Our Team

Our dedicated team bring a wealth of expertise, including personal experience of the criminal justice and care systems, to help women with convictions and young women care leavers find sustainable employment and flourish.

  • Natasha Finlayson

    Natasha Finlayson OBE - Chief Executive

    Natasha has extensive leadership, policy and communications experience in the charity sector and has specialised in working with vulnerable, disadvantaged groups throughout her career. She spent 11 years as as Chief Executive of Become, the charity for children in care and care leavers. She has served as an advisor to the Children's Commissioner and on several government taskforces. Natasha was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2019 for services to children and families and is a fellow of the RSA. 

    natasha@workingchance.org

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    Helen Sweet - Head of Employability

    Helen has 15 years’ teaching, training and programme management experience in the education and charity sectors. Before joining Working Chance she managed wellbeing programmes for care leavers and other vulnerable groups and has worked in youth offending and prison settings.

    Helen manages the engagement team and leads on our employability programmes. As a member of the senior management team she also contributes to the strategic development of our work.

    helen@workingchance.org

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    Isam Jafar - Head of Finance & Resources

    Isam is an accounting and tax specialist for the not-for-profit sector. He has spent the last 15 years' working across a range of well-known charity and international development organisations. He also has extensive experience working alongside auditors to help charities transform their finance procedures.

    As well as heading up our finance function, Isam also leads on HR, IT, governance and procurement for Working Chance and is a member of our senior management team.

    isam@workingchance.org

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    Katy Doolan - Head of Recruitment

    Specialising in recruitment, Katy has extensive experience of working in the not-for profit sector and of supporting women with convictions into sustainable employment.

    As a member of the senior management team, Katy manages our Recruitment Consultants and Employment Engagement Manager.

  • Jo

    Joanne Keane - Employer Engagement Manager

    Jo helps to bring new employers on board and develops our partnerships with them. We work with employers in a variety of ways - providing recruitment consultancy services; developing collaborative fundraising partnerships; and supporting organisations to understand how they can increase inclusivity and diversity in their hiring practices.  

    joanne@workingchance.org


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    Julia Neckles - Recruitment Consultant

    Julia previously worked for the Royal Bank of Canada specialising in project and client management. She joined Working Chance in 2017 and finds the perfect jobs for our candidates as well as bringing new employers on board.

    julia@workingchance.org

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    Lauren Morgan - Recruitment Consultant

    Before joining Working Chance Lauren worked as a prison officer in a women's prison. She also has 10 years’ experience working in agency recruitment and HR. Lauren works with employers and candidates to ensure our women can fulfil their career aspirations.

    lauren@workingchance.org


  • Maria

    Maria Zarecka - Recruitment Consultant

    Maria joined our recruitment team in 2019. She works with a range of employers but with a particular focus on placing candidates in jobs in the charity sector.  

    maria@workingchance.org

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    Vanisha Smith - Engagement and Support Officer

    Vanisha has a degree in Criminology and Youth Studies and has worked on national projects for care leavers. She acts as an initial point of contact for the women who come to us, making sure that we understand their aspirations, skills and any challenges they face, so that we can give them the right support.

    vanisha@workingchance.org

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    Stevie Hawley - Engagement and Support Officer

    Stevie worked for Serco and the BBC before joining Working Chance. Her particular focus is on the in-work support we provide to help the women we've placed into jobs to navigate the workplace and thrive in their role. 

    stevie@workingchance.org

  • Leila

    Leila Hagmann - External Affairs Officer

    Leila leads on our fundraising and external communications and supports our policy and research work. Media enquiries should be directed to Leila.

    leila@workingchance.org

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    Olivia Dehnavi - Policy and Research Officer

    Before joining Working Chance Olivia spent three years working in the field of human rights in Cambodia, where she scrutinised the status of women’s rights and prison conditions, as well as campaigning for the release of political prisoners and human rights defenders. While studying law, she taught debating in prisons in London.

    Olivia advocates for changes to policy and practice that will improve rehabilitation and employment outcomes for women with convictions.

    olivia@workingchance.org

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    Georgette Mitchell – Prisons Engagement and Office Manager

    Georgette keeps our office running smoothly and provides finance support, but also has a focus on building relationships with women's prisons.

    georgette@workingchance.org