HOMELESSNESS charity Oasis Community Housing has expanded its Board with the appointment of four new trustees, following the launch of an ambitious three-year strategy to widen its reach and amplify its impact for men, women and vulnerable families facing homelessness.
The new trustees, with expertise in the media, advocacy and policy change, fundraising, innovative financing and business management, take up their positions this month and increase board membership to 10 from 7, with trustee Dr Caroline Wroe electing to stand down due to work commitments.
New trustees are:
Andrew Griffiths – Andrew is Head of Advocacy at international charity Sightsavers. With extensive experience in the third sector, he is also published on a number of topics including nutrition in fragile states and disability policy. He co-chairs the Bond Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Group, working to influence the UK government’s implementation of the UN SDGs.
John Norton – John is Head of Workplace Health and Wellbeing Operations at the British Heart Foundation. He is responsible for the Health at Work Programme, with an aim to improve the health of workplaces and provide organisations with information and services that can help to detect and reduce the risk factors that contribute to heart and circulatory diseases. John has over 25 years of fundraising and commercial experience for leading national charities and multinational organisations.
Rebecca Skippage – Rebecca is the BBC’s first Disinformation Editor, leading teams based across the world to report, investigate and debunk ‘fake news’. With more than 20 years of journalism experience, she has spoken at international events on disinformation, security and media and advised the UK and EU governments.
Washington Waithaka – Washington has 25 years’ international experience as a treasury and finance leader. His diverse career ranges from the audit of international development projects in Eastern Africa to leading finance and treasury teams in London and New York. He is now Director of Liquidity at Chipper Cash, a fintech dedicated to expanding financial inclusion in regions of the world most in need of accessible, easy-to-use and affordable financial services.
Oasis Community Housing’s Chair of Trustees, Nick Salisbury, said the Board was excited about the expansion:
“The introduction of new Trustees is part of our ongoing journey to increase the diversity and experiences across Oasis Community Housing, including our Board. Rebecca, Andrew, John and Washington join us at an important time, following the launch of our ambitious new three-year strategy a few months ago.
“The new trustees – including trustee Fiona Bowman, who joined us as domestic abuse lead in the Autumn – will further enrich our Board’s ability to play an active role in leveraging the charity’s life-changing work, to achieve the greatest impact for people facing homelessness.”
David Smith, Chief Executive of the homelessness charity, said he was looking forward to working with the newly expanded Board:
“Over the past two years, the true scale of the homelessness crisis has been exposed by the pandemic. The need has never been greater. We welcome our trustees, who bring exciting new perspectives and professional expertise that will help us in shifting gears as we seek to offer more support, to more people, in more places.”
Oasis Community Housing helps over 1,000 people every year by providing housing and support and, more fundamentally, a place where they feel they can belong. The charity addresses both the immediate needs and the root causes of homelessness through its Basis crisis services; Home 24/7 supported accommodation; an Empower programme for women escaping domestic abuse and Aspire unemployment support and financial skills training.
Working across North East England and South London, Oasis Community Housing is part of the wider Oasis Charitable Trust family of youth, international development and education charities.