Thousands of people help make Centrepoint the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity – our supporters, volunteers, staff and ambassadors all play a huge part in helping us create real change. Here are just a few of those dedicated individuals helping us give homeless young people a future.
Our Patron Prince William
HRH The Prince of Wales has been our Patron since 2005 - following in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana. Prince William would visit our hostels when he was a child and, when it was his turn to take over some of her patronages, Centrepoint was the first one he chose. He regularly visits us both in the public eye, but also in private, so he can meet and chat to the young people we support.
Symon Elliott is Founder and CEO of Leaders Futures, an enterprise offering mentoring to senior executives in both business and civil society. He was previously Managing Director of CEO and Board Services at Russell Reynolds Associates.
Clare Montagu is Chief Executive Officer at Poppy's, an award-winning modern independent funeral directors in London which provides unrivalled choice, flexibility and transparency to people needing to plan a funeral. In previous roles, Clare worked at a hospice, for a sexual health charity and for over 10 years in politics.
Amanda Holgate is the Chief Financial Officer at Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing, care and support to people over 55 years old. Prior to this, she was Executive Director Resources at Southern Housing Group, a large registered provider of social housing. Amanda is an experienced finance professional, joining the social housing sector in 2014 after a long career in the private sector including financial services and real estate development and management.
Cheryl Avery is the Director responsible for Asylum Accommodation Centres at the Home Office. She has over 30 years Business and Commercial experience gained from the Private and Public Sectors. This includes holding a series of leadership posts with organisations such as the Ministry of Justice, Accenture, DXC, Fujitsu, NatWest, and the Metropolitan Police Service.
Darren Douglas is an Advice Manager at Imperial College London, where he provides pastoral support and advice to the university's students. Darren is a former resident of Centrepoint and has over 10 years' experience working within youth, education and advisory sectors. Darren is the author of Power of 21: Pathways Towards A Brighter Future.
Sir David Carter
Sir David Carter is the Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute and was previously the National Schools Commissioner for England. He has over 35 years of educational experience as a teacher, headteacher and CEO of a multi academy trust.
Robert Kerse is the Chief Operating Officer at Imperial College London. Prior to this he held a similar role at the University of Bristol since 2016. Robert spent 13 years in various executive level roles in the social housing sector, including Executive Director for Resources at Circle Housing.
Mike Westcott was formally the Global Human Resources Director and Group Commercial Property Director at National Grid. Before joining the National Grid, Mike worked for Diageo for 14 years in a number of senior HR roles.
Tsion Balcha works at LDPath, which manages 33,000 NHS patients. Tsion also has extensive experience in youth work within Centrepoint and Camden Council. She is a former Centrepoint resident and has chaired and led a young people's group to speak up on issues they were passionate about. Since leaving Centrepoint, Tsion graduated in Development Studies at SOAS University.
Tom Wood has a career in financial services as a commercial leader. Having worked for leading companies such as Barclays and Shawbrook, Tom enjoys developing successful strategies and solving complex problems. In the recent past Tom has added consulting, advising and investing in to his professional life.
Bukola Adisa, is founder and CEO of a not for profit social enterprise, Career Masterclass, dedicated to enabling the progression of black and minority ethnic professionals in the workplace. She is also a senior risks and controls expert and has held senior roles at HSBC, JP Morgan and Deloitte. Her previous role was Managing Director and Head of Framework Design and Execution at Barclays Bank in the Chief Controls Office.
We know that tens of thousands of young people in the UK ask for help every year because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness. That is too many so I am committed to our vision of ending youth homelessness, which starts with making sure that every young person leaves Centrepoint with a job and a home.Symon Elliott - Chair of Centrepoint's Board of Trustees
Seyi Obakin OBE
Seyi is Centrepoint's Chief Executive Officer, and is responsible for the whole organisation. He works closely with the Senior Executive Team to ensure we achieve our vision of ending youth homelessness. He became chief executive in 2009, and since this time, he has developed a passionate concern for disadvantaged young people, especially those that are homeless.
Balbir has worked in public policy for over 25 years, developing expertise covering young people in the labour market, housing, welfare benefits and participation. Balbir has experience of working in the civil service and the charitable sector. In addition, she has been a governor in a primary school and a secondary school. She has supported young people directly as a youth worker and as a student counsellor. Balbir is particularly keen on ensuring young people develop the skills and have the platform to advocate for themselves and their peers.
Karen is responsible for making sure we're spending donations wisely, and planning for the future of Centrepoint. When she's not in the office, you're likely to see Karen clad in orange training for one of the many challenges she's taking on for Centrepoint.
Julie is responsible for raising the vital funds which enable the charity to deliver its crucial services to young people. With a fundraising career spanning more than 17 years, Julie has raised millions of pounds for high profile charities including Teenage Cancer Trust, British Red Cross, Amnesty International, UNICEF UK and International Rescue Committee.
Ed is responsible for the delivery of Centrepoint’s frontline services for young people across the country. He has worked in social care for over 20 years, both within the UK and internationally. Before joining Centrepoint he was Chief Executive of the veterans’ charity Stoll and Chief Executive of the homelessness charity SPEAR.
Sally is responsible for ensuring the best people are working for Centrepoint, and that they’re getting the support and training they need. She has more than 25 years’ experience working in the Skills and Employability industry, across the public and private sectors.
Adam works across the organisation to join up our efforts to end youth homelessness nationally by 2037. Previously he was Corporate Director of Strategy and Performance at Barnardo's and Assistant Chief Executive at Victim Support as well as working in the Cabinet Office and at PA Consulting.
Órla is responsible for building and developing high level relationships with our donors, partners, and supporters to help achieve Centrepoint's overall aim – to get our young people into a home and a job. Órla was introduced to Centrepoint as a voluntary fundraiser, working on Centrepoint's inaugural gala and awards event at The Royal Albert Hall back in 2011.
Thanks to our amazing supporters, we’re now able to reach over 16,000 homeless young people each year.
Let’s change the story. No young person’s life should be defined by homelessness. Regardless of the cause or how complex the issues, we’ll work through it together.
Working for Centrepoint means helping to give homeless young people a future every single day.