Homeless Link Excellence Awards - judging panel

Celebrating the best of the homelessness and supported housing sectors.

Overview of the awards   |   Terms and conditions

Award judging panel

David Ford
Head, Expert Link 

David is an inspirational advocate for change working within the voluntary sector. Having overcome the challenges of childhood trauma, substance addiction, mental illness and homelessness, as well as having been on active service while a member of the armed forces, David has chosen to take these experiences and turn them into positive actions to benefit others who may, or are, struggling with similar challenges.

David is the founder of Expert Link, an organisation that aims to bring hope and change to those affected by multiple disadvantages by amplifying the voices of lived experience to effect local and national policies. David is also a trustee of the London based homeless charity Thames Reach.

Prior to Expert Link David worked as a consultant for numerous organisations within the voluntary sector, as well as working with and advising Local Authorities and National Government. David has contributed to a number of research projects including co-authoring Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage in England, has designed and delivered training programmes for the sector and has made numerous television and radio appearances.

Arvinda Gohil 

Arvinda is the Chair of the Peel, a charity that's been building a connected community in Clerkenwell since 1898. She was previously Chief Executive of Community Links, a social action and advocacy charity based in East London, where she developed the organisation’s capacity and structured a strategic partnership with a national charity called Catch22. 

Arvinda has worked in the not for profit and charitable sector all of her working life. She was previously Chief Executive of Emmaus UK, where she developed a federation wide strategy and introduced social investment to member organisations. Prior to this, she ran her own consultancy for five years, specialising in governance, leadership and equalities. Previous roles include Membership Services Director at the National Housing Federation; Assistant Director for Regulation at the Housing Corporation and Chief Executive of two Housing Associations. Arvinda has also worked in South Africa where she assisted in developing a social housing model. 

Rick Henderson
Chief Executive, Homeless Link 

Rick is the Chief Executive of Homeless Link and was appointed to that role in July 2012. He is a member of the government’s National Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and the London Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Task Group. 

Rick also represents Homeless Link internationally, as a member of FEANTSA - the European homelessness network and the Housing First Europe Hub. Rick is prolific on Twitter and somehow still manages to find the time to sing and play around with classic cars in his spare time.

Jemima Olchawski
Chief Executive Officer, Agenda 

Jemima is Chief Executive of Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk. Agenda advocates for women in girls in crisis, with intersecting experiences of poverty, poor mental health, the criminal justice system, substance use, homelessness and abuse. The organisation campaigns for trauma informed and gender aware support for women. 

Prior to joining Agenda Jemima was Head of Policy and Insight at the Fawcett Society, leading their work on local government, gender equality in the workplace and challenging gender norms and stereotypes. Jemima has led public policy for a London borough and was previously a Director at the Fabian Society. 

Steve Wyler 

Steve is an independent consultant, researcher, and writer in the social sector. He is a Board member of homeless charity Groundswell, co-founder of A Better Way, and an associate of the Carnegie UK Trust.  In 2017-18 he served as a panel member of the independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society. In 2017 he published a history of community business (In Our Hands), commissioned by Power to Change. 

From 2000 to 2014 Steve was Chief Executive of Locality (previously the Development Trusts Association), building a network of community organisations dedicated to community enterprise, community ownership, and social change. He was a co-founder of Social Enterprise UK and its vice-Chair from 2001 to 2014. He has worked for homeless charities (e.g. as CEO of Homeless Network), for voluntary sector infrastructure bodies (e.g. interim CEO of the London Voluntary Services Council) and for independent grant-making trusts and foundations (e.g. as interim CEO of the Baring Foundation). He was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List.

Talk To Us

Kate Alaway

Kate Alaway

Head of member services

Kate is our head of member services managing the team who work directly with our members across England.

Telephone: 020 7840 4461
Email: kate.alaway@homelesslink.org.uk
Twitter: @connectingkate