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Meet the team.

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Adam Walker

CEO

Prior to founding Oaks in 2008, Adam enjoyed a broad career in the sport sector, working as Commercial Director of Everton Football Club, Deputy Chief Executive of UK Athletics and Development Director of the Lawn Tennis Association. With a love of sport and strategy, his favourite part of his role is supporting clients throughout the strategic planning process and seeing them successfully achieve their goals. Outside of work, Adam holds several voluntary positions, including Chair of Volleyball England and Chair of GB Table Tennis. In his earlier life Adam competed for Britain as a decathlete. However, now much older (and slower!) spends his spare time skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the countryside.

Paul Findlay

Director of Charities

Paul joined Oaks after an 18-year journey in strategic roles, including Director of Social Impact at EPIC, The Football Association, Barclays, and Blesma - The Limbless Veterans. Now, as Director of Charities, he's leading the strategic growth of our consultancy services, focusing on business development and service enhancement in the charity sector. An avid sports fan, Paul spends his weekends coaching his daughters' U8 and U10 football teams. Off the pitch, he loves walking his Weimaraner, Kaiser, exploring new restaurants, and geeking out building LEGO.

Nic Skipwith

Director of Operations

Prior to joining the team, Nic’s entire career involved working with charities and non-profits, with several leadership roles at large charities in the UK. As Director of Operations at Oaks, supporting these fantastic organisations to provide vital services is still a huge focus of her work. Nic’s favourite part of her role is the variety – no two days are the same, but seeing our work make a real impact is immensely rewarding. Outside of work, Nic loves the outdoors… and food! Having adventures and exploring new cultures (including new foods) is one of her biggest passions.

Dan Wilson

Director of Education

Dan joined Oaks in 2024, bringing 20 years of experience in the sport, non-profit and education sectors. He has worked as a teacher, consultant, director and founder. With a strengths-based leadership philosophy, Dan supports several organisations as a trustee including Rotherham United’s Foundation and is Chair of Governors at an academy in Yorkshire. At Oaks, Dan is excited to develop a new area of the business, supporting schools and trusts to grow, operate more efficiently and better support children’s development. Most of his spare time is spent watching his son play football and his daughter dance. However, he occasionally manages to squeeze in a gig or paddle board excursion, with or without his wetsuit!

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Beth Sadler

Head of Consultancy

Emma Atkins

Director of Sport

Ben Nicholson

Head of Business Development

Phil Taylor

Head of Associations and Federations

Beth joined Oaks in 2019. As Head of Consultancy, she supports our clients with designing, resourcing, and implementing strategic and fundraising solutions to meet their goals. Beth uses her experience in relationship management for third and public sector organisations to help our clients develop effective donor strategies. She loves leading interactive workshops with clients and getting everyone excited about new initiatives. Outside of work, Beth is happiest spending quality time with her son and husband. She also enjoys keeping herself mentally and physically healthy through her passion for peloton, clubbercise classes and running.

Emma is a recent addition to the team, joining in 2023 with over 30 years’ experience in the sport, sport for development and charity sectors to the role. Throughout her professional history, she has led organisations, teams and governmental programmes. Emma measures her day-to-day success on two metrics: how has she helped others? And, how many times have we laughed today? She enjoys supporting people to flourish by thinking outside of the box, even if this means challenging the status quo. Regularly found on a tennis court or jogging with her dog Wookiee (yes, a Star Wars fan!) she loves how Oaks aligns with her can-do attitude and positivity.

Ben joined Oaks in 2018, having previously supported organisations in the sport, education and charity sectors with income generation. Initially working across several client-facing service areas, Ben now leads our Business Development and Marketing team: driving business growth across each of our sectors. With his understanding of our services from his client-facing days, Ben enjoys finding the links between our audiences’ challenges and Oaks’ services, helping them to overcome obstacles and expand their impact. An avid sports fan, foodie and part-time furniture-marker, when not working you can usually find him playing or watching sport or working on a new project.

Phil has been with Oaks since 2016. Now, as Head of Associations & Federations, he has supported countless organisations with strategic planning and income generation. With a background in coaching, Phil enjoys channelling his skills into tackling complex strategic challenges for every type of organisation. He also loves meeting new people and getting to collaborate with a variety of teams on consultancy projects. After work, if he isn’t on the pitch or in the pub, you will most likely find him exploring a European city!

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Aaron Dunkley

Head of Trusts and Foundations

Jess Shepherdson

Head of Retained Contracts

Angela Jones

Senior Fundraising Manager

Ellen Jurczak

Senior Fundraising Manager

As Head of Trusts and Foundations, Aaron supports organisations to secure grant funding, and shapes Oaks’ service offer based on trends and insight from the grants landscape. He loves to challenge clients to grow and improve, and the feeling of helping to make their work possible. Outside of work, you can usually find him at music gigs or playing/watching sport – cricket, football, kickboxing, bouldering, and tennis.

Jess joined Oaks straight out of university, starting as an Account Executive and progressing over the years into her current role as Head of Retained Contracts. Throughout her time here, her favourite part of the job has remained the same – supporting charities to deliver more of their amazing work, with a particular focus on organisations using sport as a vehicle for social impact. Outside of work, Jess pursues her love of sport, having played hockey and football for most of her life.

Angela joined Oaks in January 2023 as a Senior Fundraising Manager. Prior to this, she has spent 25 years in the charity sector as an exercise physiologist, programme manager and executive director. Her experience includes developing community and corporate partnerships, bid-writing, board and volunteer engagement, and facility operations. At Oaks, she enjoys the welcoming, energetic culture and shared passion for supporting socially focused organisations to make a difference. Since relocating to the UK from the US in 2022, she has been having fun exploring natural spaces. You can usually find her on the forest trails, where she’ll be tuned into Spotify (acoustic Americana is her ‘go to’ genre!) or podcasts.

Prior to joining Oaks, Ellen worked in the charity sector for over nine years at several well-known charities including Cancer Research UK, Dementia UK and Shelter. As Senior Fundraising Manager, she consults with organisations across all income streams, with a particular focus on corporate, community and major donors, and helps them to put their plans into action. Her favourite part of what she does is helping clients to tackle their big challenges, identify opportunities and see things in a new light. Outside of work, Ellen enjoys reading, going to the cinema, gardening and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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Ben Kyte

Senior Account Manager

Tilly Williams

Marketing Manager

Will Juggins

Consultant

Jess Smith

Account Manager

Ben is a Senior Account Manager, providing bid-writing support to clients across the sport, education and charity sectors. Before joining Oaks, he previously worked as a fundraiser for a national children’s charity. He loves to add value to our clients’ work and using the power of words to make a difference to people’s lives. Outside of the office, Ben is kept busy by his young family, and where time permits, he enjoys being part of a church, playing bass and going to local gigs.

Tilly joined Oaks in 2021, after finishing an MSc in Business with Marketing at Warwick University. She now leads the development and execution of Oaks’ marketing strategy with a particular focus on digital. Her favourite parts of the role are the variety and the people – she loves working across the team to develop creative campaigns and helping our clients to do the same. Outside of work, Tilly lives on an athlete’s diet of chocolate cereal and M&S giant buttons, which fuels her love-hate relationship with long-distance running.

Prior to joining Oaks in 2021, Will worked in commercial lending and startup consultancy, supporting startups with their business planning and goal setting. Now working as a consultant, Will works across all our sectors, drawing on his experience to help support clients with their strategic planning, income generation and governance. Outside of work, Will (sometimes) enjoys playing golf and, when he isn’t sifting through bushes for a lost ball, is partial to a beer in the clubhouse or, training in his other passion, Muay Thai!

Jess joined Oaks in 2022 as an Account Executive after completing her Masters in Human Rights and Global Ethics. She now works in the Trusts and Foundations team, where she manages client relations and grant funding for a variety of non-profits. She loves working in such a supportive and knowledgeable team, and the feeling that the work she does makes a positive impact to so many people. Jess's favourite hobby is escaping to the countryside, exploring coastal areas of Devon, and surfing in the sun!

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Mel Needle

Office Manager

Zahra Mir

Account Manager

Lucy Wilkes

Account Executive

Anuj Rishi

Business Development Exec

Mel joined Oaks in 2015 previously working in various industries including Advertising & Marketing, Recruitment and Property Development gaining valuable experience in HR, payroll, finance and secretarial roles. She enjoys being part of a team of kind, caring people who always look after each other and the variety each day brings to her role. When not working she enjoys spending time at the local pub; days out and holidaying with her husband.

Zahra is a non-profit and international development sector professional, who joined Oaks as an Account Manager in 2023. In her role, she focusses on the identification and securing of funding for clients in the sport and education sectors. She loves to help organisations to achieve their social purpose, and seeing the incredible impact of their work. After work, she enjoys going for walks and photography.

Lucy joined Oaks in July 2023 as an Account Executive after graduating from university with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy. She works in the Trusts and Foundations team, where she liaises with non-profits across our core sectors to secure grant funding for their projects. Lucy loves the family feel of Oaks and has always felt welcome and valued by her colleagues despite this being her first full-time role after university. Outside of work, you can always find Lucy with her nose in a book or out for brunch with her mates!

Anuj joined Oaks in 2023 as Business Development Executive. While his previous experience is primarily in the sport sector, he is committed to supporting organisations to create a positive impact wherever he can. A recent MSc Sport Management graduate from Coventry University, Anuj brings lots of fresh ideas to grow and develop the business, and enjoys researching the latest trends in order to expand our work. Outside the office, if he isn’t working out, then he will either be found travelling, sleeping or in a pub!

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Hajrah Shafique

Account Executive

Marcus MacDonald

Account Executive

Hajrah joined Oaks in 2023 after completing an LLB in Law. As an Account Executive, she supports the wider team by identifying new grant opportunities and conducting research on funding landscapes. She loves her role because it allows her to combine her passion for research with her dedication to making a positive impact. An avid embroiderer and nature enthusiast, she finds joy in exploring woodland areas while caring for her unique companions, Willow, a sphynx, and Cornelius, a bearded dragon.

As an Account Executive on the Consultancy Team, Marcus supports the delivery and coordination of projects across the sport, education, and charity sectors. Marcus enjoys this role because he can contribute to socially focused organisations maximising their impact and strengthening their legacies within their communities. Outside of work, Marcus is happiest while spending time with friends exploring nature and playing sports.

Our people are our business.

Our people are at the heart of what we do. We are incredibly proud of the culture we have built, which celebrates diverse perspectives, mutual respect and open communication. Every day, we foster an environment where every team member feels valued and engaged. Although our team is comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, we are united by a single purpose: helping organisations across the globe to make a difference.

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