Our People

Our small team of staff are committed to delivering the vision. They are managed by our volunteer board of trustees who are local residents and workers who have lived or work within our community.  

Everyone involved with the charity is committed to making real and positive change.

Lee Nicholls

Lee became the Chairperson in January 2019. He has been involved with the charity since its inception and is keen to lead the organisation forward in the next step of its journey. Lee has been involved with the local community for over 30 years and has owned and managed a business locally for this time. Alongside fellow Trustees, he is passionate about making a positive change in the local community and working together to deliver our Big Local vision. 

Dr Mokhtar Elarashi
Vice Chairperson 

Mokhtar has been a resident since February 2015 and is a Media researcher by profession, with interest in media studies. He is passionate and keen to make difference in St Matthews estate by supporting the community and delivering the St Matthews Big Local vision. He has good IT, admin and interpersonal communication skills, besides he loves cycling. He wants to help improve the cycling culture in the area and Leicester as a whole. He enjoys being involved in delivering projects, help to reach and contact more local residents.

Karen Reed

I have worked in the area for over 4 years as a Police Community Support Office. I have been involved in many events over the years which have been supported/ran by Big Local including the MUGA opening, Parks Day and day trips to the seaside.  I have also set up and run a Ladies Community Café at St Matthews House, Kamloops Crescent on Wednesdays 12:30-14:30.  Everyone is welcome to visit the community café where we enjoy things such as Zumba, flower arranging, celebrations, meals out and above all, making new friends.


If you see me out and about on the estate, please feel free to come and talk to me with any suggestions or feedback (positive or negative) on how the Board are performing and any idea you may have for us to look at for the future.

Salah Sayid

As a resident and a worker on the estate, I am keen to be involved with Big local and in the making of decisions about improving the estate. I have a lot of friends and family who also live in St Matthews. I have a good range of interpersonal and professional skills (as a family support worker) which can be of benefit to St Matthews Big Local.


Saima Shah
 Admin/Finance worker 

Saima Shah was a resident for over 11 years and recently done some crochet workshops in the community and feels this community is very diverse, friendly and talented. She says she is really pleased to work as the Administrator/Finance Officer here at St Matthews Big Local and looks forward to working for this community and beyond on behalf of St Matthews Big Local delivering its vision.


Abdirahman Ahmed

Abdirahman joined the Board of Trustee in 2018 and is a local resident.


John Bunting
Premises Officer 

John is our Premises Officer at St Matthews House. He also looks after the Multi-Use Games Area. He is responsible for keeping our premises clean and tidy and ensuring the site is safe and ready for everyone to use. 


Ali Adnan

Ali is pleased to join our Board of Trustees. Ali had lived locally for the past 20 years and is also a keen coach delivering sessions at our Multi Use Games Area. Ali is keen to be the voice of young people on our board.


Simon Johnson
Charity Manager

Simon is responsible for the day to day management of the organisation. He has been involved with the Big Local programme since 2012 and has been heavily involved with the charity as a volunteer before being appointed as the manager in December 2018. Simon brought with him a variety of experience in both the public and private sector and will support the development of the charity as it moves forward in the future.

Trevor Sinclair
VP Accounts
Barbara Grant-Bennett
Community Engagement Worker

Barbara Grant-Bennett was appointed as our Community Engagement Worker in March 2018.

Barbara will be working hard in our community, engaging with the many diverse groups that live and work in our community. She is keen to deliver the Big Local Community plan and her role is to bring this to fruition.


Chris James

I Live in St Matthews and I think the Big Local can be a great opportunity for EVERYONE who lives in St Matthews. The area is great but together we can make it even better.


Aysha Sidat

Aysha joined the Board of Trustee in December 2018 and is a local resident.


Carol Allan
 Trustee - Treasurer 

Carol is a local resident and has been involved in the Big Local programme since 2012. Carol is now retired but has a background in finance. Carol is keen to support local residents and in particular the elders within the community and ensure that they have a strong voice. 


Amina Garda

I have been a resident on St Matthews estate for over 13 years, it is a lovely area to live in, but has not been given the opportunity to shine out. I believe we as a diverse multi cultural community, have a lot to give back to our own community. 

Little changes can make a big difference.


Ish Latif
Sports and Volunteer Inclusion Coach 

Ish has worked on St Matthews Estate for several years and was appointed as our Sport and Volunteer Inclusion Coach in February 2020. Ish will be supported by Shahbaaz and will be developing a Sports programme encouraging and supporting local people to get involved in working and volunteering in Sport. If you would like to volunteer get in touch. 


Shahbaaz Khan
Sessional Sports and Volunteer Inclusion Coach