Our Team

All trustees and staff are DBS cleared, trained in disability awareness, follow Rosie Chapman’s good governance code and have completed NSPCC Child Protection training. 
 
 
Katie Sparkes
CEO

Katie has a wealth of charity experience gained over the last 12 years including setting up a CSR consultancy, a charity and a CIC!

She’s won lots of awards for her personal contribution to the global community including the Outstanding Young Person of the World Award 2012.

Known for coming up with all sorts of creative, hands-on and sustainable solutions, she’s well versed at running community projects on local, national and global scales.

Rhiannon Kearns
Project Manager & Facilitator

Rhiannon trained as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. She works as an actor and drama facilitator, and has accumulated extensive experience of facilitating and teaching disabled children.

Rhiannon loves enabling children to use the arts to embrace their creativity and is excited to explore new ways of bringing science and the arts together.is experienced in developing informal learning projects.

Eva Fritz
Development Volunteer

Eva has significant experience of project and program management focusing on process improvements and strategy initiatives in a global corporate environment. Throughout her career she has focused on driving results through collaboration and communication, Eva has led large and small projects ranging from tactical implementations to large scale strategic efforts.

Eva often facilitates sessions to work through challenges or identify opportunities and ideas. Eva’s pragmatic and practical outlook has helped enable delivery where others have failed, spending time to understand the problem at hand and the reality of the people involved.

Beth Caudle
Facilitator

Beth is a performer, facilitator and creative producer who is passionate about engaging families and young people in the arts.

Beth’s training and work combines movement, storytelling, physical theatre, puppetry, live music and circus.

After studying Drama and English Beth trained in dance, physical theatre and circus ad Greentop, Sheffield. she is currently volunteering at Bristol Children’s Hospital and training to be a theraputic mentor.

Board of Trustees

Robert Massey – Chair of Trustees

Robert is Deputy Executive Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, where he oversees external affairs. From PhD research in Manchester he went into teaching, local politics, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

In his spare time he teaches his five year old daughter about science, enjoys cycling, cooking, and the cultural life of his home city of Bristol. Robert fervently believes that science can change the world for the better – and that everyone should see its benefits.

Colin Church

Colin is the Chief Executive of CIWM, the professional body for resource and waste management.

He studied chemistry at university and has maintained his keen interest in science communication throughout, including during 21 years in the UK civil service.

As the father of an inquisitive and mechanically-minded disabled child he has a particular passion for ensuring everyone in society can access science. He also loves cooking – a very practical and rewarding application of chemistry! 

Bella Williams

Bella became involved in science communication, as a volunteer and committee member for the British Science Association.

She graduated in Pharmacology and Neuroscience, and worked at science festivals and as a science-writer before becoming a consultant and evaluator in science engagement and outreach. She has been lucky enough to work across a huge range of scientific disciplines– all aimed at driving positive social change by helping people understand and interact with the world around them.

Mandip Englund

Mandip graduated with a law degree from Nottingham University and is a solicitor with a global law firm.

She has a wide range of international experience in advising boards, companies and stakeholders, particularly in times of distress.

Mandip feels passionate about empowering young people with education and opportunity and hopes to use the skills acquired in the corporate sector to help the Lightyear Foundation flourish and improve the lives of others. In her spare time Mandip likes to spend time with her young family, read books and play guitar.

Francesca Ooi

Francesca is a Neuroscience graduate with experience working in the biopharmaceutical labs for GlaxoSmithKline.

She shared her passion for science in the classroom, training with Teach First as a secondary school science teacher. She has developed youth outreach projects for Engineers without Borders and has been a mentor and trainer for Teach First New Zealand.

She currently develops science curriculum content for an education technology company and has a keen interest in helping young people towards science careers.

Josie Rawes

Josie is a Teaching Associate at the University of Bristol, where she completed her PhD in Astrophysics. She previously worked for the Institute of Physics, touring Wales on their ‘Lab in a Lorry’ science outreach project. She now teaches undergraduate level physics and organises all the outreach and public engagement activities for the physics department.

In her spare time she races long distance triathlons and will mostly likely be found outdoors. 

Kerry Nelson

Kerry is a specialist in Human Resources and Business Administration but has a life long passion for science and helping people understand the joy and wonder of it. Through a Media Science BSc from Sheffield Hallam University, Kerry explored the intertwining of science within the everyday world and the impact this can have of both the public and private sector, culminating in researching jurors understanding of scientific evidence in the courtroom based on TV and media content.

A prolific purchaser of science books for her son, starting with ‘Quantum Physics for Babies’, Kerry believes in the importance of making science fun and engaging for both children and parents and will use her skills to assist with delivering the important work ahead.

Lewis Honey

Lewis, a biology graduate from the University of Bristol, is currently a Project Manager for the Civil Service and has experience of working in the NHS and at an INGO. Lewis has a passion for innovation and all things digital, believing that participation in STEM is crucial to spark imagination.

Sensory Science Advisors

Sam Matchette – Advising on Sensory Safari
Having graduated from the University of Bristol reading Zoology, Sam remained in Bristol for a PhD in Behavioural Ecology. His research lies largely in camouflage, behaviour and perception, though he has a passion for all things nature. Sam strives to promote inquisitiveness and enthusiasm towards the natural world – elements he believes are fundamental for the next generation of scientists.
 
Ben Booker – Advising on Human Body
Ben is a 5th year medical student at Bristol University who loves combining science, people and fun! He has a special interest in paediatric medicine and has worked and volunteered with kids in the UK and abroad. He is passionate about teaching and aims to make science and knowledge accessible to all! Ben is also excited about Lightyear’s work to support medical students so they are better equipped when dealing with young disabled patients.