Claudia Sykes is CEO at Social Enterprise Kent, a community-interest business dedicated to improving lives and building strong communities in Kent. Claudia is also a Director of All Seasons, SEK’s social care partnership
She started her professional career qualifying as a chartered accountant with PwC, working with small entrepreneurial businesses in Northern England. She then spent the next 10 years working in senior finance roles in first BT plc, then Royal Dutch Shell – great experience, working with some fantastic leaders and colleagues. Her most recent role was managing global planning and performance appraisal at the Supply & Distribution division at Shell. In this role she managed teams in Houston, Singapore and London.
Claudia is passionate about making a positive difference – whether it’s mentoring someone starting out in their career or coming back into work from being unemployed; helping a small charity become more sustainable or working on a major project.
Rebecca Smith, Non-Exec Director, has been with Social Enterprise Kent since 2005 when she joined as HR Development Manager. Before joining SEK, Rebecca worked in the relationship management and training teams at Visa Europe. Originally from Australia, she began her career in the services industry working with Spotless Services at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. What a fantastic start it was! She stayed with Spotless for many years in various roles in the HR and Business Development teams in both Sydney and Melbourne. She journeyed over to the UK as many Australians do, but ended up marrying a local and moving to Kent.
Rebecca has an undergraduate degree in Hotel Management, a postgraduate diploma in Management, and a Masters of Human Resources Business Partnership. Rebecca is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and is passionate about creating affordable learning and development solutions for the local community, social enterprise and the VCSE sector, and helping people with entrepreneurial spirit start their own small businesses.
Kirsty Hawkins, Director – Before re-joining us in 2013 Kirsty enjoyed a very successful career within the health and social care (HSC) management sector. During her time managing residential services for adults with learning disabilities she discovered her passion for training staff and service users and took the decision to embark on a new career in training and development. Taking up the opportunity to join a work-based learning provider Kirsty used her experience of HSC management to support the delivery of the SEK-delivered Registered HSC Manager award.
She rapidly advanced from tutor to lead internal verifier and eventually became the centre’s Quality Manager. Following a brief return to the HSC sector Kirsty re-joined SEK in 2013 and took the role as Business Manager and then as Director of Learning and Skills – using her knowledge of qualifications and funding to support and develop the organisation’s training centre.
Training and Events Coordinator
Health & Social Care Trainer
Assessor / IQA
BBO Project Manager
BBO Project Assistant
BBO Project Navigator
BBO Employment Support Advisor
Ageless Thanet Team
Macmillan Volunteer Coordinator
Active Citizenship Supervisor
Ageless Thanet Ambassador
MI and Marketing Officer