Our People

Our small team of staff is committed to delivering our local vision in St Matthews.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.

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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.


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.


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. 


Aysha Sidat

Aysha joined the Board of Trustee in December 2018 and is a local resident. Aysha is a keen cook and is passionate about supporting the charity to make a difference in her community. 


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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. 


Sarah Whitmore

Hi I'm Sarah Whitmore. I've been a St Matthews' resident for 17 years and I love the estate and the people that live here. I feel part of one big family willing to help each other in times of need. I do my best to help anyone I can. 


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.


Uneiza Ravat

Uneisa joined our Board of Trustees in September 2020. Uneiza lives in St Matthews with her family and has been a passionate advocate of the Charity since it started. Uneiza is an active member of the community and has recently been volunteering to support a weekly women's sports session at our Multi-Use Games Area.


Cees Valk
Business Development Officer 

Cees is responsible for Business Development within our organisation. He has been involved with the Rotary club and various other charities over the past 4 years.

Cees brings has a variety of experiences within the private sector running his own successful sports business. He will be working with the team to secure short and long-term funding. 


Zakaria Ahmed

I wanted to be a trustee for St Matthews Big Local because they impact positively to St Matthews and it's residence and I wanted to be a part of that.


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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.


St Matthews Big Local - Coach Ish Latif
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 providing a range of Sports opportunities locally and developing the skills and confidence of local people to get involved in working and volunteering in Sport. If you would like to volunteer get in touch. 


Naima Ahmed

Naima is a resident in St Matthews and was keen to join our Board of Trustees after hearing about the work the Charity was doing during the 2020 pandemic to support the Community. 


Mohamed Gutale
Assistant Sports Coach

Mohamed is one of our trained volunteers who have also completed some sports qualifications. His role is to assist in our sports sessions to ensure smooth, safe and enjoyable delivery to the users. 


Hashim Amodmia
Assistant Sports Coach

Hashim is one of our trained volunteers who have also completed some sports qualifications. His role is to assist in our sports sessions to ensure smooth, safe and enjoyable delivery to the users.