Senior Management Team
Natalie Roast - Chief Executive
Natalie has worked for SkyWay since 2007 and was appointed as CEO in April 2016. She focuses on strategic planning, fundraising, liaising with the SkyWay Trustee board and is responsible for establishing and developing partnerships and the continued development of high quality programmes for young people and the community. Natalie has worked in Hackney’s not-for-profit sector for many years, focusing specifically on supporting ‘at risk’ young people.
Marlon Gayle - Director of Operations
Marlon coordinates all of SkyWay’s delivery contracts, evaluations, quality standard checks and staff training. Marlon has worked for SkyWay since April 2005 and in the youth and community sector for several years before this. Marlon supports Tottenham Hotspur and takes part in various sporting activities in his spare time.
Daniel Mussie - Director of Development
Daniel has been with SkyWay since September 2008 and is responsible for the development of SkyWay's programmes, as well as the upkeep and development of internal and external relationships. Prior to joining SkyWay Daniel was a youth worker and community sports coach. Daniel is a passionate Liverpool supporter and is fluent in four languages.
Operational and Frontline Staff
Noreen Ahmed - Finance/Office Manager
Noreen makes everything at SkyWay tick. She started as an intern in February 2013, then moved on to become the administration assistant, and is now the finance/office manager. She is passionate about charity work and prior to joining SkyWay worked with young children at a nursery, and volunteered at a homelessness charity and the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.
Sam Mars - Head of Fundraising & Communications
Sam’s been working with SkyWay since 2008 and took the role of Head of Fundraising in 2012. Experienced at working with local, national and European governments and organisations, Sam has led on policy, communications, development, and project work for statutory, voluntary and community sector bodies. Sam’s passionate about enabling people to make a difference in their own community, and has been an active volunteer with children and young people as a sports coach and mentor.
Fiona Fay - Community & Youth Development Manager
Fiona has been with SkyWay since 2010 and is responsible for identifying the needs of the local community to expand and improve our services for them. Fiona has also worked as a youth worker, taught in a Pupil-Referral Unit, delivered educational workshops and supported young people to take part in our sessions and activities.
Hannah Duffy - Senior Youth and Community Worker
Hannah joined the SkyWay team as a Senior Youth and Community worker at the start of 2023. She has over a decade of experience working with young people in both schools and community settings. She has a BA(Hons) in Acting from the Manchester School of Theatre and is passionate about empowering young people to reach their full potential. Hannah supports Manchester United and enjoys writing in her spare time.
Conor McCarthy - Lead Youth Worker
Conor started volunteering with SkyWay as a placement student for his Masters degree in Anthropology and Youth Work. His passion for working with young people alongside his drive in delivering high-quality projects led him to join SkyWay’s team as a Youth Worker. Conor enjoys reading, watching football and staying active.
Ruhina Begum - Impact & Quality Manager/ Lead Youth Worker
Ruhina joined SkyWay in June 2017 as a social research placement student through Project Oracle. Her exemplary work led to her taking up the role of Youth Impact and Quality Officer, responsible for the evaluation and impact assessment of SkyWay’s provision. She relishes thorough planning and reporting to support positive change for young people. Ruhina is also an accomplished youth worker. Ruhina has a BA (Hons) in Sociology and enjoys reading and watching movies. Ruhina is also an England Committee representative for the National Lottery Community Fund's Young People in the Lead Team.
Yohana Solomon - Youth Worker
Yohana was one of our young people who trained as a peer mentor and then a peer leader delivering sexual health workshops in community settings and schools. Later she trained as a youth worker delivering activities at the Blue Hut and the Damilola Taylor Centre. Yohana enjoys listening to music as well as settling in to watch a good film.
Lekan Awoyemi - Youth & Community Worker
Lekan is an experienced youth and community worker who has worked across Hackney engaging and supporting older community members and young people.
James Davies - Detached Worker
James is an experienced detached and community worker.
Brian Weekes - Youth Worker
Brian has been a youth worker since 1983 and works at the Blue Hut. His role is to encourage, advise and serve as a role model to the young people that take part in our sessions and activities.
Isabella Loveday - Administrative Assistant
Isabella is our Administrative Assistant. She's been working with SkyWay since February 2021. Her role includes providing office support, chasing us up for registers, and helping things run smoothly. She's previously worked at a primary school completing an 18 month Administration Apprenticeship. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her dog, Blu.
Dominic Welsh - Youth & Community Worker
Dominic is an experienced Youth & Community worker who runs and co-ordinates sessions at the Damilola Taylor Centre.
Deanne Nelson - Youth & Community Worker
Deanne is an experienced Youth & Community worker who runs sessions at the Damilola Taylor Centre.
Grant Lee - Chair
Grant became involved with SkyWay in 2002, when he and a friend, James Kerr, approached the charity looking for partners to help host a football tournament in Hackney. This was the start of Teenage Kicks, which Grant has been involved with every year, and is attended by over 400 young people and volunteers. Grant has been the chair of SkyWay since August 2006. Grant has worked across the film, television and new media industries.
Shahid Javed - Treasurer
Shahid is a highly resourceful and proactive Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst. He served over 20 years in senior managerial positions in the Middle East and the UK. Besides his career in the financial and investment industry, he is also passionate about teaching and delivering lectures in universities and colleges for advanced level professional courses and master's classes.
Joe is an entrepreneur running a successful IT services company for over 10 years. He's born and bred in Bethnal Green so his recent move to south east London may be a shock to his system. He's passionate about the work SkyWay delivers in the community and has been on the board of trustees since 2012. He now uses his abundant energy and drive in helping SkyWay grow and develop. When he is not working, Joseph is a keen musician and motivator. He may need to use his legendary skills to benefit his beloved Arsenal Football Club (but that may be a task too far even for him! - Ed).
Joshua is an entrepreneur who manages a team of artists that customise footwear for individuals and businesses. He was born and raised in Hackney and attended the Blue Hut Youth Club from the age of eight. Joshua hopes to inspire young people to take advantage of the resources offered to them.
MJ is a local business owner. Her company specialises in computer animation and visual effects for television and commercials and has been running for over 20 years. Always involved in local charities, MJ joined SkyWay because she feels that it's important for our youth to have access to opportunity and support. She moved to Hackney nearly 30 years ago and has enjoyed living and raising a family here. MJ enjoys films, her allotment, running and is a keen Arsenal fan - sharing a seat with her brother. Her husband and business partner is a Tottenham fan so it just goes to show, it can be done.
Luna works for as national funding organisation. She has lived in Hackney all her life other than the times she has been off travelling to different parts of the world. Always active, Luna is a keen runner - especially when London was quiet over the Covid lockdown - loves a cold swim in the lido or wild swimming. Luna is also an accomplished photographer, a fan of art galleries and loves a great movie.
Kianu is an ambitious, motivated and skilled youth practitioner and event producer, who has a creative way of approaching youth and community projects. She has worked in this field for over 9 years, inspiring others, developing social mobility and working closely with vulnerable individuals from different backgrounds with a range of low-high needs. Kianu has worked for different youth organisations in London and specialises in youth and community work, employability programme management, training programme designing and leadership coaching. Kianu loves networking, meeting new people and hosting memorable upbeat events. After setting up her own social enterprise in Hackney called Dipped In Creativity Engagement, Kianu was instantly drawn to work with SkyWay helping to grow our youth and community offer and further our impact in East London.
Paul's career has spanned over 30 years working in finance and technology where he has built both networking communities and companies from the ground up. As a Hackney resident, Paul first became aware of the immense value that the team at Skyway adds to the local community in 2019 and has since become a patron, volunteer and, more recently, a trustee for the charity. Paul is passionate about mentoring young people to help them to fulfil their full potential whatever their background may be.
Emma recently joined the charity as a trustee having had over 10 years experience working closely with other charities and having worked in marketing and events for over 20 years in financial services and media. Hoping to add value in terms of marketing and social media strategy Emma is excited to join the team. Aside from this Emma has a huge loves of horses, music, dancing and the great outdoors.
Viv is a chartered surveyor who managed commercial property portfolios in Europe. She subsequently set up her own property company which she runs with her husband. Originally Viv obtained a BSc in psychology and has always had a keen interest in mental health. For the past five years she has volunteered on the parents help line at Young Minds. She lives in Highbury and is a keen netball player and loves participating in most sports. She is also a keen sailor and spent a year out of life when her children were young sailing with them across the Atlantic and back.
Former Chief Executive
Gail Mistlin - Former Chief Executive (Oct 2006 - Mar 2016)
Gail Mistlin, former CEO of SkyWay led the charity for almost 10 years and left in March 2016. Gail’s drive and determination inspired the charity to develop and thrive during her tenure, securing positive futures for countless young people in Hackney and the surrounding boroughs. Since moving out of London, Gail has started up her own ventures and we look forward to working with her in the future.
Alice Stroud - Founding Director of SkyWay (Nov 2001-Oct 2006)
Alice is a serial social entrepreneur passionate about youth leadership, partnership driven approaches and sustainability. Alice built SkyWay from the ground-up, employing local people and peer-led approaches to achieve national prominence. Innovative peer-led programmes included: Young Dads (part of a national ‘Fathers Matter’ initiative); ‘Clued Up!’ (part of the City & Hackney Teenage Pregnancy Partnership that won a national NHS award for addressing health inequalities); and Teenage Kicks, the organisation’s flagship community led youth engagement programme, which kicked off in 2002. Alice ensured SkyWay supported and led on collaborative approaches to fundraising and youth service provision in Hackney, through the establishment of Shoreditch Youth Network, and representing the non-profit sector on Hackney’s Children & Young People’s Partnership Board. Alice went on to work for The Young Foundation, an international centre for social innovation, as Director of Youth & Education Ventures and now works imagining and creating a positive, healthy, sustainable futures with young people and social enterprises in San Francisco, California.