Meet the team

Esther Foreman

Esther Foreman

C.E.O.

Esther has spent over 15 years working in the not for profit, social enterprise and business sectors, running award winning campaigns, supporting enterprise and building teams. She founded the Social Change Agency in 2013 with a desire to combine organising, technology, comms and social enterprise to create a leading non sector-specific agency to improve movement building across the world.

Esther is a 2011 Clore Social Fellow, 2012 Winston Churchill Fellow and 2013 SSE Fellow and was recently placed in the top Women in Social Enterprise. She is a Trustee of the National MS Society and the House of St Barnabas.

  

Betsy Dillner

Betsy Dillner

Principal Director

Betsy has over 10 years of campaigning, fundraising and social change experience. She specialises in developing community leadership and understanding, developing, and ultimately challenging systems of power for social change.

She has directed successful user-led campaigns from small charities across the Atlantic that have resulted in bans on letting fees for tenants, the preservation of affordable housing and remuneration for victims of the foreclosure crisis. She won 2017 Campaigner of the Year from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. She is an avid podcast listener and hiking and is a trustee of Generation Rent.

  

Lisa Ball

Lisa Ball

Social Media Associate

Lisa is a social media and communications expert with 20 years experience working in the media and charity communications sector.

An award winning creative and former Senior Journalist at Comic Relief, Lisa has worked with hundreds of different charities on many campaigns including Make Poverty History. Lisa also worked closely with major brands including Sainsbury and British Airways to help them achieve their multi-million pound fundraising goals for Comic Relief. She’s an avid swimmer and failed surfer.

  

Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher

Research & Evaluation Associate

Helen has worked in the field of public and stakeholder engagement for more than a decade, primarily as a communicator, evaluator and researcher.

She has a background in natural sciences and a penchant for colourful spreadsheets; she loves analysing and reporting on complex or multi-source data to make it intelligible. Her engagement and evaluation experience ranges from one-off community workshops to large multiyear projects, covering diverse topics including climate change, community business, food security, nuclear waste and volunteering. She has a passion for music and is also working on a spy novel.

Jim Coe

Campaigning Associate

Jim specialises in providing strategy and evaluation support to organisations engaged in campaigning, advocacy and social change.

Prior to becoming an SCA Associate, Jim worked in Oxfam’s campaigning programme, and was responsible for devising and applying a coherent and effective strategic approach across Oxfam’s campaigns programme.

You can listen to Jim’s podcast The Advocacy Iceberg

Abi May

Abi May

Graphic Designer

Abi is a graphic designer, who graduated from Falmouth University, and uses the discipline to create positive social change. She loves solving any design challenges; from branding a new initiative, creating infographics to developing complex workshops.

Abi has worked for the MS Society as an in house designer as well as a freelance graphic designer producing work for a number of social and charitable organisations. Her ‘Multiple Scribbles’ children’s resource was shortlisted for a Creative Conscience award. Abi is the creative force behind our movement building canvas as well as multiple other SCA projects.

 

Martha Hannan

Public Engagement Lead

Martha offers a wealth of experience in developing and managing public engagement strategies in not-for- profits, much of it in international development, as well as on women’s rights, homelessness and more. She has worked in senior roles in house, as well as a consultant both within agencies – including the highly-regarded charity specialist Eden Stanley Group – and as a solo consultant. She has worked in or with Bond, Disasters Emergency Committee, Plan UK, United Purpose, Sheila McKechnie Foundation and Shelter, among others.

  

Joe Dunne

Project and Admin Assistant

Joe graduated last year from SOAS, University of London, with a degree in International Relations and a specialism in Middle Eastern politics. With recent experience in financial remediation and American politics, he has a keen interest in all matters of foreign affairs. Given his time spent giving lectures to students and campaigning against sexual harassment and gendered violence, Joe is passionate about such issues as well as those of the struggles of refugees, asylum seekers and those caught in the middle of war zones.

Sara Bloch

Senior Programme Officer

Sara has 5 years’ experience in community organising, event management, and informal education. She has worked on community projects aimed at young people for Noam Masorti Youth, Citizens UK, and The Skip Garden. She has also worked as a facilitator for Diversity Role Models teaching about homophobia in schools, and for The Anne Frank Trust educating communities about all forms of prejudice and discrimination. She strongly believes in the power of community to make the change they want to see. She enjoys bringing people together with her love of cooking and food, and has a business selling homemade pickled vegetables.
Sara has a BA in Social Sciences and Religious Studies and Comparative Religion from The University of Manchester.

Sapna Patel

Head of Operations

Sapna has 7 years’ experience in operations and managing projects. She has recently managed a research project looking at the Freedom of Religion or Belief and how Parliamentarians can be better resourced to advocate for this right across the Commonwealth. She has previously managed project activity in Human Resources and Organisational Development. She has supported the delivery of leadership programmes, with a focus on supporting early career academics, senior leaders and programmes supporting the career development for women in science and leadership development for BAME staff. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, and has an MSc and a PhD in the field of Microbiology.

Karen Lam

Junior Consultant

Karen is interested in innovative and people-centred approaches to addressing complex social issues, which has brought her to projects in Namibia, South Africa, India, and Romania.  She holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University as well as a MSc in Social Policy and Development from the LSE. She is passionate about youth development, diversity, and inclusion. Karen joins SCA from HACT, a housing innovation organisation.

 

Claire Barber

Finance Officer

Claire is the Social Change Agency’s bookkeeper and financial planner. She has 15 years experience in finance and business improvement consultancy in the public, private and charities sectors, in the UK and overseas. Claire loves to travel and can’t wait until her young children are old enough to experience the world with her.

Bob Thust

Governance Associate

Bob is the co-founder of Practical Governance providing hands-on governance support to organisations with a social purpose. He is a former Responsible Business Director at Deloitte UK and former Director of Programmes at the Power to Change Trust.  Above all he believes in the power of people and communities to find and determine their own solutions to the challenges that face them.  He is a trustee of Local Trust and Treasurer of the Bevy community-owned pub in Brighton, where he spends far too much of his time.

Hannah Fox

Communications Lead

Hannah’s career spans 20 years in communications roles at some of the UK’s most high-profile charities. Her extensive experience includes PR and communications strategies covering advocacy and hard news, issue-building campaigns, fundraising and mass event participation. Seven years as head of media and public affairs at Comic Relief meant responsibility for its entire media output, including promotion of strategic partnerships across government, nonprofit, and corporate sectors.

  

Kate Edwards

Communications Manager

Kate has a background in broadcast journalism and documentary production, most recently bringing these communications skills to the charity sector on the media team at Medecins Sans Frontieres.

In addition to creating effective multi-platform communications she’s excited by the power of networks and loves bringing people together. She spent three years living in Berlin where she helped build an online network to connect journalists, now used by nearly 4000 members around the world.

Marienna Pope-Weidemann

Communications Officer

Marienna is an activist and educator with a passion for creative storytelling. Since moving to London to study Politics & International Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Marienna has been involved in movement building for almost a decade. In that time, she has worked on a range of issues including economic and climate justice, international development, migration and women’s rights.

Because Marienna also has experience leading participatory education projects and in frontline journalism, she takes a holistic approach to communications. She believes the best strategies centre the voices of those directly affected and build power to effect social change through storytelling, and that this approach helps build more sustainable movements that reflect the values they are fighting for.

Marienna also loves art, music (not excluding karaoke) and natural photography.

Chris Smith

Communications Officer

Chris is a digital marketing specialist with a wide range of experience in marketing communications. After managing press and social media for bands and festivals, he joined the Guardian as a business journalist and content editor. He then went on to manage SEO, PPC, paid social, email and press outreach for a variety of organisations. During this time, he also co-founded and led Manchester Friends of the Earth’s fossil fuel divestment campaign.
Chris holds a BA in Economics and Politics from The University of Manchester and a certification in environmental communications. He is also a keen badminton player, a drummer and a long-suffering Oldham Athletic fan.

Maria Mancuso

Junior Communications Officer

Maria has over 5 years of experience as an editor and copy-writer for different media outlets. She writes about environmental issues, migration and agribusiness. Recently, she carried out research on the criminalisation of NGOs rescuing migrants in the Central Mediterranean. In 2014, she took part in the set-up of the first web-radio station of the University of Milan where she worked as Broadcast Manager for one year. In London she worked for Climate Bonds Initiative and volunteered for different charities. She holds a BA in Modern Humanities from the University of Milan, as well as an MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change from the University of Westminster. When she is not working, you can find her campaigning for her Greenpeace local group or practising Vinyasa yoga.

Penny Wood

Career Development and Coaching

Penny works with talented professionals to develop and manage their careers in a person centric manner, enrich their current work situation and improve performance at work, tackling any issues that might be hampering progress. Penny’s longstanding interest in supporting people with their career development stretches back over 15 years and stems from her time as head of a national executive search practice, where she partnered with a wide range of socially driven organisations on key executive and NED leadership appointments. Her current portfolio includes working with MBA students at the London Business School on career skills development, as well as being a Trustee of a Fund, the MVMF, which supports offenders and ex-offenders in developing new skills, and being a befriender via the Thomas Pocklington Trust. Manchester.

Andrew Murphy

Andrew Murphy

Web Developer

Murph specialises in website development, helping business and individuals to build and maintain their wordpress websites.

After working in social care for most of 20 years in homelessness, mental health and learning disabilities, he decided it was time to satisfy his inner geek and became a self-taught web developer, building sites for artists, therapists and small businesses.

He supports the SCA team by taking some of the stress out of managing a variety of technical tasks online.