Senior Management

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Our Senior Management Team make all our operations run smoothly and ensure that the different departments that make up Challengers work together and communicate clearly.

  • Laura Sercombe
    Laura Sercombe: Chief Executive Officer

    I have worked with Challengers since September 2011 after spending the last 20 years in the voluntary sector. The staff team is central to the development of the organisation as we work towards offering the services that families and young people want. I love Challengers because the team has a sense of energy and spirit that makes every day real fun. My guilty pleasure is biscuits at meetings…and lots of really good coffee!

  • Laura Baxter
    Laura Baxter: Head of Quality

    I started working for Challengers as a volunteer Playworker in 1996, since then I managed both play and youth schemes gaining a huge amount of hands on experience. More recently I have been concentrating on developing good quality practice for the whole organisation. Working at Challengers keeps me busy and challenged at all times, surrounded by a fabulous team of people I enjoy it immensely! My guilty pleasure is fabulous pieces of jewellery, I could spend… no I lie, I have spent a fortune on it!

  • Amanda Matthews
    Amanda Matthews: Head of Finance and Operations Support

    I joined Challengers as Head of Finance in January 2013 and have a commercial and not for profit background.

    Upon joining I was struck by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Challengers team to make a difference and change the lives of young people challenging disability.

    I passionately believe that a finance department should be an enabling department supporting the whole organisation, producing timely management information giving non-financial managers the confidence to make proactive financial decisions. Equally as important are our external stakeholders for whom we endeavor to provide transparent, accurate and uncomplicated information. My Guilty pleasure is: Sharing bags of crisps to myself!

  • Sam Morris
    Sam Morris: Head of Service East

    I joined Challengers as a Service Manager in the Summer of 2015 after a friend recommended Challengers as a great place to work. My background is working within Targeted Prevention Services in Urban areas. I love coming to work each day seeing first-hand how our work brings a positive impact to the families who access Challengers and knowing what you do matters to families and communities. My guilty pleasure …. Changing my hair colour on a regular basis.

  • Paul Wilson
    Paul Wilson: Head of Service West

    I have worked at Challengers for over 18 years and absolutely love the charity. I am passionate about the non-exclusion of children and young people and very proud to work for a charity that has this at the heart of its ethos. I started work as a volunteer Play Worker and soon realised Challengers was where I need to be. Over the last 18 years I have worked as Play and Youth Worker, Leader, Leisure Development Officer, Farnham Centre Manger, Service Manager and now Head of Operations West. I love music and spend a lot my spare time singing and playing guitar. My guilty pleasure is Coke Zero, it is my fuel!

  • Natasha Iles
    Natasha Iles: Head of Fundraising

    Even before joining Challengers I was struck by the passion and energy of the team members I met. Alongside ensuring voluntary income enables the needs of our growing charity, my ambition for Challengers is that as Fundraisers we share our passion and energy with each and every supporter who is working alongside us to break down the barriers to play.
    My guilty pleasure is a good book; the still and calm of sitting to read doesn’t happen often in my house, so I’ll quietly shut myself in a bedroom until I’m discovered. I’m hoping they don’t read this and find me out!

  • Jennifer Corless
    Jennifer Corless: Head of Communications and Events

    I joined Challengers in June 2019, having previously worked in the Higher Education sector. From my very first day in the role, it was clear to see that I had joined an extremely hardworking and passionate team of people, all of whom are dedicated to providing a fantastic experience for the children and young people who use our services. It’s a pleasure to see first-hand how much families enjoy and benefit from our work, and this is something which I hope to be able to share with supporters and the wider community through our communications and events. My guilty pleasure has to be the Eurovision Song Content. Despite the UK receiving ‘nil points’ almost every time, it’s still the highlight of my year and a great excuse to dress up and throw a party!