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Our people

Our work wouldn’t be possible without our staff and volunteers

Every year, thousands of people support us in our mission of making homelessness in Kent a thing of the past.

Our staff and volunteers are our biggest asset. They put our core values into action, working across Kent to change people's lives for the better.


Last year, our volunteers gave more than 12,000 hours of support


Our staff worked across Kent to support more than 7000 individuals and families


We provided more than 55 different staff training opportunities

Our leadership team

Mike Barrett

Chief executive

Mike has worked in housing and social care for more than 30 years within local authorities, a national supported housing association and the charity sector.

Catherine Keen

Finance director

Catherine has more than 20 years' experience of working with charity accounts. Within Porchlight she oversees the finance function, IT and compliance.

Sarah Dennis

HR director

Sarah joined Porchlight in 2015. She oversees the HR and volunteering function within the charity.

Chris Coffey

Director of operations

Chris has a background in both the voluntary and public sector, providing services for people at risk of homelessness and social exclusion.

Jo Dawes

Director of fundraising and communications

Jo joined Porchlight in 2014. She's previously worked for national charities including Crisis, Scope and Action Medical Research.

Aidan Gray

Director of development and innovation

Aidan Gray has worked in the social care sector for 30 years; this has included mental health, addiction and, most recently, homelessness.

Our trustees

Hilary Edridge, Lady Melville


Hilary joined the charity in 2015. She is Head of Strategic Relationships at the University of Kent and currently leads an ambitious £30M campaign for the new Kent and Medway Medical School.

Howard Cohn

Howard spent 12 years with Kent Probation where he was responsible for managing a wide range of support services aimed at reducing reoffending.

Dr Nick Ward

Nick has been a GP in East Kent for 30 years. He has experience in the way that physical health, mental health and homelessness are often interlinked.

Colin Wright

Colin is a project manager with Skills for Health, working towards an improved and sustainable healthcare workforce across the UK.

Tom Evans

Tom is a solicitor with a Kent-based law firm. He has experience advising on residential and commercial property matters.

Stephanie Goad

Stephanie has 15 years experience at board level within the public sector. She currently works at MHS Homes as operations director.

Dominic Deeson

Dominic is publisher at Deeson Group in Canterbury and London. He has worked in print and digital communications for more than 40 years.

Jenny Robson

Jenny has a long career history as a practitioner, leader and academic in children and family services. She currently works at the University of East London.

Louise Coakley

With a background in A&E nursing, Louise lectured at Canterbury Christ Church University and has an interest in the link between housing and health.

Gill Ridge

Gill is a chartered accountant with over 20 years experience in audit, strategy, corporate governance and responsibility and risk management. She has been the treasurer for two other charities.

Naomi Simcox

Naomi has worked in higher education for over 20 years. She is a member of the leadership team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London. Naomi has previously volunteered for Crisis and StreetSouls.