Meet the Team

  • Daniel Singleton

    National Executive Director

    Daniel Singleton has been the National Executive Director of FaithAction – since 2007. In this role Daniel has become influential in a number of government departments, highlighting the significant part that faith-based organisations are playing in communities around the UK. As part of FaithAction’s mission of connecting government with grassroots organisations, Daniel also meets regularly with FaithAction member groups to help them develop in their social action.

    Daniel is a gifted speaker, particularly on the topics of how community groups can partner with government, the role of faith in local services, and how to engage the community in local action.

    Before his work with FaithAction, Daniel worked as a history teacher in a London secondary school and later as training and development manager for a large voluntary sector organisation in east London. Daniel is also chair of the board of trustees of a multi-academy schools trust.

  • Rodie Garland

    Policy Adviser

    Rodie is FaithAction’s Policy Adviser. She leads on parts of FaithAction’s programme of work for the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England – especially on our Faith and Public Health research and on Friendly Places. She also works on our FaithLab initiative to collect evidence of good and innovative practice from faith groups in addressing social problems.

    Previously, Rodie worked as a researcher on education and social policy, and she holds a Master’s degree in Policy Studies in Education. Before this, she studied Russian and worked as a translator. She enjoys ‘entertaining’ the neighbours with her trombone playing.

  • Jeremy Simmons

    Policy and Programme Officer

    Jeremy, as Policy and Programme Officer, aims to raise the voice of faith in policy making and gather evidence of local faith-based solutions. He also assists with FaithAction’s work for the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England, as well as the APPG for Faith and Society.

    Jeremy has a background in Theology, as well as Art History, and maintains an interest in art practice and the intersections between faith and culture – as well as good coffee.

  • Elspeth Paisley

    Head of Communications; Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham Manager; THIFF Manager

    Elspeth is FaithAction’s Head of Communications, with over 15 years’ experience in project management and strategy in charity communications.

    Elspeth’s background is in the creative industries. She is a former textile designer and business entrepreneur who worked with top designers in the fashion industry. Her primary passion though is to make a lasting difference to individuals and communities, and this was the driver behind her career change 20 years ago. She now focuses on maximising the different methods of communication to highlight and profile messages of hope that bring solutions to people and policy. Elspeth is experienced in project and event management, social media, graphic design, marketing, PR and media. She also manages the Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham and Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum contracts for FaithAction.

    Elspeth is married with two grown up children; family life is very important to her and downtime is mainly spent with family and friends. She is also a trustee of Dagenham-based charity, Community Resources, and co-founder of social enterprise The Corner Coffee House.

  • Dr Anne Smith

    Creative English Lead Trainer

    Dr Anne Smith is the Lead Trainer and Founder of the Creative English programme. In this role, she writes session plans and materials, trains facilitators and supports those delivering Creative English. She is responsible for developments of the Creative English programme, including variations to support Health Professionals and Creative English: Family Learning.

    Anne created the Creative English programme after seven years of research with refugees and migrants, exploring how approaches to drama-based learning could build community and increase participants’ sense of belonging. This resulted in her being awarded a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London in 2013. She has more than twenty years of experience in the formal and informal education sector, as a teacher and workshop facilitator in schools, universities and community settings. She has presented at conferences nationally and internationally on facilitating belonging. Recent conferences include University of Manchester, University of Cork and New York University. She has published extensively on facilitation techniques, language education and building community. Some of her publications can be accessed via this website. As a researcher, she is passionate about identifying and disseminating good practice.

  • Martin Smith

    Creative English Senior Hub Co-ordinator

    Martin has worked for FaithAction and its parent organisation Lifeline Projects for over 6 years and has held numerous roles, including Project Manager, Project Delivery Officer and Data and Technical Support Officer. His background is IT Management, holding an MCSE, ITIL foundation cert and Prince 2 project management qualifications.

    Martin currently works full-time as the Senior Hub Co-Ordinator on the Creative English Project.

    He has previously spent 4 years working in Mozambique as an aide development worker and speaks Portuguese.

    Other interesting notes are that he is an ex-professional photographer, he loves fishing, golf and generally collecting hobbies!

  • Jessica Addo

    Creative English Hub Co-ordinator

    Jessica has joined the FaithAction team as Hub Coordinator, supporting Anne and Martin with the day-to-day coordination of the Creative English project. In this role, she maintains contact with the hubs, monitors their progress, ensure contract compliance and offers support when needed.

    Prior to this, Jessica studied Global (Public) Health at Queen Mary, University of London and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Policy and Management. Jessica has always shown a keen interest in working with the public, previously volunteering with organisations including Healthwatch, STOPAIDS and Future Frontiers. She spent 18 months working with a community-based mental health charity supporting individuals from a number of backgrounds. During this time, she particularly enjoyed delivering a pre-entry English course for local migrants and refugees – drawing her to Creative English. Besides interests in people and health, Jessica also enjoys baking, singing and graphic design.

  • Lydia Martin

    Creative English Trainer; Connected Communities Officer

    Lydia will be working as both a Creative English trainer and on a project called Connected Communities which is led by Barking and Dagenham Council for people living in the borough. In these roles she will be delivering sessions to learners, training and supporting volunteers to run their own sessions and building partnerships and good working relationships to deliver the Connected Communities project successfully.

    Lydia has been working in, and with communities in the UK and abroad for 20 years running arts projects, as well as working in community engagement and development for local authorities and charities. Her focus has been working with ethnic minority communities, including faith communities, to strengthen their skills, capacity and confidence to integrate and be part of their communities.

  • Catriona Martin

    Creative English Trainer

    Catriona is one of FaithAction’s Creative English Trainers. She delivers sessions locally in the London Borough of Redbridge, but also trains volunteer facilitators to deliver Creative English in hubs across the country. As a qualified teacher she has been involved in education in the UK and Overseas for over 25 years, working in both schools and community projects. Catriona is passionate about seeing people flourish by building relationships within their communities and seeing those relationships and their communities thrive. As communication is key to this, Catriona is excited to train volunteers to deliver Creative English in their local communities and enjoys hearing lots of laughter from learners!

    Catriona has recently begun to teach swimming, and enjoys open water swimming particularly in Scotland and the Lake District during the Summer months!

  • Bethan Illman

    Creative English Trainer

    Bethan is a Creative English Trainer at Faith Action. In this role she trains volunteers around the country to deliver the Creative English programme as well as facilitating sessions in Barking and Dagenham. Before joining Faith Action, Bethan worked for arts and education charity Stitches in Time as youth social action leader, exploring social issues through the arts with children and teenagers in Tower Hamlets.

    Bethan is a volunteer with refugee solidarity charity Fences and Frontiers and is leader of the ‘London, Museums and Me’ project. Joining people new to the UK with Londoners to explore Museums, make friends and hopefully feel like London is home! She studied Drama at Queen Mary University which is where she found a passion for applied theatre and began volunteering for various projects which eventually lead her to work on Creative English at Faith Action!

  • Heather Ratnarajah

    Team Coordinator

    Heather is Team Coordinator for the whole team at FaithAction. She ensures good communication and understanding amongst the various sub-teams regarding current workload and availability.  She acts as administrative support for all ongoing projects, including being a part of the team acting as Secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith and Society and enjoys the work they do organising important meetings and events at Westminster.

    Heather is also a professionally trained opera singer and has enjoyed a career singing with the Scottish national opera company, among others. She still sings professionally and can be heard at friends’ weddings and parties across the UK.

  • Jenny Hadgraft

    Project Administrator

    Before having three daughters, Jenny worked for a health insurance company. Full time mum until 2013, she went back to college and completed a degree in English Language and Communication. Afterwards, she began volunteering with the National Autistic Society, which lead to a temporary position within the Care and Support Alliance as a policy and campaigns assistant. Finally, she joined the administration team here at FaithAction as she wanted to be involved in an organisation that is focused on providing solutions for local people. Jenny provides the secretariat for one of FaithAction’s projects THIFF, the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum. Jenny also supports other projects such as Connected Communities and our work with the Department of Health. In her spare time Jenny loves spending time with family, reading and exercising.

  • Georgia Adkins

    Project Administrator

    Georgia is an Administrator for FaithAction across different projects, with a particular focus on Creative English. She is the voice behind FaithAction’s Twitter and supports the communications team, as well as working in tandem with the finance department. A member of LifeLine Church, Georgia started off as a summer intern for FaithAction in June 2018, which then, to her surprise, eventually turned itself into a full time job.

    Prior to this, she was fulfilling her passion for history as a first year student, studying History and Politics at the University of Greenwich. Her love for history can be seen throughout her volunteering work for the Holocaust Educational Trust, where she has been a guest speaker at City Hall, the Home Office and the Houses of Parliament. Besides this, Georgia loves music, films, dogs and spending time with her best friends.