Our People

Our people are driven by a shared passion for creating an empowering, child-centered place where everyone has the opportunity to grow and learn.

Through high-quality professional training and reflection, we are continuously learning with and from young people and each other.

Emmanuel is a former English teacher. He trained on the Teach First programme and taught in Birmingham for three years. Emmanuel has been developing the idea for Lighthouse since 2014 when he began conducting research into the educational experiences of looked after children.

In 2018, he was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study children’s homes in Germany and Denmark, the results of which informed the Lighthouse model. Emmanuel is a graduate of the London School of Economics and also holds an MA in Education and Leadership from Warwick University. 

Amanda Chandler

Head of Communications

Amanda began her career as a secondary school teacher through the TeachFirst programme, where she met Emmanuel and joined the working group to develop Lighthouse in its early stages. Amanda has worked in various public and third sector management and consulting roles, most recently working for Catch22 leading the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum and a partnership project with Southwark Council’s leaving care service through the Department for EducationAmanda is passionate about supporting children and young people to achieve their potential.

Shilpa started her career with the NSPCC in 2011 and set up their first digital youth engagement platform, she then led the digital transformation of a number of children’s therapeutic services. Shilpa is passionate about supporting young people’s mental health and is a volunteer Childline counsellor and guest lecturer on child exploitation and online protection at Salford University. Shilpa is a graduate from the University of Manchester with an MSc in International Development.

Nicola has almost 20 years’ experience in children’s social care as a frontline practitioner and manager in residential childcare, as well as roles in policy, research, strategy, practice, education and workforce development. Before joining Lighthouse, Nicola was at the youth charity St Christopher’s, initially opening a new children’s home based on social pedagogic principles, then working across the organisation to embed social pedagogy in theory and practice at operational and strategic levels. She was a member of the steering group which founded the Social Pedagogy Professional Association, and is a graduate of the University of Oxford and London Metropolitan University.

Punil has over 10 years’ experience spanning business and education. He started his career as a Science teacher and trained through the Teach First programme. SubsequentlyPunil worked as a consultant for Accenture, advising global and national clients, and then as a business developer for Europe’s largest fashion e-commerce retailer in BerlinPrior to joining Lighthouse, he supported an ed-tech startup scale up their operations and established a service to help people find suitable therapists to support their mental health. Punil is graduate of Imperial College London with an MSci in Physics. 

"Being part of an organisation that has a great social purpose, and also challenges me to grow and learn every day, has been a humbling experience. Seeing our first home open and playing such an integral role will be something that I can be proud of long into the future.

Shilpa Belliappa - Development Manager

We are growing!

We will be growing our team in 2020 and looking for people to join us at our head office and our new team in our first Lighthouse home.