Meet the team

While much of our work relies on our invaluable army of volunteers there is a small operational team in the background, managing the day to day running. Our Trustees are also very hands-on, working directly with our international partners in making a difference. Time for introductions…

Operational team

Photograph of Simon Cooke

Simon Cooke

Team, Social Media and Shoebox Project Officer

I moved to Teams4U in 2020 after working as an Advocate for adults with disabilities for the past 10 years. Prior to this i have worked for Shelter Cymru and Prince’s Trust. Having grown up with the shoebox project it is something I’ve always wanted to be involved with more and jumped at the opportunity when it arose.

Photography of Ziz York

Ziz York

Program Head

I started working with T4U in 2012, supporting our incredible volunteer regional team who run Shoebox centres and collections across the country. I work with our International Team overseeing our long-term programmes in Uganda and Sierra Leone, and manage applying and reporting on grants.

I am married to Garan who volunteers his IT skills, regularly helping me fix the office printer(!), and we have two children.

Photograph of Pearl Pawson

Pearl Pawson

Grants & Finance Manager

I have worked with Teams4U as a volunteer since 2008 managing the accounts and getting involved in some of the administration work. In March 2021 I officially joined the staff team as an employee with greater responsibilities for finance and grants. It has been exciting watching Teams4u grow and develop over the years and I am looking forward to getting more involved as we continue to do so.

I am married with 2 grown up children and I am based in Warwickshire.

International team

Ben Omoding

Uganda Project Director

A Certified Public Accountant by qualification, I have been involved with Teams4U for over twelve years, deputizing Dave in managing teams of volunteers, planning & preparing programmes and overseeing all Uganda projects.

I am married to Jemima Omoding and we have two amazing Children.

Christine Agwang

Lead Educator, Uganda

Christine is a deputy head teacher, with a Diploma in Primary Education and currently pursuing Bachelor of Education in Primary Education. She is married with three children and has been involved with T4U since 2015

Her focus is working with the community, teachers, pupils, nurses to reduce menstrual health absenteeism among school age going children.

Alice Acilo

Lead Educator, Uganda

Alice is an enrolled Nurse with a certificate in enrolled Nursing and is currently completing her diploma in comprehensive Nursing. She is widowed with two children and has been involved with T4U since 2017

Her focus is working with adolescents in prevention of STDs and teenage pregnancies so that they can complete their education uninterrupted.

Helga Sellu

Sierra Leone Project Director

Helga was born and lives in Sierra Leone. She graduated with an HR degree but her vision and passion was always to work with disadvantaged young people and so she now works full time for Teams4U overseeing the various in-country projects.

Helga lives in the capital Freetown with her daughter and sister.


Nick Pengelly

I lead The Community Church Wrexham with my wife Sue.  I am the director of several charities that work both locally and overseas, including Erlas Gardens Project, Catch the Fire UK and Teams4U.  I am also Director in the thriving online retail Seed Company, Just Seed Ltd.  The setting up and running of my own company has been fulfilment of a long-held dream, not only to be a business owner but to have a place where people can be encouraged to fulfil their own dreams.  My life is always busy with 5 children and continued attempts to grow a giant pumpkin!

John Harrison

I joined Teams4U 12 years ago and I still 100% enjoy working with amazing people who are making a real difference to the lives of children and their communities. I am a trustee with Teams4U but describe myself as a general dogs body, happy to be involved where needed. I have a passion for our African projects and especially in seeing the improvements to educational opportunities there.

I am very happy to share my experiences and encourage others to become involved.

Paul Jeanes

I am a Horticultural Consultant at work and within the charity just one of the trustees. Having worked all my life in horticulture in the glasshouse business growing pot plants and bedding plants I ran my own business up until 2012 when I semi-retired.

Have been involved in shoeboxes for over 20 years now and joined Teams4U 4 years ago. Along with many amazing volunteers we help run an export warehouse in Evesham.

I am married to Alison and we have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

Debbie Parry

I have been involved in Teams4U as a supporter for many years.

Professionally, I am an speech and language therapist, who has worked for many years children and families with additional needs. I have held strategic and clinical roles in schools and the NHS. I have also written and delivered bespoke and accredited training for many different audiences and enjoy working with others towards a shared goal. I am passionate about improving outcomes for all and know that communication is often the key to this.

I am married to Nick and we have 4 children, so life is busy and full. I am thrilled to have joined the Teams4U family in May 2021, at such an exciting time and am looking forward to learning more, influencing and being a critical friend in my role as a Trustee.

Steve Hewitt

I have been involved with T4U since the beginning, working as a volunteer producing videos to promote the work of the charity.  After retiring from a career at the BBC, I have become a Trustee and also continue to film and edit videos to explain and promote our projects. 

It’s a privilege being part of this dynamic team, overseeing and helping steer the charities goals. 

I am married to Sharon, have two fantastic children and a very lively Grandson. 

Photograph of Ian Mackenzie

The Mackers Memorial Fund

In memory of our Trustee Ian Mackenzie (1936-2021), known to all of us as Mackers, his family and the Board of T4U have set up the Mackers Memorial Fund.

The aim of the fund will be to provide partial travel bursaries to a limited number of young people (at the discretion of the Board) who want to get involved practically with our projects overseas.

Mackers volunteered with T4U since it’s inception in 2006 and was a member of the Board from 2016-2021.