our team

Sarah Woods, CEO

Our CEO is an unpaid volunteer.

I was a trustee for 8 years: from the very beginning, before resigning from that role to become Chaffinch’s first (unpaid) CEO.

Chaffinch was my vision after a visit to Kibera resulting in Chaffinch’s foundation in February 2014. 

I have come to be a real part of the family and am “Mama Sarah” to the 200 or so children who are currently supported by the Future Stars Development Centre.  My passion lies in sharing those relationships/that connection with others, which makes my role as Sponsorship Coordinator one of my favourite parts of the job.

 As the CEO, I am responsible for managing all of the day-to-day operations of the charity and coordinating our wonderful team of volunteers.  I’m also involved in various other areas of Chaffinch’s operations from calculating the number of exercise books we need to buy, to speaking to groups about our work and editing our promotional videos.

Overall, I’m ensuring we continue to have a really positive impact and give children the opportunities they need to build a better life.  I’m a strong believer that, with enough determination and dedication, we can all pull together to make the world a better place for the next generation.

board of trustees

Ben Edwards



Having fallen in love with Kenya in my youth, it is so meaningful to be able to provide support and help those in need.  It is truly humbling to work with a group of such passionate and dedicated individuals who strive to make a difference every day.

Neil Hutton



Following many years in Sales and Marketing roles with the Food and Drinks industry, including a spell in South Africa, I am now complementing my consulting career as a Trustee with Chaffinch.  My specific responsibility is as Treasurer: steering the financial development of the charity and ensuring our actions conform to the appropriate laws and best practice.  With my Treasurer hat on I am involved int eh day to day movement of funds from our valued sponsors and donors right through to Future Stars, where we award funds and even directly purchase food, clothes, and provisions.  As a Trustee, my contribution is more strategic: attending bi-monthly Trustee board meetings and helping make the big decisions that allow us to continue expanding, helping more people in more ways.

Tobi Olofinnika, Secretary


I am qualified lawyer and currently studying for a Masters in Corporate Governance.  Over the years I have worked with children at lower and middle schools.  I am diligent, dedicated, and committed to the overall welfare of children.  The privilege to work with Chaffinch as a Trustee further helps me to fulfil my passion of supporting children.

Kate Williams 


After many years in travel PR, I retrained and have been running a successful osteopathic practice for the last 15 years.  I fell in love with Kenya during a family visit and was delighted to be offered the role of trustee in August 2021, where I hope to utilise my varied skills to support this important cause.

Sharan Dhami


I was delighted to join the Board of Trustees in April 2023.  I have worked for international public listed companies with operations across Africa.  I have over 15 years experience in strategic communications.

Paul Chaytor


I joined Chaffinch in 2023, having lived and worked on 4 continents and supported businesses in all parts of the world, including Kenya.  My background is in Supply Chain, Procurement and Finance and I am an experienced Non-Executive Director / Charity Trustee with a focus on supporting children and animal welfare.  I am excited to work with a great team at Chaffinch to make a real difference to the children of Kibera.

some of our great volunteers 

Linda Mitchell


I was one of the funding trustees of Chaffinch in 2014, inspired by Sarah’s passion for helping the people she met in Kibera and particularly the children.  I was also one of the first to sponsor a child, Ashley, who has now found a permanent home with her family.  I now sponsor another girl called Ela.  I had no previous relevant experience of running a charity but I learned a lot both on the strategic and operational side.  After 6 years the time had come to move on and I am now a fundraising volunteer.

I am involved in the Terracycle recycling programme, selling on eBay, and I have previously organised a bric a brac, crafts, and refreshments day in the centre of York.  It is very rewarding to see how the money I raise is spend on the ground and to know that most of it goes directly to the children.

Maria James


I am a private freelance tutor for ESL and native English speakers, as well as doing editing and proofreading work.  I have a degree in Biology along with certificates in teaching English to foreign speakers.  I adopted and homeschooled 3 daughters, now grown and living in the UK; 2 were born in China and one in Kazakhstan.  I have been sponsoring a girl through Chaffinch on behalf of my middle daughter since 2021 and wanted to do more to help the team continue their valuable work.  I now live in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA and enjoy science fiction, music, comedy and playing Candy Crush on my phone.  My teaching website can be found at englishtalk.us.


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