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Our people

Catch22 is made up of over 1,700 people from all over the country, brought together by common values. We reflect the communities we work in. We believe that diversity makes us stronger.

Any success that Catch22 has is down to our people. We’re a diverse bunch, and all the better for it. But there’s one thing that runs through us all, a belief that people can thrive if they have; a good place to live, good people around them and a clear purpose in life.

 

Our Leaders

 

Chris Wright, Chief ExecutiveChris Wright

Chris Wright is Chief Executive of Catch22, the social business driving public service reform. He leads the team of 1,800 staff and volunteers that supports over 100,000 people nationally.

With 35 years’ experience across the social care and criminal justice systems, his background spans practice (Chris originally trained as a social worker and probation officer, establishing Nottingham’s first multi-agency Youth Offending Team) and policy (as Head of Performance at the Youth Justice Board).

Chris has long advocated the need for radical reform of a wide range of public services. Under his leadership, Catch22 has not only delivered significant frontline impact, but has grown its work supporting others to transform their services; from advising government behind closed doors through to supporting and investing in big ideas and small delivery charities.

Chris is a 2017 – 2018 Grant Thornton ‘Face of a Vibrant Economy,’ a Fellow of the British Exploring Society, a trustee of Catch22 Multi-Academy Trust and a non-executive director at Capacity – the public services lab and a non-executive director at Big Society Capital. He is also the Chair of Catalyst Choices CIC and teaches on the Charity Masters’ Programme at City University’s business school. Chris’s belief in social justice extends to his commitment to Nottingham Forest one day returning to the Clough glory years.

Naomi Hulston, Chief Operating Officer

Naomi is responsible for running Catch22’s operations, spanning children’s services education, employment, apprenticeships, social action and justice.

Naomi has 15 years’ experience in both strategic and operational roles in the public and private sectors. She joined Catch22 in May 2008. Prior to joining Catch22 Naomi worked across a range of projects delivering and managing youth work, early intervention and prevention services for young people at risk of social exclusion.

 

Nigel Richards, Chief Finance Officer

Nigel is responsible for our corporate governance, risk and financial sustainability. He’s the steady hand who ensures that we manage our resources effectively, and that we run a stable and well funded organisation.

Nigel joined Catch22 in 2012. He was previously at Working Links, where he was the Director for Financial Planning and Analysis. Nigel is a Fellow of the ACCA, the global body for professional accountants, and a School Governor.

 

Mat Ilic, Chief Development Officer

As Chief Development Officer, Mat is responsible for the growth and development of Catch22. He leads communications, partnerships and business development teams to ensure that Catch22’s strategic direction and development activity is aligned as to maximise social impact.

Before joining Catch22 in August 2019, Mat spent two years at No10 Downing Street as Special Adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May, covering Home Affairs and Justice Policy, advising on sensitive issues from immigration to violence reduction and probation reform. Prior to this, Mat was Chief Development Officer at Catch22, having joined the organisation after the acquisition of creative criminal justice charity Only Connect in 2015, where he had been Executive Director. Mat previously held numerous policy roles at City Hall including delivering on the Mayor of London’s serious violence and youth programmes. He started his career in the private sector, in PWC’s public sector audit business. Mat is a Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of the RSA, and holds degrees from the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

 

Christina Duru, Chief People Officer

As Chief People Officer, Christina, oversees both the People and Governance functions for the Catch22 group. Christina will play a leading role in supporting delivery of the business plan through the Catch22 People strategy, as well as fostering a culture of robust governance through the effective management of organisational compliance and mitigating risks.

Christina has over 10 years’ experience working in a variety of sectors delivering HR expertise. She joined Catch22 in September 2015. Prior to joining Catch22, Christina worked in the higher education and professional services sectors, operating as a strategic business partner, providing commercial HR advice to senior leadership teams.

 

 

Our Trustees

 

Terry Duddy, Chairman of Catch22

Terry is currently a Non-Executive Director of Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC. He recently stepped down from Debenhams having served as Senior Independent Director from 2015 and latterly as Interim-Chair. Other recent NED roles include Senior Independent Director of Hammerson Plc, SID at Gems Menasa and Chair of the Retail Trust charity from 2014 until 2018.

Previously, Terry was Chief Executive of Argos Retail Group and an executive member of the GUS Plc board from 1998 until 2006, then Chief Executive of Home Retail Group Plc from 2006 until 2014.

 “It is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to join Catch22. I am looking forward to working with all of the passionate and committed colleagues and volunteers, continuing the progress made in delivering vital services to communities and making a positive difference to people’s life challenges.”

 

Caroline Artis

Caroline Artis is a Partner at EY, a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, She became Senior Partner for London in 2015, and has been a member of the Senior Leadership team since then, helping to manage a business with over 18,000 UK employees and a turnover in excess of £2bn. She has also served on the Remco for 3 years with a particular focus addressing diversity issues, in particular the gender and BME pay gap challenges. She is committed to social mobility through education and employment, with particular interest in young people and how lives can be changed for the better.

“I have held previous roles in this space which have focused on one or two aspects of social mobility, but I’m delighted to be joining Catch22 which provides a great way to engage social sector support with the resilience and entrepreneurial flair of the individual.”

 

Kieron Boyle

Kieron Boyle is Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, one of the world’s largest urban health foundations. He heads the Charity’s efforts to address the complex health challenges of inner-city areas. Prior to this, Kieron led the UK government’s work on impact investment. In this role he was the UK representative to the G8 taskforce on social impact investment, and led initiatives creating the Access foundation, Dementia Discovery Fund and the Dormant Assets Commission.

Previous roles were at No.10 Downing Street, the Department for Business, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and the Boston Consulting Group. Kieron is also a member of the Mayor of London’s Childhood Obesity Taskforce and on the advisory council of the Impact Investing Institute. He also chairs the Investment Committee of Nesta’s Cultural Impact Development Fund.

‘Catch22 is a pioneering organisation, at the leading edge of new approaches to tackling some of the country’s toughest social problems. What lots of these challenges need is a new type of approach: one that focuses on the individual, on collaboration, and that combines the best of the social sector and enterprise. It’s exciting to be a Trustee of a social business championing these causes.’

 

Matthew Halstead

Matt lives in London with his wife and daughter. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has worked in CFO, COO and CEO roles across several sectors including international development, digital technology, retail, education, property and corporate finance.

He runs a small consultancy, Noctis, offering commercial advisory services to nonprofits & SMEs and investigation work that focuses on the issues faced by communities as a result of oil extraction in the Niger Delta, Nigeria where he used to work. A common theme to all of his work is empowerment; helping individuals, communities and organisations feel more confident and capable to achieve their own needs and goals.

Matt is a trustee and co-creator of sidekick, a non-profit empowering people to support their own mental health and is currently undertaking a part-time PhD in Quantum Chemistry. He holds a Masters in Chemistry and Molecular Physics.

 

Jeff Jacobs

Jeff Jacobs has held senior roles in central Government and the Greater London Authority across a long career in the public sector. During his time in the Civil Service, where he rose from being a 16 year old filing clerk to Director General level, his range of jobs have included Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State, John Prescott, following the 1997 General Election which brought Labour to power; Head of  Regeneration and Housing teams; and Chief Executive of the Government Olympic Executive which helped win the London 2012 Olympics and progressed early delivery preparations.

He then joined the GLA in 2007 as a Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, and became Director of Transition after the 2008 Mayoral Election which brought Boris Johnson to power. He was subsequently appointed by the Mayor and London Assembly to be Chief Officer of the GLA and served in that role through and beyond the 2016 Election which saw Sadiq Khan become Mayor. So three Mayors later, Jeff retired from full-time executive work  in 2018 and has taken on charitable roles since then.

 

Gita North

Gita North is a Partner with First Friday, a change management, training and consulting firm. Prior to joining First Friday, Gita was an Executive at Dixons Group plc and subsequently, as an independent consultant, worked with the Boards of several leading UK retailers on transformative change programmes. She was also a Non-Executive Director of Center Parcs while it was publicly listed.

‘I am a passionate advocate of the opportunities that a good education unlocks in young people – whatever their starting circumstances – and am delighted to join Catch22 as a trustee’

 

Tove Okunniwa

Tove Okunniwa

Tove is CEO of London Sport, a non-profit organisation dedicated to making London the most active city in the world, supported by Sport England and the Mayor of London. She has a background in strategic marketing and content creation, with extensive experience in both commercial and non-profit sectors.

Previously she led two successful sport and entertainment marketing agencies – WPP owned MEC Access and Havas Sports & Entertainment – advising clients such as Barclays, Coca-Cola, Visa, Danone, Lloyds Bank, Marriott, Specsavers, Nintendo and Morrisons among many others. Prior to this Tove spent 10 years at the BBC in senior brand marketing roles. Tove is also a Trustee of Sport England.

 

Sam Olsen

With diverse experience across private and public sector, Sam is currently on a two-year secondment from the Civil Service to act as Chief Executive Officer for the charity Movement to Work. Movement to Work (MtW) is a coalition of UK employers, youth-outreach organisations, training providers and government allies – all aiming to level the playing field for young age people aged 16-30 facing barriers to work by creating quality work experience opportunities for thousands of young people every year.

Sam is an experienced Whitehall senior civil servant holding recent posts in the Department for Education such as Director of Children’s Social Care.

Before joining the Civil Service, she worked for St Christophers Fellowship as Strategy Director, a children’s charity supporting vulnerable children leading on the development of new models of residential care. The majority of her career however has been in the commercial sector having spent over 10 years working with Virgin Atlantic – highlights including the start-up of Virgin Nigeria whilst living in Lagos as Regional Director for Africa and developing a multi-national sales team.

“My recent career has focused on working with businesses to help those furthest from the job market into work; something I’m passionate about and committed to. I’m thrilled to be joining the Board of Catch22 and look forward to helping them – amongst other things –  progress their ambitious Reform agenda; creating the conditions and opportunities for young people to secure meaningful and sustained employment.”

 

Pria Rai

Pria is an organisational systems and change specialist and has variously led on organisation effectiveness, transformation, people and organisation development and communications portfolios in her current and previous positions. She is a trained systems coach; systems and teams relationship coaching and aware-ego work being the modalities she has studied. She has worked across different sectors in both New York and London.

She is committed to building capacity and improving governance in the social enterprise and third sector; having been a trustee or a non-executive director in that space for many years. She is passionate about creating organisations that thrive, and offer value to all their stakeholders. She is especially interested in working with senior leaders to increase the positive impact they have on the organisations they lead.

 

Claire Starza-Allen

Claire has an extensive commercial, negotiation and dispute resolution background both in private and the not for profit sector. She is the Head of Commercial Legal at Kin and Carta Plc (a digital transformation agency) she leads the legal and contracting operations globally which also involves M&A. She is also supporting Kin, and Carta becoming BCorp certified.

She is a trustee at The Advocacy Project and is an advisor to the Ethical Fundraising and Quality Assurance Committee for The British Red Cross. She also supports charities with board governance reviews and stakeholder engagement via her consultancy Little Bee Community. Also, she is the UK Sherpa for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance who champion entrepreneurship globally, which works with the B20/G20 (she currently sits on the B20 Integrity and Compliance workstream). She was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn specialising in commercial law and crime and is a qualified mediator.

 

Jonathan Thomas

Jonathan is a business development professional who has undertaken a variety of senior roles in support of the public sector during his career within Capita, having joined in 2005. He has been instrumental in designing innovative service delivery models, the development of public sector strategy and has secured numerous partnerships across Local Government, Health, Central Government and Education, delivering over £400m of savings to the public sector.

Jonathan is passionate about the positive impact accessible and well-designed services have on citizens and has used the opportunity created by contract procurement to drive innovation and value across service delivery within the public sector. He has expertise in business transformation, service re-design, business case development, mobilisation, procurement, deal architecture, contract negotiation, commercialisation of services and sustainable growth.

“Throughout my career I have been motivated by a desire to improve public services and I am excited by the opportunity to assist Catch 22 provide critical services that overcome disadvantage, address inequality and create opportunity.”

 

Sean Williams

Sean WilliamsSean is an entrepreneur interested in creating commercial returns by delivering better public services. Previously Sean was a Managing Director at G4S for four years where he set up and ran their welfare to work and contact centre units and led their contact, employment, resourcing solutions and investigation businesses.

Prior to this, Sean was a Development Director at Serco where he designed and developed their welfare to work strategy. He has held strategic, policy and operational roles in the employability sector in both the UK and Australia.

‘I am delighted to join Catch22 as a Trustee. Catch22 is a remarkable organisation that makes a transformative difference to the lives of the young people that it supports.’