Our staff

We employ a team of 29 dedicated staff, including two programme team members who are based in Nairobi.

The rest of our staff work in our South London office and warehouse where they select and send books, communicate with our supporters, raise funds and deliver the projects that help to reach people around the world with the books they need to enrich, improve and change lives.

Alison Tweed, Chief Executive

As Chief Executive, Alison leads the charity, working closely with the Board of Trustees which is chaired by Dr Alice Prochaska.

Alison worked for 25 years in international educational publishing. Since joining the charity, she has grown its book provision programme to over one million books a year and has launched a range of new, innovative programmes and partnerships. 

Ade Soremekun (FCCA),
Head of Finance

As Head of Finance, Ade manages the finance function of the organisation, ensuring funds collected are recorded, allocated and spent appropriately. Ade is also responsible for financial reporting internally and externally and ensuring the organisation conforms to the various legal and ethical standards in the furtherance of its financial objectives. Ade has worked in finance for over 20 years in both the commercial and not for profit sector and has vast experience of the education sector. Ade joined Book Aid International as Head of Finance in June 2016.

Henrietta Yoxall, Head of Communications (maternity cover)

As Head of Communications (maternity cover), Henri is responsible for Book Aid International’s brand, its communications through all channels and increasing the charity’s profile. Henri has a background in children’s literacy and reading for pleasure having previously held the position of Director of Marketing and Communications at BookTrust and more recently Head of Marketing and Communications at Doorstep Library. A qualified secondary school English teacher she has a true passion for children’s education and brings a wealth of charity sector expertise.

Laura Smith, Head of Fundraising

As Head of Fundraising, Laura is responsible for Book Aid International’s income generation. She has a background of over 15 years in charity fundraising which includes working with high-net-worth individuals, trust and foundation applications, running high-profile events and overseeing large individual giving and membership programmes. Most recently Laura has worked for charities whose focus has been on providing advice and information and campaigning for policy change in the UK. She is passionate about the difference philanthropy and giving can make to supporters and people around the world. Laura joined Book Aid International in May 2021.

Samantha Sokoya, Head of Programmes

As Head of Programmes, Samantha leads the development strategy for the support and development of African libraries through projects and librarian training. Samantha has a wealth of experience in Africa-based education having worked for the British Council on sub-Saharan African programmes and most recently as Room to Read’s Zambia Country Director. She brings with her an in-depth knowledge of school library provision and developing literacy and a love of reading through interventions in schools. Samantha joined Book Aid International as Head of Programmes in October 2015.

Brian Martin, Head of Operations & Acquisitions

As Head of Operations & Acquisitions, Brian oversees the team responsible for warehousing, selecting, packing and shipping more than 1 million publisher-donated books every year, and leads on sourcing and managing book donations from UK publishers.  Brian has over 15 years’ experience in the publishing industry, having previously worked in Sales Operations for Hachette UK, Titan Books and Bonnier Books and as Operations Manager for Turnaround Distribution.

Rebekah Deboo, Head of Resources and Company Secretary

Rebekah leads on Human Resources to include employment life-cycle, policy implementation, culture and EDI. Rebekah ensures that the charity offers an efficient, safe and positive working environment and continually monitors its operational environmental impact.

As Company Secretary, Rebekah ensures that the charity remains compliant and supports the work of the charity’s Board and governance sub-committees.

Rebekah is strongly committed to the charity sector, with over 9 years’ experience in the sector before joining BAI in 2018. Prior to Rebekah’s work in the sector, Rebekah worked in the arts and media and studied photography at university.

More about our team

Our Board of Trustees

We are governed by our Board of Trustees, all of whom bring the skills and experience to help us thrive.

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Our Royal Patron and friends

Our Royal Patron, Vice Patron and celebrity friends help us advocate for the book, raise our profile and reach new book lovers.

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