Our Team

Our Staff Team:

Sam Nightingale, Chief Executive Officer

Photo Sam

Sam has joined Home-Start Cambridgeshire as the first ever CEO.   She brings experience of leading organisations across the voluntary and statutory sector both here in the UK and in the developing world.  Most recently she was Operations Lead with the educational charity Red Balloon of the Air, working with young people not in mainstream education and their families.  And before that she lived for two years in rural Uganda managing an education charity working across nursery, primary, secondary and even university level.   Away from work she enjoys spending time with family, attends the gym and dances ballroom and latin.

Caroline Abraham, Funding Manager

Caroline photo 2Caroline joined Home-Start Cambridgeshire as Funding Manager in January 2018 and will be responsible for contributing to and implementing HSC’s Fundraising Strategy including identifying new fundraising opportunities . Prior to joining HSC, Caroline worked for a large multi-national company for 15 years in a range of roles in Customer Service, IS and Project Management. After taking a career break to raise her twin girls, Caroline turned to volunteering in her local community and it is here through her involvement in several local charities, as Secretary for a local playgroup, as Trustee/Fundraiser for a local community charity and as PTA Chair/Fundraiser at her children’s primary school, that she has discovered her passion for fundraising. In her spare time, she continues to be involved in supporting several community events/groups, enjoys walking/keeping fit, reading and spending time with her family.

Kathy Leakey, Project Manager


Kathy has been with Home-Start Cambridgeshire since February 2017, although previously worked for another Home-Start Scheme as both a Volunteer and a Co-ordinator.  Kathy is a qualified and registered Social Worker.  Much of her work experience has been within the Criminal justice system, working predominantly with victims of crime.  Kathy is really happy to be back at Home-Start, offering support to young families when they need it most.  She strongly believes that the early support Home-Start provides has long term positive impacts for the family which include improved mental health outcomes, reduction in isolation and increased take up of community resources. Kathy is married with a daughter who is studying at Leicester University.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, gardening, photography and dog walking.

Marney Connor, Volunteer and Marketing Manager


Marney worked for the Ministry of Defence, in a variety of roles, for 20 years before deciding to have a complete change in her career.  She has been a Volunteer, Trustee, Scheme Administrator and Scheme Co-ordinator for Home-Start Cambridgeshire since 2009. Marney is married with 2 grown up sons.  In her spare time she also works as a Hypnotherapist.

Beccy Impey, Co-ordinator (Hand in Hand project/NorPIP, funded by Comic Relief)


Beccy joined Home Start Cambridgeshire in May 2017 and is delighted to be part of the Hand in Hand partnership with NorPip. Previously Beccy worked within Children’s Social Care in a number of roles, most recently working with children and young people with additional needs.  She completed a Level 2 qualification in Counselling Skills and is very happy to be part of the project and working with Home-Start, offering support to young families when they need it most, especially around mental health where services can be lacking. Beccy lives with her partner and little boy, Oscar, who is a very energetic little boy!  She says life can be very challenging and hectic, yet fun and fulfilling!

Charlotte Daleworth, Co-ordinator


Charlotte joined the Home-Start Cambridgeshire team as a Co-ordinator in June 2015 after spending five years out of the workplace to look after her 3 young children.  Prior to this she enjoyed a 15 year career in the housing sector working on the frontline for many years, including in a women’s refuge and in housing management as well as in senior management roles for local authorities and a local housing association. Charlotte doesn’t have a lot of free time but enjoys being involved in her community and was a school governor from 2012-2016, ran a local toddler group for two years and is currently on the fundraising committee of her local playgroup. Charlotte loves reading and is an enthusiastic member of a book group in the village where she lives.

Emma Sadler, Co-ordinator

Emma Sadler photo

Emma started work at Home Start Cambridgeshire in November 2017 as a Co-ordinator following a career break of 3 years to look after her 2 young children. Before this Emma worked in the Criminal Justice System for 16 years in a variety of agencies and roles, within prison and community settings. The majority of these years was spent working in the Probation Service and specifically within the field of Domestic Abuse. Emma enjoys working alongside people to help them reach their full potential and is passionate about the value of early intervention and preventative work. Emma’s spare time is mostly spent running around after her children but when she can she also enjoys long walks in the fresh air, preferably by the sea, spending time with family and friends.

Emma Smith, Co-ordinator

Emma Smith photo

Emma joined Home-Start Cambridgeshire in January 2018 and was thrilled to be offered an opportunity to support families in the community. Emma has a son Alfie and 20 years’ experience working within the Early Years with children 0-5 and for the last 14 years has managed Day Nurseries in Cambridgeshire working with young children and their families. Emma has a passion for ensuring children have a good start in life and enjoys working with and supporting families to achieve this. In her spare time Emma enjoys playing Netball competitively in a Cambridgeshire League, spending time with her family and taking long walks with her dog, usually along the seafront.

Shelly O’Farrell, Co-ordinator (Fenland project, funded by Children in Need)


Shelly was very pleased to be given the opportunity of working for Home-Start Cambridgeshire as a Co-ordinator in April 2017 mainly covering the Fenland region.  She previously worked for the NHS Trust Ipswich Hospital in the pharmacy department for 16 years, working closely with a variety of patients.  As a manager she learnt a variety of skills and was acutely aware of the demands this role entailed.  Shelly left the hospital to be at home with her children and relocated to Cambridgeshire.  She thoroughly enjoys the challenges of being a mum and the huge sense of achievement this brings as well as enjoying fitness, running and spending time with family.

Julia Bailey, Administrator


Julia joined Home-Start Cambridgeshire in April 2012.  She is responsible for a wide range of administrative duties and enjoys the variety of work that Home-Start brings; dealing with families, volunteers, staff and trustees. Prior to joining Home-Start she worked for 10 years for Cambridge Assessment, working within the Customer Services Department of the Cambridge International Examinations Board. In her spare time she enjoys swimming, attends a dance exercise class and is kept busy looking after her three children.

Linda Gipp, Administrator


Linda has over 20 years’ experience in the voluntary sector having commenced working as an administrator for a children’s charity in 1993 and then with Home-Start Cambridgeshire in 2004.  She enjoys the diversity of the role which includes contact with families, volunteers, trustees and staff through to helping to organise events and fundraising.  Prior to this Linda worked in a bank for 14 years.  She has two grown up sons and is treasurer for a local sports club.

Tash Mitchell, Administrator


Tash joined Home-Start Cambridgeshire as a volunteer in 2014 and, having worked with several families, has seen the difference that Home-Start support can make.  In April 2017 Tash was very excited to become an administrator.  She has met a lot of staff who have made her feel very welcome and is enjoying her position within Home-Start. Tash has three children and they enjoy going on bike rides together.

Helen Meredith, Group Leader


Helen is Group Leader of the Home-Start Family Group in Chesterton.  Prior to this she worked as an occupational therapist in mental health services, specialising in dementia care.   Her passion has always been to enable individuals to reach their potential, be as independent as possible and maintain a sense of well-being. When not at work Helen spend most of her time being a mum and looking after her two children.  If there is time for any relaxation she enjoys pilates and playing the piano/singing!  Helen also helps at her local church with the children’s work.

Natalie Cook, Group Leader

Natalie Cook

Natalie worked as a civil servant for 15 years before taking a career break to be at home with her family.   During this time she pursued a change in career and volunteered for Home-Start whilst also studying Health and Social care with the Open University.  Following this she started work as a contact supervisor with a family support agency providing support between parents and children in the care system.   In March 2018 Natalie was delighted to be offered the role of Group Leader for the Children in Need funded group in Wisbech.  Natalie enjoys spending time with family and friends, keeping fit and running.

Maria Quinn, Group Worker


Maria has been involved with Home-Start Cambridgeshire since January 2012, first as a volunteer and then as Group Leader. She loves supporting the mums and their children at our Family Group, a job which she finds very rewarding and enjoyable. Maria, who comes from Finland, has a background in social and health care.  She has two children and also teaches medical students, provides activities for the elderly and teaches Finnish.

Julie Robinson, Play Worker

Julie R

Julie began volunteering for Home- Start Cambridgeshire in the spring of 2008 when her youngest child started school. She continued as a volunteer for five years during which time she gave support to several families. This was a hugely rewarding experience as Julie feels passionately that all children should have a positive start in life. Due to work commitments, Julie is no longer able to volunteer but she enjoys being a Playworker and part of the team which is able to offer valuable support to families within the weekly Home- Start Family Group. In addition to this, she works as a teaching assistant in a Cambridge primary school.

Sian Williams, Play Worker


Sian is a mum of two who has lived and worked in Cambridge for the last 20 years.  She has always worked in childcare both in schools, playgroups and childminding.  Sian has been a Home-start volunteer for more than six years and is a Playworker at the Home-Start Group on a Thursday.  In her spare time Sian works as a children’s entertainer – dressing up as a fairy.  It keeps her out of mischief!