Laura Austin Croft
Laura has fifteen years’ work experience in the voluntary and public sector, developing expertise in community development, health policy and employment and health. From August 2016 she starts a specialist training post in Public Health medicine. Laura was previously a trustee and chair of the London Gypsy Traveler Unit.
Andrew has personal experience of homelessness, which led him to an understanding of client involvement. Through the Groundswell Enterprise Solutions program, he set up his own business in consultancy, training and research. Notable projects include being one of the main researchers on The Escape Plan. Andrew works in the substance use field and is a trained acupuncturist.
Jimmy Carlson OBE
Jimmy is the Volunteer Representative on Groundswell’s Board. He has been a volunteer with Groundswell since 1997 – speaking at conferences, running workshops and leading training – but his real passion is client involvement. Jimmy was an advisor to the Board of the Alcohol Recovery Project, and then helped create the Haven Club – a service user led social club for people in recovery, and ICDAS – the service user group for clients of drug and alcohol services in Islington. Jimmy was one of the members of the first Homeless People’s Commission. He was made OBE in 2012, for services to combating homelessness.
Gaby is Groundswell’s Treasurer. After graduating with an MBA from INSEAD, Gaby has led an extensive career in finance and consulting by driving transformational change for various major financial services institutions. Gaby currently works at IBM as a partner for Finance, Risk and Fraud.
Matt works as Director of Social Enterprise for Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness services. Previously he was CEO of Resource Information Service, a small information charity focused on homelessness and poverty. He has worked for homelessness services in London, Coventry and Rugby for over 30 years, including hostels, day centres and advice services. Matt was previously chair of Threshold Housing Advice from 2006 to 2011.
Terry is Groundswell’s Chair. Having graduated in economics from Cambridge University, Terry had a career in stockbroking, during which he co-founded Collins Stewart. He has been a trustee of several charities, including Help the Aged, Thames Reach and The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
Martyn has worked for Thames Reach for 15 years, initially as a hostel manager and more recently as Business Development Manager. In his current role he supports the senior management team to identify potential new income streams through statutory commissioning and non-statutory fundraising and ensures the organisation is in a position to bid for and deliver new services.
Martyn has also worked for both the Youth Service and Probation service, sat on the board of a small youth housing provider, worked as a sales executive in the private sector and is a qualified mechanic!
Mike is Head of Youth and Community Work and Criminology at Newman University Birmingham. He has worked around homelessness for 25 years as a worker, manager, trainer researcher and consultant. He has conducted over 20 pieces of research work on homelessness, 25 pieces of consultancy, spoken at over 80 conferences worldwide and trained over 100 agencies.
He is the author of “Resettling Homeless People: Theory and Practice’, “Working with Homeless People”, “Understanding and Responding to Homeless Experiences, Identities and Cultures’ and ‘Not About Us Without Us: Client Involvement in Supported Housing’.
He was a founding trustee of Groundswell and was involved in setting up its training and research arm. He specialises in participatory research involving clients as researchers as well as being researched. He is currently writing ‘Peer Pedagogic Participatory Research: Community Involvement in Action’ for Routledge. He has written two other books on philosophy, and youth violence. He was elected to the Royal Society of Arts for his work in the homeless field.
Dr. Al Story
Al is the founder and Clinical Lead of the pan-London Find&Treat Service based out of University College Hospitals. His core expertise is in tackling communicable diseases among homeless people, drug and alcohol users, prisoners and destitute migrants. His research interests include outreach, integrating point of care diagnostics on the street, case management, the inclusion of service users within MDTs and the use of internet technologies to promote engagement with health services and treatment continuity. He is an original member of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health and the Pathway Team and a senior lecturer with the Farr Institute at University College London.
Steve Wyler is an independent advisor and writer in the social sector. He is an associate of the Carnegie UK Trust, and a Board member of Community Links and Access (the Foundation for Social Investment). Previous roles have included CEO of Locality, the Development Trusts Association, and Homeless Network. He has worked as a consultant for grant making trusts, helped set up Social Enterprise UK, and has been a member of various Government advisory groups on localism, social enterprise, and the third sector. He was made OBE in 2011 for services to the Voluntary Sector.
Lynn was a district nurse in Ealing and then worked in the field of primary and public health at the Royal College of Nursing for 21 years. During this time she became informed of the many problems related to poor housing and homelessness. She is now retired.