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Trustees

Jessica Turtle - Chair

I have worked in arts and heritage for more than 12 years and I currently work with the Museums Association to deliver social change driven professional development programmes in museums across England, Scotland and Wales. I specialise in strategic mentoring, producing, business planning, sustainability, project & volunteer management and fundraising and I've worked with many organisations in the UK and Europe including St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Garden Museum, NEMO Science Center (Amsterdam), Extant, the Collections Trust, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Creative & Cultural Skills and the Crafts Council. 

 

I have a personal connection to the Simon Community as my father was a rough sleeper in London in the 1950s and worked closely with Anton Wallich-Clifford in the early days of Simon. He then founded the Wallich-Clifford Community in Cardiff with my mother, where I was born and brought up.  I'm delighted to be involved with Simon as a Trustee and re-connected with homelessness. 

M.T. Gibson-Watt 
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.

Georgia Jones
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
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 O'Dair
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.

Tom McNally - Treasurer
As a Chartered Accountant for KPMG I have worked with businesses ranging from start-ups to listed companies, working to understand their operations, strategies and management teams. During my last year with the Simon community I have worked hard alongside the Community's exceptional staff to implement some of the best business practice there is. A year since my appointment the community is a more robust organisation behind the scenes, able to take on greater responsibility and more ambitious growth. After a year in post I truly believe that the community is in prime position to manage the new challenges and the exciting opportunities that we face.

Mark Brennan
My background in the Canadian newspaper business earned me a job with The Big Issue the year after I returned to the UK in 2004. I’ve been working in the homeless sector ever since as Coordinator of the church winter shelter project in Islington and more recently also for the national charity Housing Justice.   Together with my job-share colleague, Emma Neill, who is based in Birmingham we travel all over England & Wales helping mainly churches and other faith and community groups to shelter homeless people in their buildings and practise what they preach.

I was born and grew up in Islington, North London and currently Chair the Islington Outreach Forum for all agencies, statutory and voluntary, engaged with addressing street population activity in the borough which is part of the council’s Safer Islington Partnership.

 

I’ve learned how important community engagement is if we are to make any significant progress in resolving homelessness and how everybody benefits when it’s done well. The Simon Community are a great example with the therapeutic model transforming the lives of those involved. It holds great potential to transform whole communities for the better and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to contribute and play a part in this trustee role.

Dunk Grey
I was a full time volunteer at The Simon Community between 2005-2007 based at Anton Street and 129. I was involved in Soup Run Forum and campaigns from Nov 2007 to March 2011. After my time as a full time volunteer I came back as a part time volunteer to visit a former resident of community whom I visited every week.  I have been involved as a part time volunteer / driver / community member since then. I learnt everything from the co-workers and individuals living on our streets and their view is the most important.

 

I Set up and ran the Simon Community Facebook Group Page as I wanted to share the positive work that Simon does and have supported campaigns around Operation Poncho and have been active though Social Media support.  For the last 5 years I have been support worker with Adults with Leaning difficulties and now specialising in Autism. My other responsibilities include running the website and social media for Forest Night Shelter.


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