Meet the Share team

Senior Management Team

Annie McDowall, Chief Executive

Annie joined Share in 2003. She has had a long career working in the voluntary sector, including nine years with Lambeth ACCORD and seven years with the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) where she was Director of Family Services. She has also been a trustee for Asylum Aid and Disability Advice Service Lambeth. As well as experience in developing information and advice for disabled people, she brings a wealth of experience in managing teams, policy-making and creating partnerships within communities. At Share, Annie is driven by the mantra she has learnt over many years of working in the not-for-profit sector that 'people matter, labels don't', and that is something she works very hard to instil into the very ethos of the services provided by Share.

She holds a post graduate diploma in management, a postgraduate diploma in counselling and is a qualified executive coach.



Robert Boyce, Head of Training and Digital Integration

Robert joined Share in 1998. He is a qualified computer programmer and worked in private business before joining Share. He first worked as a trainer at Share, teaching Information Communications and Technology (ICT). Now, Robert oversees vocational training and digital integration, with a focus on getting the digital aspects right and functioning at all levels of Share, and managing the accredited learning we deliver. Robert is passionate about learning and teaching, with a particular interest in the use of technology as an aid to training.

Nirmalan Kugathasan, Chief Finance and Operating Officer

Nirmalan joined Share in 2007. He previously worked as a finance manager for a refugee community organisation for five years, and has experience in strategic financial and operational planning, and contract management. He is a trustee for the South West London Law Centre, where he was the treasurer from 2007 to 2012.

He holds an MBA and postgraduate diploma in charity financial management.

Karen Miles, Head of Outreach and Wellbeing

Karen has been volunteering with Share's Go Anywhere, Do Anything project since 2015. During this time, Share's values and vision struck a chord with Karen, prompting her to join the staff team in February 2018. Karen previously worked as an Independent Living Service Manager at the British Red Cross and holds a BA (Hons) in International Development with NGO Management. Karen is responsible for managing each student's journey through Share, ensuring that their collective and individual voices are heard. She works alongside other members of the Wellbeing team to provide pastoral support to our students and advise other staff members at Share on students' wellbeing and communication needs.

Leanne Wood, Head of Services and Transformation (Currently on maternity leave)

Leanne joined Share in 2012. She previously worked for a charity called Making The Leap for 5 years, supporting unemployed people back into work and teaching computer courses to the local community.

As well as overseeing HR and Leanne manages Share’s Go Anywhere, Do Anything project, which provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to access fun activities in London. Leanne also coordinates Share's volunteering programme, which involves welcoming new volunteers into the organisation and supporting their journey within Share.

Leanne holds a degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of Kent and the CIPD HR qualification.

Wellbeing Team

Jenny Bourlet, Health and Community Manager 

Jenny joined Share in 2016. She previously worked as a wellbeing manager for a community organisation supporting people with learning disabilities and complex needs. In addition to her role at Share, Jenny works part-time for Age UK in Hammersmith and Fulham. Prior to this, Jenny spent nine years in the training sector organising training programmes. For the past few years, Jenny has been running our healthy living programme, which is now incorporated within Share's My Community and Me project which supports our students to learn practical independent living skills in the community.

Claire Smith, Independence and Wellbeing Team Leader

Claire joined Share in 2016. Claire started her career in social work, after which she worked as a recruitment consultant. She subsequently became a job coach at a charity called Off the Streets and Into Work. She went on to work with Whizz-Kidz, helping to secure work placements for young disabled people across the UK. More recently, Claire worked at Imagine, at their Sutton project.

Before taking on her current role at Share, Claire was one of Share's job coaches running our steps into employment classes as part of our independent living skills programme. She now oversees our independence and wellbeing classes, aimed at making learning more practical and community focused.

Shannon Blackwood, Wellbeing Team Leader

Shannon joined Share in February 2020. She previously worked as a lead ABA tutor in an independent special school, where she was supporting individuals with autism. She predominantly worked in the school's sixth form, helping students find and carry out work experience as well as develop independent life skills.

Shannon joined Share as a job coach just before the pandemic and quickly became aware of the importance of student wellbeing on employment opportunities. Shannon believes in equal opportunities for all and is passionate about the emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of students. In October 2021 Shannon became Wellbeing Team Leader at Share.

Shannon holds a first class degree in psychology.

Elise Sorensen, Family Liaison Officer

Elise was a volunteer for Go Anywhere, Do Anything in 2015/16. She was so impressed with the project that she joined the Share team in August 2017, co-facilitating and co-organising the Go Anywhere, Do Anything project. Elise now she works as our Family Liaison Officer. Previously, Elise contributed to service development projects for several charities, including Wheels for Wellbeing and Women's Solace Aid. Elise also holds a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy from Brunel University.

Hannah Burton, Wellbeing Officer

Hannah's background is in administration and customer service, however after feeling uninspired for some time, Hannah decided to join Share in 2019 as a horticulture volunteer. She later became Community & Project Support Worker, working across our different projects. Family experience of autism inspires her strong commitment to the inclusion of people with autism and learning disabilities, and the recognition of unpaid carers. She is an avid reader, a keen environmentalist, and an extremely amateur stargazer.

Gabrielle Antoniou, Client Engagement and Family Liaison 

Gabrielle first joined Share as a bank tutor teaching Digital Skills and Independent Living Skills in 2015. She subsequently spent some time as our Digital Inclusion Manager and now divides her time between co-ordinating client engagement activities and family liaison work. Prior to joining Share, Gabrielle worked as an Information Analyst at the NSPCC and as a Facilitator at Making The Leap. Gabrielle has taken part in various international voluntary schemes including teaching, community development, youth work and conservation, also volunteering to support the homeless and Syrian refugees in Greece. Gabrielle also volunteers on our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project as a Social Buddy.

Gabrielle holds a BA (Hons) Sociology degree from the University of Nottingham. 

Louis Daly, Community and Project Support Worker

Louis joined Share in 2020. He has supported adults with learning disabilities for several years, starting out as a personal assistant to his brother and then supporting groups at Cambridge House in Southwark and also working at a day centre. Louis has a degree in History and worked previously in arts and humanities as a Digital Content Manager and Image Archivist. 

Wendy Nicholson, Lunchtime Activities Leader

Wendy joined the Share team in 2016. Wendy has experience working with various local community groups, including schools, hospices and churches. She supports and supervises students during their lunch break at Share, and organises and runs a range of lunchtime activities for our students to take part in. Wendy holds a Community Arts Leader Award from the Arts Community Exchange in Lambeth. 

Anja Imberechts, Lunchtime Activities Leader

Anja joined Share in June 2019 as bank staff and her role became permanent a few months later. As well as running lunchtime activities for our students, Anja also volunteers for our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project and works on our outreach support programme.

Anja holds a degree in shipping and forwarding and worked for over 10 years as a shipping coordinator, moving on to PA roles in large corporate organisations including the Association of British Insurers and various law firms.

Anja speaks several languages, is an avid reader, and plays guitar and keyboard. She’s been volunteering for many years for homeless and addiction services in Wandsworth and strongly advocates giving everyone equal opportunities and a chance to improve their quality of life.

Training Staff

Diana Sawaya, Independent Living Skills and Art Tutor

Diana joined Share as an arts and crafts volunteer in October 2015 and then joined Share's bank staff before becoming a permanent tutor in 2018.

Diana previously facilitated self-guided therapeutic arts programmes for a women's charity working with women who have experienced abuse, trauma, depression and grief. She has also worked in sheltered housing schemes around Wandsworth, delivering creative projects to older people, and those living with dementia, disabilities, and other additional needs.

Diana holds a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design and an Arts Diploma. Diana has a QCF Level 4 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) qualification and a Foundation Level certificate in Art Therapy awarded by the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).

Shem Jarrold, Independent Living and Basic Skills Tutor

Shem first joined Share in 2017 as a musicianship volunteer. He now teaches Basic Skills and Independent Living Skills. He has worked with adults with learning disabilities since 2014 as part of a variety of projects and organisations. He is interested in the history of social music making, and the different ways people learn across cultures. He studied mediaeval languages, early mediaeval history and social anthropology at Cambridge University before living and working in Chile for two years, starting his working life teaching English in a copper mine in the Atacama Desert. In addition to his work at Share, he is a violin tutor and the administrator at the Pembroke Academy of Music in Walworth, South London, and also a musician and practitioner for involuntarymovement, in a team delivering contemporary dance classes for adults with learning disabilities. 

Kenneth Anderson, Chef and Catering Trainer

Kenneth (Kenny) has been a chef for over 35 years working in many top London hotels and gentlemen's clubs. He spent 15 years in contract catering were he held senior catering or teaching positions. He joined Share in 2009 as a part-time trainer in food hygiene, and became a full-time trainer in 2013. Kenny is responsible for all of Share's catering training, and oversees Share's social enterprise, Share Catering.

Rachel Simms, Assistant Chef 

Rachel helps Kenny to look after the Share Kitchen, supporting catering students and Share's social enterprise, Share Catering. Rachel first came to Share as a trainee following her time at South Thames College. Following graduation and a period of work experience in Share's kitchen, Rachel became a permanent member of staff.

Julia Roxborough, Horticulture Job Coach

Julia first joined Share as a student in 2004 to study business studies. She originally trained as a landscape gardener and still runs a private gardening business. Having struggled with dyslexia for many years without realising, Julia has a keen interest in literacy and was therefore interested in exploring her own learning difficulties by teaching others. Julia holds Stage 1 and 2 City and Guilds teacher training qualifications Level 4, and a Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) Level 5.

Joanne Smith

Joanne Smith, Horticulture Support Worker

Joanne joined the Share team in November 2017. Joanne first started working at Share in 2016 as a volunteer in our life skills course and a social buddy with our Go Anywhere, Do Anything programme. Volunteering at Share, she says, is 'one of the best things I've done'. Joanne also works as an outreach support worker, and personal assistant for her brother who is autistic and has learning disabilities. Joanne started working for Share as our lunchtime activities co-ordinator and now works as Support Worker at our garden 3 days a week. 

Steve McGuane, Digital Skills Trainer

Steve first came to Share in 1999 as a student following a motorbike accident that left him wheelchair-bound. He quickly achieved an array of qualifications, including an NVQ in Information and Commication Technology (ICT) Level 1, and an assessors A1/A2 qualification. After sometime working as a volunteer at Share, Steve successfully applied for a full-time position as an ICT trainer, and has been working at Share since 2003. Prior to his motorbike accident, Steve was a BT technician. 

Niamh Carey, Community Services Facilitator

Niamh joined Share in July 2021 shortly before completing her MA in arts and cultural education. Before moving to London, Niamh worked in Edinburgh facilitating creative workshops for people with learning disabilities and autism. She taught English in Vietnam after completing her undergraduate degree. 

 At Share Niamh helps facilitate our Go Anywhere, Do Anything programme, and will shortly be working on the new Get Out and About project in Brixton.

 Niamh holds an MA (Hons) in English Literature and Sociology.

Leila Alcalde, Horticulture Trainer

Leila first joined Share in September 2020 as bank staff and her role became permanent a few months later. She now delivers accredited training for City and Guilds and Skills for Working Life in Horticulture. She has worked with adults with learning difficulties and with mental health issues since 2015 as part of different garden projects in Spain, Germany, and the UK. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture (RQF Level 6) and has been awarded the Diploma of Professional Development with Merit in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. In addition to her work at Share, she co-founded the Spanish Association in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture where she delivers training and counselling to other professionals.

Leila loves working in the garden with our students, adapting the tasks to their abilities and enhancing their wellbeing. She previously worked as an Occupational Therapist Assistant assessing people’s ability to work and live independently, as well as promoting social inclusion, therefore she is keen to support Share students to move forward into paid or voluntary jobs.

Veronica Martel, Community Learning and Independent Living Facilitator

After graduating from St Martin’s School of Art, Veronica began her career in art and design with a focus on film and video.  Veronica worked in film production for Channel 4 before moving on to a career in teaching. 

Moving on from a period of mainstream teaching, Veronica specialised in teaching students with a range of special educational needs. She became a lead teacher in autism and education, delivering training and leading Autism Accreditation status requests.

Before joining Share, Veronica supported adults with learning difficulties as an activity worker for the South London ‘ Multi–Activity Centre’.

Veronica holds a BA in Art and Design, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Teaching), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Autism and an MA in Autism and Education.

Veronica joined Share in 2021 and is a full-time staff member.

Georgia Thursting, Health and Wellbeing Facilitator

Georgia first joined Share as a bank staff member, filling in for our music tutor for a year, before taking on the role of Health and Wellbeing Facilitator in August 2021. She’s worked with autistic adults and children since 2019.

She works with Resources for Autism as a support worker and adult play leader. Georgia also leads a pop band project for young adults with autism as well as delivering a wellbeing group for adults with autism teaching mindfulness and anxiety strategies to boost mental and physical wellbeing. Georgia also works at AS Mentoring as an employment consultant for neurodiverse adults.

She graduated from Leeds College of Popular Music and performs weekly as a vocalist and guitarist at private and corporate events. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys getting crafty (she’s currently learning to sew), practising yoga and listening to musical soundtracks.

Carolina Jalles Santana Ramos, Music Tutor

Carolina initially joined Share as a volunteer, supporting our music programme online during the pandemic, and became a permanent staff member in April 2021. Carolina started playing violin when she was eight and is a classically trained musician with Lisbon's Metropolitan orchestra. She has experience working in the music industry as an Events and Admissions Assistant at Lisbon’s Jazz Club in 2017. Carolina moved from Portugal to London in 2018 to study for a Masters Degree in music. She has a BA in Arts and Humanities and majored in performance arts, studying theatre, cinema, literature, Greek and Roman classics and languages.

 Support Staff

Joseph Fitton, Go Anywhere, Do Anything Project Officer

Joseph (Joe) joined Share as a volunteer in 2014, and joined the staff team a year later. Joe works at Share part-time and helps to organise and run trips for members of our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project. He also coordinates Student Voice, a forum for students to voice their opinions and concerns.

Joe holds a degree in Learning Disability Nursing and Social Work from London South Bank University and a BA (Hons) in Music Technology. Joe is passionate about advocacy for disabled people, and is happiest when he can marry his creative skills within his current roles. 

Reena Naveratnam, Finance and Admin Officer

Reena joined Share in 2009 and provides financial and administrative support for our finance team.

She previously worked as an Accounts Assistant for Alpex Marine, a seafood exporter based in Sri Lanka.

She holds an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and is working towards becoming an Associate Member of the CIMA.

Rachel Healy, Marketing and Communications Manager

Rachel joined Share in June 2019 to manage and develop Share's marketing and communications strategies. She worked in the private sector for many years in marketing roles for publishers and conference producers. She was Head of Marketing for a publisher and events producer aimed at the not-for-profit sector before taking a career break to have a family. Rachel holds a BA (Hons) degree in Combined Arts from the University of Leicester, a post graduate diploma in printing and publishing, and more recently a certificate in social media management. 

Valentino Ferro, HR and Office Manager

Valentino joined Share in 2020 to work across the whole HR spectrum and to help with the office management operations.

He has previously worked as Head of Operations (with a focus on people and HR practices) for two different European tech start-ups. Before moving to the UK, Valentino was based in Italy, his home country, and worked as Operations and HR Manager for a real estate investment firm.

He is currently working towards an HR qualification which will allow him to become an Associate Member of CIPD.

Peri MacRae, Volunteer and Community Services Manager

Peri started volunteering with Share as a social buddy in 2017 on our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project. She loved it so much she was inspired to join Share as a permanent team member in January 2021. Peri’s background is in volunteer management and youth work. Before joining Share, she worked at the Prince’s Trust as Operations Executive – managing volunteer-led mentoring and personal development programmes, and at VSO supporting volunteers accessing the International Citizen Service.

Peri holds a BA in International Development from the University of East London.

At Share she’s responsible for managing our volunteer-led projects and community services, currently focusing on Go Anywhere, Do Anything and befriending. She also leads on volunteer journey and support alongside Leanne.

Michael Kalman, Receptionist

Michael joined Share in January 2012. He works part-time covering the front desk every afternoon. He previously worked as a clinic assistant at St George's Hospital in Tooting, and first joined Share as a student after receiving radiotherapy treatment for a benign brain tumour in 2009. After initially studying IT, he subsequently undertook an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service. Michael also volunteers as a social buddy on our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project.

Georgie Barwick, Office Administrator and Receptionist

Georgie joined Share in April 2021 after several years working in Film & TV Production. She works part-time at Share and is also studying Counselling at City & Islington College. When she’s not on the front desk at Share, or in the classroom, Georgie can be found cooking, birdwatching, or in the cinema.