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Our people

Crisis is led by a group of Trustees and a Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, supported by a Senior Management Team.

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Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive

Chief Executive

Jon Sparkes has been Chief Executive of Crisis since 2014. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer of UNICEF UK and Chief Executive of SCOPE, the national disability charity. Jon also had a successful commercial career as Human Resources Director of the international technology firm The Generics Group. He is a Non-Executive Director of South Yorkshire Housing Association, and currently Chair of the Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Action Group created by the Scottish Government to find short and long term solutions to homelessness.

Leading Crisis is a privilege that brings with it a huge sense of duty to support people and achieve change. I have a life-long commitment to tackling issues of inequality, and I think that homelessness existing in the UK in the 21st Century is one of the scandals of our time. If we don’t care enough about our fellow citizens to ensure everyone has a home we are getting something seriously wrong. My brilliant team at Crisis will do all that it can to change this.

Senior Management team

Matt has been Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis since 2014. Before that he worked at Action for Children, The National Autistic Society and Shelter.

I am responsible for Crisis' political influencing work, communications, research into the causes of and solutions to homelessness, and for evaluation of our services.

Sarah Farquhar, Director of Innovation and Enterprise joined Crisis in 2013. Prior to this she had spent 12 years at Oxfam as a Director of their trading company in the UK and social enterprise in West Africa.

I am responsible for developing Crisis' new strategy 2018-23, supporting innovation within the organisation and leading our shops and cafe teams. It is a pleasure to work with talented people determined to make a positive difference to the lives of homeless people and resolve this injustice once and for all.

Keith Felton joined Crisis as Director of Corporate Services in 2009, following a career of over 20 years in various financial services businesses.

My priority is to ensure that Crisis has the resources, tools and capacity to enable my colleagues to work in the most effective ways to help homeless people to leave homelessness for good. My teams cover finance, HR, IT, facilities and project management and are instrumental in leading change and supporting growth across the charity.

Bex Pritchard has been Director of Operations for Crisis since August 2014. She has worked in the homelessness and social care sector for 27 years, holding service delivery and policy roles in voluntary organisations and commissioning posts for local authorities. She was a specialist adviser on ending rough sleeping and youth homelessness for central government.

 

I jointly lead Crisis’ direct service provision - supporting a wide range of talented multi-disciplinary teams to work alongside our clients to help them leave homelessness for good. We work closely with research and policy colleagues to ensure our services are delivering real change for individuals and contribute to our wider understanding of what will end homelessness.

Ed Tait first joined Crisis as a fundraiser in 2002 just a month after the first Crisis Skylight centre opened in London.  After leading the Direct Marketing and Individual Giving teams, he became Director of Fundraising in 2013.

I am privileged to lead a great team of passionate and dedicated fundraisers who inspire our supporters to help us end homelessness together.

Micky is Director of Client Services. He has worked for Crisis since 2001 when he joined the organisation as Volunteer Manager. Alongside the Director of Operations he oversees the delivery of services for homeless people across the UK.

Our aim is to enable the people we work with to leave homelessness behind for good.  We achieve this through delivering year round services in housing, education, employment, health/wellbeing and coaching, all delivered by highly skilled and committed staff. The most inspirational moments are provided by the many members, who show great resilience and determination in rebuilding their lives after experiencing the nightmare of homelessness.

Board of trustees

Steve has been Crisis’ Chair since 2011. He is the former Chief Executive of the National Grid and spent much of his early career with Exxon, where he held senior roles in refining, shipping and international gas.

Steve is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Energy Institute, and he volunteers his time as Vice Chairman of the Careers and Enterprise Company, Vice Chairman of Business in the Community and as a Vice President of professional body, the Energy Institute.

I joined Crisis as a trustee because the importance of the work was so obvious and the uniqueness of not just helping people but genuinely trying to end homelessness was, and remains, hugely attractive to me.

Terrie has been a trustee since July 2015.

She is Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, the membership body for housing professionals in the UK.

Prior to this she was Director of Housing in the Department for Communities and Local Government which included policy responsibility for homelessness policies and programmes. She had worked in the civil service covering various housing policies and programmes since 2003.

Terrie was given a CBE in 2013 for services to homeless people.

I am pleased to be able to contribute to the work of Crisis which is more important now than ever given increasing homelessness in this country. Homelessness is a problem which can be solved and for me Crisis has a unique contribution to make – both through its holistic support for people who are homeless and in its wider evidence based policy work.

Martin has been a trustee since May 2016.

He has over 40 years' experience in the housing and social care sector and now runs his own housing and social care consultancy.

Most recently he was Director of Housing & Community Care in the London Borough of Brent. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, and chaired its Housing Committee.

He was previously Chair of the homelessness charity LIFT until its merger with Crisis in April 2016. He is currently Chair of Hestia, a charity which delivers supported housing and related services to a variety of client groups.

He was awarded an OBE in 2009 for services to Housing and local government.

I joined Crisis as a trustee as I consider they are uniquely placed to both effectively campaign for effective action to end homelessness and also deliver client focused and comprehensive services to enable people who are homeless to re-build their lives.

Emma has been a trustee since February 2012. She is a marketing consultant, advising FMCG, Pharmaceutical and retail companies on brand, insight and strategy. Prior to this, Emma spent 11 years in Marketing at Procter and Gamble, as the UK Business Leader for a range of brands. Emma started her career at The Children's Society which is where she first became involved in homelessness.

I strongly believe in Crisis's purpose of ending homelessness and want to play my part in making that happen.

Ann has been a trustee since September 2016.

She has 35 years’ experience in the public sector, primarily in social care and housing. She has recently retired from the post of Executive Director in South Lanarkshire Council. Her professional background is in human resources. She represented the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Scotland) on the Homeless Prevention and Strategy Group, reporting to the Housing Minister.

Ann is a Trustee for Sense Scotland and is independent Chair of the national group on Health Inequalities and Homelessness in Scotland.

I have never forgotten those people I met over the years, who experienced homelessness and who shared their stories with me. As a Crisis trustee, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute in an organisation dedicated to ending homelessness, that has influence and makes a real difference, and which has core values that I hold in the highest regard.

Julia has been a trustee since July 2017. 

In September 2017, she was appointed Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)Prior to this, she spent three years at PwC as a Senior Adviser. 

A former MP and Treasury Special Adviser in the coalition government, Julia has more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing policy across a wide range of departments and subject areas, operating at senior levels in Government and the UK Parliament. 

In addition to her role at the WMCA, Julia also chairs the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services - a group established to convene a sector-wide response to Brexit. She is also an associate of the Institute for Government. 

Crisis combines evidence based policy making, with formidable campaigning clout, at the same time as providing critical front line support to those most in need. It’s a rare combination of skills to deploy to end homelessness for good, and I feel honoured to be able to contribute my own sector experience to such an important cause.

Caroline has been a trustee since February 2014.

She is Chief Executive of Bliss, the UK charity for premature and sick babies.

Prior to joining Bliss Caroline was Director of Policy, Advice & Communications at Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, and Deputy Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter.

Having volunteered for Crisis at Christmas a decade ago, and been a long-standing supporter ever since, joining Crisis as a Trustee was a great way for me to combine my passion for Crisis’ work with the opportunity to bring my charity sector knowledge, experience and insight to the Board.

Richard has been a trustee since April 2012 and is the chair of our Finance Committee.

He is a qualified solicitor and has worked in the City of London for more than 30 years, currently as a Vice Chairman of Rothschild.

He is also Chairman of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and of United Trust Bank Limited.

I have seen all too clearly the terrible problems which homelessness causes, both through learning about patients at UCLH and from seeing so many rough sleepers on the streets of London. I became a Trustee to play a small part in the campaign to end homelessness and in the meantime support Crisis’ efforts to help homeless men and women to get back on their feet.

Geetha has been a trustee since July 2017.

She is Head of Engagement at Big Society Capital. Geetha has spent her career in finance roles in the voluntary sector, and was previously Finance Director at the disability charity Scope. 

Her broader involvement in the sector has included several volunteer roles at homelessness charities. 

I’m inspired by Crisis’ ambition to end homelessness together with others, and hope to bring my sector experience and personal interest to the Board to support their vital work which has never felt more needed.

Pete has been a trustee since April 2012. He is the Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey plc, one of the UK’s largest housing developers.

Pete is also a Non-Executive Director and member of the remuneration committee of Travis Perkins plc and a member of the board of the Home Builders Federation.

Having met many homeless people over the last 15 years, I have come to understand that homelessness is almost always about exceptional challenges that people have faced in their lives, rather than just housing. Crisis focusses on helping people overcome these challenges through employment, training and self-development, and I feel that is incredibly positive.

Damien has been a trustee since July 2017.

He works at board and management level to help build, finance and grow various businesses and charities. Damien sits on the board of two software businesses, and is Honorary Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee at MSF UK, the humanitarian medical aid organisation. 

Until April 2017, he was on the board of Reprieve, the human rights charity. Prior to 2013, Damien worked in the banking sector in London for 17 years, where he built a strong expertise in credit markets, financial services and investments.

Having supported Crisis for ten years, I have found it hugely gratifying to join its board to continue to fight. Homelessness is not only deeply unfair and morally unacceptable; its economic and social cost to society is also high. At all levels, fighting homelessness is a just and urgent cause.

Jason has been a trustee since February 2014.

He is the Clinical Services Director for The Sussex Beacon, which provides specialist care and support to people living with HIV. Prior to this he worked for Marie Stopes International, the Terrence Higgins Trust has also held a number of senior nursing positions in the NHS.

Jason is currently Chair of the RCN's Public Health Forum and a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the charity The Food Chain.

Jason has volunteered for Crisis at Christmas since 2003.

Joining Crisis as a Trustee provides the opportunity to be part of an organisation that makes a real difference to the lives of homeless people. Having volunteered for Crisis over a number of years I have seen the positive impact of the services provided alongside the lobbying and campaigning to ensure that homelessness is on the political agenda.