Matt Leach
Chief executive

Matt has overall responsibility for Local Trust

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Matt Leach
Chief executive

Matt oversees the operations of Local Trust, leading the staff team and working closely with the board on strategy and governance.

Matt Leach was formerly CEO of HACT, the social housing sector’s ideas and innovation agency. Prior to joining HACT in 2011, Matt’s roles included CEO of civil society funding agency Capacitybuilders, associate director of the ResPublica think tank and director at the Housing Corporation. He has also led start up work on the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and held a range of senior roles at DCLG and the Cabinet Office.

Programmes

Rachel Rowney
Director of Programmes and Resources

Rachel has overall strategic responsibility for the design and successful delivery of Big Local

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Rachel Rowney
Director of Programmes and Resources

This includes the effective maintenance of Local Trust’s finance, business planning and performance management functions; and the management of other resources needed to ensure Local Trust is able to deliver its business.

Previously, Rachel worked as a consultant and researcher at Shared Intelligence, where she worked on neighbourhood renewal, community engagement, and social housing projects. At the same time, she was also a programme manager for the National Association for Neighbourhood Management, where she designed and delivered learning and networking programmes. Before this, Rachel worked for Croydon Council.

Jayne Entwistle
Head of Area Support

Jayne is responsible for developing and managing the strategic day to day aspects of Local Trust's support to areas

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Jayne Entwistle
Head of Area Support

Jayne has the responsibility of developing and managing the strategic and day to day aspects of Local Trust’s support offer to areas primarily through our network of Big Local reps, alongside external delivery partners and peers within Local Trust.

Prior to joining us, Jayne spent 6 years working within the Social Housing sector, most recently in the role of Head of Social Investment for a large North West based provider with a portfolio including community development, employability, anti-poverty strategies and broader social inclusion. Jayne has also held senior positions within the not for profit and statutory sectors including a range of targeted and universal services for adults and young people, along with managing key regeneration projects namely Surestart Children’s Centres and the Neighbourhood Nursery Programme.

Chris Falconer
Head of Programme Delivery

Chris leads on strategic and day-to-day aspects of Local Trust’s programmes

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Chris Falconer
Head of Programme Delivery

Chris works in the Programmes team leading on strategic and day-to-day aspects of Local Trust’s programmes including Big Local and Creative Civic Change.

Previously, he spent 10 years at the Heritage Lottery Fund in a variety of roles across operations and strategy departments working on projects from community history to national museum redevelopments. He was latterly responsible for managing UK programmes focused on nature conservation and new models of finance and governance for historic assets.

Chris graduated from University of Leeds, specialising in the American civil rights movement. He is a Clore Social Leader and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Adam Smith
Programme Manager

Adam manages the learning & networking programme, and supports Big Local areas in delivering their plans

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Adam Smith
Programme Manager

Adam works in the Programmes team, managing the learning & networking, training and mediation support to Big Local areas. He also supports the management of the rep programme. Adam comes to us from the international development and humanitarian sector, having worked for the Department for International Development and a range of international NGOs in programme management and technical support roles. From overseeing community development work in Africa, Asia and the Middle East since 2008, and an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London, Adam moved to the UK charity sector in early 2018.

Fiona Cowley
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Fiona has a key role in supporting Big Local areas in delivering their plans

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Fiona Cowley
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Fiona works alongside Adam in the Programmes team, coordinating aspects of Local Trust’s support offer to areas primarily through our network of Big Local Reps, and the programme of learning and networking events and activities.

Prior to joining Local Trust Fiona worked at Groundwork in Cheshire, where she managed a range of community development, regeneration and heritage focussed programmes. Before that Fiona worked for Arts Council England in the North East.

Zoe Sykiotis
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Zoe has a key role in assessing proposals and plans from Big Local areas and supporting delivery

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Zoe Sykiotis
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Zoe has a key role in assessing proposals and plans from Big Local areas and supporting delivery. Zoe also supports programme managers to co-ordinate and implement the practical aspects of delivery of Big Local.

Previously Zoe managed grant-making programmes with national funders such as Comic Relief and Lloyds TSB Foundation. Zoe also managed Local Involvement Networks (LINks) in London, which has become part of the Health Watch initiative. Prior to this she worked in public policy for the Australian Government.

Jo Baker
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Jo has a key role in assessing proposals and plans from Big Local areas and supporting delivery

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Jo Baker
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Jo has worked in social change as a grant manager, researcher and writer. She most recently launched a funding programme at Comic Relief with the British government for UK charities working on violence against women, and managed grants to human rights organisations for the Sigrid Rausing Trust.

As a consultant she worked for a range of organisations including UN Women, the Thailand Institute for Justice and the Danish Institute Against Torture, and has worked to improve the treatment of women in the criminal justice system. She’s visited women’s prisons around the world.

Jo spent three years with the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong supporting the campaigns of communities across Asia for fair treatment, and has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights Law. Prior to that she spent five years as a journalist. Jo currently works as a mentor in a London school and sings in a fabulous community choir in Peckham.

Gabriel Davies
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Gabriel has a key role in supporting Big Local areas through the Community Leadership Academy

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Gabriel Davies
Senior Programme Co-ordinator

Gabriel works in the Programmes team and is responsible for coordinating and managing the development and delivery of the Community Leadership Academy for Big Local areas.

Gabriel Joined Local Trust in 2017 following his work on supporter and volunteer engagement for the Green Party during the 2017 General Election Campaign. Previously Gabriel has worked with a local charity in Kerala India, exploring accessibility in climate finance.

Sarah Donohoe
Learning and Networking Coordinator

Sarah supports the delivery of learning and networking activities for Big Local areas

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Sarah Donohoe
Learning and Networking Coordinator

Sarah works within the Programmes team, bringing Big Local areas together to share their experiences, network and also learn from projects through a range of activities such as thematic one day events and learning clusters.

She has worked on the Big Local programme for some time, in a similar role for the National Association for Neighbourhood Management. Previously, Sarah worked as a consultant at Shared Intelligence, a public policy consultancy.

Alice Calder
Programme Co-ordinator

Alice supports the development and delivery of our support offer for Big Local areas

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Alice Calder
Programme Co-ordinator

Alice works mainly on the thematic learning clusters and Big Local Connects, as well as new support partners.

Prior to working at Local Trust, Alice travelled and taught abroad after earning a degree in Political Science and Geography with a focus on communities, urbanism and planning.

Rachel Tilley
Programmes Assistant

Rachel supports the programmes team

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Rachel Tilley
Programmes Assistant

Rachel assists the programmes team with supporting Big Local areas. She joins us from Macmillan Cancer Support, where Rachel worked as part of the supporter donations team. Prior to this, and since graduating with a degree in History and Geography, Rachel spent the last few years working, traveling and volunteering abroad.

Clare Andrews
Programmes Assistant

Clare supports the programmes team

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Clare Andrews
Programmes Assistant

Clare assists the programmes team with funding administration. She also works closely with the other Programme Assistants, providing support to Big Local Areas.

Before working with the Local Trust, Clare studied Politics at University of Glasgow and completed a masters in Human Rights.

Lauren Omokheoa
Programmes Assistant

Lauren supports the delivery of learning and networking events

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Lauren Omokheoa
Programmes Assistant

Lauren supports the delivery of learning and networking events in the Programmes team and works with other Programme Assistants to provide support to Big Local areas.

Prior to joining Local Trust, Lauren was a digital producer. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Bennington College and an MPhil in African Studies from the University of Cambridge. Lauren is particularly interested in race and class identity in the UK, music, cinematography and the power of creative arts in promoting and practising social justice.

Adam Cross
Programmes Assistant

Adam assists the programmes team with funding administration

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Adam Cross
Programmes Assistant

Adam assists the programmes team with funding administration and works closely with other Programmes Assistants to provide support to Big Local Areas.

Before joining Local Trust Adam undertook a Charityworks graduate placement at the Royal College of Physicians and interned at various charities. Adam has been involved in volunteer projects in the UK and abroad, including as a non-profit evaluator for GlobalGiving in India, and he recently finished a Master’s in Political Science. Adam is also a trustee at Kinergy, a specialist counselling agency for survivors of sexual violence.

Research

Jayne Humm
Head of Research and Learning

Jayne manages our research, evaluation and learning

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Jayne Humm
Head of Research and Learning

Jayne develops, manages and monitors the strategic and day-to-day aspects of the Big Local programme with peers and the chief executive.

Jayne has over 20 years’ experience of working with communities and the voluntary and community sector. Previous to her role at Local Trust she worked for Haringey Association of Voluntary and Community Organisations (HAVCO) – the council of voluntary service for the London borough of Haringey. At HAVCO Jayne managed a volunteer centre.

Prior to this, Jayne led on research and evaluation at the Community Development Foundation.

Jeremy Yung
Senior Researcher

Jeremy leads on national surveys, reviews of the Big Local programme and our work on ‘left behind’ communities

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Jeremy Yung
Senior Researcher

Jeremy has a key role in developing suitable ways to monitor and evaluate the Big Local programme. He designs internal research and evaluation methods, including Big Local plan reviews and Big Local partnership surveys. He also draws out strategic learning and ensures that this is shared.

Prior to joining Local Trust, Jeremy worked as a corporate social responsibility consultant in South Africa. He specialised in the independent review and evaluation of corporate social investment initiatives for South African and multi-national corporations. Before that, he worked for the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Lisa-Marie Giquel
Researcher

Lisa-Marie leads on projects and initiatives such as research on community hubs and our community research conference

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Lisa-Marie Giquel
Researcher

Lisa-Marie works with the research and evaluation team, supporting them on projects as part of the evaluation of the Big Local programme.

Before joining Local Trust, Lisa-Marie was a senior team administrator at Centrepoint, a youth homelessness charity, where she supported senior housing and support managers in the delivery of accommodation services. Prior to this, she was a programme assistant at the Commonwealth Secretariat, where she helped gender advisers deliver gender equality projects across Commonwealth member countries.

Lindsay Street
Researcher

Lindsay leads on Measuring Change - our training and support to Big Local areas in self evaluation

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Lindsay Street
Researcher

Lindsay works in the research team and leads on projects supporting Big Local areas to better measure the change they are making. She also works on drawing learning from the Big Local programme to better demonstrate the impact it’s had.

Prior to joining Local Trust, Lindsay completed her BA at McGill University in environment and development.

Laura Fisher
Researcher

Laura leads on contracts to support impact measurement in Big Local areas and research to support programme delivery

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Laura Fisher
Researcher

Before joining Local Trust, Laura worked at London Youth, a membership and advocacy organisation for youth organisations across London. Here, she was involved in programme evaluation and a variety of research projects, including a report on how youth organisations can support young people to feel a part of their local communities.

Alongside her previous role, Laura gained a Masters in Research at Birkbeck College, University of London, completing her studies in September 2018. Her final dissertation was written on the subject of serious youth violence and assessed the justifications and implications of policy solutions aimed at tackling the issue.

Lucy Terry
Researcher

Lucy leads on the evaluation of the Community Leadership Academy and supports our external evaluation

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Lucy Terry
Researcher

Lucy leads on a range of research projects to do with evaluation and learning from the Big Local programme, including overseeing the evaluation of the Community Leadership Academy.

Prior to joining Local Trust, Lucy has been working as a researcher for several years. Her experience includes working at the criminal justice charity Revolving Doors, where she undertook service evaluations and developed reviews of the evidence into what works for people with multiple needs. She also worked for the local government thinktank New Local Government Network, where she led in policy research projects on public health, housing and the local government workforce.

Sue Ansarie
Research Assistant

​Sue supports the research team

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Sue Ansarie
Research Assistant

Sue has worked on a number of research projects related to displacement and large social change within communities, including projects on the Aylesbury estate in Elephant and Castle, HS2, and working for Just Space.

Her main interests are social research, working class identities and (dis)empowerment, council estates, housing, planning, social policy, community dynamics, migration flows, displacement and social inequality.

Policy

Margaret Bolton
Director of Policy

Margaret delivers Local Trust's policy programme

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Margaret Bolton
Director of Policy

Margaret has a background in policy, research, public affairs and communications. Previous posts include Lottery Communications Director at Arts Council England and Policy and Research Director at NCVO. Before her current role at Local Trust Margaret combined interim and change management contracts with consultancy work. Immediately prior to Local Trust she worked at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (CGF) leading on evaluation and learning and communications.

Daniel Crowe
Senior Policy Officer

Daniel leads on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods

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Daniel Crowe
Senior Policy Officer

Daniel leads on Local Trust’s work on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. This includes managing the APPG’s work programme, the relationships with parliamentary members and non-parliamentary external members, research and policy development, and the production of APPG reports, briefings and communication materials.

With a background in the UK co-operative movement, policy and communications for local and city regional government, research for think tanks working on public services and community empowerment, the move to Local Trust to lead on policy around ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods draws on Daniel’s professional experience, personal interests and history of community activism.

Rayhan Haque
Senior Policy Officer

Rayhan leads our policy development and influencing work with government

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Rayhan Haque
Senior Policy Officer

Rayhan leads our policy development and influencing work with government. He is driving forward our ‘Community Power’ agenda, which aims to secure a lasting legacy for Big Local areas and ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods.

Previously, he founded and led the London Good Work Commission, developing an ambitious new vision for the city where everyone can enjoy good work.

Rayhan has also worked for a former foreign secretary, and for two major social businesses, tackling poverty and supporting people into decent jobs. He loves tennis and hot chocolate.

 

Sophie Page
Campaign Manager (Community Wealth Fund)

Sophie leads on building political, public and civil society support for the creation of a Community Wealth Fund

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Sophie Page
Campaign Manager (Community Wealth Fund)

Sophie leads on building political, public and civil society support for the creation of a Community Wealth Fund – a new, independent endowment which would invest in our country’s most vulnerable and ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods.

Before joining Local Trust, Sophie was Campaign Manager at Keep Britain Tidy, an environmental charity, where she led the Great British Spring Clean campaign. Prior to this she worked for the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK, the Women’s Institutes, where she established the End Plastic Soup campaign and delivered their climate change campaign.

Lizzie Tribone
Communications Coordinator (Community Wealth Fund)

Lizzie supports communications activity related to the Community Wealth Fund

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Lizzie Tribone
Communications Coordinator (Community Wealth Fund)

Lizzie supports communications activity related to the Community Wealth Fund. Lizzie previously worked in communications roles at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Publica. She has a M.A./M.S.c in International and World History from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.

Rob Day
Policy and Parliamentary Officer

Rob works to ensure that our policy platform gains support across Government

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Rob Day
Policy and Parliamentary Officer

Rob ensures that our policy platform influences MPs and Peers across the House, building support for the APPG for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods and promoting Local Trust’s work throughout Government. He also supports the team with policy and research work to amplify the voices of Big Local residents and advocate for hyper-local, resident led solutions to some of the biggest challenges that communities face.

Prior to joining Local Trust Rob worked in a number of roles including supply chain analytics, executive search and marketing. He holds a degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

 

 

Millie Dessent
Policy Assistant

Millie supports the policy team

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Millie Dessent
Policy Assistant

Millie assists the work of the Policy Team, providing writing, research and communications support. She comes to the Local Trust from Groundwork, where Millie supported the delivery of a programme to tackle fuel poverty in London. Prior to this, she completed a Master’s in Environment, Politics and Development at SOAS University.

Partnerships

James Goodman
Director of Partnerships

James leads on Local Trust's partnerships

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James Goodman
Director of Partnerships

James is responsible for developing and delivering partnerships, collaborations and ideas that can support the long-term goals of the Big Local programme and promote a positive future for communities, through hyper-local, place-based, resident-led change.

James joined Local Trust from Forum for the Future, the international sustainability non-profit, where he was Director of Futures and Projects. He developed and led on the organisation’s use of futures tools such as scenario planning and trends analysis, and was responsible for the effective management of projects and partnerships across four international offices. He has worked on a range of issues such as energy and climate change, social enterprise, the digital economy, sustainable food and agriculture, corporate sustainability and the future of civil society.

Georgie Burr
Partnerships Co-ordinator

Georgie supports the development of Local Trust's partnerships

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Georgie Burr
Partnerships Co-ordinator

Georgie’s role involves meeting partners who may be able to offer support directly to Big Local Areas, and supporting the development of Local Trusts strategic partnerships across the public, private and voluntary sector.

Georgie comes to Local Trust from the Tech for Good sector, where she had been using her skills in human centred design to lead on projects for Civic Tech wizards mySociety, a planning tech start up and to support increased diversity in Bristol’s high-tech and digital future workforce. Prior to this, Georgie spent 8 years coordinating community engagement projects in communities in East Anglia, London and the South West, working with people locally to improve the places they lived in.

Grace Bremner
Senior programme Co-ordinator – Creative Civic Change

Grace is project co-ordinator for Creative Civic Change

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Grace Bremner
Senior programme Co-ordinator – Creative Civic Change

Creative Civic Change is an innovative funding programme for left behind communities delivered in partnership with Local Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Creative Civic Change is supporting sixteen diverse communities across England to use creativity, arts and culture to improve their local area.

Previous to this role, Grace worked for the Architecture Design Fashion team at the British Council helping to deliver creative projects around the world. Grace is led by a passion for socially engaged creative practice with a specific focus on design, and has an MA in Design History at the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum.

Communications

Jessica Wenban-Smith
Head of Communications

Jessica oversees Local Trust's communications

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Jessica Wenban-Smith
Head of Communications

Jess heads the communications team and is responsible for shaping and delivering Local Trust’s communications strategy. This includes responsibility for digital content, publications, identity, messaging and media work.

Jess has a background in communications in the non-profit sector, having previously worked on a wide range of issues – especially environmental – for local, national and international organisations including the Marine Stewardship Council, New Economics Foundation and Campaign for Better Transport. She joined Local Trust in 2016.

Jessie Powell
Senior Communications Officer

Jessie is responsible for developing and delivering communications at Local Trust

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Jessie Powell
Senior Communications Officer

Before joining Local Trust, Jessie managed the communications and policy for a social justice charity. She has experience in developing digital and print content, writing for different audiences and working with the media to raise the profile of different organisations and causes. Jessie has a degree in Politics from the University of Leeds and has worked within national and local government.

Hayley Marshall-Lewis
Website and Communications Co-ordinator

Hayley leads on website and CRM development

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Hayley Marshall-Lewis
Website and Communications Co-ordinator

Hayley is part of the communications team. She leads across website development and CRM, as well as supporting a wide range of other comms activity like events and maintaining Local Trust’s photo archive.

Her last position at the Royal Society for Public Health involved working across the organisation to deliver digital projects, particularly website and CRM, alongside a range of traditional marketing activity.

Alice Smith
Communications intern

Alice assists the Communications team

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Alice Smith
Communications intern

Alice supports the development of digital content for the organisation’s social media channels and newsletter.

Before joining Local Trust, Alice volunteered in communications with a human trafficking charity and is a recent graduate in English from Queen Mary, University of London.

Merlin Jobst
Content editor

Merlin is responsible for copy across Local Trust

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Merlin Jobst
Content editor

Merlin joined Local Trust with almost a decade’s experience as a writer and researcher, and is passionate about making information and knowledge as accessible and fairly distributed as possible. They recently completed a BA in Politics, Philosophy and History at Birkbeck, University of London, and co-founded the London Loo Codes campaign to improve public toilet access.

Finance

Nicola Hutcheson
Head of Finance

Nicola manages Local Trust's finances, including the Big Local Trust expendable endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund

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Nicola Hutcheson
Head of Finance

Nicola manages Local Trust’s finances, including the Big Local Trust expendable endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund. Nicola also supports the financial aspects of the Big Local programme, including grants, contracts and social investments.

Nicola has over 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, as a finance manager and as a consultant. Prior to joining Local Trust, Nicola was head of finance & resources at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts). Before that she was a senior consultant with Tank Consulting, providing business support (including business and strategic planning, financial modelling, research, evaluation and interim financial management) to a wide range of organisations, including charities and social enterprises.

Kamille Jennings
Finance Manager

Kamille helps to manage the day-to-day finances of Local Trust

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Kamille Jennings
Finance Manager

Kamille supports the head of finance and resources to manage the day-to-day finances of Local Trust. This includes the Big Local Trust expendable endowment, the grants we distribute and the social investments we make. Kamille is responsible for developing robust management accounting systems and supporting Local Trust colleagues with understanding and managing their budgets.

Kamille is a certified accountant with over 13 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, with expertise in charity governance and financial management. Prior to joining Local Trust, Kamille was Finance Manager at the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), where she was responsible for managing all aspects of finance, IT and HR. Before that Kamille was the Assistant Company Secretary at NCVO, where she was responsible for managing the charity’s governance and regulatory framework as well as supporting the Director of Planning and Resources with performance management, risk management and budgetary control.

Karen Keenan
Senior Finance Administrator

Karen provides financial administration support including processing invoices and ensuring payments are made

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Karen Keenan
Senior Finance Administrator

Karen provides financial administration support including processing invoices and ensuring payments are made. Karen also helps with the monitoring of budgets for Big Local areas and provides general administrative support to us as needed.

Previously, Karen worked at the NSPCC where one of her tasks was to provide support to senior managers and staff in her division in managing the financial processes.

Karen volunteers and is on the committee for her local ‘park run’.

Missiell Mercado
Finance administrator

Missiell provides administrative support to the finance team

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Missiell Mercado
Finance administrator

Missiell also liaises with service providers, assists with invoice processing and maintaining contract files.

Before joining Local Trust, Missiell worked for an ethical food company who are environment and community focussed. Missiell volunteers at her local homeless shelter and food drive

Governance and office services

Verity Soons
Office Manager and Board Secretary

Verity supports the Board of Trustees and other Committees and also oversees the running of the office

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Verity Soons
Office Manager and Board Secretary

Before joining Local Trust, Verity was a Deputy Secretary to the Board at Heritage Lottery Fund and had worked in governance support at  the National Lottery Community Fund.

Previously, Verity worked for an education charity as a project officer and executive assistant providing support in new areas of development, events and planning.

Frankie Sykes
Office Assistant

Frankie supports the smooth running of the office

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Frankie Sykes
Office Assistant

As part of the Office Services Team, Frankie works closely with Verity and offers support to all Local Trust teams, ensuring the smooth running of the office.

Prior to this role, she worked in the Intake Team at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home where she supported dog owners in re-homing their pet and provided customers with advice on animal welfare. Prior to this, her roles centered on administrative support, event planning and payroll.