Clare Cook – CEO

Clare Cook joined Soundabout in April 2018 having had 18 years’ experience in the charity sector, including at the charities Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, Child Bereavement UK, Christian Aid and most recently, the charity Missing People.

During her nine years’ at Missing People, Clare’s creative approach to fundraising and communications came to the fore with her when she co-founded the Missing People Choir for families with missing loved ones. The choir generated global awareness for the charity – and found three missing people – when they reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent 2017. Clare was also responsible for the charity’s award-winning partnerships with Royal Mail and BHS and the creation of the charity’s high profile annual campaign Big Tweet for Missing Children.

Clare is a passionate believer in the power of music in giving a voice to those who might otherwise not be heard.

Sophia Nicholls – Programming Manager

Sophia has been with Soundabout since 2012. Her passion for music and disabilities has developed through her personal experience as a musician and a parent of a young man whose life was changed through the power of music. Soundabout works to unlock the potential of people with learning disabilities and special needs and this was experienced in Sophia’s family. Her background and experience in higher education as a senior lecturer and admissions tutor, events management and co-founding a user-led disability charity has enabled her to work with Soundabout to develop the training programmes in the nursery, primary, secondary and post 16+ settings. Sophia has a MSc degree in Physiology and an MA degree in Education in Inclusion and Special Needs. She has also completed the PGCert in Sounds of Intent.

Maryse Degbegni – Programme Intern

Maryse studied Biochemistry in France and has worked in clinical research for about 12 years. She decided to change career and took up an internship with Soundabout to get more experience in the charity sector and try to make the world a better place.

Jo Colton – Programming Manager

Jo started working for Soundabout in 2014 bringing over 20 years experience of working with voluntary sector organisations. Jo’s role is to manage all our community programmes where we work directly with families, schools and care providers to bring exciting musical experiences. Jo’s previous work and volunteering have taken her around the world by way of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and inspired a degree in Anthropology and a Masters degree in Gender, Culture and Development. Jo’s interest in working with people with disabilities led to a career break to live in L’Arche, a community for people with and without learning disabilities.

John Chilver – Finance Manager

John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and has specialised in the charity and not for profit sector for many years, including several years working abroad in Tanzania and Belize. He has been with Soundabout for over 2 years. In addition to a position as a Finance Manager, he is an active member of the community as a local elected councillor.