beneficial, and I look forward to continuing to work within this organisation.”

Nayaab Sattar

Corporate Volunteering Manager

"‘Working with a team of such dedicated and passionate individuals is truly inspirational and I feel blessed to be in a team that strives towards enabling young people to be their best selves despite some of the challenges. I love being able to share the opportunity of impacting the lives of young people through volunteering, working with our donors and charity partners alike!.

Nicola Robbins

Head of Communications

“Having spent a number of years as a school governor I know how important it is that all young people are supported to get the best start in life. The work that Impetus does is vital and lifechanging, and I am excited about being able to use my skills to help brilliant charities transform young lives..

Robin Lanfear

Senior Communications Manager

"Having joined from one of Impetus' charity partners, I know first-hand how a charity can benefit from Impetus' support. One of my favourite experiences there was an Impetus Driving Impact Workshop, when the whole organisation came together to agree how we could better reach the young people we existed to serve. We left that workshop inspired and confident in how we could transform the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Rosemary Hurford

Senior Philanthropy and Partnerships Manager

"I loved visiting a Charity partner where I met a classroom of 10 year olds full of excitement to learn about going to university. Each child was filled with confidence that they could achieve anything. These real-life outcomes are front and centre of the Impetus model. I know I’m part of an organisation that has a crystal-clear focus on irrevocably transforming the lives of disadvantaged young people."

Roy McDowall

Finance and Operations Assistant

"I was initially interested in the finance role advertised, but when I viewed the Impetus website to find out more on the organisation, I was drawn to the commitment and mission Impetus has to ensuring children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive support in school, work and life to transform their lives and get the same chances as their better off peers. I believe all children/young people should have the chance of a good education and support and it is clear Impetus strive to do this with a very friendly and knowledgeable staff. My working background has mainly been in the private sector, so this is the first charity I have worked for and really enjoying it."

Samantha Tielbürger

Creative Content Assistant

“Upon joining Impetus, I was amazed at how welcoming and passionate everyone is; I instantly knew that I would be surrounded by others who genuinely care about disadvantaged young people by working towards making sustainable changes.
When I came to understand that not only do they fund charities, but they also work with charities to deliver better results, I was astonished.

Sebastien Ergas

Portfolio Director

Ending a first meeting with a potential charity partner and saying to myself ‘this Chief Exec takes nothing for granted, is very reflective about her charity's impact and is open about her leadership challenges' – that, was a very exciting moment, and the start of a great partnership.

Watch Sebastien talk about our work with The Access Project.

Sherrine Ricketts


“I choose to work for Impetus for the impact they have on charities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and provide a gateway to help grow communities."

Sonal Shenai

Investment Director

"Every young person deserves the chance to fulfil their potential. Our charity partners strive to support disadvantaged young people to succeed in school and life. It’s a privilege to work with such dedicated charity teams and see more young people achieve their dreams, particularly in such unprecedented times."

Sophie Manning

Investment Director

"I could see from day one that everything Impetus does is done thoughtfully and with integrity. Charity leaders are incredible, determined people and each one deserves expert, personalised support. Each time we provide that, we know that represents several hundred young people’s stories of injustice and system failure turned around."

Steve Haines

Director of Public Affairs

"Supporting charities to find what works and taking their impact to scale is more vital than ever in tackling the barriers that hold back too many young people.

"Impetus and our partners are uniquely placed to take those voices to power and achieve lasting change.”

Tamara Baleanu

Investment Director

"Witnessing a charity leader's light bulb moment is exhilarating, whether it's to do with using data to improve the outcomes of their young people or developing a new five-year strategy for their organisation. It's such a privilege to get to play a part in it."

Tanya Curry

Interim Chief Executive

“I joined Impetus at the start of June 2022 as Interim CEO to support the team whilst Eleanor Harrison is on maternity leave.

I have worked in the charity sector for over 20 years now and am really passionate about leading organisations to deliver impact for the people we are here to support. Whilst my background is predominately in the health sector I was drawn to Impetus through it’s mission to help transform the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are facing multiple challenges in education and employment. I believe passionately that we must help and support our future generations, giving all young people every opportunity to thrive in their lives.

Read Tanya's full bio here.

Will Simpson

Finance Manager

“When we hosted our annual Transforming Lives Dinner, I was able to meet a number of young people from our charities. A young man told me how one of our charities had helped him gain confidence and the skills to obtain a meaningful job. This illustrated to me just how much of an impact our work can have on the lives of young people.”