Meet The Team

Get to know the fantastic team working at SAYiT from interviews with our young people.

Heather Paterson

[she/her]

Chief Executive Officer

 

Why do you work at SAYiT?

I am passionate about LGBT+ issues and have worked alongside SAYiT in various roles for most of it’s existence. I really believe in the charity and have seen the excellent work it has done and how invaluable it has been to the young people we have supported.

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I have worked with various LGBT+ groups and organisations over the years including LGB Executive Officer for Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, Youth Worker for LGB Youth Initiative, Co-founder and chair of Pride Sheffield, LGBT+ Hub Chair of Sheffield Equality Hub Network and LGBT+ Columnist for Exposed Magazine.

My last job before SAYiT was working on the VIBE project at Together Women which is a voice and influence project for young women and girls aged 12-19. I initially joined SAYiT working on CALL IT OUT, our LGBT+ Domestic Abuse project before moving to the CEO role.

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

It’s such a welcoming place to work. We have a genuinely passionate, enthusiatic and skilled team who have the best interests and well-being of young LGBT+ people at the heart of everything they do. It’s a pleasure to work amoung a group of people who inspire me.

Nicola Fearnley-Hill

[she/her]

Charity Manager

 

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I was a centre manager for a women’s charity that supported women who were involved or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. As part of my role I also managed a national young women and girls voice and influence project.

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

That I get to work with some amazing colleagues who have a wealth of skills and experience I can draw on. I also love the variety and exciting work that happens with young people and hear the difference SAYiT is making to the lives of LGBT+ young people in the city.

What skill would you have if you could have any skill?

I would like to be able to speak fluently in different languages so when I travel I get to speak to loads of really interesting people and get more involved in the culture of places.

Who is your favourite drag queen?

Has to be Divina de Campo from season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. (She was robbed of the crown!!!)

 

Oliver Harrap

[he/him]

Business Manager

 

Why do you work at SAYiT?

I believe that everyone should be treated equally and want all young people to have the same opportunities in life. I cannot stand any kind of phobia towards different types of people and want to work towards making the world a more inclusive, understanding and loving planet.

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I worked driving an ice cream van selling ice cream.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

I can’t eat ice cream because I am lactose intolerant.

Who is your favourite drag queen?

I love the films of Divine. A true pioneer of the art form who doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone.

Liz Wilson

[she/her]

Parent and Carer Worker

 

Iona Dixon

[she/her]

Admin Assistant / Youth Support Worker

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I was working on my MA in Contemporary Literature at The University of Sheffield before starting at SAYiT. Alongside this, I worked part time in pubs, and spent some time working for a law firm. Before moving to Sheffield I had planned on being a teacher, and worked as an Intervention Teaching Assistant in Central Manchester.  So a mixed bag really!

When/why did you realise that you wanted to work with LGBT+ young people?

I loved working in schools, and I knew that I wanted to work with young people in some capacity. However, I felt frustrated by the rigidity of the systems and hierarchies in education. Lack of funding in education massively impacts upon the support available for the most vulnerable and marginalised young people.

I was really interested in working in the voluntary sector, and as a member of the LGBT+ community was really passionate about LGBT+ focused and inclusive work.  Working for SAYiT, a charity that has LGBT+ young people at the heart of everything that they do, was the perfect fit.

What skill would you have if you could have any skill?

Dull answer would be knowing how to drive – but hopefully I can sort that one out soon.

I’d love to know several languages so I can speak to more people, learn more, and order more food on trips!

What is your favourite form of entertainment?

Karaoke, without a doubt. It’s so versatile! It’s fun for a night out or at a party, and karaoke on the sofa with your friends can really cheer up a bad day.

I’ve always loved it despite being terrible at it. I got a karaoke kit for my 18th Birthday, and I can’t imagine getting married without some karaoke at the reception…

Elly Sinclair

[she/her]

Domestic Abuse Development Worker

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

Working for two LGBT+ Youth services in Leeds and Bristol – I know what I like doing!

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

“I love the rule Steve says we have to abide by in the office – no putting yourself down! That’s a good thing to remember in life! We do it way tooo much”

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A goat so I could stand in trees and climb vertical cliffs whilst looking totally nonchalant

Who is your favourite drag queen?

It’s got to be SAYiT’s Drag Queen – Anna Kissed!

Evie Muir

[she/her]

Domestic Abuse Development Worker

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

As a Domestic Abuse Specialist I’ve worked in the charity sector for over 6 years, predominantly working with Domestic Abuse survivors with multiple vulnerabilities. My previous role was as a Training and Development officer for a BAMER women’s organisation, whereby I supported survivor of domestic abuse from ethnic minority backgrounds. During Lockdown however, I delved into the world of freelance journalism, writing for publications like Cosmo and Refinery29 on topics of Domestic Abuse, Racial Justice and Mental Health, and am excited to continue amplifying the voices of marginalised survivors through both my role at SayiT and through writing!

When/why did you realise that you wanted to work with LGBT+ young people?

Through working in the youth and women’s wings of the charity sector, I began to realise a key issue in relation to Domestic Abuse; vulnerability to unhealthy, toxic and abusive relationships starts when we are teenagers, sometimes earlier. By the time we are fully grown adults, we have often experienced harmful relationships that impact our capacity for healthy relationshups in adulthood. Until recently, SRE was largely heteronormative, meaning that LGBT+ young people could not see their experiences in discussions of healthy relationships, making young people from marginalised backgrounds doubly vulnerable. I want to wrok with LGBT+ young people as it’s my hope that by creating a better landscape relationship education will foster a generation of young people who are less vulnerable to abuse and exploitaion.

What skill would you have if you could have any skill?

The ability to talk to animals – especially cats, but all animals would be preferable. Can’t tell you how often I get sad at the fact I’m not Doctor Doolittle, and can’t have full, intellectual conversations with my cat.

Which is your favourite LBGT+ flag?

This one, it was designed by Daniel Quasar who added 5 additional colours; Black, brown, light blue, light pink and white.

The Black and brown represent marginalised LGBT+ BAME communities (as well as those living with AIDs, and the latter three colours are replecated from the Trangender Pride Flag. This is my fabourite LGBT+ flag because as it currenntky stands it is the most inclusive and representative flag in celebration of all members of the LGBT+ community.

 

Sophie Williams

[she/her]

Youth Worker – Involvement Lead

Why do you work at SAYiT?

I work at SAYiT because its aims as an organisation align with mine personally and I find the young people I work with fabulous, inspiring and a load of fun.

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

Definitely the wide range of stuff we get up too. From games, to crafts, residentials, events, swimming, laser quest, art, trips, the list goes on. We always have so much fun!

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A lemur, I like how they walk.

Who is your favourite drag queen?

Oooo this is so hard! I love drag queens! I mean Ru Paul is an obvious choice. Katya? Adore? I don’t think I can pick a favourite.

Harriet Wan-Hallam

[she/her]

Youth Worker – Over 18’s Lead

What were you doing before you worked at SAYiT?

Before I started working at SAYiT I was a student at Sheffield Hallam University studying psychology and sociology, I also worked part time at Tesco on the customer service desk and I was a volunteer at CHILYPEP.

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

What I enjoy most about working at SAYiT is the work we do with young people, being able to see them grow and develop over time.

What is your favourite form of entertainment?

I really like going to see musicals. My favourite musicals are wicked, hairspray and Aladdin.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

My favourite flavour ice cream is definitely mint choc chip.

Hannah Greenslade

[they/them or she/her]

Youth Worker – Outreach/Disability

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I worked for a big chidren and young peoples charity in an LGBT+ team in Leeds. My job was to train up the people that worked there so they knew how to offer good support to LGBT+ children and young people

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

Obviously its the hilarious, strong, wise and bad-ass young people that I get to spend time with every day. My colleagues are pretty amazing too and very tolerant of my somewhat chaotic ways!

What skill would you have if you could have any skill?

I’d love to be able to make something beautiful with my hands like pots or furniture, I think I’m lacking the patience and commitment to learn though. Also I would love to be able to speak French.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I used to live on a boat – it was fantastic in summer and hard work in winter!

Dylan Hadley

[he/him]

Youth Worker

 

What were you doing before working at SAYiT?

Before working at SAYiT I had worked in a wide variety of seasonal job roles including selling buckets and spades, being a cleaner, a fairground ride controller and as a lifeguard however, none of them have been half as rewarding or enjoyable as working at SAYiT.

When/ Why did you realise you wanted to work with LGBT+ young people?

I was lucky enough to be sent to SAYiT through a university work placement and after meeting the amazing young people that get involved with our groups I knew I wanted to stay involved way past the eight-weeks I was assigned here. Fortunately for me I was able to continue to work with such a fun and welcoming community as a youth support worker.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Probably the moon, someone’s got to be the first person to live there and I think I’d like to give it a go. I love cheese as well so there’d be plenty to eat up there..

What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

Being from Skegness I’ve had my fair share of ice cream on the seaside but the best flavour has to be a vanilla whippy with a 99 flake. A classic.

Rum Samuel

[they/them]

Youth Support Worker

What work were you doing before you joined SAYiT?

I only moved to Sheffield in March 2019. Before that I was doing a 5 month programme, in Jerusalem, called “Achvat Amim” (Solidarity of Nations). It involved learning about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the realities for people on the ground, living communally with other young Jewish people, Jewish study, Hebrew and Arabic study and social justice based volunteering. Before that I worked as a kind of camp leader/outdoor fun human. I basically lived in a tent and worked in the woods and taught kids and teens how to make fires and dens. It was extremely fun and very very tiring!

What do you enjoy most about working at SAYiT?

I really enjoy having one-on-one chats with young people and just getting to know them, plus I adore playing silly games…oh and doing crafts! I also have to say I love the office and all the staff: everyone is so friendly and warm and we have some right laughs.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I am very very into mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of fungi). This means I often have my mushroom identification guide book in my bag. I like to think I know a fair bit now about the easy-to-spot edible mushrooms that grow around these parts.

What is your favourite form of entertainment?

I love to write songs and mini-musicals with my friends: pretty much any creative projects are my bag! Oh, and of course I love foraging for mushrooms and general edible wild plants.

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