Our Team

Gurpreet Sidhu

Director

Gurpreet is A5cend’s dynamic founder and leader. She has experience of working in the private, public and voluntary sectors since 2000.  Graduating from Manchester University with two degrees, she worked her way up from administrative roles to managerial positions in the public and third sector, giving her an insight into how not-for-profits of all shapes and sizes operate. Well-known for her down to earth, honest and reliable approach, she is creative and talented at seeing opportunities for organisations to improve and develop.

Having worked as both a freelance grant assessor and a quality assurance inspector, she has sound knowledge of best practice enabling her to advise not-for-profits on how to transform their services and build sustainability.

Gurpreet is also the Development Director of an award-winning company Adventure Playground Engineers which gives her strong business acumen.

Charlotte Dean

Associate

Charlotte worked as a Research Associate within Manchester University’s Education in Urban Contexts Research Group and then as an independent Evaluation Consultant to charities, universities and local authorities for over a decade before joining A5cend in 2013. She is a Trustee and Founding Member of two social enterprises and has co-designed and delivered a range of community projects.

Charlotte is motivated by working in partnership with clients to co-design and embed positive, participatory and sustainable learning cultures within their organisations. She is consistently inspired by the brilliant and crucial projects delivered by our A5cend clients!

Andy Bond

Associate

Andy has worked in Trusts and Foundations fundraising for over a decade, in both in-house and consultancy roles. He has helped dozens of organisations to raise in excess of £5m from hundreds of successful grant proposals.

With an academic background spanning the arts and science, he’s adept at working with clients across a variety of sectors, from international aid to after-school play projects. He is experienced at working with clients to develop their projects, finding the most appropriate funders for them, and putting together clear, compelling and effective applications.

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Celia Goddard

Associate

Celia has over 12 years’ experience of research, evaluation, strategic planning and organisational development.

A skilled evaluator, she has expertise in quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, developing SMART targets and measuring impact. She is also experienced in writing compelling funding bids, developing business plans, producing “theory of change” models and carrying out organisational strength reviews.

As a former director of a small charity, Celia has first-hand experience of overcoming the day-to-day challenges of running a not-for-profit organisation.

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Jane Robinson

Associate

Jane is a highly experienced major gift fundraiser, specialising in family foundations and high-net-worth individuals.

She has worked at senior management level in a range of non-profits from small arts charities to nationally-important heritage institutions (eg Durham Cathedral) and international organisations (eg Greenpeace). Throughout her career, Jane has built effective networks with charities and funders, and takes great satisfaction in bringing both sides together to engender positive social change.

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Rob Parton

Associate

Rob Parton specialises in all aspects of trusts and major grant fundraising. Working as a professional fundraiser for over eighteen years he has held senior management positions at the Barbican, Shape Arts, Volunteering Matters, and Freedom from Torture among others. Throughout his career he has built good knowledge and working relationships with all of the UK’s major funders.

Rob offers expert guidance in fundraising strategies including prospect research, project planning, stakeholder and partnership engagement, funding applications, grant management, and evaluation.

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Judith Rosten

Associate

Judith has over 12 years’ experience in the third sector, following a stint in academia earning a Ph.D in archaeology. She specialises in trusts and grants fundraising and has worked across a range of causes including environmental, military and youth sectors. She is highly skilled across all aspects from prospect research, project development and application preparation, and enjoys transforming ideas and information into compelling bids. 

As a former chair of a community arts charity, Judith also has first-hand experience of the challenges for small charities.

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Chupa Phiri

Associate

Chupa is a fundraising strategist and trainer with 20 years’ experience in institutional fundraising (trusts, foundations, corporates and statutory) in Africa, Europe and the US. She works for a broad range of causes including international development, human rights, gender issues, global health and education.

Chupa has extensive experience in business development, prospect research, project development and management, bid writing, strategy development, and grant management. Chupa has combined her passion for community development and philanthropy and works in partnership with charities to help them identify and raise vital resources for their work.

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Julie Foster

Associate

Julie has more than 20 years’ experience working in the charity sector, in senior fundraising positions for a wide range of charities, from large national organisations to small start-ups.

Julie started her fundraising career in the NSPCC’s corporate fundraising team in 1999 and went on to establish a successful new fundraising and communications directorate for national disability charity, FitzRoy. Since 2010 Julie has worked as a freelance consultant, specialising in high level statutory and trusts fundraising.

Julie is passionate about upskilling smaller charities that do incredible work.

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Niki Evangelou

Social Media Lead

Niki Evangelou is a creative consultant, project co-ordinator and Co-Founder of The Cat’s Mother. With 6 years’ experience in music and 3 years working in the charity sector, she’s played a key role in fundraising for up-and-coming UK artists and project managers, and is a keen advocate for women achieving success and recognition in the creative industries.