Our Trustees

Safira Afzal. Chair

Safira Afzal. Chair

Safira Afzal was called to the Bar in 1998. She is a criminal Barrister with extensive experience of prosecuting Youth Crime, Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse and Fraud.

Safira has worked on specialist youth cases involving mental health, knife crime, gang related crime, drugs and county lines, physical abuse or neglect of children, sexual abuse, child abduction, children and young persons as defendants, victims, and witnesses, working closely with the courts, YOT teams, probation, the police, and social services.

Safira has prosecuted both In the Crown Court and Magistrates Courts throughout London.

Safira supports Violence Against Women (domestic violence, rape and other violent offences in which women are predominantly the victims). She supports Refuge the United Kingdom charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence and White Ribbon UK. The White Ribbon Campaign is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls.

Safira is a member of the Criminal Bar Association, Women in Criminal Law, and a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Safira Afzal received the Freedom of the City of London on 20th September 2011 at The Chamberlain's Court, Guildhall, London.

Safira is a former James Bond girl. She was one of a bevy of beauties in the James Bond film Octopussy with Roger Moore, Maud Adams and Kristina Wayborn. Safira travelled the world promoting the film.

Safira appeared in numerous TV Commercials including “Panama Six Appeal” and “Glade Air Fresheners”. TV credits include “Traffic”, “The Lady Vanishes” and featured in Eddie Grant’s music video Romancing the Stone, the title track from the popular Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito action comedy.

Safira was also chosen to represent Miss India for an American Beauty Pageant entitled 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World Pageant', filmed in Hawaii. The show went out live by Dick Clark Productions, the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised events (including Miss America), hosted by David Hasselhoff and Englebert Humperdinck, with Lana Turner as one of the judges.

Louisa Forsyth, TrusteeLouisa Forsyth, Trustee

ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) named Louisa as VP, Global Content, Scripted in September 2018. Louisa is part of the team who oversees ITVS GE’s co-productions, content strategy and programme acquisitions, along with managing the distributor’s relationships with producers and works across ITVS GE’s wide range of international producers and clients.

Louisa joined ITV from Sky, having been with the organisation since 2003, where she held a number of positions, including ten years in Acquisitions, Entertainment and, most recently, in the Corporate Affairs team working across its Bigger Picture initiative leading the Sky Ocean Rescue content activity and MAMA Youth Project.

Melissa Holton, Trustee

Melissa Holton, Trustee

Melissa has worked in television for over 16 years. After finishing a business studies and tv & film degree at Brunel university, she started her television career as a runner for TSI, a post production company in Covent Garden. She then moved to the BBC, working on live television as an autocue operator and then joined Sky in 2000 where she worked her way up to being an editor.

Melissa currently works on a variety of entertainment and sport shows at Sky. She has been an editor for nearly 10- years and very much enjoys volunteering at MAMA Youth Project as a trainer.

Sal Sparace

Sal Sparace

Sal has been in Television business for 35 years as a Technical Manager. He worked for Sky as a Technical Director for 13 years and now he is still with Sky as a Freelance Technical Supervisor. He has worked in many Tv sectors. His experience includes 3D productions, Live sports events, Live News, Live Talk Shows, Soaps, TV interactive, New Digital Media productions and Automation. He was one of the Technical Directors for Sky’s Champions League for 11 years, Channel 4 Breakfast Show (RI:SE), Channel 5 News, Music Video Productions. He is also a Live Gallery Director, Post-Productions (editing & Sound Dubbing).

Sal pioneered the first Satellite international news from Visnews in 1988.

He was the Technical Coordinator for the first ever show on Channel 5 - Family Affairs - A Reg Grundy Production.  

Among several productions he was the Vision Engineer for Sky Italy, Sky UK & Sky Germany for a historic event: Roncalli-Wojtyla canonization, live 3D from Vatican City.

 He also edited a Channel 4 programmes for the series "Black Christmas on 4" plus several productions and documentaries for the CNN World News and BBC World Service, including a documentary for the journalist Hilton Fyle  titled 'Nightmare in Paradise' in Sierra Leone. During his Sky TV employment he setup many ‘work camps’ with University students.

Mei Leng, TrusteeMei Leng, Trustee

Mei Leng Yew is a London-born writer of Malaysian-Chinese heritage. She is an alumni of the MAMA Youth Project, having successfully graduated from the programme in December 2012 as a trainee editor. 

Since then, Mei Leng has regularly volunteered with MAMA Youth Project as a VT director on shoots and as a workshop trainer, delivering sessions to trainees on the development and commissioning process in film and TV.

Over the past decade, Mei Leng has enjoyed a varied career in the film and television industry, working at major broadcasters including the BBC, Sky and Channel 4. She currently splits her time between unscripted and scripted work and within both, she is passionate about stories that are set in unique, highly personal worlds with characters who find joy in unusual places. As a documentary filmmaker, she has worked for The Economist and ITV on sensitive current affairs issues while as a writer, she is an alumni of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab 2022/23 and the Royal Court Theatre’s Introductory to Playwriting Group 2023/24. Mei Leng's first short film won the Ideas Fund Shorts Award, screened at Underwire Film Festival and was subsequently acquired by Shorts TV. Her second short film script was developed on B3Media’s TalentLab 2018, longlisted for the BBC Writersroom and shortlisted for the VAULT New Writers Award 2018. 

Mei Leng was one of Adobe’s representatives for their LoveTheJourney campaign in 2022, celebrating diverse voices in the creative arts. This year, she is being supported by Film London as she progresses in her writing career.

Scott Pope, Trustee

Scott Pope, Trustee

Scott is a Development Executive working at Expanded Media Productions, a scripted
production company who work to produce bold big-impact television for the international
market. Working across a broad range of genres, Scott’s responsibilities include script
editing, generating original ideas and sourcing existing IP for Expanded’s slate.
Scott made his way into the industry through the Mama Youth Project, where he trained as
a Current Affairs Researcher, before taking up a permanent position within Sky’s
international sales and distribution arm, Sky Vision, as a Scripted Acquisitions Coordinator.
Following the creation of Sky Studios in 2019, Scott’s role evolved to include working
alongside NBCUniversal’s Global Distribution division.
Having worked closely with Sky’s editorial teams, as well as with external producers, Scott
subsequently moved into Sky’s Drama Commissioning team as a Development Coordinator,
where amongst his responsibilities, he managed Sky’s Table Reads programme, aimed at
platforming up-and-coming writers from diverse backgrounds.