Behind FURD, there's a dedicated and passionate team that drives its success: our staff team. Comprised of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, our team is united by a common goal: to serve and deliver the best for our local community. From sports enthusiasts to research and creative minds our staff members bring a wealth of expertise and innovation to our community work. Get to know the faces behind the scenes:
Simon Hyacinth: FURD Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and U-Mix Centre Manager
Since 1997, Simon has been integral part of FURD. He has developed and managed a number of projects in various roles on behalf of FURD. In his current position as Co-CEO he manages the functional operations of U-Mix Centre and FURD's football development programmes.
A native of Sheffield and a proud second generation immigrant from the small Caribbean island of Grenada, he completed his Recreation Management degree at Sheffield Hallam University and post graduate studies at the University of Huddersfield in the area of Youth and Community work. Simon has a wide range of interest including sports, music and arts. He is a die-hard RED DEVILS FAN.
Mehrun Ahmed: FURD Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Mehrun has been part of the FURD team since December 1999. In her previous role as the Millennium Volunteers Coordinator she played a key role in creating a step change in the direction of FURD's work. She has been a key player in creating partnerships and designing anti-racism education training programmes and developing FURD as a model of good practice in upskilling young people as volunteers and future leaders.
As Co-CEO of FURD, under her leadership FURD has excelled in developing young people’s social capital, implementing employment programmes and youth projects.
Mehrun graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MA in 'Working with Communities’. Her dissertation topic explored the perspectives of professionals working with Muslim young people; the research proved that people working with Muslim young people had little idea of the impact of Islamophobia on the lives of Muslim young people. This helped to support FURD's strategic objectives
She participated in a management course with the Chartered Management Institute, ‘Managing an Integrated Youth Support Service’, and has undertaken an ILM level 4 Management course with Voluntary Action Sheffield.
Howard Holmes: Chair of FURD's Board of Trustees
Howard, one of the founders of FURD and now Chair of Trustees, has been the driving force behind the vision of Football Unites, Racism Divides since 1995. FURD’s growth as an organisation in tackling racism and its success over the years has been shaped and built under the strong leadership of Howard. In his current role as Chair of Trustees he oversees the smooth functioning of FURD.
Howard is a lifelong Blades fan and a Sheffield United FC season ticket holder. He is a member of the Fare (Football Against Racism in Europe) Network Board having served as Chair for 5 years. Howard has established a strong profile for FURD in South Africa, in particular with the District Six Museum and Welcoming Centre in Cape Town.
Following Howard's retirement as Director in 2011 he has specialised in Black history initiatives, including writing several comic books in the FURD Pioneers series.
Ruth Johnson: Resources and Information Worker, Women and Girls Football Devlopment Worker
Ruth Johnson has been part of the team since 1997. Ruth brings vast experience in the areas of research & information and women’s football development. Currently, Ruth leads multiple projects at FURD. As a resources and information worker, Ruth manages FURD’s library, website and social media. In her other role as a football development worker, Ruth coordinates the women’s and girls' football development programme and walking football for men and women.
Ruth is a qualified and experienced librarian with an MSc in Information Management from the University of Sheffield. She is also an FA level 1 qualified football coach and a keen footballer.
Lisa Sultanti: FURD Engagement and Partnerships Manager
Our Employability Manager Lisa is dedicated to shaping young people’s journeys in education and employment. If you're not in employment or in education (NEET), Lisa and her team are here to provide insights, mentorship, and access to valuable tools. From resume refinement and interview coaching to skill development through volunteering and networking strategies, our Employability Manager is your friend in unlocking doors to success.
Lisa's first involvement with FURD was as a volunteer on our Millennium Volunteers programme back in 1999, whilst a student at Sheffield College. One of her achievements as a volunteer was recruiting lots more volunteers! Her voluntary experience helped her get a full time job with us as our education worker in 2001. She also managed our Arthur Wharton Heritage Project from 2011-13. After training as a teacher, she left to broaden her experience before returning to FURD in her new role in 2020.
Our dedicated Administration and Reception Team is committed to providing exceptional services and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Our team plays a vital role in ensuring that your experiences at the U-Mix Centre are both enjoyable and efficient. Both teams work closely together to ensure a holistic and integrated approach to managing our centre. Their dedication to excellence and their commitment to serving our community make them an integral part of our efforts to create a vibrant and inclusive space for everyone:
Marilyn Victor-Jefferson Facility Development Assistant and Health and Safety Officer.
David Lemus Office Administrator
Mutasim Ahmed Receptionist
Mohammed Shakoor Ajaib Receptionist
FURD Coaches and Youth workers
Are you ready to take your football skills to the next level? Our expert coaching team is here to guide you on your journey to becoming a better player, both on and off the field. With a wealth of experience, dedication, and passion for the game, FURD coaches are committed to helping you achieve your goals and maximize your potential.
Why Choose Our Coaching Team?
Expertise: Our coaching staff boasts a diverse range of expertise, from tactical strategies to technical skills and physical conditioning. You'll receive well-rounded guidance that addresses every aspect of your game.
Individualized Approach: We understand that every player is unique. Our coaches take the time to assess your strengths, areas for improvement and personal goals. This allows us to tailor coaching sessions to your specific needs.
Holistic Development: Beyond on-field performance, our coaching team emphasises character-building, teamwork, and sporting behaviour. We aim to shape not only skilled players but also well-rounded individuals. Most of our coaches come from under-represented groups and so are well placed to understand the issues faced by many of our users. Some of our coaches started as participants in our sessions, and the majority started off as volunteers. All are good role models for our participants who can see what can be achieved with hard work and passion.
Proven Success: Our track record speaks for itself. Many of our former players have gone on to excel at higher levels of the game, including Kyle Walker, Warren Burrell, Aymen Tahar and Liban Abdi. Their success is a testament to the quality of coaching you'll receive.
Passion for Progress: We are as passionate about your growth as a player as you are. Our coaches are dedicated to helping you surpass your goals and achieve milestones you never thought possible. Whether you're just starting your football journey or looking to elevate your skills to elite levels, our coaching team guides you every step of the way. Join us and experience the transformative power of dedicated coaching that propels you toward greatness on the football field. Contact us today to learn more about our sessions.