Our People and partnerssassaf2020-05-30T13:56:10+01:00
AllThe BoardOur StaffVolunteersAmbassadors
Founder & CEO
Sean was born in London in 1980. He caught the traveling bug early and visited his family in Spain, alone, aged 10. Having graduated from university, he became a filmmaker and produced several documentaries about social concerns. After traveling the world for a year, Sean founded Solidarity Sports in 2007.
Melernie was born in Tottenham, North London, and has 16 years of experience working with vulnerable children and their families. She is a chartered Senior Child and Adolescent Educational Psychologist, and has qualifications including a doctorate in Educational Psychology, Post Graduate Certificate in Education and more recently qualified as a Play Therapist.
Passionate about Psychology, Melernie is an academic tutor at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) on the doctoral training course for Educational Psychology. She is also an elected member of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) and is committed to promoting the application of educational psychology within her profession and to support outcomes for all children, young people, and their families. In her spare time, she likes reading and traveling!
Hassan was born and raised in London. After graduating from university, he went to work for Disney in the Far East, working his way up to Marketing Manager for South East Asia and the Middle East. After spending 10 years abroad and traveling the world (over 30 countries!), Hassan returned to the UK where he started his own online business.
Family Well-being & Safeguarding Lead
Volunteer & Projects Manager
Originally from Derbyshire, Ed has lived in London for over five years. After graduating from LSE, he moved into the charity sector and now works for the Fairtrade Foundation as a fundraiser. He is also a keen cricketer and runner.
Alain Mandy is the Chief Operating Officer of Wellington Management Funds in London. Alain holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Business Engineering from Louvain School of Management and a diploma in Analysis, Control, and Auditing from School for Advanced Business Studies (HEC), Belgium. A keen fundraiser for charities, Alain even ran the London Marathon for Whizz-kidz. In 2015, Alain spent three months in Peru as part of the Emerging Enterprise Program with the PIMCO Foundation to help poor farmers in South America and reduce poverty through a Financial Model.
Una is originally from Derry in Northern Ireland and has been living in London for almost 8 years. She has over 14 years of experience working in the HR industry and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. A frequent traveler to Eastern Europe with her current role, Una loves experiencing different cultures both in a business and leisure capacity. When living in Northern Ireland Una worked for a few community organisations in which she assisted from start-up, they continue to make a positive impact in her local community.
After career changing from Finance into Education, I worked at a school within RBKC. Children from my class attended events organised by Solidarity Sports and naturally, I became a volunteer with them. I felt aligned with their values and wanted to continue to bring happiness into the lives of disadvantaged children. I moved to Paris in August 2017 and continue to grow the link with Solidarity Sports both through working with my pupils in France to support those less fortunate, as well as giving my time when I am visiting in the UK. I cannot envisage my life without Solidarity Sports being a part of it.
Hadeel Osama Elsaigad
May Ann Mercurio
When I sold my database marketing business and serving on a number of local committees, I was introduced to Solidarity Sports in 2011 by a philanthropy group north of the borough. The message was, ‘there is a worthwhile small charity in your Earl’s Court area, helping young disadvantaged children with after school and school holiday activities. Maybe you can help them?
Since then I have helped when and where needed with events, introductions and financial support. and am blessed to be given the title of Ambassador for Solidarity Sports, who tirelessly do an amazing, dedicated and hands on role, with children and families referred to them in west London.
Aicha McKenzie is a former female British gymnast, model and dancer who is also the CEO of AMCK Management.
Aicha won three rhythmic gymnastics bronze medals at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia and Canada. She was also a dancer for Take That during their performance at the first EMA’s in Berlin in 1994.
AMCK dancers and models give back to their local community by volunteering with Solidarity Sports during each school holiday.
The Brand Stylist was founded by bestselling author and visionary entrepreneur Fiona Humberstone. An exacting Creative Director and commercially minded Brand Consultant, Fiona works with smart entrepreneurs, bringing clarity and vision to every project she works on.
Fiona has spent nineteen years in the industry: styling brands, creating websites and running workshops. She has owned, grown, sold and run franchises as well as founding, building and selling her own company.
She’s the author and publisher of the bestselling books How to Style your Brand and Brand Brilliance. Fiona is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to create incredible brands and runs inspirational online courses, game-changing workshops and highly sought-after retreats.
She has a knack for capturing the essence of a business, finding clarity in a contradictory brief and translating commercial goals into visual assets. She is a creative thinker, an innovative marketer and a tribe builder.
Dr. Ger Graus OBE
“Children can only aspire to what they know exists.”
Dr Ger Graus OBE is a renowned figure in the field of education, where, since March 2017, he holds the position of the first Global Director of Education at KidZania.
Ger started at KidZania London in 2014, where he has been responsible for developing the UK-wide education strategy, including partnerships with schools, Higher Education, commercial and third sector learning partners.
Ger Graus was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University in 2011 and was made an Adjunct Fellow by the University of Adelaide in 2013. In the 2014 Queens’ Birthday Honours List Ger was made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to children.
Gideon Remfry was selected in the men’s fitness power list of the top 25 Trainers in the World.
Based at KX Private Members Club in South Kensington, London since its conception in 2001, as Wellness Director Gideon has designed and developed the individualised lifestyle programme approach and teams.
Gideon has an MSc in Integrated Health and has had the privilege of learning from some of the leading lights in health, amassing extensive qualifications in nutritional therapy (NTdip), UKSCA strength & conditioning coaching (ACSC), personal training (PIPC3), functional medicine consultant (AFMCP UK) and advanced methods of anthropometrics (body composition analysis).
Each Summer, Gideon and team members from KX join Solidarity Sports and deliver fitness classes to our children including weight lifting, boxing and yoga.
Stefania started as a volunteer of Solidarity Sports, assisting us on Saturdays and during school holidays to take children on trips.
Stefania is a Singer/Songwriter who studied Management at Università Bocconi in Milan and currently works as a Sponsorship and Player’s Relations Manager. Stefania promotes our work to clients and uses her connections in the field to provide our children with sports experiences they will never forget.
Bachir Sbai Ajedi
Lady Angela Lamport, MBE
Lady Angela Lamport is a Red Cross President, fundraiser and a former member of the Board of Trustees and has been involved in key decisions for the charity seeing first-hand the impact of people’s generosity and support for the charity’s work.
Since joining the Red Cross as a volunteer in 2003, Angela has helped people affected by some of the decade’s most significant UK and international crises, including the Grenfell Tower Fire, where she supported survivors and bereaved families.
As a member of the British Red Cross Psychosocial Support Team, which offers emotional and practical support in a crisis, Angela has also helped Britons fleeing conflicts or disasters in countries including Zimbabwe and Libya.
“You realise that sometimes it is the small things that can make such a difference to someone at one of the lowest points in their lives. A kind word, a helping hand, a smile, a hug. It is at those moments one’s lives touch, and if by being there you can just make a little bit of difference to someone, it’s worth it in spades.”
Lynne is a qualified executive coach and business advisor with 30 years of working in business, organisations and the charity sector with qualifications to match. It is this combination of experience that brings results. This includes running my own company in the medical sector and this consultancy since the 1990s.
“I am known for my ability to motivate and develop people so they can achieve their objectives. I have experience in dealing with constant change and problem solving. I thrive on challenges and I view obstacles as opportunities to find creative solutions. The key is the ability to make the right decisions for effective action and avoid costly mistakes and wasting time.”
Angela first heard about Solidarity Sport through Media Trust, an organisation that connects Public Relations and communications professionals with charities. Inspired by Sean’s enthusiasm at the Media Trust speed dating volunteers’ event, Angela knew that she wanted to volunteer with Solidarity Sport, what greater mission can a charity have then to give joy to children?
Angela has over 20 years’ experience working in change management and communications. Experienced in multiple sectors including Financial Services, Life Services (Pharmaceutical) Government & Public Sector, Infrastructure, Transport and Consultancy services. Angela’s an accredited practitioner in both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and APMG Change Management. Angela is known in her industry for her can-do attitude and her ability to just ‘get-it’ knowing what needs to be done.
Initially helping with communications as a volunteer, Angela was invited to join the Board of Trustees. She gave up her Trustee role when she moved out of Kensington but continued to remain involved in Solidarity Sports. Angela says that ‘I looked for charities closer to where I lived to support but could not find one which was an impactful or as a clear about their objective as Solidarity Sport. It is a great honour to be a Solidarity Sport Ambassador.’
Ayoub El Bakkali
Lena El Bakkali
Treasurer of Trustees
Originally from Lebanon, Ramzi has lived in London since 2009. He works at KKR, a global investment fund. Previously, he worked at Silver Lake Partners, another investment fund, and at J.P. Morgan. Ramzi graduated from HEC Paris with a Masters in Management (Grande Ecole) and from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical). In his spare time, Ramzi likes playing basketball, reading and travelling.