Esther is the visionary for The Social Change Nest and is always looking out for new opportunities and pushing us to innovate. And she makes sure everything we do aligns with our vision, mission, and values.
Esther has spent over 20 years’ in the not-for-profit, social enterprise and business sectors, running award-winning campaigns, supporting enterprise and building teams. In 2013, she founded The Social Change Agency with a desire to blend organising, technology, communication and social enterprise. Esther is a 2011 Clore Social Fellow, 2012 Winston Churchill Fellow and 2013 SSE Fellow. She was recently placed in the top 100 Women in Social Enterprise. She has founded The Social Change Nest, The Young Trustees Movement and the Graduate Journal of Social Science.
Esther is obsessed with Ethiopian food. It’s suspiciously convenient that our office is on a street with a lot of Ethiopian restaurants.
Sapna provides leadership on all things operations – including for the groups we host. Her role spans finance, process and systems improvement, policy and HR. She also supports with product and business development.
Sapna has 9 years’ experience in operations and project management. Her previous roles involved managing research projects, including one that explored a top-down approach to advocacy of freedom of religion or belief across the Commonwealth. She’s also supported the delivery of leadership programmes which advance the career growth and leadership development of BAME staff and women in science.
She hopes to master the art of pasta making and looks forward to the day she starts a side hustle of supplying Indian/Italian fusion food to the world. She also loves stargazing and her favourite show is Stargate SG1.
Anya oversees all our consultancy projects for our clients. She has over 20 years experience of social change, working in a number of sectors. Most recently she has been a funder and grant-maker, leading work on funding feminist movements around the globe.
She is an eager and instinctive network builder, bear poker, and advocate for moving towards deeper and broader understandings of the world. Professionally this often leads to exploring different ways of collecting and sharing knowledge in order to feed the power of the collective.
Anya is a keen swimmer and furniture maker.
Eda oversees the SCN team and services, making sure to bridge the big strategy stuff with the day-to-day delivery for our clients.
Eda has over five years’ work experience across various nonprofits, ranging from grassroots microfinance programmes in Mexico (which she won’t shut up about) to international projects aimed at testing alternative and more trust-based approaches to grantmaking. She is particularly committed to testing innovative solutions to social issues and ensuring a collaborative and community-led approach in everything she does.
She’s currently learning guitar and sign language and hopes that by putting this in her bio, she’s now committed to getting really good at both. Also, did she mention that she once lived in Mexico?
She loves being in nature, dancing, and is a board game enthusiast. Based in York, she also is a frequent visitor to the many amazing independent cafes for coffee and cake!
Becca seeks out new partnership opportunities and works with incoming and prospective clients. She helps them understand how SCN can support their needs and guides them through the onboarding process.
With over eight years’ experience in community engagement, Becca has been involved in projects with organisations including the British Red Cross, the International Citizen Service, Soroptomist International and UN Women UK. Becca has an MA with honours in Social Anthropology and a postgraduate diploma in Social Innovation Management. She completed the latter in Brazil whilst working with young women in a juvenile centre on a trauma-informed care programme. Off the back of this, she has been a fellow for the Amani Institute since 2018. Before completing an LLM in Transitional Justice and Conflict, she was the coordinator for a youth-focused education foundation in the UK.
Becca is based in the Lake District so spends a lot of spare time walking up and down hills.. At SCN, she loves the variety of people she gets to meet that are doing inspiring work. These people give her hope that good things are happening even if the news says otherwise.
Rhea supports the groups, projects and funders that use our Grants Management service, working with people to understand their needs and connecting them to support that builds out their financial management, governance and operations capacity in a way that works for them.
Before The Social Change Nest, Rhea researched and worked within and in partnership with social impact infrastructure organisations including grant funders, social investment, accelerators and incubators and a global network of support organisations for refugee entrepreneurship. Rhea is also currently a Trustee at an environmental campaigning charity and an advisory board member at an inclusive RSHE social enterprise.
Although she doesn’t have a pet, Rhea knows how to make some tasty pet treats having worked in pet food Research & Development in a past life, but don’t ask her for cooking tips since her skills start and end there!
Priya works with our Director of Operations to keep Nest going. She’s responsible for staff-related work within grant management and is our designated safeguarding lead for children and vulnerable adults.
Priya has experience in operations, international trade and development, and carbon emission reporting systems. Her background and degree are in Environmental Science, and she has a strong understanding of sustainability and environmental justice. Priya’s personal interests are in sustainability and all things related to environmental, racial and social equity/justice.
Priya’s real-life superpower is SPREADSHEETS (it’s no joke). There’s nothing that can’t be solved by a good spreadsheet. She’s also pretty good with general knowledge and useless facts. Oh, and she’s also pretty good at baking.
Saoirse is responsible for managing and growing our Nest community. This includes seeking out partnerships and opportunities to help us better support groups, and holding spaces for groups to connect and providing services through our HelpDesk.
Saoirse joined The Social Change Nest after working for over 6 years in customer service and hospitality. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts with a focus on politics and sociology, and an MSc in Human Rights and Politics. She’s passionate about shifting power to communities and individuals.
She’s obsessed with music and live gigs and her chief skill is knowing all the flags and countries of the world – ask her about her Sporcle time.
Shaurya works with grantmakers to get much-needed funds to grassroots groups through our grant distribution service. Focusing on both UK-based and international granting, she collaborates closely with partners like UMI, BSA and Blagrave to give out mini-grants.
Shaurya has worked with startups and nonprofits in both the UK and India. She has experience in operations, project management and business development. Her background is in economics and public policy and she has a MSc in Development Economics from the University of Sussex. Supporting people and communities thrive is what brings her the most joy and this shared purpose is what brought her to SCN. Shaurya is also the Director of a non-profit for Indian military veterans and their families.
Shaurya believes that all human beings are like roasted marshmallows with gooey centres and strives to create a culture of empathy and understanding wherever she goes. Shaurya is currently learning Korean, coding her hobby food blog and crocheting her tube-rides away (yes, she’s THAT person on the tube).
Claire manages our finances on a day to day basis, providing support to both our internal operations and to our clients. This supports strategic financial decision making. Claire has, and continues to play a key part in developing our constantly evolving financial processes.
Claire has a degree in Business and Finance and 20 years’ experience in finance and business improvement consultancy in the public, private and charities sectors, in the UK and overseas.
Claire is actually willing to fight Priya for title ‘SCN Spreadsheet Queen’. She too loves them, but takes particular exception to any third party meddling. Claire loves cooking (not baking, she’s terrible) and eating, especially when it’s accompanied by a nice glass of wine. This love for food and wine feeds her love/hate relationship with her local gym.
Kareem supports the Director of Operations to ensure that our financial policies, processes, and systems across the team and projects align with and advance business objectives. Kareem also oversees the processes of financial transactions on behalf of our clients, updating transaction logs for all expenses and income, and supporting our groups to set up subscription payments.
Kareem has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance and experience in the finance industry. Kareem enjoys laughter and being competitive. He loves watching football and supports Chelsea, who are currently not performing quite to his standards. His real-life superpower is to be Lightning Quick. As his favourite D.C superhero is The Flash, he has always wanted to be as fast as him and be able to travel through time!!
Mei Yee is the Programme Assistant helping groups to use the Open Collective platform. She carries out due diligence and ensures new clients are supported on their user journey.
Mei Yee has a BSc in Psychology, and a MSc in Applied Psychology and Behavioural Economics. During this time, her research focused on being a voice for some underrepresented groups within academia.
Mei Yee’s previous experience is in teaching and when she’s not working, you’ll probably find her at a concert, or hanging from some kind of aerial silk or hoop.
Rachel is our Senior Consultant supporting groups and projects to make more impact. She is an expert facilitator, trainer and organiser and has led multifaceted projects across many aspects of work including campaigning, community grant giving, evaluation and policy research.
Rachel is an experienced campaigner with a commitment to social justice and equality. As part of various grassroots and community groups she has campaigned on issues including austerity, reproductive justice, renter’s rights and menstrual equity.
Rachel controversially hates Christmas decorations, and makes her Christmas tree Halloween-themed in protest. She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia and is currently studying for a degree in Psychology.
Andy is our in house digital marketing specialist, ensuring that those ready to make change happen know where to come.
Before joining us Andy spent seven years working with changemakers across the globe. During this time he helped to transform a small charity into a countrywide social business accelerator, promoted a worldwide festival for progressive economics and rebranded a business centre into a hub for the community.
When not marketing, you’ll likely find Andy running, cycling or attempting to inline skate.
Julia leads on communications and storytelling for The Social Change Nest, as well as offering communications consultancy to our clients and groups.
Julia has been working in social impact communications for several years and has worked with nonprofits including the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Wellcome Trust and Fondation Botnar.
She has a Diploma in Creative Writing, an MSc in Gender Studies and a BA in International Relations, during which she studied abroad in Beijing, Copenhagen and Pristina.
SCN Board Members
Peter has over 25 years’ experience in finance and management consultancy.
He currently divides his time between The Social Change Nest sitting as a non-executive director, a Wealth Management company, and a charity promoting development and equality of the Palestinian minority in Israel through the advancement of education and the preservation of culture.
Pete brings a wealth of experience to SCN, including his time treading the boards. He has worked with a variety of organisations including Theatrical Producers (presenting The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Graham Norton’s one-man show, and plays by Mark Ravenhill and Nick Hornby), International Trading companies (equipment provision to the international petrochemical industry), a property management company, as well as firms of Solicitors and Chartered and Certified Accountants.
Colin is an experienced risk management, governance, and regulation specialist with 25+ years of financial services experience within FS regulators (FSA and FCA); central banking (BIS/BCBS); Banking (retail, corporate & investment); asset management and insurance. He has a broad and deep knowledge of risk management techniques.
Colin has acquired good product knowledge in all asset classes and is a highly motivated individual with drive and enthusiasm, adaptable to change, leads people, influencer and is able to make and communicate decisions. He is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments and was a member of the Risk Forum for 10 years. He has a degree from the City University, London.
Interests include watching films, opera, and plays; reading – member of local book club; visiting galleries and museums; member of Historic Scotland and National Trust for Scotland; cooking; and photography.