MEET THE TEAM
Our experience spans mental health, drug treatment, homelessness & housing, health & social care, policing, community safety, welfare, families, employment, and criminal justice.
Chris had her own consultancy for fifteen years following an early career in advertising. She then went on to work in academia, at the Care Quality Commission and the NHS before joining Revolving Doors. Due to a longstanding Radio4 obsession, she often falls asleep listening to the shipping forecast.
“My all-consuming passion is social justice. One guiding principle I’ve learned during my time in private, academic, statutory and voluntary organisations is never, ever to believe those well-worn stereotypes about efficiency or innovation. And my experience has also convinced me that good information can drive better services in just about any context – as long as it’s combined with leaders who have open minds and willing hearts.”
Director of Policy and Research
Vicki spent several years working in parliament before moving into the third sector, working with the social business Catch22 and with the Transition to Adulthood Alliance. Before joining Revolving Doors, Vicki was Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance. She is a Churchill Fellow, a recipient of the Titmuss prize for outstanding MSc performance at the LSE and a regular media commentator. She also admits to a minor twitter addiction.
“I’ve always been a people person and I’m deeply interested in the way individuals can move from the margins of society into a life as active, fulfilled citizens. I see a real need for good quality research to support people all through that journey. At the Revolving Doors Agency I oversee our research, evaluations and policy. There’s nothing I love more than when my work involves me spending time listening to people with lived experience and frontline practitioners as part of research projects. Their insights and perspective add so much value to the work we do here.”
Head of Business and Operations
Katy is our Head of Business and Operations. She was previously with Nacro where she managed the Offender Health Collaborative of which Revolving Doors is a key partner. She learned her project management skills at UNESCO in Paris where for over a decade she worked on programmes from open technologies for education to HIV and health education. She then returned to the UK the long way round, completing a circumnavigation in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. This hasn’t cured her of the sailing bug – her best weekends are those spent on the water.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my work with the Revolving Doors Agency in my previous role was to ensure that lived experience fed into the delivery of all of our work across the Offender Health Collaborative programme. This insistence on putting the most-affected people at the heart of everything the agency does is its real point of difference in the field of multiple and complex disadvantage and the reason why the solutions it proposes are so relevant, workable and appropriate to the needs of people who often feel ignored or abandoned by the communities they live in.”
Head of Involvement
Andy’s job is to make sure the voices and experiences of people caught in the revolving door inspire us, shape policy and set our priorities. He has worked in this type of role since 2004 primarily in the homeless, mental health and substance use sectors, including eleven years at St Mungo’s. During that time he has established lived experience employment and volunteer schemes, forums, delivered peer research projects and set up the first recovery college outside the NHS. In his spare time he plays a lot of football, supports Charlton Athletic and loves going to gigs, where he admits he’s stuck in a 90s electronica, techno, indie time warp!
“If you focus on abilities and provide opportunities, people can transform their lives. Involvement leads to a more creative way of working and I’m excited by the potential of peer support to empower people. I’ve seen the idea of involvement evolve from something tokenistic or ‘too difficult’ to an exciting time where those with lived experience are genuinely setting the agenda and shaping services. There’s still more to achieve ─ we’re only beginning to understand the true impact of this approach.”
Donna has worked in the recovery field since 2006, starting her career in frontline services where she supported people with drug and alcohol problems and their families, helping to turn lives around. She then built on that experience by heading up local government engagement and involvement in the commissioning of drug and alcohol services and supported accommodation in Lewisham. She believes she’s been privileged to embed a clear link between empowerment and sustainable recovery. During her career Donna has also worked with leading providers including Blenheim Community Drug Project and Crime Reduction Initiatives (now known as Change, Grow, Live). When she isn’t working, Donna is happiest taking long relaxing rambles in the countryside.
“I have a deep passion for social justice and the improvement of social care services as experienced by end users. Having worked in the field for over twelve years I know that recovery is both achievable and sustainable given the right conditions. I also believe in the inspirational power of peer-owned peer support.”
Lesley has been involved in the voluntary sector criminal justice area for over 16 years with roles at the Prison Reform Trust, the New Bridge Foundation and Action for Prisoners’ Families. As our Engagement Manager she works with our Head of Involvement on all service user involvement activities. Among her notable achievements are a project on criminal justice and mental health with Leicester PCC and working with Birth Companions, where she helped to improve the treatment of pregnant women and new mothers in detention as well as vulnerable women in the community. Lesley has professional qualifications in Nursing, Social Work, Management and Training.
“I’m privileged to work with service users at the Revolving Doors Agency. Being involved with their journey and sharing their lived experience to inform others and help make positive changes in services and attitudes is both challenging and rewarding.”
Dr Lucy Wainwright
Lucy looks after a range of service delivery evaluations, innovative strands of research and the outputs of our own research network. Her career has included working as a practitioner in the probation and prison services, completing a PhD, lecturing at all levels of undergraduate courses and working in charities to promote user involvement and opportunity. By working part-time Lucy manages to combine her work commitments with the demands of young children. As a result she no longer has time for hobbies, listing her pastimes as playing hospitals, building towers and visiting parks!
“There’s nothing I hate more than prejudice. That’s why I’m delighted to work with an organisation that actively seeks better outcomes for those who have struggled with multiple and complex needs. I love the ambition of the Revolving Doors Agency, its drive to change the system and its track record in working towards this.”
Adam started his career as a qualitative market researcher working on projects for Citizens Advice, the Pensions Regulator, Thames Water, OFGEM and many others in the commercial and NGO sectors. He joined Revolving Doors in January 2018 as a Senior Researcher supporting our research manager with the implementation of revolving doors research activities. He is passionate about social change and is particularly interested in applying qualitative research methods such as semiotic analysis, online communities and digital user testing to drive evidence-based service improvement. Adam holds a BA (hons) degree in History from Leeds Beckett University.
“As a researcher at Revolving Doors, my job is to listen to people let down by our current system and learn from their experiences. That’s what makes our work so inspiring and unique. If the inequalities that plague our society are to change in a meaningful way, our solutions need to be informed by the people the system has failed. This simple idea is at the heart of everything Revolving Doors does.”
Burcu is responsible for our national policy and campaigns. Before joining our team she was Policy Manager at Homeless Link overseeing a large portfolio of projects on supported housing, social care and health, and then at Mayday Trust, where she developed a systems change methodology to scale and spread asset-based approaches. She has evaluated and implemented several government-funded projects, and undertaken training and consultancy within local areas. Outside work, she enjoys arts, jazz and running and admits to being an avid listener of the Archers.
“My experience of working across housing, social care and health sectors has taught me the importance of challenging the fragmented approach in policy making and service delivery, which often exacerbates problems and loses sight of the person. I am particularly drawn to the Revolving Doors Agency’s approach that combines lived experience, research and policy to developing practical and scalable system improvements.”
Policy and Public Affairs Officer
Before joining us Emma was a police constable for Thames Valley Police, entering the force through the Police Now Graduate Leadership Scheme. During her time on the frontline she worked as a response officer, neighbourhood officer and problem solving officer across multiple teams. However, it was her work with the problem solving team that brought her into frequent contact with individuals who had multiple and complex needs, which further developed her understanding of the specific challenges facing the revolving doors group. Emma holds an MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford and a BA in Criminology from the University of Essex. Outside of work she is a keen amateur boxer and a passionate foodie.
“After six years working in the criminal justice sector I’ve developed unique insight, working across: academia, the front line and influencing policy. My role as Policy & Public Affairs Officer at Revolving Doors gives me the perfect opportunity to engage closely with people who’ve had first-hand experience of the criminal justice system ─ using my knowledge and experience to help improve the system for all.”
Research and Policy Officer
Ellie works across our policy, research and evaluations teams to support the development and implementation of our programmes to help end the revolving door. Before joining us, she worked for the legal action charities Texas Defender Service and Reprieve on issues including capital punishment and human rights abuses in counter-terrorism. She also managed the digital content of The Exceptionals, a campaign to promote the employability of people with convictions. Ellie holds a Law degree from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics.
“My experiences across law, policy and direct contact with the criminal justice system have taught me the importance of listening to, and directly engaging with, people most affected by legal and political decisions. That’s why I’m excited by the work that Revolving Doors does. It ensures that people are listened to and treated as individuals with autonomy rather than passive recipients of care - which is imperative for building a more just society for all”.