Our Team

Gurpreet Sidhu

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!

Chearlotte Dean
Jo Wickens

Jo Wickens

Associate

Jo has extensive experience in fundraising, communications, monitoring & evaluation and programme & strategy development. She has held development roles at charities including Peace Brigades International, Children Change Colombia and Refugee Action.

Jo brings a wealth of experience of grant-making processes, project development and proposal writing to A5cend. She is an expert at developing effective fundraising strategies, systems (including databases) and funding bids. Jo speaks Spanish, French and (Brazilian) Portuguese; her passions include Tech for Good, Human Rights and international development.

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.

Celia Goddard

Jane Robinson

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.

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.