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. 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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    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.

    katy@workingchance.org

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    Helena Hodges - HR Manager

    Helena is an experienced MCIPD qualified HR professional with significant experience providing HR support in the charity sector.  She is here to support everyone at Working Chance through the input of her HR knowledge and experience and is passionate about helping people and organisations  achieve their full potential.  She brings with her wide-ranging experience of recruitment and is also a qualified careers development professional.

    helena@workingchance.org

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    Ruth Daniells - Interim Head of Finance and Resources

    Ruth is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) with over 7 years' financial experience working with charities. She has a degree in mathematics and completed her accountancy training at KPMG in the not for profit sector. Later she worked at the Prince's Trust and Paul Hamlyn Foundation in various finance roles. Ruth is responsible for the financial management of Working Chance.

    ruth@workingchance.org

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    Vanisha Smith - Employability 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

  • Gemma

    Gemma Wisdom - Employability Support Officer

    Gemma has an MA in Applied Theatre and previously specialised in theatrical interventions for people in prison. Now she designs and delivers our employability and soft skills workshops. She also works with women to make sure they have all the skills they need to prepare for successful employment.

    gemma@workingchance.org

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    Stevie Hawley - Employability Support Officer

    Stevie worked for Serco and the BBC before joining Working Chance. She’s the first point of contact for women who come to us and helps them figure out how we can best support them to realise their potential. She assists with our workshops and also works with women individually to help them become work-ready.

    stevie@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


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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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    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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    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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    Mandy Mahil - Strategy and Governance Officer

    Mandy’s personal experience of the criminal justice system convinced her of the need to support women with greater access to employment and opportunities for self-improvement.  She supports our strategic development and leads on our impact and evaluation practice. Mandy is also a trustee of Unlock, Prisoners’ Advice Service and Prisoners’ Education Trust, where she sits on the Quality Assurance panel. 

    mandy@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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    Nola Sterling - External Affairs Intern

    Nola has worked in the charity sector for several years in client facing roles working with NEET's and people with convictions. Wanting to use her frontline experience to affect policy change, Nola is currently studying Sociology and Politics at Goldsmiths University. She assists the External Affairs team with their strategy, policy and communications work.

    nola@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