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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. 

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 Gray

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.

Alan Cole

My name is Alan Cole and I have been involved with the Community since I came into Simon House in Edinburgh in 1965. I am also a PTV and have been since 1999. I have helped with many services over the years. I particularly like helping with things like the School Talks and the Christmas Dinner. I hope that I can continue to give back some of the help and support that the Simon Community has given me. 

David Carter

David has worked within the hospitality and retail industries for the past 25 years. David is a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has been Head of HR and Recruitment at Pret A Manger for over 5 years. His interest in working with homeless people stems from the work Pret does with a number of homeless charities across the UK, The Simon Community being one of the charities where Pret donates unsold food to homeless people each evening. David is keen to get more actively involved as both a trustee and volunteer. His commercial background in HR equips him to support Simon to set and achieve its strategic objectives whilst remaining true to its purpose and core values.

Chris Francis

I first joined the community as a full-time volunteer in 2014, and spent 12 months living at St Joe’s. During that time, I learnt an enormous amount from the people I lived with, and those we served. It was a real privilege to have spent a year in that very humbling environment, and connecting with people daily in a significant, human manner.

Since leaving the community I was appointed Trainee Community Manager at Emmaus Medway, becoming Deputy Community Manager shortly after for roughly 2 years. I then spent a year working for Housing Justice in policy research and analysis. I was approached by Emmaus Medway to return to take up the role of Community Support Manager after a year and have been doing that job since.

While in my first period in Medway I was part of the steering group to set up the Medway Churches Winter Night Shelter, and remain on the steering group now in our third year running. I have also remained a part-time volunteer with Simon ever since I left, driving on the street café, sleeping over at the night shelter, and helping at the evening centre. I hope that being a trustee will allow me, now I am living outside of London, to stay connected to the community in a meaningful and impactful way.

Heather Kinsey

I have been involved with housing and the homeless in London since 2000 - Initially working as an adviser with Housing Associations and for the past several years volunteering with the Islington night shelter project and occasionally with Crisis.

Throughout my career I have developed and improved services and I have extensive strategy, planning and marketing expertise. As a director I have been responsible for the effective management of budgets, complex personnel issues, property and finances. I have been responsible for the development of customer service, marketing and sales strategies which have frequently encompassed digital strategy. My marketing skills include CRM, website development, direct marketing and PR.

Recently, as a business adviser to start ups and small organisations I have provided coaching and mentoring to directors and management teams. My work for charity boards encompasses governance issues, statutory and legal obligations.

Apart from my voluntary work with the homeless I have provided support for other socially isolated individuals including migrants and asylum seekers, the elderly in the community and in hospital, mental health patients and disenfranchised religious groups. This support has included fundraising, coaching and befriending.

Pauline Lam

I am a solicitor specialising in property and commercial disputes resolution. I joined the Community as a part time volunteer for a little over a year and helped out as and when the need arose for the Monday tea runs and the Saturday street cafe on a few occasions.  It was immediately apparent to me that the Community has a large and committed group of volunteers devoting their time to the outreach work and how this work transforms lives for those on the streets on a variety of levels.  I want to contribute more by offering my legal knowledge, skills and network to the Community and hope to embark upon this journey with all its members in achieving continuing strategic growth in focused outreach and therapeutic work.

Amanda Windle

I’ve worked in the university sector as an academic and researcher for over a decade and I’m currently the Head of the Graduate School and a DigiLab Fellow in the arts. My work is always collaborative whether it’s working with older audiences by digital means, considering the impact of social media on women-in-tech across the north of the UK, or helping to design globally, the interface for global issues like climate change and endangered species. 

Through teaching, I bear witness to how both homeless and rootless issues are increasing and changing, something of which the Simons Community understands. I was rootless as a teen and found day-to-day support in a refuge life-changing. As a consequence, it felt it time to re-engage in a supporting role. As a Trustee, I can bring experience in leadership, governance, fundraising, journalism, pedagogic mediation, project-management, new digital technologies, but mostly, the ability to listen and share within a community setting.


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