Our Trustees

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 Harrison

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.

Terry Hitchcock (Chairman)

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.

Ian Lazarus

Ian is a Partner in an executive search firm in London. He has a BA from the University of York and an MBA from INSEAD. Ian is a trustee of Whitley Fund For Nature, a UK based conservation charity that provides funding, training and recognition to local conservation leaders working in resource-poor, biodiversity-rich countries.

Formerly Ian was Senior Independent Director of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Durrell UK and was a trustee of Westminster School Society for 12 years. Ian has been concerned about the growing problem of homelessness in the UK for many years and joined the Board of Groundswell in July 2019.

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.

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

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 (Treasurer)

Jenny joined The Elders in June 2015. She worked for the previous 12 years 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. Prior to that, Jenny worked in NGOs and with the governments of Uganda and Swaziland, including working with Oxfam in Mozambique and as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in the Ministry of Agriculture in Swaziland.