Our People: Senior Leadership Team

Michael Farrell (CEO)

Michael’s desire is to work with people who make a real difference in our world. Prior to joining HOPE worldwide UK in January 2020, he worked as Head of Finance for a Trade Association representing over 70,000 members.  Michael is married, father of three adult children and an ACCA qualified accountant with over 24 years’ experience.   

He and his wife Joanne love working with young people at their local church where he also serves as a Trustee and Safeguarding Lead. Michael is an avid Liverpool football fan, enjoys most sports and in 2019 trekked to Everest Base Camp.  

Bruce Miller (Director of Recovery Services)

Bruce manages the HOPE worldwide ODAAT programme, that helps men overcome their addiction to substances.  He joined HOPE worldwide in January 2016 having served as a church minister for 6 years in Manchester.  Prior to that he spent 10 years running a fire-fighting manufacturing company specialising in oil and gas protection.  Bruce has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Manchester Business School.  He loves bringing people together to support one another to overcome challenges.  He is married with three children and loves sports especially running and cycling. 

Jane Whitworth (Director of International Development)

Jane began her journey with HOPE worldwide in January 2013 as a volunteer and now manages our International Development Programme. She is also a co-member for Europe on the HOPE worldwide Global Coordinating Council. Prior to joining HOPE worldwide Jane practiced law as a barrister for eleven years and later had a short stint in the city in between taking time off to bring up three children. Jane loves her new life working for an NGO and is passionate about empowering all people to use their gifts and realise their God-given potential. When not working, she enjoys playing tennis and going back to her Cumbrian roots with her family to walk in the fells of the Lake District. 

Rob Payne (Director of Homeless Services)

Rob manages our ‘Two Step’ service, which helps people who are homeless to find suitable housing. He joined the staff of HOPE worldwide in 2014 after serving for many years as a volunteer host for our Two Step ‘Stopover’ programme. Rob has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Imperial College London, and previously worked as a Physics Teacher and in church ministry. He enjoys developing new approaches and effective partnerships to help improve our services, and spending time in the great outdoors with his young family.  

Our People: Our Board

Iain Williams (Chairman)

As the Chairman of HOPE worldwide UK, Iain’s goal is for the organisation to change as many lives as possible, including his own. He has held the post of Chairman for two years, and has served as a trustee for five years, using his expertise in economics and telecommunications to lead HOPE worldwide 

With a Master’s in Economics from St. Andrews University in Scotland, Iain is currently a director of a consultancy specialising in telecommunications regulation — having been in telecommunications for 25 years building and running operations across Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. Prior to his career in telecommunications, he worked for 10 years in textiles across Latin America and Southern Europe. 

Iain is a keen sportsman who loves walking, rowing and football. In fact, he was one of the original Walking Footballers for his club Fulham FC in 2016.  

He has been married for 16 years and is the proud grandfather of five children. 

Martin Saurma-Jeltsch (Chairman)

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Martin Saurma-Jeltsch has used his extensive background in business and accountancy to help various HOPE worldwide programmes around the world. After completing a business degree and post graduate studies in accounting at the University of Cape Town, he moved to Johannesburg in 1997 to work for HOPE worldwide. In Johannesburg, he spent seven years building and managing financial infrastructure to help the development of HIV/AIDS support groups and wide scale prevention programs across Africa.  

In 2004 Martin moved to the UK and after working for two years at an SME in the private sector, he returned to development work by joining the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence.  In 2013 he joined Open Society Foundations as the London Finance and Operations Director and has enjoyed working there ever since. Martin became an advisory board member for HOPE worldwide in 2017 and a trustee in 2021. 

Martin has been married since 1994, enjoys mountain biking with his two sons, and is a self-professed ‘Bible nerd’.   

Alex Cameron

Alex Cameron started volunteering for HOPE worldwide at the age of 16, participating in fundraising efforts as well as joining the HOPE worldwide Volunteer Corps on various projects to work with kids in schools and teaching those from vulnerable backgrounds. In the UK he has spent time volunteering with the elderly and those experiencing homelessness, while also fundraising for Two Step. 

He joined HOPE worldwide UK as a trustee in autumn 2020, eager to use his experience as a volunteer to further the goals of the organisation.   

Alex studied Economics at King’s College London, and after graduating in 2020 he worked in software. He is currently working for a financial software company in London, where he enjoys the intersection of finance and technology.  

When he isn’t working, Alex loves listening to music, watching films, playing sports, and cooking delicious food, in addition to adding to his CD and DVD collection. 

Dennis Francis

Known for his desire to serve and support others, Dennis’ journey with HOPE worldwide began in 2012 with helping his local church to organise volunteers for HOPE worldwide-related projects in the community. In 2017, Dennis expanded his volunteering role with HOPE worldwide through becoming a part of the Administration and Governance Advisory Group. In 2020 his involvement in the organisation increased as he took on the role of a trustee, using his experience in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as an independent consultant and coach to support the work being done to further develop the commitment of the organisation to this key area.  

With a MSc in Public Sector Management and a BA Hons in Public Administration, Dennis has enjoyed a successful career in human resources, having occupied several managerial positions over the last 35 years in various public and voluntary sector organisations. 

Dennis balances the demands of his career by cooking (including baking) and keeping fit either in the gym or with regular walks with friends and family. 

His goal is to work with like-minded individuals to help HOPE worldwide to continue to grow in the commitment to add value to the lives of those they serve.  

Samantha Sokoya

Samantha Sokoya is the Head of Programmes at Book Aid International, leading the development of interventions that increase access to reading by children and young people. Known as ‘Sam’, she has a degree in Social Science and trained as a social worker before emigrating to Zambia. She has 24 years of experience implementing education, arts and governance programmes for the British Council Zambia and was the Country Director at Room to Read Zambia.   

Sam connected with HOPE worldwide in Zambia and volunteered as the chairperson and treasurer. After returning to the United Kingdom in 2015, she continued her journey with HOPE worldwide by pursuing a trustee role here in the UK. She loves travel, African modern art, and organising events that help people connect.  

Samantha has a husband named Ola, four children and a cat called Sim.

John Partington

John has been involved with HOPE worldwide UK since it began in 1991, actively researching and developing the Two Step programme and helping start the ODAAT programme here in the United Kingdom. John completed his City & Guilds qualification as a bricklayer in 1967, before launching his own building construction business in 1973 and deciding to do church work full time in 1986. At the age of 55 he gained a Bachelor of Arts in counselling and worked as a therapy manager for the ODAAT programme from 2009 until he retired in 2012.  Since retiring he has been actively involved in developing programmes and infrastructure for HOPE worldwide in Zambia, Nepal, and Lebanon. 

He grew up in Wigan in Northwest England on pies and Rugby League. He has been married for 50 years and has one son and two grandchildren

Chidinma Owens

Chidinma began her journey with HOPE worldwide in 2013 as a volunteer on a HOPE worldwide Volunteer Corps programme in the Bahamas, and has been a trustee since 2021. 

She has a degree in Economics from the University of Birmingham and for the last 10+ years has been working in Organisational Development in the private and public sector. Chidinma currently works as a Culture & Engagement Specialist and is passionate about supporting people to thrive. 

 Chidinma loves travelling, visiting new places and spending ‘unplugged’ quality time with her husband, family, and friends. Her family are all avid Arsenal fans and (most of the time) enjoy watching them play at the Emirates. 

Muriel Gutu

Passionate about helping people, Muriel Gutu wears many hats toward that effort. She is a professional in mental health and substance abuse, a member and project lead for the Zimbabwe Life Project charity, a Christian, a mother and a trustee for HOPE worldwide 

Muriel holds an MSc in Public Health, a BA in Arts, a graduate certificate in education, a higher diploma in Mental Health, a nurse prescribing certificate, and a leadership certificate.   

 She started her professional life in Zimbabwe teaching in various schools, and rose to be the head teacher of four different schools and the Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Head Office. Leaving Zimbabwe more than 20 years ago, Muriel moved to the United Kingdom where she trained to become a nurse and is currently the Group Clinical Lead for a charitable organisation that works with people who have mental health and substance abuse challenges.