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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, Chair of the Welsh Government’s Action Group on Ending Homelessness, and is a member of the UK Government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and the Scottish Government’s Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group.

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.

Matt was awarded an MBE for services to tackling homelessness in 2019.

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 Organisational Development, 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 focused on ensuring Crisis has the culture, values and leadership we need to deliver our strategy, including increasingly demonstrating the influence of people with lived experience of homelessness. I am responsible for leading our shops, cafes, HR and innovation 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.

Bex Pritchard, Director of Services, joined Crisis in August 2014. She has worked in the homelessness and social care sector for 30 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 lead Crisis’ direct service provision - supporting a wide range of talented multi-disciplinary teams to work alongside our clients to help them leave homelessness behind 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.

Richard Lee, Director of Fundraising, joined Crisis in 2018. He had previously worked in Fundraising at Shelter, Macmillan Cancer Support, Oxfam and most recently ShelterBox.

The fundraising team are here to help Crisis support as many people out of homelessness as possible. Working with supporters and partners to deliver funds, inspiration and action that helps end 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.

Tristia been the CEO of TalkTalk Group Plc since March 2017, having previously served as Managing Director of TalkTalk’s consumer business. TalkTalk is the UK’s largest provider of affordable broadband, serving 10 million consumers, 4.2 million premises and businesses of all sizes across the country.

She has developed TalkTalk’s community engagement programme in the North West since moving the business’ HQ to Salford in 2019, including partnerships with local foodbanks and other community projects to help disadvantaged families and children in the area. Tristia is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at Next Plc and an Honorary Trustee at the national charity Ambitious about Autism.

From May 2011 to June 2020, she served as a Trustee at Comic Relief, whilst there she chaired their Commercial and Technology board as well as advising on marketing and communications campaign for Sport Relief and Red Nose Day as well as most recently The Big Night In, raising funds for charities in the wake of COVID-19.

Tristia has held a number of senior management and executive positions in The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk Group, having first joined CPW in 2000.

Tristia is married with two teenage sons and splits her time between TalkTalk’s HQ in the North West, and London.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the board at Crisis, and to have the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives. I share the firm belief that everyone should have a safe and settled place to call home. During the pandemic we’ve seen that ending homelessness is not only possible, but something we can make a reality by working together. I look forward to joining the fantastic team and getting started on this vital work at such an important time.”

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.

Victoria works for the Cyrenians Good Food Programme in Edinburgh as a Cooking Tutor, teaching healthy eating and cooking on a budget to participants who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. She has also worked with the Cyrenians Homeless Navigator Project.

Victoria is currently studying for a Masters in Social Justice and Community Action at the University of Edinburgh and is a change lead for the All in for Change Team which is a sub-group of the Scottish Governments Homelessness Prevention Strategy Group.

Prior to becoming a Trustee in April 2019, Victoria was a Crisis Member Ambassador for a one year term and has been a Christmas Ambassador for the past two years. Before this, Victoria was a Crisis Member and received support from Crisis during a period of homelessness.

I feel so privileged to be a member of the Board, knowing first-hand the impact that Crisis has had in my own life, and in the lives of so many others. I think having someone with lived experience on the Board sends out an important message about how dedicated everyone within Crisis is to ending homelessness.

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.

Rob has been a Trustee since March 2020.

He is Chief Executive of the Berkeley Group, which builds new homes and neighborhoods across London, Birmingham and the South of England.

Rob is Chair of Trustees of the Berkeley Foundation, an independent charity which focusses the expertise, resources and fundraising efforts of the Berkeley Group on supporting disadvantaged young people. As Chair, he oversees the foundation's work on homelessness, unemployment, skills development and care.

Rob contributes to the public debate around housing policy, sustainable placemaking, social mobility and corporate purpose. He is a member of the Bank of England's Residential Property Forum and sits on the governing body of both Aston University and Wellington College.

Crisis combines powerful campaigning, political insight and the expertise that comes from providing life changing front line support to thousands of homeless people. They have incredible reach and vision, along with workable solutions to end homelessness and create a fairer society for all. This is a mission and purpose I want to support.

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.

Damien has been a trustee since July 2017.

He works at board level to help grow businesses and charities and to manage risk. Damien sits on the board of two software businesses. He is Vice-Chair at MSF-UK, the humanitarian medical aid organisation, and Honorary Treasurer at Pro Bono Economics.

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.

Tamsin has been a trustee since April 2019.

Tamsin is an independent housing consultant specialising in research and policy. Between 2012 and 2014, she was specialist policy adviser to the Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for housing while the Housing (Wales) 2014 Act was being developed which included the ground-breaking legislation on homelessness prevention. She is also on the board of the Bevan Foundation, Cardiff Community Housing Association and Gentle/Radical, an artist-led social change organisation.

What Crisis does is important to me. I want to see a more equal society where homelessness is a rare thing. Homelessness has featured as a significant theme of the research and policy work I have undertaken over the last 20 years. I am frustrated that we have not made more progress towards ending homelessness, but am hopeful that it is possible and am delighted to join the Board of Crisis at a time when their work is so clearly focused on this.

Alison is CEO of SOS Children's Villages UK, the UK branch of the world's largest independent childcare and family support organisation. Prior to joining SOS, she was CEO of the European Council on Foreign Relations and global relief organisation ShelterBox. She has held senior positions at Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth, and the Refugee Council, and has overseen relief operations for emergencies including Typhoon Haiyan and the Nepal earthquakes.

I'm inspired by Everybody In, Crisis' plan to end homelessness in Great Britain. It demonstrates that with the political will and the resources we can realise everyone's right to a safe and decent home. Having worked in roles with an international focus, I am thrilled to be contributing to change here at home as part of Crisis' Board of Trustees.

Rob has been a trustee since April 2019.

Rob started his marketing career at Unilever and has subsequently worked in a wide variety of companies including McKinsey, John Lewis, M&S and Samsung. At M&S he was closely involved in fund-raising for a wide variety of charities including Shelter, Make-a-Wish and the NSPCC.

I firmly believe homelessness can and should be eliminated within our lifetime. I am delighted to be part of a team at Crisis dedicated to making that belief a reality.