Meet The Team!

Katy Sturdey - Director


In our second of our ‘Meet the Team’ series we chat to one of the two Hope English School (HES) directors Katy! Katy manages to combine being a primary school teacher, mum of two and director in and organised yet effortless fashion! She keeps our finances in order with her excellent spreadsheets and her huge heart for the students runs through everything she does.

Read on to find out more about Katy…


How did you first get involved in HES?

Jen Gladwell (who founded HES) was a mum friend of mine in the school playground and I thought what she was doing was amazing. I began to support her, volunteering one afternoon a week (making volunteer fliers etc at her kitchen table etc) while my daughter was at nursery. I felt passionate about the vision of HES and wanted to be more useful and involved so once both children were at school I went back to Uni in the evenings to sit my CELTA qualification. I then began teaching ESOL classes with HES and this has gradually evolved to my current role as one of the directors.

What specifically does your role involve?

As a small company, my role is very varied which I love (from emptying the bins to strategic meetings organised by clients such as the Refugee Council with local representatives from sectors such as local council, NHS and school services). However, my primary role is managing our finances. This includes invoices, accounts, banking, payroll etc, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but I love it as it is so different from my other day job as a primary school teacher and challenges me to learn new skills.

What do you like most about working for HES?

 I spend a day a week in our office with the other lovely staff and volunteers. It’s amazing being part of a team with such a passion for the people we work with. I love it when we hear that a student has been for a job interview or has applied for a course at college – what we are doing is making a difference to people’s lives in Sheffield and beyond. I also have to admit that my other great joy is a well working Excel spreadsheet!

What else do you do with the rest of your week when you are not working for HES?

What I enjoy most is hanging out with my kids and husband - playing games, being out in the garden, eating pancakes at cafes and getting out in the countryside. A normal week begins on a Monday and Tuesday with my enthusiastic class of 9-10 year olds, then 2 days working for HES, then a day being ‘house mum’ doing all the family jobs. At weekends we love getting outdoors for walks, cycles and picnics together or with family and friends. I feel so lucky to have such a varied and interesting week.

Have you always lived in Sheffield, if not what brought you here?

No, I grew up on the North East coast and moved to Sheffield as a student. I studied Geography and then went on to work as a Park Ranger for several years in several stunning locations ranging from the West Coast of Scotland to the moors and coast of Devon. After a period travelling around the world, I returned to Sheffield, trained as a teacher, got married and settled here. We love Sheffield – the people, the city and the Peak District.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

 I am most happy sitting in a tent in a grassy (or muddy) field with no toilet watching the wildlife and contemplating which mountain to climb next (This is a testament to Sheffield as it surprises me that I live in a city and I love it so much)!