Dom has been working in the field of homelessness since 1989 and will mark 25 years of improving youth homelessness services with 1625 Independent People in November 2021. Dom led Priority Youth Housing’s services as Housing Manager between 1996 and 2003 and led on 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 and regional level in housing, supported housing and children’s services; he represents the voluntary sector on Bristol’s One City Children & Young Person’s Board, the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership and the Golden Key Partnership Board.  Nationally he is part of the Youth Homelessness Policy Group for Homeless Link and the CEO Group of End Youth Homelessness.

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


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)

After leaving university, Vicky became a residential volunteer in a homelessness hostel for 9 months and has now worked in the supported housing sector for 25 years, including 20 years as a manager/leader and in organisations ranging from national housing associations to local, grass roots charities.

Vicky is passionate about the support sector, fairness, professional standards of service delivery, innovation, and improvements.

She has a degree in Classics from Newcastle University and subsequent qualifications in Leadership and Management. Vicky has lived in Bristol for over 20 years, and as well as working for 1625ip, is also a Trustee for a local charity working with people living with HIV/AIDS.

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

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 1625IP 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.



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 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.


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 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 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 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 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.


Charmagne is the Head of Delivery Management at Torchbox, a digital for good agency that specialises in helping nonprofits and public sector organisations innovate using technology. She has extensive experience as a senior operations leader, has run digital transformation programmes and is obsessive about continuous improvement.

Charmagne has worked internationally, mainly in the private sector, and has spent time as a pro bono management consultant for charities, including Amnesty International. A large part of Charmagne’s career has been invested in using technology to improve educational outcomes for children and young people. Charmagne is passionate about how technology can help individuals and organisations achieve their goals. She uses agile approaches to transform the way that teams work, and promotes technology as a platform to optimise their effectiveness.


She loves Bristol and is pleased to be playing a part in creating a society where a share of this wonderful city is accessible to all. When not tinkering with spreadsheets or exploring new technologies, Charmagne can be seen whizzing around Bristol on her bright red Pashley bicycle.


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.


Craig is currently MD of OC Robotics – a high tech Bristol based engineering company.

Previously Craig was CEO of Bristol Care & Repair leading the transition of this significant regional charity into West of England Care & Repair. Significant growth was delivered by winning local authority and commercial contracts. In 2012 the entire service was retendered which, after over a year of work, the team won. Craig is currently the Chair of the Foundations Advisory Board, the national body for Care & Repairs, and also a trustee of WE Care & Repair.

After graduating with a degree in chemistry Craig trained with Ernst and Young, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1992. Craig worked in the Corporate Advisory team providing business process advice and transaction work.

He has commercial experience in retail, distribution and manufacturing. Roles include, Financial Controller, group Financial Director and for eight years Managing Director.