Our Team

Aaron Barbour – co-founder

I’m involved with Link UP because…. We need more local people getting involved in more local charities and community groups, so that we’re supporting one another. Simple really! There are loads of local people who can do some amazing stuff with local charities but need the structure and support that Link UP provides. Come on. Get involved and get in touch with us.

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My other life… I’m currently CEO of Katherine Low Settlement, a local charity which for the last 91 years has been building stronger communities and tackling poverty in Battersea, South London. I’ve worked in the UK’s voluntary & community sector over the last 27 years, for a range of local, national and international organisations, as a practitioner, researcher, campaigner, fundraiser, policy advisor, entrepreneur, consultant, trustee (currently Chair of Fuelbanks and Families) and volunteer. Contact me on 020 7223 2845, aaron@klsettlement.org.uk and @klsettlement

Will Foreman – communications & outreach administrator

I’m involved with Link UP London because… the Link UP London process is centred around community cohesion, connecting traditionally separated sectors (the professional and charitable). I believe that separation is counter intuitive to a successful society and naturally forming links can be made stronger through the work of matched volunteering companies like Link UP. It is also wonderful to be at the centre of these fledgling relationships and watching them grow into meaningful connections.

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My background is firmly rooted in working with people, being a teacher at an inner city secondary school and a business adviser for a small charitable organisation before moving to Link UP.

Heather Paton – ReLaunch programme coordinator

I’m involved with Link UP because … as the programme coordinator for ReLaunch, I passionately believe that professional women have significant skills and experience and can make a valuable contribution in the workforce, regardless of the length of their career break.

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I worked as an employment lawyer for many years, however following a career break to raise my family, I had first-hand experience of the challenges of returning to paid employment. ReLaunch enables women to regain confidence in their skills and abilities, through our workshop programme, events and meet-ups (among other things). Link UP London offers women the opportunity to use their skills in a range of diverse projects with local charities. If you are a professional woman on a career break and would like to build confidence and focus on your goals, we are here to support you!

Beau Neilson – community engagement coordinator

I’m involved with Link UP because … I believe professionals have great power to help local charities do what they do better. Skilled volunteering allows people to see fresh perspectives, meet new and interesting people and realise the value of their skills. I have years of experience developing partnerships between members of the corporate, government, philanthropic and volunteer community to increase the impact of charitable organisations on a budget. It’s amazing what you can do when you bring people who care together. If you want to give back to the community you live and work in, get in contact with us now!

Kim Perlow – co-founder & director

I’m involved with Link UP because … I’m committed to the idea of helping build capacity of charities in a resource efficient way. I’m also a firm believer in re-connecting professional women who are out of the workforce with their skills and confidence and believe Link Up’s model is a wonderful way for women to re-engage while providing valuable support to local organisations. Becoming a Link Up volunteer consultant provides a window to a new world – new ideas, people, experiences, networks and more. So really a win-win for everyone!

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My other life … I have designed and led programmes aimed at developing the not-for-profit sector combining a focus on grass roots development, organisational capacity building and policy and legal advancement. I have extensive experience with grantmaking, organisational development and working in partnership across sectors and have focused on issues of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and employee volunteer programmes in a number of countries. I have most recently worked as part of the strategic leadership team of a UK based European think tank and volunteer for a number of child-centred organisations and initiatives.

Nancy Saichin – strategic advisor & ReLaunch programme development

I am involved with Link UP because…I am a strong believer in helping people to re-engage into the business world after a career break whilst helping local communities. Volunteering is a great stepping-stone to keep skills and experience relevant and a fantastic enabler of a happy and healthy life. Volunteers often report having a greater sense of purpose and achievement, having an increased sense of belonging and connection in the community.

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My other life… Originally from The Netherlands, I had the unique chance to live in many countries (France, Mexico, USA, and Republic of Ireland to name a few!) and finally relocated to the UK a few years ago with my family. I worked for over 15 years in multinationals mainly in the beauty sector holding various positions including 7 years on the U.K./Ireland board of directors and 4 years as General Manager with L’Oreal. Whilst in Ireland, I set up a consultancy focusing on business coaching and development. Through this last experience, I gained particular insight as to how hard it is to navigate your way back from a career break – it’s challenging whether you have been out of the workforce for two years or 20!

ReLaunch Coaches

Payam Yuce Isik

I am involved with Link UP because… I am a strong believer in giving back to community and growing together with others, and ReLaunch allows me the opportunity and space to do just that.

I am an executive and team coach and facilitator. I have considerable experience of working with leaders and organizations to improve dialogue, facilitate change and develop leadership and relationship capacity. Through 23+ years of working with organizations, teams and leaders, I have a deep understanding of organizational and relationship dynamics. I utilize different approaches and methodologies such as deep democracy, gestalt coaching, organizational and systems coaching and process work, to provide a tailored approach in response to the needs of my clients.


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Payam offers executive coaching, team coaching and facilitation: http://www.tribe-uk.com/

Pelin I. Buyuksarac

I am involved with Link UP London because… I am passionate about helping women to find their direction and gain their confidence to contribute to society in any way they wish.

I am an organisational development and change management consultant. I focus on facilitating team building, as well as individual self-development coaching. I have expertise in using “Points of View” tools and methodology to support my individual clients. I also offer executive coaching for team development and systems restructuring.


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Facebook: @ankaenablechange
Instagram: @enable_change

Advisory Board

Simon Lough

In his business career Simon worked for 7 years in Tokyo. He acquired an enduring love of Japan, its food, culture, language and people (including most importantly his wife Zahira). He moved back to the UK in the mid-1990s, and joined his brother who had established a UK wealth management business Heartwood. Simon started the London office, which now has more than 50 employees. He became Chief Executive of Heartwood in 2008, and led its successful acquisition by Handelsbanken, the highly regarded Swedish bank. Simon is now an Executive Vice President of Heartwood.

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Simon’s philanthropic activities have focused on creating a more level playing field for young people. Simon served for 10 years as Trustee (and ultimately Deputy Chairman) of Fairbridge, a charity tackling social exclusion in inner city areas. Fairbridge is now part of The Prince’s Trust. Simon is now Chair of Envision, a charity that helps young people from less advantaged communities to develop themselves by undertaking projects that benefit their local communities.

Simon is a Governor of The Fulham Boy’s School, a new free school in Fulham (where he has lived for 20 years). His connection with Battersea is that all three of his daughters have been to school there.

Angela McDonald

Angela read Geography at the University of Cambridge and her working life has been in the worlds of advertising and fashion. After spells in fashion buying and copy writing for various advertising agencies she started her own business designing and manufacturing furnishing fabrics for sale by retail and to hotels and for commercial property. After ten years ‘on the factory floor’, she sold the business in 1997. Angela is now Chief of Staff at Thomas’s Battersea and the member of the Leadership Team with responsibility for community matters.

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Angela runs the Friends of Battersea Square, a local community group and organises Carols in the Square annually every Christmas. This community event attracts up to a thousand visitors for an evening of carol singing, fireworks and theatrical performances. Future plans include a return to the academic world to begin her PhD in plague mapping. Angela is married with a grown up son.

Francesca Raleigh

Francesca was an investment banker for 27 years and is now an independent non executive director. Current / recent roles include sitting on the Supervisory Board of Network Rail; an Experian advisory board for the Infrastructure sector; a private European property company board; and working with industry associations. Previously she was a Director at Numis Securities, Investec Securities and WestLB Panmure Gordon and trained at Laing & Cruickshank.

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She has worked with over 150 small to medium sized companies, assessing and advising them on their strategy, performance, fundraising, stakeholder relations, unlocking value and primary & secondary corporate governance. She is a company specialist in the Outsourcing & Support Services sector (which provides services into Local & Central government) so understands the resource constraints within Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Social Enterprises.

Francesca has been a resident in Battersea and is married with a young son. She is excited by the opportunity at Link UP to unlock and fulfil the potential of the community – connecting local diverse volunteers with local under-resourced not for profit organisations.

Jenny Syddall

Jenny has over 15 years experience in the commercial world and currently runs consumer insights projects for a multi-national and is passionate about understanding people and the world around her. Her belief is that taking the time to understand the background of others drives great empathy, which can be a powerful force for addressing social inequalities.

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Jenny used to be a resident of Battersea and has maintained strong ties with the area through her work as a trustee at the Katherine Low Settlement.