Meet the team

We are a growing young, vibrant and dedicated team who is also enhanced by the expertise of individuals across the COINS group. This support comes in the form of project management, admin and finance, technical and IT help, and business skills.

Abigail Deffee

Director

After working for an NGO in London linking schools in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa, Abigail moved to Lesotho delivering HIV & AIDS awareness and behavioural change programmes in rural communities. With a background in International Development, she joined COINS Foundation in 2012. Abigail leads the overall direction and programme management of the Foundation. She has led the transition from a purely grants-led organisation to running an innovative charity supporting social enterprise and sustainable projects internationally.

Neil Clark

HEAD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

Neil has spent a long career in special education and led Stepping Stones school until 2014. In 2015 he took up the position of Head of Special Education at the Widad Center in Dubai. Both schools put the child at the heart of the learning process and imbue the notions of social responsibility and concern for the environment. Widad nurtures and guides its young people providing an alternative education program for young people with and without special needs. Both schools are part of the COINS Foundation family

Erin Orford

Programmes & Social Media Assistant

After completing a degree in Business Management at Birmingham University, Erin joined us in 2014 for a 3-month internship, where she was involved in supporting a number of activities including helping to plan our Annual Supporters’ Event. Over a year later, Erin has a part-time role scheduling events for the Cookie Bar Bus and supporting social media for the Foundation, which she balances alongside training and competing Internationally for Great Britain in Para Dressage.

TRUSTEES

Larry Sullivan

Chair

Larry Sullivan is founder and Chair of COINS Foundation. He is also co-founder of six software houses including COINS Global, where he acts as Chairman. COINS is a £30 million revenue business employing 250 people in the UK, USA, Russia, Australia and Dubai. In 2004 Larry co-founded Stepping Stones School for children with disabilities. The first COINS social enterprise, the Cookie Bar, was established in 2011. Larry is a regular speaker at leading business schools including Harvard, Cranfield, Cass, Warwick, Edinburgh, Hult, Monash, LBS and St. Andrews discussing ‘Entrepreneurship as a force for good and social improvement’. He sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity.

Jo Franklin

Trustee

Previously running a niche software marketing consultancy, Jo joined COINS in 1997. As well as being Group Commercial Director for COINS globally, she acts as Commercial Director for the UK office. Jo also provides leadership for the community focus, supporting and developing many community projects, most significantly the COINS Challenge Events. She played a key role in establishing COINS Foundation. Jo sits on the board of Stepping Stones & Undershaw School and is a former trustee of The CSB Self Help & Hemiplegia Organisation.

Colville Wood

Trustee

Colville's expertise is in devising and delivering IT solutions improve business processes in insurance and retail industries. He formed Coublis in 2004 and was an early pioneer of software as a service. Today, he is applying this experience and platform as a service solution to insurers and claims fulfilment companies. In 2010 Colville travelled to Zambia with COINS Foundation to see first hand how their projects make a real difference on the ground and inspire local communities.

Ken Goulding

Treasurer

By profession a chartered accountant, Ken is now Commercial Manager at COINS and treasurer at COINS Foundation, working to keep track of our finances. Ken has spent his career working in finance for companies in the UK and overseas, and was Chief Financial Officer of a US multinational in London for almost 20 years. Ken is providing sound financial advice working alongside the team to set up a Foundation owned company in Uganda. This will support the roll-out of solar energy at PEAS schools and in rural communities.

PATRONS

Sir Paul Collier

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Oxford University. He has authored many publications including The Bottom Billion and Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World. From 1998 until 2003 he was the Director of the Development Research Group of the World Bank. Paul is a specialist in the political, economic and developmental predicaments of poor countries. He was appointed CBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours and knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa. Paul currently serves on the board of Academics Stand Against Poverty.

Jeremy Hunt MP

Jeremy Hunt is MP for South West Surrey and Secretary of State for Health. He founded the Hotcourses Foundation, which assists underprivileged children and young adults affected or infected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Jeremy was educated at Charterhouse and subsequently Magdalen College, Oxford, where he achieved a First in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He became involved in Conservative politics while at university and was elected to serve as President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1987.