Meet the Team

Here are some of the faces of the people behind the ToastLoveCoffee story, each person sharing a little bit about themselves and their involvement with TLC.

Anna

Founder and Managing Director

Anna is originally from London but is now a proud Leeds resident, having made it her home in 2003. Married with three children, Anna was always involved in community life, specifically the Jewish community in Leeds and nationally.

A particular passion has always been the plight, journeys, resilience and strength of current refugees; mirroring the stories Anna grew up with of her own grandparents’ experiences.

Since meeting Anita in December 2012, her life changed, for the better, for ever. As their friendship grew, so did the idea of creating a safe and welcoming cafe space in Leeds. That idea was ToastLoveCoffee.

You can contact Anna on email: anna@toastlovecoffee.co.uk

Natalie

Volunteer Co-ordinator

Natalie has lived in Harehills for over 30 years, and spent most of that time in a variety of community based jobs and volunteer roles.  She has worked with families, children, migrant communities, and people with disabilities, in roles that help set goals for change, enabling people to live fuller, healthier lives.  She has also worked freelance as a healthy eating coach, vegan caterer, and creative workshops facilitator. Natalie has had a range of voluntary roles throughout her life, such as co-ordinating the Leeds Vegetarian and Vegan Group, co-organising a series of barter markets where people exchange goods without using money, and fundraising for numerous local charities. She has a passion for helping people connect and exchange skills/items/information and ideas that will enrich each other’s lives.

Natalie is currently our Volunteer Co-ordinator, and from December will be a Time To Shine Outreach Worker with people aged over 50, ensuring they can access TLC and be connected to the wider community.

You can contact Natalie on email: natalie@toastlovecoffee.co.uk or phone/text: 07793097215

Lawrence

Initial Duty Cafe Manager

Lawrence is a husband and father of two children, a teacher, and a committed volunteer with a love of people. He is fascinated by culture, language and the common ground shared by different people of the world. He speaks five languages and has lived in Israel & Egypt and spent significant time in Bulgaria, Russia and Jordan.
After many years teaching in London and in Leeds (in mainstream primary schools and in special education (SEN) settings), Lawrence is keen to help members of the local community feel good about themselves, have a positive sense of well-being and feel a sense of belonging in the area where they live. He also believes that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Lawrence has played an increasingly active part of the ToastLoveCoffee team since he first started volunteering two years ago, and is incredibly keen and dedicated to creating a special atmosphere in the next phase of ToastLoveCoffee.

Anita

Founder

Anita arrived in the UK from Greece, with her young son, to ask the UK for sanctuary from a violent and dangerous situation.

She is a devoted mother; strong and intelligent, and fiercely independent.

Her case is still ongoing to be granted refugee status and begin to rebuild her life with her son.

In the meantime, Anita is one of the driving forces behind TLC; she is on the Strategy Team, and volunteers in the cafe.

Anita is currently studying English and Maths with a dream of one day having the opportunity to go to university and go into a profession.

Shanaz

Core Team

Shanaz was born in Leeds and has lived in the city most of her life. She is married with three children, and alongside work and family commitments, has always volunteered passionately within the community, for example a successful monthly soup kitchen.

With a professional background in social work, Shanaz focused on supporting victims of domestic violence.

Since meeting Anna at the school sports day (Anna’s daughter and Shanaz’s son are classmates) Shanaz soon became part of the fabric of the TLC community.

Shanaz is a recent graduate of The Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Peace Foundation women’s peace-keeping leadership programme.

Pippa

Core Team

Pippa  started a career in learning disabilities nursing in 1979.  Throughout that career she became  increasingly concerned with  the challenges faced by  people  who may be marginalised by the communities in which they try to live. After leaving nursing she continued working and volunteering with people at the margins of our society.

Now retired, Pippa volunteers with some of the organisations which help asylum seekers and refugees to settle and integrate in their new communities.  She is all too often aware of a  culture of unwelcome, and the harm that does.
In response to her own need to feel part of a welcoming community, Pippa became involved with her Jewish community where she met and formed a close friendship with Anna. This friendship and her belief that we can and must create a culture of welcome naturally led Pippa to want to help in whatever way she can with ToastLoveCoffee.