Who we are

hyh is led by a group of Trustees and a Chief Executive, Jonny Whitehead, supported by the Senior Leadership Team.

Jonny Whitehead

Chief Executive

Jonny joined the team in January 2022 with over twenty years’ experience of senior management roles in the not-for-profit sector. He has a breadth of experience across service delivery, communications and public affairs, partnership development, strategy and operational leadership. He is a charity trustee, a fellow of the RSA and has been a school governor and a volunteer for a number of environmental, human rights and community organisations.

“I vividly remember my first charity work when I was at school, volunteering on the weekly ‘soup run’ up to the homeless community living under the bullring at waterloo station. Now, after nearly 30 years in the not for profit sector I’m delighted to have returned to what, sadly, remains an urgent and important cause, namely homelessness. Young people face huge challenges at the best of times, let alone as we emerge from a pandemic. At the sharp end of that, preventing and tackling youth homelessness is so important for a frighteningly large number of young people across the UK and here in Hertfordshire.”
Mika Saha

Mika Saha

Head of Services
Mika joined hyh in 2024 having worked in social care for over 20 years and entered the world of supported housing when working for Aldwyck back in 2010. Since then he has managed a number of supported services, all centred around young people aged 16-25.

I am passionate about the services provided for this age group and hope that I am able to continue the fantastic work already being completed by hyh across the county

Caroline Neill

Head of Fundraising & Communications
Caroline joined hyh in 2019. Caroline’s background is in consumer book publishing with roles in Marketing & PR and Digital. She has experience within the fashion industry, voluntary sector and as part of the client services team for a creative agency.

‘It is a pleasure to lead our Fundraising team, working closely with supporters and funders to grow our income, in order for hyh to provide our range of vital services to young people and their families. We would love to hear from you if you can help us to raise awareness and funds!’


Finance Manager
Paul joined hyh in March 2023. Paul is a chartered accountant with a background in finance management, management accounts, business systems development and financial modelling. Paul was previously working in University Education and the Local government where he managed a housebuilder and local major airport for a local council.

Mitchell Stocker

Operations Manager
Mitchell joined hyh in 2022. Mitchell’s background is in team leadership and operational management and was previously working in the property sector. He has experience in helping vulnerable students and providing necessary advice.

‘My role is to make sure all the support functions, such as HR and IT, are running smoothly so we can continue to deliver an excellent service to our service users. The team here are fantastic and I feel honoured to be a part of this fantastic charity who are consistently making a positive difference to people’s lives.’

Meet the hyh Trustees

The trustees are ultimately responsible for everything hyh does. They decide our strategy, ensure our resources are managed responsibly and that we comply with legislation as well as making sure all hyh’s decisions put the needs of the vulnerable people we support first.

All our trustees are volunteers.

Peter Holland

Joined hyh: November 2019

Peter began his career as a journalist on local newspapers in Hertfordshire and national newspapers in the UK before joining Reuters. During a 23 year career with Reuters he moved from journalism into management where his roles included Managing Director of Reuters Europe, Managing Director, Reuters Overseas, Chairman, Reuters Africa and Reuters Latin America and Chairman of Reuters Television.

After leaving Reuters his career included Chairman of Hertfordshire Police Authority, a Board member of the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service, Chairman of Ombudsman Services and Chairman of the National Policing Improvement Agency. He was also a board member for eleven years of St John Ambulance and Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committee. He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire in 2000 and awarded CBE in 2005 for services to policing.

Carol Shutkever

Vice Chair
Joined hyh: 2019

Carol is a solicitor and was a corporate partner in a London law firm for 20 years. She headed the firm's corporate governance advisory team, focusing on issues such as board structures and behaviours, accounts and audit, risk management, culture and stakeholders. She also headed the firm’s corporate knowledge management team, responsible for analysing new law and regulation, the firm’s knowledge resources and its corporate training programme. Having retired as a partner she is now does some part-time corporate governance consultancy work and is a trustee of a school Multi Academy Trust.

John Ball

John Ball

Joined hyh: 2020

John is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience of managing and leading finance teams at a senior level most recently in social housing. He is a trustee at Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group and recently stepped down from the Board of Groundwork East where he was a trustee and member of the Finance and Audit Committee.

John joined hyh in March 2020 and is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Ruth Barnes

Joined hyh: 2020

Ruth is an international child rights consultant specialising in the law and policy relating to child protection and justice. Ruth was Head of International Programmes at Coram International from 2007 to 2020 and has over 15 years of experience in international child rights: including research and analysis, writing training materials, publishing reports and advising UN agencies, governments and non-governmental organisations on issues relating to child protection, child justice and gender rights. Ruth is studying towards a PhD in Education at the University of Edinburgh, with her PhD research focusing on safeguarding in elite sport.

Originally from Cambridge, Ruth lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three young children.

Matthew Baxter

Mathew Baxter

Joined hyh: 2018
Mathew will lead for the Board in supporting fundraising initiatives and work closely with the hyh team. He is the managing director and owner of a leading asset management and procurement consultancy, working primarily in the public and private housing sectors.

Mathew is also the owner of a framework management company that is supporting numerous procurement hubs across the UK and is a published author.

Paul Groves

Joined hyh: 2019

Paul is a Solicitor with more than 15 years experience of advising across the technology, media, video games and sports sectors. Paul has worked for Google since 2012 and is currently the YouTube Legal Lead for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As a legal advisor for YouTube in EMEA, he works on a broad range of matters, including acting as point of contact for legal and business partners on various regulatory, commercial, legal and product issues.

Ross Watkins

Joined hyh: 2019

Ross Watkins has lived in Hertfordshire for most of his life and has worked within the homeless sector for nearly 15 years. Most of this time was as a rough sleeper street outreach worker in Cambridge and Brixton before his current role as Support Manager for Emmaus Lambeth; a supported accommodation provider in South London.

Ross was previously a trustee with Homeless Link and currently sits on their Expert Panel.
Jack White

Jake White

Joined hyh: 2020

Jake is currently Head of Corporate Partnerships and New Business at World Vision – an international development charity operating in 100 countries and delivering programmes with children living in the hardest places in the world. Prior to this he has led teams at Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, and social integration charity The Challenge where he managed corporate fundraising and strategic partnerships for a youth employability programme. He previously worked in financial services recruitment and was a Director at Selby Jennings, a leading international recruitment agency.

Born in North London, Jake has lived in Hertfordshire since a young age and currently resides with his wife in Hertford. He joined hyh as our lead fundraising trustee in November 2020.
Tim Willies

Tim Willies

Joined hyh: 2022

Tim is a qualified management accountant with over 25 years’ experience leading large European finance organisations within the semiconductor distribution industry. He works for global business Avnet Inc. and throughout his career has worked closely with business executives and operational leaders to improve organisational performance. He has 20 years’ experience as a member of a cross functional European leadership team and is responsible for building up, and currently running, Avnet Silica’s Business Operations, Strategy and Data Analytics team. In addition to his European roles Tim also spent two years as Asia Pacific finance director based in Hong Kong.

He has lived in Hertfordshire for over 25 years, is married with two grown up sons, and is a volunteer with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

Sarah Milsom

Joined hyh: 2023

Sarah is a qualified workplace and employment mediator and is a Civil Mediation Council (CMC) Associate Mediator. Passionate about the power of good relationships for social justice, she is also a community mediator.

Prior to becoming a mediator, Sarah had a successful career in the charity sector. Most recently Director of Communications and Engagement at Relate (the leading relationships charity), her experience spans leadership, management, communication and strategy.

The skills and experience built up over her career so far are an important foundation for the work she now does as a mediator.

Sarah lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two young children.

Herts Young Homeless is proud to be a

Homeless Link Member