Meet the team

The work of Help Musicians is divided into six teams including: Creative Programme, Health and Welfare, Communications, Fundraising, Finance & Business Services and Nations & Regions.

Executive Team

James Ainscough
James Ainscough - Chief Executive

James most recently worked at the Royal Albert Hall, joining in 2008 as Finance Director and becoming Chief Operating Officer at the beginning of 2015 until the end of 2017. In this latter role, he oversaw all venue operations at both a strategic and day-to-day level (including artistic, commercial, customer services, marketing, fundraising, facilities and business services), as well as playing a significant role in wider issues from building development to governance. 

Prior to that, his career in finance included roles auditing in the charity sector, at Warner Music UK and as European Finance Operations Director at an acquisitive business services company. 

James joined Help Musicians as Interim Financial Director in April 2018; he was appointed Interim CEO in July 2018 and was confirmed as the permanent CEO in December 2018.

James has a degree in Economics from Cambridge University, three children, two cats and one wife (not necessarily accumulated in that order). He's also a keen amateur musician playing piano, bass guitar and 'cello and enjoying everything from classical to rock (via jazz, funk and folk). Shostakovich, Neil Finn and Vulfpeck regularly fight it out for first place on his Spotify playlist. 

Sarah Woods
Sarah Woods - Director of Engagement

Sarah has over twenty years’ experience within the charity sector, with most of her career spent at the Royal Albert Hall (as Director of External Affairs and Director of Customer Relations) leading the communications, marketing, digital and visitor experience areas of the business. As Director of External Affairs, she oversaw development of the venue’s communications, marketing, IT and ticketing strategy – leading several major projects to improve the charity’s profile, online capabilities, service offer and commercial income.

Sarah joined Help Musicians in December 2018 as Interim Director of External Affairs and was appointed to the post of Director of Communications & Business Services in May 2019. She studied Music at Kingston University and her passion for music lives on; although time to play the cello and piano is a little more limited with two young children. Sarah is also a co-opted member of the Lyric Hammersmith Enterprise Board.

Lesley Page - Director of Finance

Lesley has over 20 years’ experience working in Finance roles across a number of different sectors, the most recent move was into the charity sector six years ago when she joined the Royal Albert Hall as Head of Finance.

 Lesley joined Help Musicians in November 2018 as Director of Finance and oversees the Finance and Operations functions at the charity.

 Outside of work Lesley enjoys running, yoga, listening to live music and travelling the world.

Creative Programme

Lucy Bampton
Lucy Bampton - Head of Creative Programme

Lucy brings over a decade’s experience managing and evaluating creative programmes. Since 2016, she has overseen the development of new funds and support resources for professional musicians at all stages of their careers. She is passionate about music and musicians, and committed to providing holistic opportunities for collaboration, innovation and sector change.

Prior to Help Musicians, Lucy has worked across the creative and cultural industries. This included a six year stint at Arts Council England where she led a number of national, cultural, education and audience engagement initiatives, and looked after an eclectic portfolio of music and learning-focused organisations for the London office.

Outside of work, she focuses on her own creative practice as a basket maker, enjoys travelling and being in the great outdoors. She also occasionally moonlights as a face painter. 

Julia Hayes
Julia Hayes - Creative Programme Manager

Julia leads the team responsible for creating and executing the organisation’s many rounds of grant funding per year. Each fund is designed to respond to the different artistic needs of musicians, whether that’s to further skills, produce cross-sector projects, find a business mentor or tour, write and record in a financially viable way.

She joined the team in December 2018 after working for five years on a talent development programme, Create Jobs, engaging businesses and organisations across the creative industries to open up paid opportunities for diverse young Londoners.

Julia spends some of the week in her studio where she is developing her practice as a visual artist.  

Health & Welfare

Joe Hastings
Joe Hastings - Head of Music Minds Matter

Joe oversees all health and welfare activities and is responsible for the development of new support services within the team.

He was instrumental in facilitating the delivery of the Musicians Hearing Health Scheme, which to date has had an intake of 4,700 musicians accessing state-of-the-art hearing advice and protection.

Joe has recently been busy working alongside colleagues to create and deliver the Music Minds Matter support line, which launched in early December 2017. 

Joe is particularly keen on looking to develop services that support healthy careers for musicians. He also composes music for film in his spare time alongside playing various instruments for fun. 

Kezia Racher - Service Development Manager

Kezia has been working on setting up the Help Musicians support line and service, Music Minds Matter.

She has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years, providing emotional support and information to various groups of people via telephone helplines and outreach services.

She has also set up, developed and managed a number of support services, including helplines and advocacy services. Kezia is a qualified counsellor and mental health first aider.

Liam Hennessy
Liam Hennessy - Head of Health & Welfare

Liam is the Health and Welfare Manager at Help Musicians. Liam has worked at the charity since 2017 and oversees the Health and Welfare team at the charity’s head office in London. His Health & Welfare team are a core part of the charity’s work, providing financial assistance and home visits to musicians in need all over the UK. His team also are responsible for Music Minds Matter, the around the clock listening ear service for the music community, as well as the hugely successful Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme, which has already supported thousands of musicians with bespoke hearing protection. 

Prior to working for Help Musicians, Liam worked at the mental health charity Mind. Away from Help Musicians, Liam composes music for TV and short films in his spare time.


Jonathan Penny
Jonathan Penny - Head of Ambassador Relations

With over a decade of fundraising experience in the Third Sector, Jonathan has worked with a variety of charities including health, youth homelessness, and climate change. Prior to joining Help Musicians, he worked for an air ambulance charity heading up the fundraising team.

He has extensive experience working with philanthropic donors and has worked on events at high-profile venues that include St James’s Palace, Lambeth Palace and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.

Jonathan is passionate about musical theatre having trained at stage school from the age of five. Outside of work, he can often be found enjoying the latest West End hit musical or volunteering front of house at the Southwark Playhouse. His other interests include travelling and scuba diving.

Ian Livett - Head of Fundraising

Ian has worked in charity sector fundraising and marketing for twenty years, latterly specialising in individual giving, digital transformation and change at INGO, Christian Aid. 

The opportunity to combine his professional experience and his love of music proved too good to pass up and Ian joined Help Musicians in May 2020. In January 2021, Ian was made Head of Fundraising and has added major giving and legacies to his repertoire.

Ian enjoys walks in the countryside with his dog, finds himself increasingly nostalgic about the ‘90’s and plays guitar in a local function band (a sure-fire way to embarrass his wife and two children).

Hannah Daft - Senior Corporate, Trusts and Foundations Manager

Hannah has over 15 years’ experience in corporate development and trust management roles within large charities, including the NSPCC, Breast Cancer Now and The Royal Parks. During this time Hannah has designed and implemented corporate partnering programmes, helped deliver multi-million pound capital appeals and created a health and wellbeing strategy for corporate engagement.

Hannah’s love and passion for the arts and music led her to Help Musicians in September 2019 where she has now taken on the role of Senior Corporate Trusts and Foundations Manager.

Outside of work you’ll most likely find Hannah watching live music, at the theatre or planning a trip to a far flung country.


Liz Stokes
Liz Stokes - Senior Communications and PR Manager

Liz manages the Communications team across digital, marketing, branding and PR. Previous to Help Musicians, she spent over a decade in the music business in both journalism and PR.

In her previous role as Editor of Record of The Day, Liz covered a broad range of topics including new tech, industry issues, change and growth. Liz has also been a regular industry speaker across Europe and beyond and was integral to the set-up and positioning of the dance music focused ‘Industry Insider’ newsletter in conjunction with IMS and Mixmag.

Outside of work, Liz is an avid gym-goer and travels as much as possible.

Matt Griffin
Matt Griffin - Head of Marketing & Communications
Matt joined the charity after ten happy years at the Royal Albert Hall. He currently heads up the charity's comms team, so feel free to blame him if you've not heard of us.
The rest of the time you'll find him cheering on AFC Wimbledon home and away, quoting from The Office (US), talking about his favourite pubs and pretending to be hip as he expands his vinyl collection.

Nations and Regions

Caroline Hansell
Caroline Hansell - Head of Regional Development

Caroline has worked in the media industry for the last twenty years, starting her career in book publishing she quickly advanced into a more multi-media role creating content for TV broadcast, DVD and digital media platforms. She has a wealth of project management experience, working for several years in the music industry producing artist showcases, stage managing large scale events and booking artists. Her work at Help Musicians focuses on the Nations and Regions, leading the regional development plan for the charity and building a sustainable regional model.

As a professionally trained actor, Caroline is partial to treading the boards.

Keith Millar
Keith Millar - Nations Manager (Northern Ireland)

Keith has worked within the Northern Ireland music industry for seven years following a career change from environmental sciences to founding a music-based SME.

He manages an upcoming Belfast-based band (No Oil Paintings), has extensive experience of working in festivals and events such as Belfast’s Culture Night, Stendhal Festival, and also helped establish the Atlantic Sessions festival on the north coast of NI.

Keith is a lover and supporter of local music, a long-time practitioner of karate and was a huge comic book fan before it was cool.

Finance & Business Services

Tom Breeze
Tom Breeze - Head of IT

Tom has worked in IT for over 15 years, looking after systems and support teams in the education and skills sectors. He specialises mainly in server infrastructure, telephony and security, and is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of all IT systems at Help Musicians.

His interests include history, learning languages, musical theatre, and turning old computer hardware into useful gadgets.

Jennifer Kybert
Jennifer Kybert - Head of HR

Jennifer is an experienced HR professional who has worked passionately in the not-for-profit sector, partnering with organisations to achieve their ambitions through their people. With over a decade of experience, Jennifer has most recently worked as a Freelance HR Consultant with a variety of charities in a range of areas including environment, health and disability.

She has led on the full spectrum of HR initiatives from major organisational change projects to executive level recruitment and selection programmes. Prior to her HR Consultancy work, Jennifer spent 8 years at The Royal National Institute of Blind People managing the HR Business Partnering team before leaving to have her family.

Outside of work she is a keen runner with her sights set on running a half marathon. She enjoys a wide range of music from Brit pop to Country and everything in between!