Pat Shelley

Chief Executive Officer

I spent 25 years in Local Government working in Portsmouth, Stoke-on-Trent, and London. During this time, I managed a range of services for young people including youth, Connexions, targeted youth support and teenage pregnancy services. My last position was as Strategic Manager (Assistant Director) for Young People’s Services with Southwark Council in London.


After taking voluntary redundancy I moved into the voluntary sector as CEO for Launch and have been busy moving Launch It from a London based organisation to one which is expanding across the country.


I have a passion for working with and developing opportunities for young people, particularly those who are dealing with social or economic challenges as I lived experience of facing these challenges myself.


In my spare time I like to take my Cocker Spaniel, Arnold, out walking, going for a run, and watching Brentford FC win (occasionally!)


Shabana Basheer

Enterprise Manager, Dundee

 I am Shabana and I have worked with young people in the charity sector for over 10 years in a range of roles, from campaigning and advocacy to volunteer support. Prior to joining Launch It Dundee in September 2018, I managed the British Red Cross’ International Youth Volunteering Programme, through which hundreds of young people from across Europe were able to participate in long-term volunteering projects with Red Cross partners in the UK and abroad.  I also work as a freelance translator, so have experience first-hand in the challenges and opportunities of being self-employed.  


When I am not working, I enjoy going for long walks in the unpredictable Scottish weather, swimming, knitting, reading, and dancing round the house with my music-loving toddler.


Laura Symmons

Development Director, London

I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people.  I previously worked as a music leader in schools, pupil referral units and at a youth music charity.  There, I delivered sessions on music production and the music industry as part of a foundation degree course, in partnership with Westminster University.  Simultaneously, I was working as a session musician and songwriter, touring the UK and Europe.


I started with Launch It in 2016 and really enjoy seeing the creativity and passion of our entrepreneurs.


When I’m not working, I’m a mum who also writes songs and goes cold water swimming!


Abba Taylor


I have been with Launch It since 2016, working with our wonderful team here as the receptionist/administrator. I enjoy working alongside some extremely talented and creative businesses- creativity is something I am passionate about. 

My background is in performing arts and the music industry. I studied at the Brit Performing Arts School, then worked at Performing Rights Society (PRS) where I set up the royalties for artists within the music industry. After 7 years at PRS I left to be a full-time mum of now two lovely young women, who steal my make-up and clothes daily. 

Outside of Launch It, I love to dance, there’s nothing better than shaking a leg!


Lianne Carr Wyllie

Enterprise Manager, Dundee

I grew up in the St Mary’s area of the city. After leaving school I studied music performance before spending 15 years managing a busy jewellers in the city.

My passions outside of work are singing & performing in a local band, teaching singing to kids, and running my own Princess Party Business.

I joined Launch It Dundee in 2019 and find the charity so inspiring as we get to meet and help support young talented individuals with bright futures ahead of them.

When I was younger I would have loved to have been part of the Launch it Programme, I think I would have liked to have had my own recording studio!

I also likes chilling when I can with my husband Paul, daughter Mia and two Persian cats Coco and Snowball.


Trish Burns

Enterprise Manager, Paisley

I grew up on a small Scottish Island, called the Isle of Arran and left when I was 17 to go to college in East Ayrshire, which is where I met my husband almost 30 years ago. We have two kids; Jordan is 19 and in the Royal Navy and Nickolle is 16 and still at school. We have lived in Irvine, North Ayrshire for the last 20 years. 

I started off my working career as a chef and in hotels. I was made redundant so went back to university as a mature student and achieved a Hons Degree in Human Resources Management. Following HR roles at Asdas and a local charity, I moved on to community work, teaching people how to support themselves and their families. This role then lead me to employability, supporting unemployed people, back into sustaining employment, 

I started work at Launch It Paisley in October 2020, and am looking forward to helping young people achieve their dreams 

Amber Wright

Development Director,

Out of London

In 2008 I joined Launch It as an Enterprise Manager in Tottenham. During my time here, I have retrained in fundraising and am now undertaking the role of Development Director as we fulfil our strategic vision of starting more charities and centres across the UK.


I have always been interested in enterprise and used to run my own crew catering business. In 2006 I started working for the Princes’ Trust and found that I had a real passion for working with young people and in particular empowering young people to build a great life for themselves.


Out of work I am a busy mum of three and enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and socialising with friends and family.


Alison Robinson

Finance Manager

I have been working with Launch It since the beginning of 2017. I am responsible for the financial management of the charity and also assist with advice on general business management to the Trust and the young entrepreneurs. 


I am a Chartered Management Accountant and have worked in industry for over 20 years. For the last 15 years I have been running my own accountancy practice with my husband and a staff of 5. I deal with many different types of business and assist many new businesses in their first years. This experience means I can support the young entrepreneurs as well as the Trust with up to the minute information that I use for my other clients. 


I am very passionate about the work of Launch It and the people they support. 


When not working I enjoy cooking and traveling. I also enjoy spending time with my family of six men (including my husband and the cat!). 


Adenike Malcom

Enterprise Manager, London

I have a huge interest in entrepreneurship and believe anyone with drive and determination, regardless of their background deserves to be supported.  My journey as a start-up business advisor started in 1997 when I was supported and awarded with a small grant to start my dress agency business by The Prince’s Trust.  I believe my experience as a business proprietor put me in good stead for my future employment; it was someone showing me they had belief in my idea that encouraged my confidence. 


In 2001 a became a business area manager in Lambeth and Southwark at The Prince’s Trust and in 2005 I joined Launch It, working with young entrepreneurs in Deptford before moving back to Southwark.


Clifford Dobbs

Enterprise Manager, London

At Launch It, each day is a learning curve and a day to make a difference to someone setting up in business.  I previously worked for myself, and I have also been involved with community cohesion resulting in building my own home.  The lessons I learnt were teamwork, discipline, determination and overcoming obstacles to achieve your goals. 


My role is managing the smooth running of our workspaces and providing a comprehensive business support package.  I am level 5 Sfedi qualified in Professional Business and Enterprise Support and received an Enterprise Life Achievement and Professional Recognition Award in 2019 for my contribution to small businesses. 


My interests are cooking, reading, going to the cinema and keeping healthy; I run 3 times a week.  I am also an avid Arsenal supporter!   


Mike Turner

Mentor Co-ordinator (Volunteer)

My career started as an electronics engineer developing digital telephone exchange systems. Having spent 15 years in the telecoms industry in design, management and human resources, I joined my wife, a studio potter, in setting up a retail gallery business. We ran the business for 25 years with a focus on independent British designer-makers. Initially, the focus was on ceramics, but later we expanded into glass and jewellery. Many of our makers were recent graduates, and we both spent time helping them to grow their businesses. We retired 3 years ago, and I joined Launch It in 2018 to run the mentoring scheme. 


My other interests lie in stop motion animation, exploring the countryside and fixing up abandoned old bikes.

I love working with the Launch It clients, they have so much energy and spirit, it can’t help rubbing off on you and making you feel invigorated.