Our Board and Staff

Access' board reflects its mission. Its trustees have deep experience in the social sector and in trusts and foundations, as well as the business and financial sectors.

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Board of Trustees

Nick Hurd Chair

The Right Hon Nick Hurd served as a Member of Parliament in the UK for fourteen years before standing down in December 2019. During that time he served three different Prime Ministers as a Government Minister over more than 8 years. He has been Minister for Civil Society, International Development, Climate Change, Industry, Police & Fire Service; London & Grenfell Victims and Northern Ireland. As one of the longest serving Ministers for Civil Society he led the Government work that helped establish the UK as a world leader in developing the impact Investment market.

Before politics, Nick spent 18 years in business, including almost nine years in investment banking and fund management. This included the experience of setting up a business in Brazil for Flemings Investment Bank.

Nick has been appointed a Global Ambassador for the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) and serves on the Advisory Council for the UK Institute for Impact Investment.

Nick is Chair of the Joint Investment Committee for the Growth Fund, the Blended Investment Committee for Local Access, the COVID-19 Emergency Lending Investment Committee and the Access Legacy Group. 

Martin Rich Senior Independent Trustee

Martin Rich is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Future-Fit Foundation, a non-profit focused on creating a truly sustainable future. Before this he spent seven years as Sales Director of Social Finance Limited where he focused primarily on developing the investor base for social impact investments and also served as a member of the Asset Allocation Working Group for the G7 Social Investment Task Force. Martin previously spent over 12 years in international investment banking working on structured finance products for UBS, JPMorgan and HSBC. He has a passion for sustainable development and poverty relief and is engaged in a range of trustee, investment committee and advisory roles, including as a member of WHEB Asset Management’s Investment Advisory Committee. 

Martin is the Chair of Access's Endowment Investment Committee and a member of the Flexible Finance for Covid-19 recovery Investment Committee.  

Sue Cooper

Sue specialises in working with charities and social enterprises and is passionate about the difference these organisations can make, both in local communities and in society as a whole. Her business skills and knowledge come from a career in banking. For the past 18 years she has worked with charities and social enterprises for Triodos Bank UK and as CEO of a similar regulated finance organisation in New Zealand. Returning to the UK she set up a new social investment programme for an endowed charitable foundation. Sue is based in Bristol and works as a consultant and non-executive director.

Sue is a member of Access's Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee and Programme Development Group.

Heather Hilburn

Heather has many years experience in the design, delivery and financing of cultural places and healthy spaces for local communities. Heather previously served as Design Advisor for the Queen Elizabeth Park in East London, including the transition of Olympic Games venues into public/private local enterprises. Following the economic crisis of 2008 and subsequent decommissioning of UK development agencies in 2010, Heather worked within a consortium of executives alongside the DCMS, DCLG and CABE to help grant funded regional charities move to social enterprise and CIC business models.  As Strategic Project Director for the Tower of London from 2013 to 2019, Heather shaped a long term plan to make this World Heritage site more accessible to diverse audiences through public engagement. Heather currently serves as CEO for the Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP), hosted by University College London. TEP is a consortium of public and private agencies that operate on the river Thames and UK coast line, working on a long term programme to address climate change and improve the standard of living for coastal communities. Heather also serves as a non executive director and independent advisor focussing on preserving heritage skills, data technology and project finance. 

Heather is a member of the Access Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, the Covid-19 Emergency Lending Investment Committee, the Flexible FInance for Covid-19 Recovery Investment Committee and the Access Legacy Group. 

Jane Ide

Jane was appointed CEO of ACEVO, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, in May 2022.  Prior to that she was CEO of Creative and Cultural Skills, working to create fair and inclusive opportunities within the creative and cultural sectors, and spent four years as CEO of NAVCA, where she led the transformation of the national membership body for local voluntary sector infrastructure organisations in England.  She has a substantial background in leadership, communications, engagement and organisation development and her varied career has spanned across the voluntary, public and entrepreneurial sectors. She became a trustee of the Access Foundation in 2020. 

Samantha Latouche

Samantha is a strategic partnership professional with over 20 years of experience designing and delivering a range of welfare-to-work social inclusion projects to engage marginalised communities and groups.

She is the Director of Communities at the YMCA Thames Gateway Group where she leads on the formation of purposeful partnerships across internal and external stakeholders in order to achieve the best outcomes for communities.

She was previously the Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Manager at the London Borough of Newham and previously held senior roles in Team London at the Greater London Authority, the BBC and in the Housing sector. In addition, she has held a number of non executive roles including the Ekaya Housing Association, the International Centre of Excellence of Community Schools (ICECS) and Lewisham Speaking Up.

Emilie Goodall

Emilie leads the Financial System Benchmark at the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), a non-profit that ranks and measures influential companies on their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prior to joining WBA she led the development impact and sustainability team at FMO, the Dutch development bank. She advised financial institutions, foundations and businesses on impact management approaches at Bridges Asset Management, and worked with the industry to develop best practice guidance and reporting at the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Her passion for UK social investment goes back to her time at CAF Venturesome, supporting charities and social enterprises with debt and equity-like investments at CAF Venturesome. She advised Access Foundation at its inception on its total impact approach to endowment management.

Emilie is a member of the Endowment Investment Committee and the Access Legacy Group

Franz Ranero

Franz is a partner of Allen & Overy, a major international law firm. He has over twenty years' experience in the international finance sector and is a market leader in the field of international capital markets and structured finance. As well as legal skills, he brings to Access extensive business development, strategy and management expertise. 

Franz has a professional interest in the social finance and impact investing sectors. In addition to managing his legal practice, at Allen & Overy he is the global co-head of the firm's pro bono and community investment activity, and he is also a trustee of the teenage mental health charity Stem4. Originally Australian, Franz is currently raising his young son and daughter with his wife in North London. 

Franz is chair of the Blended Finance Investment Committee and is a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. 

Kate Kuper

Kate is an established board contributor and strategic leader with a social impact focus. This has been honed by 25 years of operational and board roles in international development, philanthropy, urban development, education and youth employment.  Kate co-founded Bateleur Partners in 2018, a boutique consultancy that specialises in helping impact organisations work smarter.

In her varied career, Kate worked for Bain & Company, the Nelson Mandela Government in South Africa and the World Bank Group before building a leading education foundation, the Moshal Scholarship Program. Kate is a currently a London-based trustee of BRAC and the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund. Her goal is to help social impact organisations articulate, measure and achieve meaningful results, enduring partnerships and more sustainable funding in challenging environments.

Kate is Chair of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee and the Flexible Finance for Covid-19 Recovery Investment Committee. She is also a member of the Covid-19 Emergency Lending Investment Committee. 

Rob Williamson

Rob is Chief Executive of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, the largest charity of its type in the UK. He plays a leading role in philanthropy in North East England and nationally, and has particular expertise in governance, charitable giving and voluntary sector research.

Rob was for six years Director of Policy and Communications and later Acting CEO at Northern Rock Foundation. His early career was in frontline charities for homeless and vulnerable people. He then went on to senior roles in urban regeneration and local government.

Rob speaks and writes regularly about issues in charity, philanthropy and funding. He is Chair of the BBC’s Charity Appeals Advisory Committee and serves as a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear.


Seb Elsworth MBE Chief Executive

Seb was the founding CEO of Access and has led the organisation since its inception in 2015.

As CEO Seb has overseen the significant impact of the Foundation, working in close partnership with a range of organisations, to increase access to finance for community based charities and social enterprise right around England. Seb is widely recognised as a collaborative leader and advocate for enterprise development and social investment across the sector.

Prior to joining Access, Seb was Deputy Chief Executive at the Social Investment Business where he led on developing a range of programmes helping charities and social enterprises access social investment, and bringing new investors into the social investment market.

Seb was previously Director of Strategy at ACEVO, and he started his career as a student executive officer at Leeds University Union.

Seb was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2022 for services to Social Investment.

Seb was appointed to the Council of the University of Leeds in August 2016, and also serves on the University’s Strategy and Investment, Gift Acceptance and Remuneration Committees.

You can follow Seb on twitter at @sebelsworth and read his regular column in Third Sector magazine.



Neil Berry Director of Programmes

Neil is Director of Programmes at Access.

Neil’s background is in Community Enterprise, combining 8 years running a Community Development Trust in Sheffield, followed by 12 years working for the national network body Locality where he advised and supported frontline organisations and developed national programmes of enterprise support.  His most recent role with Locality was as Director of Services, overseeing all national grant and support programmes and managing the nationwide development and consultancy team.

Neil left Locality early in 2017 and completed various freelance assignments for organisations such as Lankelly Chase, Power to Change, UK Community Foundations and Key Fund, before joining Access in September 2018.

Neil holds a Masters degree in Community Enterprise and specialises in financial analysis, diagnostic systems and community asset development. 

You can follow Neil on twitter at @neilberry1


Helena Tuxworth Head of Blended Finance

Helena is the Head of Blended Finance at Access, overseeing a number of programmes. Helena also works alongside Access’s partners on initiatives including the Reach Fund and Good Finance as part of our enterprise development work.

Helena joined Access in May 2016 as Finance, Operations and Communications Officer, before moving into the Programme Manager role in April 2018. Prior to joining Access, Helena worked for a small autism charity in London and also spent time teaching in China. Helena holds an AAT Diploma in Accounting.


Meena Bharadwa Senior Programme Manager

Meena has been working with people, communities and systems  to tackle inequality for over twenty years including establishing, running and supporting social enterprises across the West Midlands. Her specialisms include;  community economic development; approaches to impact and working with communities facing inequality.

After completing her Masters at the University of Sheffield Meena worked in community development, working alongside marginalised communities across Birmingham. It was during this time her passion for an alternative approach to economic and service development led her to work with communities on asset ownership and development and with Public Services on approaches to commissioning and community wealth building.

Before joining Access Meena led national work on community-led approaches to health and wellbeing, publishing research with national partners such as NHS England and Improvement, the Office for Health Disparities, What Works Centre for Wellbeing and Leeds Beckett University. Meena also co-authored the West Midlands Combined Authority’s approach to growing the social economy.

Meena is the Chair of People’s Economy, a national charity building people power to change the economy, a former Director of The Key Fund; a social investment charity and a founder member of West Midlands Urban Community Housing.

Portrait of Greg Woolley, Programme Manager at Access.

Greg Woolley Programme Manager

Greg joined Access as a Programme Manager in September 2023. He leads on the organisation’s Cost of Living and Reach Fund programmes.

He has 10+ years experience in the social sector, with a background in programme management, fund management, and consultancy spread across organisational capacity building, social investment and social impact management.

Before joining Access, he worked at the Association of Mental Health Providers, leading their Enterprise Development Programme supporting mental health focused charities and social enterprises to increase their sustainability through development of trading-based income.

Prior to this, he was Investment and Skills Manager at CAN Invest, leading the organisation’s accelerator programmes and investment fund for small-medium sized social sector organisations.

He holds a Masters degree in Charity Resource Management.

Dieko Jegede Finance, Operations, and Communications Officer

Dieko joined Access in 2023 as our Finance, operations, and communications officer.

Having obtained a degree in International Business Management from the University of Surrey, she has consistently pursued her interest in finance, investment relations and business strategy.

Her interest in social impact and investment stems from her experiences as a support worker for children with autism and ADHD, and volunteer work within social impact campaigns. Before joining Access, Dieko previously worked as a Grants officer in Frooted and participated in various finance-related work schemes where she worked on projects relating to social enterprise growth, investment opportunities, budgeting, corporate communications, and sales development.

Josh Robinson Programme Manager

With a background in the social sciences, Josh holds a degree in Human Geography, sparking his interest in understanding the complexities of local and regional development. Building on this, he pursued a Masters in International Development where he honed his knowledge in addressing global challenges and fostering sustainable solutions.

Prior to joining Access, Josh gained valuable experience working for a Youth Business International, a network organization dedicated to empowering young entrepreneurs worldwide to create positive impact in their local communities. Whilst there, he managed a range of entrepreneurship programmes, led fundraising efforts, and facilitated communities of practice aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration.

Outside of work, Josh enjoys exploring the world, staying active, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Yusra Ali Programme Officer

With a master's degree in Gender Studies, Yusra's academic background exemplifies her commitment to addressing inequalities and tackling racial injustice.

This dedication has been a consistent thread throughout her career, commencing with her working for a charity supporting young people with learning disabilities, and extends to her role with World Vision where she delivered data analysis for a report on child marriage in Northwest Syria.

More recently, Yusra guided the Funders for Race Equality Alliance (FREA), expanding the philanthropic network and the sector's dedication to racial justice. Yusra passionately advocates for evidence-based learning, recognising data as a catalyst for achieving racial equity and justice. During her time at FREA, she spearheaded the delivery of the largest Racial Justice Audit, analysing data from 1003 grants, totalling £85.1 million.

Yusra has a personal interest in social enterprise stemming from her own entrepreneurial spirit. In 2020, she successfully launched a project selling Cedar-shaped enamel pins to raise funds for Impact Lebanon following the Beirut Blast. Yusra recently completed a business accelerator course and has ambitions to launch her own social enterprise in 2024. Her multifaceted journey aligns with Access’ mission of making capital work for all communities, and she is dedicated to championing equal and equitable access.

Lydia Levy Head of Impact and Evaluation

Lydia joined Access as the Head of Impact and Evaluation in early 2023.

Her background is in impact, research and learning across the wider social impact sector. Most recently she worked at Comic Relief, managing evaluations and learning work on their UK and international programmes, and supporting their funded partners to improve their own impact measurement. This built on her work in the UK and Kenya for an international development consultancy, where she managed research and learning projects in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Before working at Comic Relief Lydia participated in the On Purpose Programme, a one-year leadership programme in the social impact sector. During the programme she worked on data and strategy at Ark Ventures, and in the Social Impact Bonds Team in the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

Lydia holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS.


Chris Coghlan Director of Finance & Operations

Chris Coghlan is Director of Finance & Operations at Access.

Chris has almost a decades experience in the charity sector as founder of Grow Movement, a UK charity which has improved the lives of 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa by training micro-entrepreneurs over mobile phone. Chris qualified as Chartered Accountant with Deloitte before working in emerging market investment management. Chris holds a Masters in Finance from London Business School and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard. Chris also served as a diplomat with the Foreign Office.


Please note Chris is currently taking a period of unpaid leave - please contact his job-share partner Simon Cottee 


Simon Cottee Director of Finance and Operations

Simon is the Director of Finance and Operations, in a Job share with Chris Coghlan.

A big four trained accountant, (back when it was the big six!) he started his career in investment Banking, before working for the UK financial services regulator for seven years. This included a two year secondment in Brussels to the European Commission as a National Expert in consumer financial services policy. 

He then spent 10 years as the CFO of Liv-ex, the Fine Wine Market, successfully blending his hobby and his job, before taking a short career break. After an interim role as FD for Funding London, he joined Access in 2021 taking the opportunity to learn more about the Social investment landscape.

When not in the office he enjoys skiing, running, and spending time with his family, and the occasional glass of wine.


Chloe Stables Director of Partnerships and Advocacy

Chloe’s background is in communications and influencing roles in the voluntary and community sector. Following roles in Parliament and political consultancy, Chloe set up the public affairs team at St Mungo’s – a London-based homelessness organisation. From there she moved to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) where she played a key role in several high-profile coalition-led campaigns including work to secure the £750m package of coronavirus support for charities.

Following an interim post at the Charity Commission as Assistant Director for External Relations, she moved to Access in 2021 to focus on working with partners including foundations, infrastructure bodies and government to help secure long-term support for blended finance and enterprise development in the sector.


Tanishtha SenGupta Partnerships and Stakeholder Manager

Tanishtha joined Access in 2024 as the Partnerships and Stakeholder Manager. She leads on supporting a number of key networks, including the Blended Finance Collective.

Prior to joining Access, Tanishtha worked at Equally Ours, where she led the equality strand of the Enterprise Development Programme. This work supported 37 equality organisations to build financial resilience through trading-based initiatives. Tanishtha is committed to embedding equality and diversity practices within social investment to ensure the space is more equitable for micro to small user-led organisations.

Prior to this, Tanishtha convened a UK-wide network of over 80 human rights and equality organisations at Equally Ours. She focused on amplifying the voices of the communities, facilitating knowledge exchange, and fostering collaboration on human rights and equality policy. Tanishtha holds Master’s degrees in Human Rights and Refugee Studies, underpinning her dedication to promoting inclusivity, equity, and tackling inequality in her work.