Meet the team - RedSTART

Meet the team

These are the people that make it happen.

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Sarah Marks


Sarah is RedSTART’s CEO. Previously, she undertook the role of the RedSTART Development Director, when she was responsible for developing our case for support and fundraising strategy. Sarah has over 20 years of experience leading client service teams in the finance sector.

Gina Richards

Regional Manager - Bristol and Bath

Gina is RedSTART’s Regional Manager for Bristol and the South West. She has created the Year 5 and Year 6 content of the financial education programme, and is responsible for updating resources. She also organises and leads the delivery within the Bristol area and training for all Year 5 and Year 6 resources, as well as being part of the team working on the RedSTART Bank app. She was previously a Primary School Teacher, with 10 years of experience.

Katie Burles

Senior Education Consultant

Katie is RedSTART’s Senior Education Consultant, supporting our programme development, distribution and impact assessment. She was previously Assistant Headteacher of a large primary school in Newham. She is an early years specialist.

Katie is passionate about equal opportunities and ensuring that every child should achieve their potential. Katie is committed to financial education for young people and became a RedSTART Trustee in 2016. She has been very involved in implementing the RedSTART programmes across her school and educational trust.

Helen Oliver

Regional Manager - North London

Helen joined us in December 2022. She did her schooling in Scotland and loved acting in the local pantomime! She worked for Abbey National there, who supported her relocation to London. There she was able to grow her career and spent 15 years working as a Financial Advisor and then as a Branch Director for Santander. She then wanted to take her skills and passion into the charity sector and took the opportunity to become CEO of a safeguarding charity called Warning Zone, which educated over 10,000 Year 6 children a year about personal and online safety through games and immersive experiences. She then moved to do some projects with secondary schools and young people aged 16-18.

She is passionate about working with young people and is bringing her knowledge of networking and education to her region in North London for RedSTART.

Lynn King

Regional Manager - North East

Lynn joined the RedSTART team in December 2022 as Regional Manager supporting schools in the North East.

Lynn has spent many years in corporate stakeholder engagement roles working with schools and volunteers in both the private and charitable sectors. She is also a serving Trustee of an Academy Trust and has previously held governor roles in several schools.

Steve Hall

Vendor and Projects Manager

Steve started with RedSTART in September 2022 and is passionate about people understanding good money habits as early as possible to gain skills and confidence, enable opportunity and widen life choices.  He’s pleased to be part of the team rapidly scaling up RedSTART. Steve also Chairs the Investment Committee of a pension fund and was previously Head of Claims Strategy at Direct Line Group.

Christina Lartey

Regional Manager - South London

Christina joined the Redstart team in March 2023 as Regional Manager supporting schools in South London.

As a born and raised South London native, Christina is passionate about working with children and young people across London to reach their full potential. After graduating with an Accounting and Finance degree, she spent multiple years working in local government to transform and improve children’s services and support the delivery of projects catered to young people. Christina has also spent multiple years as a private maths tutor working with children between the ages of 5 and 16. She is a big believer in financial literacy becoming a mandatory part of the syllabus for children across the UK.

David Abrahams

Regional Manager - South East

David joined Red Start in September 2023. He has taught in a range of primary schools across South London for the past 26 years. Over the years David has taken a variety of roles in senior leadership including being a Head Teacher for five years. He has helped shape school curriculums and develop resources to ensure all children maximise their opportunities to learn at school in an engaging way.


David is passionate about developing the curriculum for primary aged children, preparing them for life beyond school. He is keen to help them learn about money and finance in exciting and fun way.

Emma Appleyard

Fundraising Manager

Emma started at Redstart in May 2023 as Fundraising Manager focusing on securing income from Charitable Trusts and Company Foundations nationally and in the regions that our schools are in.   

She has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly thirty years in various fundraising and public relations roles with some time out to travel and raise a family.   


Rhodri Mason

Chair of Trustees

Rhodri joined the RedSTART Board of Trustees in 2018 and is currently Chief of Staff at Legal & General Investment Management. He strongly believes in equality of opportunity for all, and knows that giving all children a firm foundation in financial education from an early age is an important step to achieving this goal.

Robert Gardner

Co-founder and Trustee Board Member

Rob is an entrepreneur, investor and innovator with a proven track record of success in protecting and growing assets in the pensions and wealth management industry. Previously Director of Investments at FTSE100 company SJP, he managed over £150 billion in client investments.

Rob is also a successful B-Corp founder, having built companies such as Redington and mallowstreet, and is co-founder of RedSTART. Rob’s dream is a world worth living in – economically, environmentally, and socially. He is currently the co-founder and co-CEO of Rebalance Earth. They create high-integrity nature credits that protect and grow biodiversity and generate prosperity for the communities that preserve nature and capture carbon. Over the next decade, Rebalance Earth aims to protect and restore nature, capturing over one gigatonne of CO2 and generating daily income for millions worldwide to create a world worth living in.

Jonny Letham

Co-founder and Trustee Board Member

Jonny Co-Founded RedSTART in 2012. He has always believed in the importance of education to promote social mobility. Having joined the financial industry in 2011, starting RedSTART with Rob and Freddie was a great opportunity to engage with the school community and teach young people essential money skills.

Jonny now sits on the Trustee Board and has a focus on developing RedSTART’s Scottish hub.

Adam Jones

Trustee Board Member

Adam’s parents were teachers and he has always been passionate about financial education and generating better outcomes for children regardless of their socioeconomic background. He joined RedSTART in 2018 and has been integral to guiding the team on all digital matters. Adam is the Chief Technology Officer for Seccl and has a career which covers both finance and technology roles.

Catherine Lane

Trustee Board Member

Catherine is CEO of the Attigo Academy Trust, which is made up of four primary schools in north London – all of which are part of the RedSTART programme.

Catherine has served as Headteacher of two schools in the Trust: Keys Meadow and Houndsfield. She was appointed as Deputy Headteacher at Keys Meadow before it opened in September 2003 and played a crucial role in establishing the school. She was later appointed Headteacher, initially in a job share and then in a full-time capacity.

The school was commended by Nick Gibb, Schools Minister, as one of the 100 most improved schools in the country. She was appointed Headteacher of Houndsfield Primary School in the Summer term of 2019. She took a lead role in school improvement and Academy conversion.

Prior to working at Keys Meadow, Catherine worked at Equinox Converged Solutions, the network provider for London Grid for Learning, as their Education Relationship Manager for two years. This provided valuable business experience. She also has experience in teaching and leadership in Hertfordshire and Barnet.

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How you can help

As financial literacy levels fall, income inequality rises, and a growing expectation for self provision causes a host of other issues, our work has never been more urgent.

We couldn't do it without you. Help us give the next generation a head start with their financial future.

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