Life is a
Life is a
Empowering Individuals. We believe that the individuals we support are invariably better placed to solve their own problems and help their specific communities than anybody else.
Equalising Opportunity. We believe that learning in its broadest sense empowers people of all ages to improve their lives.
Partnering Thoughtfully. We believe in the transformational power of partnerships to address grassroots needs, as well as effect bolder systemic changes.
Collaborating Empathetically. We believe that all sectors of society must work together to bring about meaningful change and become greater than the sum of their constituent parts.
What we do
The Lightbulb Trust empowers people to change their lives for the better. Through a combination of grant-making and impact investing, Lightbulb supports initiatives that enfranchise society’s less advantaged. We seek to bridge divides and make a difference: specifically, in the fields of literacy and learning, digital inclusion and social infrastructure.
Founded in West London, our drive is to improve the lives of others, both locally and farther afield. To achieve this, we offer funding and support to entrepreneurial organisations with strong social drive. These include grass roots community initiatives – local heroes helping their areas thrive – as well as more systemic, disruptive enterprises – game-changers who have had bold ‘lightbulb moments’, big ideas that challenge the way things traditionally get done.
Along the way, our network of partnerships offers a safety net, both locally and farther afield, that enhances the life-chances of thousands of younger people. From infancy to adulthood, literacy to first tenancy, getting online to navigating a job interview: Lightbulb is inspired by the power of learning in all its various guises.
Salome & Ben Holden · Founders
Salome and Ben are married and live in West London with their twin son and daughter. Salome grew up in Kensington, Ben between Islington and Hammersmith. They met while studying English Literature at Oxford University.
Salome went on to work in publishing at Penguin Books and has long been involved with her family’s charitable foundation, The A G Leventis Foundation, as well as being a full-time mum. She is currently also training as a child counsellor.
Ben is a film producer – having worked as an executive in Los Angeles – who has also authored several bestselling books, all of which were published by Simon & Schuster with partner charities. His current projects include hosting the podcast Ex Libris, which champions libraries and independent bookshops with the help of some of today’s greatest writers.
They founded The Lightbulb Trust in 2019, intent on providing enhanced life chances to children growing up nearby who are less advantaged than their own.
Luisa Gockel · Director
Luisa is Brazilian and a former journalist with 20 years’ experience in the social innovation field. She spent the past decade working in the education sector in the UK where she was part of the founding team at Apps for Good, one of the country’s fastest growing EdTech charities.
Before becoming an independent consultant, Luisa led Pearson’s social innovation strategy and delivered accelerator programmes for over 40 start-ups working to improve literacy and education globally. Following her passion for education and innovation, Luisa joined the Lightbulb Trust in 2020 as Director. Luisa currently lives in Barcelona with her husband and two children.
Shuen Chan · Trustee
Shuen worked closely with Salome and Ben to establish the Lightbulb Trust. She shares their belief that everyone deserves the right to an education and that foundations in literacy enable a fundamental shift in how one thinks, acts and behaves towards our fellow human beings.
Shuen brings over 25 years of experience in investment management. She is currently Head of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets based in London. She also serves on the Development Board of Ashden, a non-profit organisation that aims to bring sustainable energy to all.
Siena Colegrave · Trustee
Siena grew up in Hammersmith and now lives in West London with her husband and two daughters. Siena is committed to The Lightbulb Trust’s mission of social empowerment.
She is a lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in corporate law and is qualified in both the US and England. She currently works for a global Fortune 100 organisation and serves on the boards of a number of their companies.