Our Team


CEO & Founder
I have 3 decades of experience of running my own businesses in the IT arena and over the years have built up significant understand of many different businesses. However in 2001 we were very lucky to be able to adopt a 6 weeks old baby who has blessed our lives and changed our life journey in such a rich way. As her disabilities became more profound and we navigated our way around support, education and health we met so many fabulous people who have helped and supported our family. Through our personal journey we knew that we could help others and ensure that as many young people as possible could have bright futures. As a founder of Lighthouse School in 2012 and as a founder and Director at Answer Digital the skills and experiences of both education and employment come together in a rich offer helping families gain employment and secure futures for their children.

Its a passion that is shared with all of our team!


Administrator & Founder
With a career in administration, management and finance within the hospitality, education and charity sectors and a mum of 2.

Having seen and experienced at first hand the challenges faced by young people with ASC & their families , when my youngest son was diagnosed with ASC, I am dedicated to improving life choices and outcomes for young people with ASC and building on their underlying talents.

I am one of the founding members of Lighthouse School and of Lighthouse Futures Trust and my main role now within in the Charity is in Administration. I love working within the team at the Trust all of whom are passionate and dedicated and share the vision of the charity.

In my spare time, I love to travel, ski, Pilates, keep fit and spend time with family & friends.


Development & Programme Manager
As a mother of a daughter on the autistic spectrum, I know only too well the struggles that families face in trying to support their young people into work. I love what I do at Lighthouse Futures Trust, and I am on a mission to support as many families as I can!

I have over 30 years’ experience working within the corporate sector, and am an avid networker. Having built two successful networking organisations in the past, I am continuing to engage with the business community in my role here at the charity.

In my spare time, I enjoy walking in the Yorkshire Dales and cycling around the many picturesque routes we have in Leeds. I love my vinyl collection of music, and attending concerts and pub quizzes with my family and friends.


Branching Out Manager
My main role within the charity is to get young people who show an interest in working outdoors work-ready, and to help them through the transition from school into the work place. This is achieved by giving them real-life experience on what it is like to work outside on a garden and as part of a groundwork maintenance team.

I have worked with young people for most of my career and in adult education for over 18 years, at both instructor and management levels. However, I felt that the system was letting young people and adults with learning disabilities down and that things needed to change. I joined Lighthouse futures trust knowing that it could give me an opportunity to make a real difference.

My bottom line is “if things don’t change, they will stay the same” and that is just not acceptable for our children. So, we must work to make things change.


Shop Manager Keeper's Coffee & Kitchen
My name is Nikki and I am the store manager and chef at Keepers Coffee & Kitchen.

I joined Lighthouse futures Trust as I love providing a welcoming and bright environment for people, and wanted to encourage students to learn and build their confidence – with a view to working in the world of catering and hospitality.

I love creating tasty and exciting dishes for our menu and spend most of my time either cooking or travelling to other countries to learn more about food! I also study Dru Yoga, have a keen interest in Reiki and alternative therapies, and really enjoy making fancy dress outfits and organising themed parties - so watch out for exciting events at Keepers!


I have been volunteering at Keepers Coffee and Kitchen for nearly two years. I joined Keepers as, after a very long career break, I wanted to learn something new but still work in an environment which supports and encourages young people to reach their full potential. 

I had never been near a coffee machine before and it took me a while to get the hang of it and make a drink with milk in! 

I really enjoy being part of this great team, and the delicious food is a bonus. You won't see me leaving without a Frittata!


Cafe Assistant
After moving to the UK from my hometown of Harare in Zimbabwe, I think I have finally found my dream working environment. Working as a cafe assistant for this amazing charity puts a smile on my face - our students are so inspiring, the food is delicious and I love being a part of the Keepers Coffee and Kitchen team.


I'm a volunteer at Keepers Coffee and Kitchen. I enjoy the interaction with students, staff and the friendly customers who come into the cafe. 

Volunteering fits easily around my love of travelling and I'd recommend it to everyone.


Job Coach
I am a part time employee and have a rather unique duel role at Keepers coffee kitchen. I work as a job coach, helping students, with additional needs, to learn the skills needed to be a cafe assistant. I also work as a cafe assistant making coffees and serving the delicious food to our wonderful customers.

The best part of the job coach role is seeing the students grow in confidence and the smiles they have when they independently make a cappuccino and proudly serve it a customer.
I have been with Lighthouse school since it opened and when I retired, I wanted to continue to support the school and charity in their work.
As for my spare time, I am a member of the Leeds and Bradford triathlon club and regular swim, run and cycle. When not being active I enjoy relaxing with some yoga or caring for my hens or just reading.


Job Coach
I started working as a Job Coach for Lighthouse Futures Trust in February 2018, and I’ve loved every minute.

I have a Level 4 in Information, Advice and Guidance, and over 10 years’ experience in helping young people and adults facing severe disadvantage to find jobs, homes and the right support they need.

As a Job Coach, I offer my support, experience and knowledge while they educate me about their world, lives and experiences. The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing young people succeed. Seeing someone start a new role and watching them grow and gain confidence, social skills and independence is very rewarding.
When I’m not at work you’ll find me running around after my two boys, Louie and Stanley!
Creating employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities and autism.

Charity no. 1145829
Company no. 07810498
Registered Office: Arthington House, Hospital Lane, Cookridge, Leeds.
© Copyright 2018 - Lighthouse Futures Trust - All Rights Reserved
Website Made With ♥ by WestCoastCo.

Yorkshire Society Charity of the Year 2018

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