Laura Austin Croft
Laura has had 15 years’ experience working 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.
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 more than 30 years, including hostels, day centres and advice services. Matt was previously chair of Threshold Housing Advice from 2006 to 2011.
Louisa McDonald (Peer Representative Trustee)
Louisa has over 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary, private and public sectors, focusing on health, homelessness, anti-social behaviour, bullying, counselling, families and young people. Louisa also has experience in event management, has been a foster parent (and is a parent) and a counsellor.
Louisa joined Groundswell in 2017 as a Homeless Health Peer Advocate, working on the ground with service users and service staff. In early 2019 she was involved in securing the contract to deliver HHPA in Islington. Louisa has also volunteered in the research team on projects with Kings College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and the Royal College of Nursing. Louisa is co-author on the published article “Management of plaque in people experiencing homelessness using ‘peer education’: a pilot study” available in the British Dental Journal.
Tony brings over 30 years of lived and learnt experience; working mainly within the voluntary and public sectors, focusing on youth work, homelessness, and community engagement.
Currently at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as their Senior Participation Officer, before that he worked at Crisis UK as their Member Involvement Co-ordinator, and previously as a Housing and Homelessness Officer with Hackney Council. Tony is a Trustee for People’s Voice Media, a Citizen Social Scientist, and a member of the London Prosperity Board.
As a participatory facilitator, Tony is passionate about developing policy solutions with people most affected by them. Solutions ought to come from people with learnt experience and people with lived experience of homelessness; working in harmony to co-produce policy solutions that benefits wider society.
Being a Groundswell Trustee gives Tony the opportunity to contribute his expertise to a cause that is important to him and allows him to play a pivotal role in the strategic development of Groundswell.
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 multidisciplinary teams 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 OBE (Treasurer)
Steve 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.
Jenny Yates (Chair of Trustees)
Jenny joined Groundswell’s board in January 2018 where later that year she became Treasurer for two years before taking over as Chair of Trustees in September 2020. Jenny was the Director of Programmes at The Elders from 2015-2020. Prior to this she worked at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID): leading the UK Government’s efforts to help Indonesia address climate change, based in Jakarta; and also working for DFID in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and in the Communications Division in London. Jenny has also worked in NGOs and with the governments of Uganda and Swaziland.