Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive
Andrew joined HACT in 2003 and has worked in homelessness, supported housing and wider social exclusion policy and practice for 26 years. Andrew has worked for HACT for 15 years although for 18 months he was seconded to the National Mental Health Development Unit at the Department of Health as the National Housing Lead. He is a Non-Executive Director at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.
Mary-Kathryn Rallings Adams, Deputy Chief Executive
Mary-Kathryn joined HACT in 2013. In her role as Deputy Chief Executive at HACT, Mary-Kathryn manages a range of research projects, working with clients both within and beyond the housing sector. Prior to joining HACT, she completed her doctorate in social anthropology, exploring the intersection of urban regeneration, conflict and social policy in Northern Ireland. She has authored peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as various research reports for HACT and other think tanks, and regularly contributes to working groups, seminars and conferences committed to interdisciplinary research in academia as well as in the third sector.
Rob Wray, Chief Innovation Officer
Dr Rob Wray PhD MRes MA BSc (Psych) has a background in politics and behavioural psychology and has recently completed simulation research on variables that increase propensity to social and political conflict. He has held posts as Research Director at Family Mosaic and led business transformation for East Thames. He serves by invitation on round-table discussions on dementia, health and housing partnership at the Royal Society of Medicine and is the founder member and Director of Counter Research. He is a regular contributor to the G15 Policy and Pan-London ASB forums is now based in London.
Adam Chester, Project Officer
Adam joined HACT in May 2018 and is now Project Officer on the Centre for Excellence for Community Investment. He has a BA in Sociology from The University of Leeds, as well as a not-for-profit sector graduate scheme endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Adam worked at Network Homes for a year and a half, where he combined a mixture of research experience and community engagement work. Adam is interested in making the connections between strategic decisions taken by organisations and the day-to-day experience of residents who experience those decisions.
Marcelle Dopwell, Head of Business Operations
Marcelle has worked for HACT since May 2009, starting in the role of Projects Support Officer. Having worked in content management in the digital new media field for 15 years, leaving BSkyB in 2006, she decided to change careers to the public sector. Marcelle also worked previously on projects with the London Development Agency and Southwark Council in Children Services. Marcelle has a Foundation Degree in London Studies.
Frances Harkin, Head of Research
Frances joined HACT a Research Officer in 2015 following the completion of her PhD at Queen's University, Belfast. In her time at HACT, Frances has been directly involved with the development and delivery of numerous research projects and services, including housing and sport focused work, and has worked with organisations across the housing sector and beyond. Coming from a qualitative research background, Frances has extensive experience of researching diverse communities with her PhD research offering new insights into the role that sport plays in the development of community and identity for the Irish diaspora. Frances continues to develop this research by delivering invited lectures and contributing to academic conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
Billy joined HACT in July 2019. He has long been interested in the intersection between history and geography. Reading history at the University of Bristol and then for a masters at the University of Oxford, Billy specialised in urban and environmental history, exploring topics around technological modernity, environmental racism, suburbanisation and the lived experience of the London commute. Between study, he worked as a researcher for a social and environmental consultancy based on the south coast, working on projects around sport, health and wellbeing, as well as a variety of collaborations with humanitarian and environmental charities.
William Howard, Housing and Health Officer
Will joined HACT in January 2015. He recently completed an MSc in Sociology at the London School of Economics, in which he focussed on the application of theory to research, as well as looking at the relationship between political theory and urban form. Prior to that he completed his undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Birmingham, undertaking his dissertation on homeless mobility and its effects in the city of Oxford. His principal interest is in how research can be successfully applied to understand and tackle urban inequality.
Matthew joined HACT as Insight Intern in January 2020. With a background in events, sales and the creative fields, he hopes to bring a proactive approach to customer service for the Community Insight tool. He completed his BA in Geography at UCL in 2017 where he was able to align his areas of research to the political causes in which he was interested.
Isobel joined HACT in 2018 as Business Administrator and Executive Support following the completion of her BA in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. With a background in sociology, she has a keen interest in social value and its potential in UK Housing.
Michael joined HACT in January 2020, with 16 years experience in various social housing roles, latterly as Digital Connector for Clydebank Housing Association. He has an MA in Social Sciences and a CIH level 4 Diploma in Housing Studies. He managed a digital project that increased services and digital access in a community in the top 5% of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). He worked alongside the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations in establishing a Digital Champions Network and with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum in developing GDPR model documents and guidance notes.
Thames joined HACT in summer 2019 as Communications Intern following the completion of her MA in journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London. Over the course of her studies, Thames researched and reported on issues of housing, homelessness, town planning, policy, local politics, and the built environment and has had articles published in several UK regional and national titles. Having worked in data journalism, she is particularly interested in HACT’s ambition to introduce sector wide data measurements to drive improvements in housing standards.
Jay Saggar, Digital Lead
Jay joined HACT in February 2015 and is currently working with the Connected Home Consortium, the UK Housing Data Standards and Launchpad. Prior to HACT, Jay has worked as part of the year 1 set up team for a community opened free school in north London. He holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development Studies from SOAS, University of London.
Rob leads the delivery of HACT’s work focused on the role of housing in communities and neighbourhoods, including the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment. He joined HACT from Renaisi, where he led their work supporting the Big Local programme, as well as for other clients including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, The National Lottery Community Fund, and Power to Change. Before this Rob worked at Wandle Housing Association and set-up and ran Kingston University’s Community Legal Advice Centre for a number of years. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis exploring how local people have been able to influence the past fifteen years of government-led regeneration policies.
James Williams, Head of Social Impact
James joined HACT in June 2017 from Onward, where he spent over 11 years working on the delivery of community investment projects, strategies, evaluation and impact measurement. James is particularly interested in how social housing organisations can embed social value systematically from within. Prior to Onward, James worked for three years at Business in the Community and five years at Bolton Council helping to attract external funding and managing community investment projects. James has an MA in Geography, Post Graduate diploma in Urban Regeneration and a certificate in management and has held positions as a school governor at Limeside School, Oldham and a Trustee of the Broughton Trust in Salford.