PET has a committed staff team, based in London and Cardiff. We asked everyone to tell us which distance learning course they would pick to study out of PET's new curriculum. 

Senior Management Team 

Rod Clark, Chief Executive

Rod joined PET as its CEO in 2013. Prior to that he built a highly successful career in the Civil Service, including a spell as principal private secretary to the Alistair Darling MP. He was involved in planning the merger of the National Offender Management Service into creating the Ministry of Justice, and was Chief Executive of the Civil Service’s internal training organisation, the National School of Government. Rod sat on the expert panel for Dame Sally Coates' review of prison education and also sits on the Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3). 

What PET distance learning course would you choose to study?  “I was attracted to the NEC Art History course but think I will opt for Open University starting with Science, Technology and Maths.”

Cassie Edmiston, Head of Fundraising 

Cassie has led the PET fundraising team since 2011, after joining from a senior management role at a regional cancer charity. Cassie is a trustee for the charity Equalities Work, which works in The Foundry (PET's office building), putting on events with the local community that promote tolerance and understanding. She also sits on the advisory group for LJ Flanders' Cell Workout initiative, bringing sports and education into prisons. In 2016, Cassie was named one of Fundraising Magazine's '25 under 35' best professional charity fundraisers in the UK. 

“If I could pick any distance learning course, I would study Deaf Awareness and Sign Language. Good communication of all types is essential to my role and I would love to be able to sign well.”

Clare Lloyd, Head of Service Delivery

“I'd pick to study Conservation Studies (HCC). I help look after 15 acres of conservation land in Pembrokeshire. I’m fascinated and in awe of this place, after years of intensive farming it has become a haven for wildlife and a beautiful wild garden. I’d like to learn how to become its best custodian.”

Andrew SmardonHead of Finance

Andrew joined PET in 2018. He is a chartered accountant with over 15 years’ experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Andrew is also a trustee of a national arts and literature charity.

"Although I think the OU module ‘Exploring Languages and Cultures’ would be a great introduction to ideas about translation and cultural exchange, I would start my distance learning journey with the more practical ‘Learn Plumbing’ as it could come in handy at home!"

Francesca Cooney, Head of Policy

Francesca joined PET in September 2018. She has worked in resettlement, homelessness and in the advice sector. She also worked at the Prison Reform Trust where she managed their advice service and carried out policy work relating to the treatment and conditions of prisoners. She then became a prison inspector, specialising in inspecting women’s prisons. She is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow.

"I would like to study the Arts Past and Present with the OU because it looks at contemporary culture alongside the history of art and looks at different forms of art too. I think it would be fascinating!"

Francesca Cooney 2


Access to Learning Team

Suzan Nabbanja, Grants Programme Manager

Suzan has worked at PET for a record-breaking 14 years, beginning as a volunteer when the charity had a staff team of six, and was based in Mitcham. As Grants Programme Manager she oversees the 400 plus applications that PET receives every month, deciding which are successful and managing a database of every prisoner we have ever funded. She regularly visits prisons to advise and inform learners on what courses are best for them.  

John Lister, Advice Manager

John 'problem-fixer' Lister has worked as PET's Advice Manager for six years, following a long career as an education and careers adviser in the community. At PET, he answers hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls a month from people in prison who are wondering what course is best for them. He also leads on the assembly of the PET curriculum - a comprehensive guide to the 100 + courses on offer from PET. 

“I would choose Poultry Management, so that I can keep chickens and have fresh eggs for breakfast every day.”

Marwa, Programme Support Administrator

Dan Robbins, Grants Programme Administrator

Dan joined PET full time in October 2017, after initially starting as a volunteer. As the Grants Programme Administrator, he is responsible for assisting both the grants team and the Advice Manager regarding applications and correspondence for potential and ongoing learners. Prior to joining PET, Dan spent time with international human rights organisation Reprieve, and interned for the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center in New Orleans, working on capital punishment cases.

Finance Team 

Nalani Sriskantharajah, Finance Controller

“If I could do a distance learning course, I’d pick CIMA [Accounting] to complete my qualification.”


Thanga Sathi, Finance Officer

"If I could choose a distance learning course, I would pick ACCA Accounting, or any accounting course.”

Fundraising Team 

Hannah Richards, Fundraising Manager

"I'd pick to do a yoga course because I'm interested in finding out more about the impact of physical exercise on mental well-being."

Anthony Knight, Fundraising Officer 


David Veitch, Fundraising Administrator

“If I could choose any distance course I would do horticulture as I’m obsessed with pot plants. I probably shouldn’t grow any more though, I already have 20 (and counting) in my flat!”


Policy, Research and Communications Team

Katy Oglethorpe, Media, Communications & Alumni Manager

Katy has led communications and alumni work at PET since 2016. She previously worked in the International Development sector, including a period teaching poetry in Cambodia. Prior to that she was a journalist for a international legal journal, focusing on competition law. 

"I would have to pick Creative Writing. It's been a long-term ambition to write a novel, but my creative output has decreased significantly since Primary School. I hear really good things about the writing courses from people in prison, and think it would give me the structure and push to actually produce something - even if it's terrible!"

Calum Walker, Communications Officer

Calum joined PET in May 2018, after a year working in the communications team at the anti-poverty charity Turn2us. Prior to that he spent three years in the television industry, working in drama production.

Calum Walker 2

Rosie Reynolds, Academic Networks Officer

Rosie joined PET in 2018, having previously volunteered for the charity while working in widening participation at a university. She has worked in higher education for over ten years, focusing mainly on outreach and widening participation but also teaching English Literature and Creative Writing to undergraduate students. As Academic Networks Officer, Rosie is responsible for our network of prison university partnerships, PUPiL, and our network of academic prison researchers, PLAN.

"If I could choose any course it would be Bee-keeping! I find bees fascinating and when I retire (in a hundred years) I dream of having my own hive. A good excuse to plant more flowers and eat honey every day."

Rosie Reynolds

Welsh Project 

Pwyll ap Stifin, Project Management Officer

“If I could choose to do any course from the PET curriculum it would be Pig Keeping (ACS), because one day I would like to keep a monstrously large pig.”  

Iva Gray, Advice and Support Officer  

 “I like dogs, so if I could select a distance learning course, I would choose Introduction to Canine Psychology with the Animal Care College. This course would equip me with basic understanding of, for instance, appropriate dog feeding and exercise and also it introduces what can affect problem behaviour. It can be a stepping stone to further courses on canine psychology.”