Meet the team

The Spinnaker team consists of a passionate and diverse group of around 60 staff, volunteers and trustees, working together in London and the South East of England to fulfill the Spinnaker mission.

Backing up our dedicated schools team, the office team are hands-on with the finance, admin, communciations, HR, IT, data-management and so much more. They are every bit as passionate about schoolswork as the rest of the team. In fact many of them, at one time or another, will be found in schools delivering assemblies, lessons or generally helping out.

You can get to know some of the team leaders and key workers by clicking below:

Team

Martin Sweet

Martin Sweet

Caroline Allen

Caroline Allen

Gill Ashley-Smith

Gill Ashley-Smith

Katie Burtonshaw

Katie Burtonshaw

CathyEllis

Cathy
Ellis

Heather Hawthorne

Heather Hawthorne

ClaireHoll

Claire
Holl

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer

Rachel Swaby

Rachel Swaby

Glenis Ruston

Glenis Ruston

Kim Woodley

Kim Woodley

The Trustees

The Trustees

  • Martin Sweet
  • Caroline Allen
  • Gill Ashley-Smith
  • Katie Burtonshaw
  • CathyEllis
  • Heather Hawthorne
  • ClaireHoll
  • Steve Palmer
  • Rachel Swaby
  • Glenis Ruston
  • Kim Woodley
  • The Trustees
  • Martin Sweet

    CEO and Eastbourne Hub Leader

    After so many years, it is still the many moments week by week that continue to bless, encourage, challenge, frustrate and generally, keep me seeking God for this work. I appreciate that not many get the sense of privilege that I experience on a daily basis, whether in school, a headteacher’s office, in front of a school or classroom or speaking in churches.  It is simple fact that without God’s blessing and my wonderful team, I would have achieved nothing.

  • Caroline Allen

    Treasurer, Communications & Central Operations

    My work for Spinnaker allows me a unique and inspiring perspective of our operation: From the generosity of the supporters to the smiles of the children. From the warmth, passion and energy as assemblies are delivered to the dedication and excellence in their preparation. From the strength and support of the Trustees to the excitement of new hits on the website – all of this, and more, is my personal view of Spinnaker. Best of all is working with a loving, faith filled, caring team.

  • Gill Ashley-Smith

    Administrator

    As I open the post in the Spinnaker office, it is really encouraging when we receive a grant from a trust, or a donation from a church or a supporter, sometimes with a warm note of encouragement to respond to and thank them. We do value our friends who give and pray for our work in schools. It is also very satisfying when the Review magazine is finally ready and on its way, with the valuable help of a team of volunteers to get it mailed out.

  • Katie Burtonshaw

    Schools Team Manager

    I feel a buzz of excitement as I visit primary schools for Spinnaker. Seeing the welcoming, smiling faces of the children and staff as I lead their collective worship is always a joy and privilege. Having built up trustworthy relationships over the years, hands spring up eagerly as I ask for volunteers to take part in drama, responding to questions or simply helping to hold things up and I never cease to be amazed at how well the children remember bible stories told to them in previous weeks. I love interacting with the children in fun, creative and engaging ways, passionately sharing my Christian faith and making it real, hoping to inspire children to find out more for themselves.

  • Cathy
    Ellis

    Epsom Hub Leader

    Working as a Hub Leader for The Spinnaker Trust is, without doubt one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding things I have done with my life so far.

    I love working with individual children and groups of primary aged children. I love working with my team in Epsom; a group of such committed, loving, hardworking and gifted people. I love working with the teachers, and the relationships we are forming with them. I love that we can be a blessing to them in so many ways. I love that that we are involved with such a vital part of being the church – out there in our state education system!

    Engaging, Inspiring, Equipping – I love it all!

  • Heather Hawthorne

    R.E. Specialist

    It is such a privilege to go into classrooms and help schools with their Religious Education. I really enjoy working with all the different teachers and children. The children are always so enthusiastic and excited to hear stories from the bible and to talk about what they believe and they ask such wonderful and challenging questions.

  • Claire
    Holl

    Hub Co-ordinator

    I love being involved in all our hubs, particularly as I get to spend time with our amazing team and see the many activities they are involved in at various schools.  It is a joy to see their enthusiasm and creativity as they work to inspire and engage both children and teachers.  We also connect with many churches and it is a privilege to share the Spinnaker vision at various meetings and encourage people to get involved and support what we do.

  • Steve Palmer

    Operations Manager

    I love that as Operations Manager I still get to be involved at the ‘coalface’ delivering assemblies and lessons in schools. My job also involves spending regular time with the team, building Spinnaker’s relationship with churches and funders, finding new people to get involved in the work, and creating resources for Spinnaker and beyond. From the girl who recently said, “You do the funnest assemblies… assemblies are usually boring!”, to the headteacher whose shoulders visibly relax when they see us arrive, it’s the smiles and positive comments that remind us that it is all worthwhile.

  • Rachel Swaby

    Schools Team Manager

    I am thrilled that as School Team Manager, I will have the opportunity to educate, develop and inspire many through the unique service we provide in our state schools. As well as educating children through RE lessons and the wonderful Bible stories that are shared through our assemblies, I believe that building relationships and supporting staff involved in education is just as important.

    I am always amazed at how much children remember from their assembly experiences. Not only just the stories, but the themes behind the stories as well.

  • Glenis Ruston

    Training Manager

    As an organisation working with children in school we are committed to ensuring that we do the best job we can. For many years we have run induction training for new staff and regular termly training for everyone. This includes skills, education issues, theological understanding and personal development. My role for the last few years has been to plan and co-ordinate that alongside Clare and the Spinnaker management team.

  • Kim Woodley

    Worthing Hub Leader

    It is so exciting to be invited into schools and to play a small part in introducing Christianity to young children. Building a relationship with the schools so that they are able to share their joys and worries is a real privilege. I am passionate about the education and care of youngsters and I believe that helping a child’s spiritual awareness by sowing small seeds of understanding will, with God’s grace, grow and develop and stay with these children for life.

  • The Trustees

    Our dedicated band of Trustees meet 5 times a year but are always on hand for consultation, advice and strategic planning. They believe passionately in the vision and the team that delivers it. They watch over us with wisdom and compassion to ensure the Spinnaker goals are met.

    Chig Gough, pictured here, is one of our longest serving Trustees. When asked about his involvement he told us: 'I'm thrilled to have been involved in the development of Spinnaker over the last 22 years and I look forward to see us continuing to share the Christian message with another generation'.

  • Martin Sweet
  • Caroline Allen
  • Gill Ashley-Smith
  • Katie Burtonshaw
  • CathyEllis
  • Heather Hawthorne
  • ClaireHoll
  • Steve Palmer
  • Rachel Swaby
  • Glenis Ruston
  • Kim Woodley
  • The Trustees