Our Team OLD


Katherine 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.

Eva Fritz, Development Manager

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.

Hasmita Chavda, UK Facilitator

Hasmita is experienced in developing informal learning projects. She has led on projects and festivals that promote creativity and engage young people and their families with STEM. Her passion lies in facilitating moments and experiences that make people’s eyes light up with wonder and excitement.

Beth Caudle, UK 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.


Robert Massey

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.

Peter Horne

Peter is a physics graduate with a passion for the potential of Lightyear. By day he is an interim manager, and has a background in the civil service. He is also a trustee of Getting on Board. He enjoys seeing his children discover the world of science, and tries to spend his spare time on his bike.

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.

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!


Lightyear Foundation is charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, charity registration number 1150231. We are also a company limited by guarantee, incorporated with Companies House, company number 08151118.

Our charitable objectives:

To advance education in science amongst schoolchildren and adults in the UK and abroad in such ways as the trustees see fit, including by:

  • helping establish science-oriented partnerships between schools in the UK and overseas
  • organising events which promote an interest in science
  • investigating and using new technology to communicate scientific knowledge and understanding

The board of trustees of Lightyear Foundation hold responsibility for the governance of the a charity and are accountable to the people that benefit from our programmes, the people and organisations that give money to support us and to the volunteers who give their time to make it all possible. The trustees believe strongly in fostering a culture of openness and transparency in how we operate and where funds are spent and as such will make available our policies, annual reports and financial returns.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the governance or operations of Lightyear, please contact Robert Massey, the chair of trustees.


Reports and financial returns