Our Team


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William Akerman

Managing Director


I’m passionate about helping young people; raising aspirations, awareness of opportunity and equipping people with the skills to reach their potential. I actively collaborate. I believe in for-profit social-enterprise. I smile, but I don’t laugh enough. I wish I could code. I’ve founded a handful of companies; some have failed, and some have worked. Failures don’t get me down. I’m grateful to the people who offer me help. If in doubt, do it! My strengths are a willingness to take risks, a love of change and disruption, and a crazy optimistic outlook on life. These are also my weaknesses!


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Nicky Miles

Head of Business Support


I joined Speakeasy4Schools in 2007 and have been part of the expanding team, now CragRats at Dorking. My role as Head of Business Support provides many challenges in a bustling environment. Prioritising workload is a key activity and skill requirement. Prior to my time at CragRats, I took a career break to have my family – 2 active boys! My earlier career years were spent working in the pharmaceutical industry for a large multi-national organisation. During this time I was promoted on a number of occasions, and held the position of PA to Operations Director before taking my break.

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Sylvia Huggins

Scheduling Manager


I came over to England from Sweden in 1994 and worked for an IT Training Company as their Training Co-ordinator/Scheduler before taking some time out to backpack around the world. I returned to the same company but worked in sales before moving back into my role as Scheduler. After being at home for a few years with my two sons I joined Speakeasy4schools/CragRats as the Scheduling Administrator in December 2009. It’s a busy and fun environment to work in! My role as Scheduling Administrator is being responsible for scheduling tutors, booking hotels, organising cars and kit required. Also, inputting all data into our busy tutor schedule, which supports the education programme we deliver into Schools.


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Jo Manlow

Business Support Manager


I started my career as a receptionist and then moved into a more PA role working for small and large companies in Surrey and London. I then became mum to three children, who have ventured off to University, College and Secondary School, and for me, I found myself joining the CragRats team back in early 2014. Initially supporting the MyKindaFuture team with their Campaigns, I am now more hands-on with the CragRats programmes. I enjoy the co-ordinating, organising and contact with teachers, ensuring that both they and their students come out with an enjoyable and memorable event. Working ever closely with Nicky, we look forward to the telephone ringing, emails coming in and another booking taken!


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Sarajane Shields

Finance Manager


I completed a degree in Business Studies, and ended up working in the financial sector in many different roles, and in many different locations, from Glasgow, to the City and down South, in Bournemouth. I ended up as a self employed Senior Programme Manager within the Financial Services Sector. I then took a career break to have my son and in 2008 I joined Speakeasy4Schools, as their Finance Manager. I have watched the company grow and now look after the accounts for both Cragrats and MyKindaFuture.

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Nicola Pike

Tutor Manager & Lead Tutor


My background is in theatre, which is where my passion for presenting and educating through workshops grew. I have been on the CragRats team since 2007, and a Tutor Manager since 2012. I have loved heading up the team re-launching the Dragons Programme and get a real buzz seeing students, with new eyes, think about running their own business. Outside of CragRats I can be found entertaining at children’s parties, or leading tours at the restricted access Mclaren F1 facility.


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James Merry

Tutor Manager & Lead Tutor


Like many of the CragRats Tutors team I am a professionally trained actor. The self employed nature of this work means that I am essentially my own business; I have to market myself, manage my own accounts and ultimately have to be enterprising in the way I go about finding employment. This work puts me in an ideal position to take my experience into schools when delivering CragRats Enterprise programmes. Success in business and in life is not just about a certain skill set, it is about the attitude we approach challenges with. At CragRats we call this an ‘Enterprising Attitude’. It is about being positive, saying yes to opportunities and always saying ‘I can’ rather than ‘I can’t’.

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Kate Roddy

Community Manager


I’m very proud to have been part of the CragRats team since 2008. When leading workshop delivery I’m always overwhelmed by the progression students or delegates make in such a short space of time. It’s always great to hear teachers (who obviously have a greater understanding of their students day to day) say that they were shocked to see certain pupils utterly engaged and showing skills they had never seen before; whether that be because they are usually the quietest student in the class or the most disruptive! It’s also a pleasure to work within my Business Support roles. The team’s innovative energy, focus and drive to create programmes which produce truly positive changes is really inspiring.

We’re are immensely proud of our team of tutors who work with young people all over the UK. Our team combine a wealth of experience in numerous industries with an engaging and energetic style which truly inspires. Visit our testimonials page to see our fantastic feedback and find out more about CragRats’ life changing learning