DOM WOOD DL : CEO

Dom has been working in the field of homelessness since 1989 and has been improving services for young people locally with 1625 Independent People since 1996. Dom led Priority Youth Housing’s services as Housing Manager between 1996 and 2003 and led many youth housing initiatives with the city council over this period. In 2003 Dom was appointed as Director of Priority Youth Housing and amongst other achievements established a flagship hostel for young homeless people at St George’s House in Bristol. In 2009 Dom led the merger of Priority Youth Housing and Wayahead Housing and Support for Young People, forming 1625 Independent People.

Dom is strongly involved at a strategic, regional, and national level in housing, supported housing and children’s services.  He represents the voluntary sector on Bristol’s Housing & Communities Board, and the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership.  Nationally he is part of the Youth Homelessness Policy Group for Homeless Link and a founding member of Every Youth.

For his work in youth homelessness and for Bristol, Dom was awarded an Honorary Dr of Laws by Bristol University in 2018. In July 2020 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol.

JAMIE GILL : PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR

Jamie has 27 years of experience delivering, developing and managing services for care leavers, young people who offend and young homeless people. He led Priority Youth Housing in South Gloucestershire between 2000 and 2009, before being appointed as Service Improvement Director and then Partnership Director for 1625 Independent People.

Jamie’s current role includes developing new services, approaches and partnerships in response to young people’s strengths and needs, working in partnership with other organisations in the public, voluntary, education and business sectors. He has initiated a range of innovative services and approaches for care leavers and young people who offend, including the award-winning Future 4 Me project and more recently Reboot West.

Jamie contributes to a range of groups in the region, including Chairing South Gloucestershire’s Youth Housing Partnership and as a Trustee of CVS South Gloucestershire. Previously Jamie was a Board Member of Merlin Housing Society.

VICKY HARWOOD : OPERATIONS DIRECTOR (accommodation services)

Vicky Harwood has worked in the supported housing sector for 30 years, with 25 years as a manager/leader; working in organisations ranging from national housing associations to local, grassroots charities, and has worked at 1625 since 2018.

Vicky has a degree in Classics and Social Policy and subsequent qualifications, including an NVQ level 5, in Leadership and Management, and recently achieved accreditation as a Business Analyst and Strategy Consultant.  Vicky is the Nominated Individual – main point of contact with Ofsted, for 1625 as a registered provider.

As well as her role at 1625, Vicky is a Trustee at the Brigstowe Project, a Bristol charity for people living with HIV/AIDS and a board member at Self-Help Housing Association, a local housing charity.

PAUL HALE : OPERATIONS DIRECTOR (prevention, support & EET services)

Paul has worked in support and housing services for nearly 30 years for both small charities, large housing providers and local authorities – as a care assistant for older people, residential support worker with learning disabled people, project work in high support homeless services and shelters and as an outreach worker with rough sleepers – before moving into management and then senior management (from 2004).

Paul has worked with 1625 Independent People in various roles since 2005 – as a board member when we were Priority Youth Housing, as manager of St. George’s House, Business & Quality Assurance Manager and as Operations Director (twice).

He is a Chartered Management Institute member, with a Level 7 qualification in strategic management and leadership. Currently working towards becoming a CMI Chartered Manager.

His driving passion is to help people and provide as much support and resource as possible to both young people and our colleagues – as an active supporter of equality, diversity and inclusion issues, he is the lead organisational representative for the Independent People Ambassador board.

JO LEA-JONES : CENTRAL SERVICES DIRECTOR

Jo Lea-Jones, Central  Services Director, has more than 30 years’ experience in the commercial and private business sector. Her roles have included all aspects of financial control, procurement, business analysis and business  management. She has worked for several global corporations including The Shaw Group (Pennsylvania – US), The Misonix Group (New York – US), PuriCore (Pennysylvania – US) and Atlas Professionals (Hoofddorp – The Netherlands)

Jo enjoys the challenge of providing efficient and effective systems and processes to ensure business productivity and sustainability. As Central  Services Director, she is responsible for all the charity’s accounting systems, payroll, Data Protection, administration,  Facility Management, Health and Safety.

 

Jo lived in the US for 3 years where she studied Public Relations at the University of Washington. This has provided her with an appreciation of the importance and value of the charity’s media relations and public profile.

She is a former Chairman of Clevedon Pride CIC, who were awarded the Queen’s Award for volunteering in 2013.

SANJA TAYLOR : PEOPLE DIRECTOR

Sanja originally started her career in law, qualifying as an Employment Solicitor in 2007. Sanja moved into the charity sector two years later, joining 1625 in 2009 to lead the People function, initially as an Advisor, then Manager and now People Director.

Sanja and her team bring the organisation’s cultural vision to life through structure, policy and process and ensure legally sound employment law operations, with the ethos of ‘making life at 1625 better’ which underpins the organisation’s People Strategy. Sanja ensures that the People function is delivered in a proactive way whilst successfully interconnecting with other areas of the organisation. Sanja is passionate about strengths, values and inclusivity based, person centred approaches to employing people, recognising that people are the organisation’s cornerstone.

Sanja was born in Bosnia Herzegovina and moved to the UK at the age of 10 during the Balkan conflict. Supporting young people in need of a home and into their own independence is very close to Sanja’s heart.

NICK HOOPER : CHAIR OF THE BOARD

One of Nick’s abiding passions is to end homelessness amongst young people and make sure everyone has a good place to call home.

Nick spent most of his career in local government and has worked in the voluntary and private sectors. In the nearly 30 years spent with Bristol City Council (the last 12 as Director of Housing Solutions) he developed expertise in development, homelessness, private housing renewal, commissioning, strategy & policy work and organisational change.

He has extensive experience of working across organisations and delivering with partners, as well as system change and leadership. He is involved, as a trustee or non-executive director, in a number of other not-for-profit organisations concerned with mental health, street homelessness, community-led housing and older people.

ELLEN JONES

Ellen is an environmental professional with a particular focus on waste and waste related issues. Having worked in the environment sector for over 10 years, she is passionate about sustainability and promoting a circular economy.

Ellen is Head of Reporting & Strategy at Bristol Waste Company. She works to ensure the company achieves its strategic business objectives and is also heavily involved in the organisation’s data protection compliance programme, risk management, social value impact and reuse initiatives.

She is passionate about supporting mental health, well-being and equality in and out of the workplace.

DANYAAL HAMDANI : TREASURER

Having graduated with a masters in civil engineering from the University of Bristol Danyaal transitioned to accounting, and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2016. Currently working as an auditor at a Big 4 firm, he has worked with a range of organisations gaining exposure to a variety of different regulated sectors. 

With an international background, originally from Pakistan and having grown up in the Middle East, Danyaal fell in love with Bristol when he moved to the city in 2009. Passionate about supporting others to reach their potential, Danyaal is excited to utilise his skills and experience to provide the young people of Bristol the tools and support network needed to achieve their goals.

MELANIE ANSON

Melanie is a HR and Organisational Development Consultant with many years of experience working within the social housing sector. Latterly she was responsible for the corporate function at the ALMO, Homes in Sedgemoor.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and an MBTI practitioner, she works with a variety of organisations to support them to be the best they can be through developing their people.

ROB BARTLETT : VICE-CHAIR

Rob is an experienced Marketing, Management and Communications Consultant. Having spent the majority of his career as a consultant advising clients across the property and real estate sectors, he now works for YTL Developments as they begin to transform the former Filton Airfield into a thriving new neighbourhood for Bristol, known as Brabazon.

Having studied his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University, Rob began his career as a journalist before then spending almost 10 years at some of the best-known marketing communications and advisory firms in London. He also worked as an independent consultant for two years while completing his MBA at Cranfield University.

SARAH GALLACHER

Sarah has significant experience as an agile project and programme manager. Specialising in innovation, digital products and service delivery platforms with a focus on organisational improvement and transformation. 

Having spent most of her career working in the third sector supporting vulnerable members of society within the debt and benefits advice sector. Sarah currently works within digital strategy and service delivery for Citizens Advice in a programme that supports people in applying for Universal Credit across England and Wales. She is extremely passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion in and outside the workplace.

JANE KEENAN

Jane is a fundraising professional, and has worked for charities supporting young people and in the higher education sector for the past 17 years. Her experience is in developing philanthropic partnerships with individuals, charitable trusts and companies to further the work of the organisation she represents. Jane joined the Board of 1625 Independent People in 2015 to support the development of a new fundraising strategy.

When not working, Jane spends much of her time with her young family and keeping active by getting out on her bike and playing netball.

DAVE ROWE

Dave has held senior leadership or director positions in the construction sector and businesses for over 25 years, and prior to this worked in retail management.

He has been a school governor twice, both as a parent and as a member of local industry, and in the latter role he also acted as a mentor to a young person.

Dave is keen to use his considerable experience and contacts to help young people have a better future.
In his spare time, Dave enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and watching sport.

Leah Morgan

Leah has over 10 years’ experience leading programmes and charities that support marginalised young people, empowering them to identify their skills to overcome barriers and thrive in education, employment and training. Leah has worked in the education, local authority and voluntary sectors and has acted as a non-executive director for two educational charities prior to joining the board at 1625ip.

 

Leah now works for a national charity leading on a programme for the Department for Education that supports children and young people in and “on the edge” of care to access the best possible educational pathways and lead happy, fulfilling lives.

Saul Leong

Saul joins us as a Young Trustee. He currently works in the Aerospace industry with experience in Engineering, Programme Management and Supply Chain Planning and Control. Saul is also a Volunteer Peer Support worker with 1625ip and in his final year at UWE studying for his degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Having moved to Bristol at the age of 18 to start his apprenticeship, Saul considers Bristol his home. With lived experience, he hopes that he can bring an empathetic approach to help young people to build and develop their confidence to achieve their goals and become the best versions of themselves.

In his free time Saul enjoys cooking, keeping fit, studying history, surfing, and travelling.

Sarah Everett-Cox

Sarah is an experienced finance professional and has spent the majority of her career in the higher education sector, including 18 years at the University of Bristol, and currently as CFO for the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Sarah has also held various trustee and governor positions in local primary and secondary schools and trusts in Bristol. Sarah is passionate in using her expertise to support children and young adults in her home city. Sarah lives with her husband, two children and a rescue dog. They love the city and all the lovely green spaces available.