Sonia Shaljean

Sonia Shaljean

Managing Director and Founder

Sonia has worked within the statutory and voluntary sector in the field of criminal justice, drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, anger management, homelessness and complex families for over 20 years. She studied Criminology at Birkbeck University, London and is a trained and experienced alcohol and drugs counsellor, anger management specialist, group-worker and PTTLLS level 4 trainer, level 3 Designated Safeguarding officer and trained restorative practitioner.  She is an experienced Funding and development manager, with a track record of successfully devising and setting up innovative projects both in London and Essex. Sonia identified that the majority of male clients she worked with over her career seemed to share a common factor; either an absent, unsupportive or abusive father and wanted to do something about this so set about devising Lads Need Dads.  Sonia has a heart for prevention work. She is a fellow with the School of Social Entrepreneurs and is a Shackleton Foundation leader.

Joel Shaljean

Joel Shaljean

Non-Executive Director – Education Lead

Joel is a teacher with over 20 years’ experience working across mainstream primary, secondary and special schools in London and Essex. He was the pastoral lead in his role as Deputy Head teacher at a Special School in Colchester for 6 years. He is an advanced trainer in behaviour management and now he is operational Lead with Essex Steps, training schools across Essex, on understanding and managing difficult behaviour. Previously, Joel was head of physical education and sport at a boys’ secondary comprehensive in inner city London.  Upon his arrival in Essex in 2004 Joel worked successfully as a partnership development manager for a school sport partnership which involved supporting schools in delivering high quality P.E and sport until he took up his current position in 2010.  Joel is passionate about helping children achieve and overcome barriers and challenges.  Joel is married to Sonia and they have three sons, age 13, 15 and 18.

Rodney Appleyard

Rodney Appleyard

Non-Executive Director – Marketing lead

Rodney has worked in the charity sector for 13 years and journalism for 21 years, including stints at the BBC and channel 4. Within the Charity sector, he worked as a grant funder and development manager having supported local voluntary groups, helped manage funds to start-up/ support projects that help to improve the health and well-being of people of all ages.  He has supported charities with structural development, taking charge of marketing campaigns, brand development, website creation and writing press releases.  Rodney cares deeply about the mission of Lads need Dads and believes that his experience will help with the development of LND’s media strategy, partnerships with other organisations and future fundraising plans.

Mandy Gledhill

Mandy Gledhill

Non-Executive Director – Safeguarding lead

Mandy is a Senior Children’s Social worker in Tendring Essex with 34 years qualified social work experience. She case manages children from birth until their 16th birthday. Mandy specialises with children who have additional needs. Mandy joined the board as she was so enthusiastic about the work of Lads Need Dads, having referred her own son onto the programme and witnessing such positive changes in him; such as raised self-esteem, confidence, motivation, emotional resilience and improved attitude towards school. She was thrilled to be asked to join the board. Having a parent of a service user the board feel will prove invaluable when shaping its services to meet the needs of its young men.

Mandy Gledhill

Samir Soni

Non-Executive Director – Finance lead

Samir is a qualified finance professional (FCMA) with 22 years of experience in Telecom and Technology sectors, where he was involved in finance transformation, risk management and delivery of financial strategy. Samir decided to help Lads-Need-Dads because he wanted to contribute to the community and support the cause of boys impacted by absent fathers. He recognises the role of fathers is one of the prime needs of any developing teenage boy towards shaping their future prudently. Samir himself being a father of a 14-year-old teenage boy realises and understands the importance of his role and the need of a father figure. Samir helps Lads-Need-Dads in managing their finances and their financial strategy.
Mandy Gledhill

Steve Foley

Outreach Coordinator

Steve served over 26 years in the military, he has 4 children aged 26, 23 and 20-year-old twins. A keen sportsman who currently plays league squash, coaches’ football and cycles for leisure when the sun is out. Most of his military career was spent supporting and rehabilitating through empowerment and training those service personnel being discharged.

On retiring from the service, he became a Professional Squash Coach and Fitness Centre owner, creating and developing a junior squash academy of beginners from various backgrounds aged 5 to 18-year-olds, which culminated in 6 junior players gaining England Squash national rankings in their age group inside 3 years.

Steve has a passion for helping those in need and comes to LND from The Armed Forces Charity SSAFA, where he coordinated, and case managed mentors who supported service leavers (mentees) with complex needs on the Wounded, Injured or Sick pathway through their transition into civilian life.

Steve is a qualified mentor looking for a fresh challenge and the opportunity to work with Lads Needs Dads was too much of an opportunity to miss.

“Giving young lads the emotional support and guidance to inspire them into a better future has been a lifelong ambition for me, I grew up fatherless from the early 1970’s in West Cumbria and understand the plight many young lads face and I want to use my experience, endeavour and skills to be a positive male role model”

Mandy Gledhill

Sue Lipscombe

Administrator

Sue comes with 20 years experience in administration and customer service roles, in banking and local businesses. She has also worked in two local schools and is a bookkeeper for her husband’s family business.

Sue told us she was looking for employment that was different, interesting, forward-thinking and aimed to help the community. As a Mum of two, (who brought up a son as a single parent), Sue felt strongly that Lads Need Dads had a place in society and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to use her administration skills to contribute towards Lads Need Dads aims and objectives.

Sonia Shaljean

Sonia Shaljean

Managing Director and Founder

Sonia has worked within the statutory and voluntary sector in the field of criminal justice, drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, anger management, homelessness and complex families for over 20 years. She studied Criminology at Birkbeck University, London and is a trained and experienced alcohol and drugs counsellor, anger management specialist, group-worker and PTTLLS level 4 trainer, level 3 Designated Safeguarding officer and trained restorative practitioner.  She is an experienced Funding and development manager, with a track record of successfully devising and setting up innovative projects both in London and Essex. Sonia identified that the majority of male clients she worked with over her career seemed to share a common factor; either an absent, unsupportive or abusive father and wanted to do something about this so set about devising Lads Need Dads.  Sonia has a heart for prevention work. She is a fellow with the School of Social Entrepreneurs and is a Shackleton Foundation leader.

Joel Shaljean

Joel Shaljean

Non-Executive Director – Education Lead

Joel is a teacher with over 20 years’ experience working across mainstream primary, secondary and special schools in London and Essex. He was the pastoral lead in his role as Deputy Head teacher at a Special School in Colchester for 6 years. He is an advanced trainer in behaviour management and now he is operational Lead with Essex Steps, training schools across Essex, on understanding and managing difficult behaviour. Previously, Joel was head of physical education and sport at a boys’ secondary comprehensive in inner city London.  Upon his arrival in Essex in 2004 Joel worked successfully as a partnership development manager for a school sport partnership which involved supporting schools in delivering high quality P.E and sport until he took up his current position in 2010.  Joel is passionate about helping children achieve and overcome barriers and challenges.  Joel is married to Sonia and they have three sons, age 13, 15 and 18.

Rodney Appleyard

Rodney Appleyard

Non-Executive Director – Marketing lead

Rodney has worked in the charity sector for 13 years and journalism for 21 years, including stints at the BBC and channel 4. Within the Charity sector, he worked as a grant funder and development manager having supported local voluntary groups, helped manage funds to start-up/ support projects that help to improve the health and well-being of people of all ages.  He has supported charities with structural development, taking charge of marketing campaigns, brand development, website creation and writing press releases.  Rodney cares deeply about the mission of Lads need Dads and believes that his experience will help with the development of LND’s media strategy, partnerships with other organisations and future fundraising plans.

Mandy Gledhill

Mandy Gledhill

Non-Executive Director – Safeguarding lead

Mandy is a Senior Children’s Social worker in Tendring Essex with 34 years qualified social work experience. She case manages children from birth until their 16th birthday. Mandy specialises with children who have additional needs. Mandy joined the board as she was so enthusiastic about the work of Lads Need Dads, having referred her own son onto the programme and witnessing such positive changes in him; such as raised self-esteem, confidence, motivation, emotional resilience and improved attitude towards school. She was thrilled to be asked to join the board. Having a parent of a service user the board feel will prove invaluable when shaping its services to meet the needs of its young men.

Mandy Gledhill

Samir Soni

Non-Executive Director – Finance lead

Samir is a qualified finance professional (FCMA) with 22 years of experience in Telecom and Technology sectors, where he was involved in finance transformation, risk management and delivery of financial strategy. Samir decided to help Lads-Need-Dads because he wanted to contribute to the community and support the cause of boys impacted by absent fathers. He recognises the role of fathers is one of the prime needs of any developing teenage boy towards shaping their future prudently. Samir himself being a father of a 14-year-old teenage boy realises and understands the importance of his role and the need of a father figure. Samir helps Lads-Need-Dads in managing their finances and their financial strategy.
Mandy Gledhill

Steve Foley

Outreach Coordinator

Steve served over 26 years in the military, he has 4 children aged 26, 23 and 20-year-old twins. A keen sportsman who currently plays league squash, coaches’ football and cycles for leisure when the sun is out. Most of his military career was spent supporting and rehabilitating through empowerment and training those service personnel being discharged.

On retiring from the service, he became a Professional Squash Coach and Fitness Centre owner, creating and developing a junior squash academy of beginners from various backgrounds aged 5 to 18-year-olds, which culminated in 6 junior players gaining England Squash national rankings in their age group inside 3 years.

Steve has a passion for helping those in need and comes to LND from The Armed Forces Charity SSAFA, where he coordinated, and case managed mentors who supported service leavers (mentees) with complex needs on the Wounded, Injured or Sick pathway through their transition into civilian life.

Steve is a qualified mentor looking for a fresh challenge and the opportunity to work with Lads Needs Dads was too much of an opportunity to miss.

“Giving young lads the emotional support and guidance to inspire them into a better future has been a lifelong ambition for me, I grew up fatherless from the early 1970’s in West Cumbria and understand the plight many young lads face and I want to use my experience, endeavour and skills to be a positive male role model”

Mandy Gledhill

Sue Lipscombe

Administrator

Sue comes with 20 years experience in administration and customer service roles, in banking and local businesses. She has also worked in two local schools and is a bookkeeper for her husband’s family business.

Sue told us she was looking for employment that was different, interesting, forward-thinking and aimed to help the community. As a Mum of two, (who brought up a son as a single parent), Sue felt strongly that Lads Need Dads had a place in society and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to use her administration skills to contribute towards Lads Need Dads aims and objectives.

We are supported by a fabulous team of volunteer mentors.