Our people

Our People

Who we are

David Lett and John Evans founded New Meaning in 2006.  Now, there are three separate sister enterprises helping people find meaning. New Meaning Training, New Meaning Construction and our Charity, New Meaning Foundation. Together, these enterprises are Building Strengths, Building Lives and Building Futures.

For the next 10 years they delivered numerous programmes across the country in schools, community enterprises and social housing providers, all focused on motivating, enabling and facilitating change in young people and those without jobs.

Together they developed a number of People-Behaviour-Change methodologies including ProActive Life & Work Skills (for young people), ProActive Behaviour Change (for organisations), and ProActive Community Enterprise (for local communities).

I believe in supporting, facilitating and enabling lost souls to rediscover their self-confidence and improve self-esteem, with the desired outcome that everyone who goes through the process learns to be proficient, able and successful in a way that is genuinely meaningful to their individual lives.

John Evans - New Meaning Foundation Trustee

John Evans

Chief Executive Officer (and Co-Founder of New Meaning)

John comes from a background in agri-science followed by several years in mergers & acquisitions (people & process).  Since co-founding New Meaning in 2006 he has focused on social enterprise charities, providing positive life-changing education, training and employment for the hardest to reach in society.

John sees his role at NMF as defining overall strategy with the Trustees, followed by orchestrating and implementing delivery (but in reality he does a lot more than that).

On a personal level, John used to be an average rugby player, founded the Herts Uni cross country club, and his claim to fame was undoubtedly leader of the 2nd violins in the Anglo-French Youth Orchestra in the late 70’s.

More recently he attends the gym 3-4 times a week and claims he can still bench press 100kg.

“I believe in supporting, facilitating and enabling lost souls to rediscover their self-confidence and improve self-esteem, with the desired outcome that everyone who goes through the process learns to be proficient, able and successful in a way that is genuinely meaningful to their individual lives.”

David Lett - New Meaning Foundation Trustee

David Lett

Founding Trustee

A Kiwi by birth, David’s early career was in the retail banking sector, followed by working in the UK finance sector in the mid to late 90s.

He established his own management consultancy business in 2000 with clients in the telecoms, utilities and transport sectors.

In 2016 David co-founded what was then called “Toolshed”, now New Meaning Training, which occupies much of his time and focus, having expanded the model to reach seven counties in England.

When he’s not busy with NMT, NMC and NMF, David enjoys watching sport as well as partaking in running, cycling and walking (perhaps making up for the fact that he didn’t attempt to walk as child until he was 2 years old).

“The work is only getting started and is focused on projects that strengthen pro-active community enterprise.  We know from past projects that if people are given permission, the right tools and a budget, they come up with creative solutions to local challenges.”

The work is only getting started and is focused on projects that strengthen pro-active community enterprise.  We know from past projects that if people are given permission, the right tools and a budget, they come up with creative solutions to local challenges.

Sean Thompson New Meaning Foundation Trustee

Sean Thompson

Trustee

Sean joined New Meaning Foundation as a Trustee in January 2021, and sees his primary role as fundraiser for the charity.

He brings to NMF over 29 years experience in the publishing sector, producing lifestyle magazines and multi-lingual travel guides, as well as owning and managing seven independent menswear retail shops in Cambridge and Oxford. 

Sean was initially drawn to the work of the Foundation and its partners in tackling the increasing homeless situation in Cambridge, and how they were developing skills in the construction industry whilst providing a practical solution.

In his spare time, Sean enjoys being walked by his two dogs, travelling and clay pigeon shooting (that’s the one without the real birds).

New Meaning Foundation Trustee - Lex Beckett

Lex Beckett

Trustee

Lex has worked closely with John & David for the past decade so has witness the development of New Meaning and their various activities and course around the UK and abroad.

As a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker (yes, indeed), Lex is the Company and Creative Director of the wonderfully named Squashed Robot Films, who specialise in commercial and film production, broadcast, documentary, aerial filming and photography.

Although we don’t see Lex that often in Cambridge (he’s based in Cheltenham), he brings a valuable creative perspective to New Meaning, as well as a long-term interest in psychology which he feels aligns with the ethos of the Foundation.

When he’s not wielding a camera or a clip-board, Lex’s idea of fun is escaping the modern world, either camping or walking in the middle of nowhere.

“From my perspective, New Meaning is one of the few charitable organisations for whom action, impact and results are the key metric. They put people at the heart of everything they do, and understand that all people have different experiences, mindsets, priorities and lived experience. I have never met two more empathetic individuals than John and David.”

From my perspective, New Meaning is one of the few charitable organisations for whom action, impact and results are the key metric. They put people at the heart of everything they do, and understand that all people have different experiences, mindsets, priorities and lived experience. I have never met two more empathetic individuals than John and David.

When I saw the modular homes being constructed in Waterbeach Barracks and met John Evans for the first time, I immediately “got” the value and impact of New Meaning’s work. Tackling several issues whilst addressing an increasing social problem in this extremely unequal city. So it wasn’t a hard decision to get involved and help where I could

Rebecca Orde - New Meaning Foundation Trustee

Rebecca Orde

Trustee

Rebecca has enjoyed an extremely varied career spanning several sectors (education, technology, event management and property) and spent over 20 years living and working in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central America.

Based in Cambridge since 2007, she has focused on the built environment, providing project management services for residential clients and the East Anglia region. Her particular interests are future-proofing homes for people approaching later life, and adapting homes for disabled people and their families.

She became a Trustee in early 2021, having heard about New Meaning from one of her trades, who has been involved in the electrical installations for the modular homes.

When she’s not busy trying to disrupt the housing sector, Rebecca loves travelling to Italy, waxing lyrical about the benefits of Japanese loos and early morning walks on Grantchester Meadows.

“When I saw the modular homes being constructed in Waterbeach Barracks and met John Evans for the first time, I immediately “got” the value and impact of New Meaning’s work.  Tackling several issues whilst addressing an increasing social problem in this extremely unequal city. So it wasn’t a hard decision to get involved and help where I could”

Peter Cairey - New Meaning Foundation

Peter Cairey

Site Manager & Technical Lead

Peter is a key member of the New Meaning team, overseeing the building of the modular homes and delivering valuable on-site training to all the apprentices and volunteers taking part in the project.

Having experience numerous challenges himself, including being homeless and living at a YMCA at 32 years of age. Peter keenly understands the value that this programme offers people, from learning practical transferrable skills to building up confidence and self worth.

Having spent four years learning his skills with New Meaning’s sister project in High Wycombe, The Toolshed, Peter transferred to Waterbeach to support John with the homeless homes project in 2020.

“I want these trainees to know that there’s a point to what they’re doing.  Being mostly self-taught, I have never stopped learning.  My motto is JUST DO IT!”

I want these trainees to know that there’s a point to what they’re doing.  Being mostly self-taught, I have never stopped learning.  My motto is JUST DO IT!

A great Foundation that works towards a special goal: to help young persons with special education needs.
Denis Lucleavischii - New Meaning Foundation

Denis Iucleaevschii

Tutor

Denis sees his role as helping special educational needs of young people.

Denis is a Science teacher with 10 years experience in teaching university and college students.

In his spare time Denis runs and cycles. English is also his 5th fluent language after Russian, Italian, Modovian and French!

“A great Foundation that works towards a special goal: to help young persons with special education needs. “

Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis

East England Area Manager

Adam’s role is to support services, staff and students in the East of England Region.

For 12 years, he has worked with vulnerable and people with special needs and disability (SEND). Previous roles include TITAN Programme Manager for Norfolk County Council Education Department, and SEND Independent Travel Training Consultant, within Cambridge County Council.

Adam spent 8 years studying at University for various qualifications in Law, Leadership and Management, combined with practical experience building residential homes.

When he’s not working and the opportunity presents itself, Adam is happiest sitting by a river (preferably in Norfolk) with a fishing rod in hand.

“New Meaning Foundation is a varied and exciting place to work. It is such a joy to be able to deliver the right support to those who need it most”

New Meaning Foundation is a varied and exciting place to work. It is such a joy to be able to deliver the right support to those who need it most

I was drawn to New Meaning because it is making a very real difference to people’s lives. I feel my time is very well spent working here!

Suzie Young

Suzie Young

Marketing Manager

Suzie brings a fresh approach to how New Meaning presents itself to the wider world. Working with all three of the New Meaning sister companies, Suzie is working to achieve visibility for all the great work we do. She has an impressive track record, having worked in both sales and marketing roles over the past 20 years. Notably, she also brings experience from a long-standing connection with the education sector in Cambridgeshire.

Suzie has a personal interest in neuroscience and psychology but she says this role also gives her the opportunity to tap into her degree in Sociology.

 

“I was drawn to New Meaning because it is making a very real difference to people’s lives. I feel my time is very well spent working here!”

Get in touch

Follow us

"Perhaps, what herd immunity really means is our newfound capacity to render ourselves emotionally untouched by – immune to – mass loss of life". 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/15/nhs-coping-doctors-patients-omicron?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

Hello '22. New build week 2.

Floors complete, Fronts on ..

3 men down - get well soon Kieran, Ryan and Owen.

Well deserved.

Many Congratulations Vinisha.

I’ve been selected for the prestigious "Global Child Prodigy Award 2022" in the Innovation category! The grand award ceremony will be held in February 2022 in Dubai. Will feel super proud to carry the Indian flag when I get the award! Looking forward to meeting the prodigies! 🇮🇳

Good Works!

Thanks to Landaid and Howard Group.

As we approach the end of 2021, we'd like to say #thankyou for all you've done over the past 12 months in your support of @LandAid's work to help #endyouthhomelessness. From sponsoring the #SleepOut, to buying raffle tickets and contributing your time - thank you.

Maskology.

FFP3 / N95 SO MUCH better than cloth or surgical type.

When you wear a mask make it count. Good piece from @masknerd on the quality of different masks and why an FFP2 is your best option https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/27/best-masks-covid-tests-cloth-surgical-respirators?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other