The Simon Community's Trustee Board, its Management Committee, meets monthly to manage its affairs and plan its strategy, together with the Director, who follows through with this work. The day-to-day management is delegated to the Community Services Manager, who in turn is supported by a part-time Administrator and a number of full-time and part-time members:volunteers. The Management Committee is currently comprised of:
Emma Ciechan - Treasurer - Emma lives in West Hampstead and qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG. She has worked as a financial and management accountant in Edinburgh and London, taking a year out for voluntary work in South Africa six years ago. She was drawn to Simon because of the inclusive and accepting ethos of the community, and looks forward to becoming involved much more than just pulling together the financials.
M.T. Gibson-Watt – Chair - Joined the Community in 1967 as a volunteer worker where she met and married Anton Wallich-Clifford. She continued to live and work in the Community with Anton until his death in 1978 and remained working in Simon until 1980. She has been a trustee at various times since then and was acting director in 2002. MT has also been a trustee of other organisations concerned with social justice, the environment and the arts.
I am a civil servant, working for the Department for Education to deliver its capital investment to schools. I have worked in this field for thirteen years, both in local and central government. I wanted to become a Trustee with the Community precisely because it stands for helping homeless people on their terms. I enjoy that responsibility because I can see how the Simon Community makes a difference, and I want to ensure it continues to do so for as long as possible.
I have been volunteering with the Simon Community for just over a year, mostly helping with the Monday morning tea run. Homelessness (with the many reasons behind it) is a societal issue that is not going to go away, and the charities who support the homeless are increasingly finding it tough to survive in the economic times of today. My background in commercial law and business development will help me to contribute to the Community's strategic direction, whilst my passion for social justice and change will drive my support of its values, ethos and wider mission.
Marike Van Harskamp
Communities are great learning environments which, if they work well, are hard to leave or forget. I experienced this to be very much the case at the Simon Community during my time as part-time volunteer, and again after having become a trustee in December 2011. Originally a sociology researcher and teacher, I currently work as a homelessness project manager for a Quaker charity. On a voluntary basis I help to develop small housing programmes for homeless people at another charity.
Peter Edwards is a researcher for a frontbench Labour MP and a former journalist. He began writing for his local newspaper aged 15 and studied at the universities of York and Edinburgh before spending seven years as a newspaper reporter, covering business and politics for papers such as City A.M. and the Yorkshire Post. During this period he also went on assignments in Spain, Italy and Rwanda. He has previously carried out voluntary work at York Minster and with homelessness projects in York and Leeds.
Charlotte has always worked in the arts, usually with a community focus. She is currently the Programme Director at Magic Me, the UK's leading provider of intergenerational arts, and previously worked in theatre strategy at the Arts Council.
Her interest in working with homeless people stems from her first job at Cardboard Citizens and she is delighted that the Simon Community are currently collaborating with this theatre company.