Meet the DSC Associate Trainers

Find out a bit more about the experts who will be taking your DSC training course.

DSC's Associate Trainers

Tessé Akpeki

DSC Associate

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- Tessé Akpeki -

Tessé is passionate about working with organisations and individuals to achieve their highest potential and create futures that make a difference.

Tessé is lead consultant to the Governance Development Programme Onboard, a brand of Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP, for which she authored ‘Governing with intent’. Previously she was the Head of the Trustee and Governance Team for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Currently Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee, Tessé has also served as a Commissioner of the Equal Opportunities Commission and a Non-Executive Director in the NHS.

Tessé draws on her extensive experience when coaching and mentoring to help strengthen governance and leadership. Among others Tessé has worked with Womankind, the Market Research Society, YMCA St Paul’s Group, Share Community Ltd, and grant makers including Barrow Cadbury and Lloyds Foundation.

Nick Day

DSC Associate

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- Nick Day - BA (Hons), DipDM, DET, MIDM, MCIM

Nick’s 30 years in marketing began in advertising, developed through direct marketing and now focuses mainly on maximising the many opportunities presented by digital media.

As well as being a practitioner, Nick leads a variety of training. He has delivered accredited marketing qualifications for over a decade and has delivered in-house training for commercial and charitable organisations including Sony, British Airways, Royal Mail, Parkinson’s UK, Age UK and Amnesty International.

Nick graduated in Business Studies and holds a Diploma in Direct Marketing and a Diploma in Education and Training. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing.

Robert Foster

DSC Associate

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- Robert Foster -

Robert is a consultant and trainer experienced in Social Impact Measurement (SIM), Social Impact Management, and Social Return on Investment (SROI).

Previous projects include co-developing SIM methodology which has been applied in the UK and by the South Sudan Development Agency, conducting SROI analysis for local authorities in London, and impact reporting for organisations including The Young Foundation and Clinks.

Robert has delivered training and spoken at conferences nationally and internationally for clients including the British Council, NGO Management Switzerland, and the World Bank.

Robert, a published author, writes frequently on the subject of SIM and is particularly interested in how organisations create, quantify and share different types of value.

Elizabeth Gray-King

DSC Associate

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- Elizabeth Gray-KIng - BA BTh MEd PGDip

Elizabeth has project managed change projects in communities, local authorities, churches and national partnerships for over 30 years. She managed the Oxford Healthy Living Centre from idea to opening and, since 2005, has managed education projects throughout the UK.

An ordained minister, a professional artist and an Oxford University alumna (Theology, Masters in Education, Postgraduate Diploma in Management) Elizabeth brings a supportive, creative and considered approach to training.

Elizabeth teaches third sector specific approaches to project management. A trainer with DSC for over a decade, she is also the author of the DSC Speed Read 'Risk Management'. Her passion is helping people to change their own lives and their communities.

Gill Jolly

Consultant, Trainer and Director of Achieve Consultants Ltd

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- Gill Jolly -

Gill is an expert trainer and consultant with over 30 years of charity sector experience. She has been a fundraiser, manager, director, and before setting up her own consultancy, headed up the fundraising for one of the top 10 income generating charities in the UK.

A psychology graduate, Gill is passionate about helping others to achieve their full potential. She works with regional, national and international charities and past clients include Interpol, WWF, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Build Africa, various adult and children’s hospices, Cambridge University Colleges, numerous Wildlife Trusts and Sue Ryder Care.

Gill is a regular speaker at conferences and has contributed to a number of books. In 2012, in recognition of her contribution to fundraising, Gill was made a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising.

Genny Jones

DSC Associate

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- Genny Jones -

Genny is a specialist trainer in accounting and has 20 years of experience in the charity sector. She qualified with the Association of Accounting Technicians, gained the NVQ 3 in Training and Development, and holds the Higher National Diploma in Business and Finance.

Genny is gifted at simplifying the subject of accounts - she uses a unique style of delivery to convey accounting information in a way that makes sense to delegates. Among others, Genny has delivered training for Community Accountancy Self Help, BME Concern, Greenwich Council for Voluntary Services, Opportunities with Experience, and Canterbury University.

Sandy Leong

DSC Associate

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- Sandy Leong -

Sandy is a trainer, speaker, published author and consultant with over 25 years of experience. She has worked in developmental roles including Volunteer Centre Manager, Training and Development Officer and Chief Officer of a Racial Equality Council. Also a dedicated volunteer herself, Sandy is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of a large local charity.

An engaging speaker, Sandy undertakes engagements across the country as well in the Far East and on board cruise ships. Sandy’s clients include Save the Children, Volunteering England, HomeStart UK, Mencap as well as many Councils for Voluntary Service, community groups and numerous others.

Layla Moosavi Rivers

DSC Associate

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- Layla Moosavi - MA (Hons) MSc

Layla is a fundraising trainer, consultant and mentor with 20 years of experience across the charitable sector and the arts. She specialises in corporate fundraising, sponsorship, strategy and business development, and marketing and communications for small charities.

Layla’s previous roles include: Head of Development at the Women’s Resource Centre where Layla managed the team developing fundraising, pricing and marketing strategies; Corporate Development Manager at the Barbican where she cultivated prospects and secured sponsorships and partnerships; and Head of Corporate and Individual Fundraising for a national children’s charity.

Layla is fluent in 4 languages and holds 2 master’s degrees, including a Master of Science in Marketing.

Mike Phillips

DSC Associate

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- Mike Phillips -

Mike is a trainer, facilitator, consultant and coach who is passionate about releasing potential through learning and development. He has 25 years of experience in the charity sector with a focus on health and social care. His work has included front-line roles, management positions, and setting up and running a charity.

By applying brain-friendly, interactive and accelerated learning techniques, Mike helps delegates to get the best from their training. He has worked nationally and internationally for a wide variety of organisations including the British Ecological Society, Gurkha Welfare Trust, Big Local, Care Trade, Fostering Network, Anthony Nolan, and The Princes Trust.

Katie Rabone

DSC Associate

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- Katie Rabone - MInstF (Dip)

Katie has been a professional fundraiser for 17 years, working across all disciplines including bid writing, individual giving and corporates. Katie has a Diploma in Fundraising from - and is a member of - the Institute of Fundraising.

Her achievements include raising over £1million for a local authority and £400,000 for a women’s refuge, for which she also secured the first major gift. She spent 6 years with Brighton Festival & Dome working with high profile individual donors and managing major corporate accounts.

Katie has been sharing her fundraising expertise as a consultant for 7 years and as a trainer for 4 years. Her clients include The Clock Tower Sanctuary, People United and Community Works. She is also the Grants Consultant for the EY Foundation (Ernst & Young).

Cathy Shimmin

DSC Associate

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- Cathy Shimmin -

A trainer and performance coach with 25 years of experience in learning and development, Cathy has worked across the UK and Ireland in voluntary sector infrastructure and support organisations and is currently Business Development Manager (North) at DSC.

Cathy helps individuals and organisations to identify their L&D needs, then designs and delivers tailored programmes. A skilled facilitator, Cathy is the perfect choice to support team away days or creative sessions, as well as reviews of organisational vision, mission, objectives and values.

Cathy’s main focus is bringing DSC’s quality products and services to the regions beyond London, offering new perspectives and solutions for individuals, teams or the whole organisation.

Uday Thakkar

DSC Associate

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- Uday Thakkar -

Uday has over 40 years’ experience of organisational and management support. His skills and knowledge have been honed through starting and managing one charity and two social enterprises.

Uday has worked with thousands of individuals and social economy organisations in the UK and globally. He has created numerous toolkits, manuals and guides for a host of umbrella organisations and local and regional authorities.

Uday specialises in strategy, leadership, finance, governance and impact. He is an award-winning mentor. Uday has also been a trustee of two national charities and is the chair of a health charity.

Paul Ticher

DSC Associate

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- Paul Ticher -

Paul has been a leading expert on Data Protection in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, working across the UK with a diverse range of local and national organisations.

Paul is the author of DSC's ‘Data Protection for Voluntary Organisations’ which has been a standard work for many years and is now being updated to cover GDPR.

Paul finds Data Protection fascinating because it is not really about data at all; it's about people and the relationships between them and organisations. He explains Data Protection - and how to approach it - in an engaging and accessible style.

Chrissie Wright

DSC Associate

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- Chrissie Wright -

Chrissie is a master trainer and coach with over 30 years of experience in management development and communication skills.

As Head of Communication Skills at The Industrial Society for 20 years, Chrissie managed the team responsible for delivering training, education and advisory services for high profile clients in the commercial, industrial, financial, public and voluntary sectors.

Chrissie then spent several years with Capita Learning and Development as Manager of the Communication Skills team. She went on to join DSC as Training Manager, where she remained until becoming an independent training consultant.

Chrissie believes in the power of coaching for individuals and groups, and has a special interest in seeing people develop, particularly through the culture and management style of teams and organisations.

Heather Brierley Staunton

DSC Associate

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Heather Brierley Staunton is a trainer, facilitator, coach and is Belbin accredited. She specialises in the areas of management, leadership, communication, personal development and wellbeing – pretty much anything to do with working with people and helping people be the best that they can be.

She has worked with small, medium and large organisations, as well as those based locally, nationally and internationally, and has coached and trained people at every level from junior staff up to Chief Executives.

She has always worked within the voluntary sector, previously working for Cancer Research UK, where she worked in several different departments and AIESEC UK, where she was part of the Management Team of the UK branch of AIESEC International, a non-for-profit organisation present in over 100 countries.

She loves being able to help people build their skills, knowledge and confidence. Seeing the people and organisations that she works with develop over time, overcome challenges and achieve their goals is so rewarding and she feel privileged to be able to work with so many diverse organisations.

Leesa Harwood

DSC Associate

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Leesa has over 30 years’ experience in the charity sector, from frontline fundraiser to executive director and trustee. She began her career in the USA at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, then the American Cancer Society. The in the UK she worked at large charities like Save the Children, Business in the Community and the RNLI where she led teams of up to 500 employees and 30,000 volunteers. She has also led very small teams of three or four in small charities like the Dartington Hall Trust. Now, Leesa runs her own charity consultancy where she advises charities on strategic development, income generation and compliance and governance. She occasionally writes for Third Sector, chairs and speaks at sector conferences and is an accomplished trainer. Leesa is a trustee at The Big Issue Foundation.