Dave Staley, Operations Director
Dave and his wife Heather live near Thornbury, Bristol, where in partnership with his brother and parents they run a farm and self-storage business. They are members of Thornbury Baptist Church. Dave and Heather have travelled to Nicaragua many times and have a heart to see Nicaraguans being lifted out of physical and spiritual poverty and being given a hope for the future.
As Operations Director, Dave is responsible for all of SIFT’s work in Nicaragua, with the exception of the Finca El Rayo project, which is managed by Tony Langmead.
Colin Weaver, UK Director
Colin Weaver was a RAF engineering officer for 36 years, retiring in March 2009 at the rank of Wing Commander. He holds a MSc and MBA, and is a Chartered Engineer. He lives in Meltham, nr Holmfirth West Yorkshire where he attends a local Baptist Church. Colin was a Trustee of SIFT from its start in 2002 and served as Chair for eight years until February 2016. Colin became SIFT’s first UK Director in February 2012.
Graham joined SIFT in September 2004 after going out on a SIFT trip as part of his gap year. He now heads up the work of the SIFT office in Seaton, Devon. Graham has a background in mathematics and computer science and is involved with music and youthwork at his church.
Ali has been involved with SIFT’s work since the early days, having been on a building trip in 2002. She officially joined the team as the Fundraising Manager in 2012. In addition to her role with SIFT, Ali is a Trustee of a youthwork charity.
After serving for five years as SIFT Trustee, Ruth stepped down in 2013 and now concentrates on liaising with the sponsors of our education programme, sending out annual reports, and assisting administratively in the office when needed. Ruth is retired and lives with her husband in East Devon. They are both active members of a large Anglican Church, where they enjoy involvement with marriage preparation and pastoral ministry. An ever growing family also keeps them busy.
Jacobo Sanchez has been SIFT’s official representative in Nicaragua since 2016, taking responsibility for the finance and local administration of our projects. Jacobo is a qualified lawyer and committed Christian. He lives in Managua with his wife, Valeria, and they have a young son. Valeria heads up a project called Casa Rahab, which helps girls that have been rescued from the sex trade in the city of Granada.
Dr Sandra Villagra
Sandra Villagra comes from Jinotega, in the north of Nicaragua. She qualified as a doctor at the UPONIC university in Managua and has a particular interest in biological medicine. Sandra worked for some years as a tutor of internal medicine at UPONIC and at the Martin Luther University, before being approached by SIFT in 2003 to head up their new medical work on the island of Ometepe.
Sandra is married to Pablo Sandino and they live to the south of Managua. She commutes each week to the island of Ometepe to work in SIFT’s clinics on the island, and has trained up seven local nurses to work alongside her.
Margaret Storey has had a heart for mission work for many years and since 2000 has volunteered in a number of underdeveloped countries – Kosovo, Nicaragua, China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Kenya – although Nicaragua was the one which affected her the most.
She met the SIFT team on her fourth trip to Bluefields in October 2008 (after she had retired) and was impressed with their work. Knowing her availability in a voluntary capacity, SIFT invited her to represent them in Bluefields, providing support for their sponsored children. So Margaret joined the SIFT team in October 2009 and lives in Bluefields for eight months of the year.
Chris Anderson, Chairman of Trustees
Chris Anderson served in the Royal Navy as a nuclear engineering officer in submarines. He left the Navy in 1996 at the rank of Commander and then worked for a multi-national services and outsourcing company, retiring as Operations Director in 2010. A lifelong Christian originally from London, Chris is part of the leadership team at Plymouth Vineyard Church. He lives near Tavistock with his wife, who is a doctor, and his family. He enjoys competing in swimming, triathlon and sailing. Chris has been a SIFT Trustee since 2011.
Jane Weaver is a retired Professor of Midwifery. She initially trained as a nurse and midwife, but later completed a BSc followed by a PhD in Health Psychology at University College London. After working for four years as a Research Associate at the Centre for Family Research, Cambridge University she took up a post as a midwifery lecturer at the University of West London, where she remained for 11 years. She has been married to Colin for 32 years.
Mark Catley is a chartered surveyor and agricultural valuer with over thirty years post-qualification experience and has recently retired from Government service as a Group Valuation Officer in the East of England. He now works part-time in the private sector in Cambridge as a Consultant Surveyor. Mark is married to Julia and has three grown-up children, Anna, Laura and Jonathan. They live in Cambridgeshire. He is a deacon of a vibrant local Baptist church. Mark is active in several charitable causes across the world.
David Langmead is a Christian of 30 years and salesman of 12 years from Hampshire. David’s first visit to Nicaragua was in 1995 on a Latin Link project, where he helped to build the Verbo school in Bluefields. He has subsequently returned to Nicaragua on a variety of trips. Over the past years he has helped with the homeless of Southampton on a regular soup run and has also been involved in a prison outreach ministry into HMP Winchester, Albany, Parkhurst, Camphill and Guys Marsh. David is married to Belinda and they have two children, Esther and Joshua.
Matthew Farrer joined SIFT at the end of 2013 having become involved in housing design for SIFT’s Finca El Rayo project. Matthew lives in London and works as an architectural designer focusing on residential projects. Time spent in Kosovo looking at housing solutions for marginalised communities helped spark a calling to engage with the built environment in developing communities. Matthew attends a large and vibrant evangelical church in London where he is involved in homeless shelters and social outreach in east London.
Andrew Selous is a committed Christian and has been the Member of Parliament for South West Bedfordshire since 2001. He currently serves on the Commons Health Select Committee. Andrew qualified as a chartered insurer and worked as a reinsurance underwriter before being elected to Parliament. His firm helped many of the world’s poorest communities recover from natural disasters. Andrew was also a Territorial Army officer for twelve years and served in Germany, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States of America.
Andrew is active in his support for many charities especially in South West Bedfordshire but also nationally. In Parliament Andrew has a keen interest in matters relating to sustainable relationships, fatherhood and human trafficking. He is married to Harriet and they have three daughters.