Meet the Team

Victoria Burnip, CEO

Awarded UK Charity and Social Enterprise Leader of the Year in November 2019, Victoria Burnip is a qualified senior leader in health and social care, who has over ten year's experience inspiring and leading teams within the voluntary and community sector. Previous Interim CEO and Chief Operations Officer of an Age UK who has lived experience as a carer for her Grandmother who was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Victoria has campaigned and represented the views of thousands of older people and their loved ones in her previous roles. As a result she is extremely passionate about making a difference to the lives of those living in the North East and beyond by disrupting and transforming adult social care by offering alternative respite models of care to help them to create memories with their loved ones and live longer, more fulfilling, independent lives as they grow old.

Nika Noakes

Marketing & Comms Manager

Nika’s accomplishments in the UK began with founding Changing Perceptions, a social initiative promoting active citizenship and community development. She also spearheaded Edinburgh’s city-wide 16 Days of Action campaign in collaboration with local and national organisations and served on the boards of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association and UTSAAH. Most recently, Nika coordinated and planned the international contest, Women4Climate Tech Challenge, at the leading Climate Leadership Group, C40 Cities. Prior to arriving in the UK, Nika championed women’s rights causes in India, working closely with human rights organisations, the Ministries of Home affairs and Women & Childcare, and law enforcement agencies. Her social development and art projects are celebrated from the slums of Delhi to the mountains of Kumaon. Nika completed her MSc in International Festivals & Events at Edinburgh Napier University and Business & Marketing and Mass Communication & Journalism at Panjab University.

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Samantha Smith

Participant Engmt Coordinator

Samantha studies Neuroscience at the Open University and has a particular interest in researching how arts and creative therapies can promote rehabilitation in people with neurological disorders. Samantha has previously volunteered for Healthwatch, and worked at the Neurology department of the University Hospitals of North Midlands, helping the public to share their views on local health and social care services, and as a befriender, developing meaningful relationships with socially isolated individuals.  Samantha has worked in a range of diverse roles that have enabled her to build strong stakeholder & beneficiary relationships. Samantha is looking forward to bringing into practice, her educational background of biology and neuroscience including 'Living Psychology', 'Science of the Mind', 'Practical Science: Biology and Health' and 'Psychology for the Healthy Mind'

Leslie Smith

I.T. Trainer

Leslie joins the team bringing to the table decades of experience in the field of information technology. In the past, Leslie has worked with several notable institutions' in the capacity of an IT expert. Some of Leslie's previous roles include ICT Support Teacher for the Darlington County Council, Group Co-ordinator for the Darligton Baptist Church, IT Tutor for Age UK, and many more. Leslie has a strong passion for working with, and for the socially isolated elderly population and aspires to support them extensively with the use of IT. 

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Contact Us:

Woodland House, 4 Woodland Road,

Darlington DL3 7PJ

Phone: 01325 238 007


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