Home » Our team

The LifeJackets team

LifeJackets was started in summer 2015 by Carrie Comfort, a youth worker and parent from South-East London. 

LifeJackets is supported by a growing team of trustees with expertise in project management, communications, children and young people’s literature and charity finance. All the team share a love of books.

Sally Nicholls

Our patron

Sally Nicholls – prize-winning childrens’ author: Sally is the author of seven effervescent books for young adults and children: “I’ve always loved reading, and I spent most of my childhood trying to make real life as much like a book as possible.

“Stories are amongst the most powerful forces we have in the world. Take control of yours!”

Sally’s books include: ‘An Island of Our Own’, ‘All Fall Down’ and ‘Ways to Live Forever’.


Our trustees

Carrie Comfort 

Carrie Comfort – Chair of Trustees.

Carrie has led and managed youth work activities and training, for 20 years, in London, Kent and Sydney. An avid reader since ‘First Term at Malory Towers’, Carrie is thrilled to finally be working on a project that joins young people and books. Carrie’s favourite book of all time is ‘Pride & Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.

Diana Tutt – Treasurer.  

Diana is a qualified accountant, with a love of books. Grounded in entrepreneurial organisations, initially in the commercial and now in the charitable sector, Diana believes that young people can change the world, making it a better place. Her favourite book is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

Bettina Carlyon

Bettina Carlyon – Secretary.

Bettina has a degree in German literature and 20 years’ experience in the book trade, during which she’s developed an expertise in children’s books. Growing up, Bettina’s favourite books were the Black Stallion and Nancy Drew series. 


Natalie Steiner – Trustee.

Bringing many years of experience as a primary school teacher, Natalie still enjoys classroom time and is passionate about children’s fiction.  

Our Supporters

We also work with an intrepid team of readers and researchers, who help find and assess the right books, as well as an advisor on SEN (special educational needs) to ensure our activities are as inclusive as possible.

Our design, branding and digital work is donated by Ben Serbutt.

Voluntary Action LewishamSmall Charities CoalitionLewisham Education Arts Network

LifeJackets is a member of Voluntary Action Lewisham, the Small Charities Coalition and Lewisham Education Arts Network.