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Who we are

hyh is led by a group of Trustees and a Chief Executive, Helen Elliott, supported by the Senior Management Team.
Helen Elliot

Helen Elliott

Chief Executive
Helen has more than 13 years’ experience in senior leadership/strategic positions within the voluntary sector. Prior to this, she spent over 10 years in the private sector heading up an international marketing department. Her academic qualifications include a BA Hons in Business Studies and a PgDip in Counselling. She is an accredited counsellor, Member of the Institute of Fundraising and Trustee.

Taking on the leadership of this remarkable organisation since 2015 has been an honour and privilege. The dedication and hard work of the staff and volunteers, with their commitment to ending the misery of homelessness, is truly inspirational. The level of youth homelessness within the UK today is something that I feel cannot be ignored. hyh is a unique organisation that tackles this and genuinely makes a difference in the lives of our service users. I am extremely proud to be a part of this amazing team.
Katheryn Salmon

Kathryn Salmon

Head of Fundraising
Kathryn joined hyh at the organisation’s inception in 1998, and is the charity’s longest serving employee. Having spent 18 years managing hyh’s frontline teams, Kathryn now uses her passion and experience heading up the Fundraising and Marketing team, and can often be found undertaking some competitive challenges herself.

The Fundraising team and I are responsible for raising the profile of hyh to ensure that anyone who may need our support is able to find out about and access our services. We work with businesses, schools and local communities who fundraise for and support our work so that hyh may continue to help our vulnerable people.
Debbie Wood

Debbie Wood

Director of Business
Debbie joined hyh in 2004 and has dedicated her career to working in the homeless sector since graduating in 1994. Debbie has had a variety of roles, including working residentially with homeless young people, outreach and community work, as well as managing a homelessness day centre for over six years.

A lot of my time is spent keeping the back office and business side of hyh running effectively. This ensures that our frontline workers can continue to give our service users the best possible support within our resources. I also have the pleasure of overseeing the Education Service and Live Life as well as some of our health services.
Sally Scott

Sally Scott

Director of Operations
Sally joined hyh in 2007. Previous to this, Sally spent 10 years working in a variety of roles in both the local authority and voluntary sectors delivering services for vulnerable children and adults.

I oversee the delivery of services across hyh and assist in developing an ongoing strategy in line with the charity’s aims and objectives. “It is a pleasure to work alongside such a vibrant team who are both dedicated and determined to make a positive difference to the lives of homeless young people.

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.
John Robinson

John Robinson

Joined hyh: 2009

John took over as Chair after chairing the Finance Committee for nine years. He has a keen interest in all of hyh’s activities but particularly our service-user involvement programme, Live Life. John is a qualified ACA chartered accountant with a background in the financial and general corporate management of international companies, and has experience in tax work. Now retired, he uses his skills to support a number of charitable organisations.

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.

Kate Belinis

Joined hyh: 2008

Kate has been CEO of CDA Herts since 2006. She previously worked in the private sector for 20 years in the analytical/testing of retail products and quality assurance sectors.

Kate’s skills, expertise and experience is in project management, community development and infrastructure support services. She maintains an active role in several volunteer groups and sits on several boards in Hertfordshire.

Kate was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Hertfordshire in 2011.

Debbie Bezalel

Joined hyh: 2016

Debbie Bezalel is the Information & Support Manager at Bliss, the charity for premature and sick babies.

She has spent 15 years in the voluntary sector most recently as Director of Community & Voluntary Services at Watford & Three Rivers Trust, Head of Information & Support at Target Ovarian Cancer and with The Lullaby Trust. Debbie is also a Trustee at the Centre for ADHD and Autism Support.

Sue Cumming

Joined hyh: 2010

Sue is a former Chief Executive of hyh and after retiring in 2009 took up a place on the Board.

Prior to joining the charity in 2000 she had a distinguished career in youth services.

Sue has a keen interest in conservation and the environment, and plays a major role in our “Friends of hyh” volunteer group.
Brian Littlechild

Brian Littlechild

Joined hyh: 2010

A registered social worker, Brian is currently Professor of Social Work in the School of Health and Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire and Visiting Professor at the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

He has been a consultant to the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs on their European Rules for Juvenile Offenders, and its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee Report on Social Exclusion, Education, and Youth Offending as well as for UNICEF on policies for work with young offenders.

Brian is also chair of The Association of Panel Members: Communities for Justice and an Expert Adviser to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Anna Moore

Joined hyh: 2010

Anna had a personal experience of homelessness and was supported by hyh when she moved into her own accommodation.

In 2008, she joined hyh’s service-user involvement project, iPro (now called Live Life) and still maintains a role within the service, so has a good understanding of the issues affecting homeless young people.

Anna has also helped hyh’s education service, educating young people about the realities of being homeless. She has an interest in counselling and mental health and has gained her Level One Introduction to Counselling.

Rebecca Sumner Smith

Joined hyh: 2017

Rebecca is a chartered accountant with experience across corporate, public and third sector organisations. She works at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with a current focus on best practice grant-making.

Rebecca is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, and enjoys getting involved in hyh's broader strategic work.

Dorothy Telfer

Joined hyh: 2005

Dorothy is a member of the Finance & General Purposes and Health & Safety committees.

She runs her own management consulting business specialising in organisation development, human resources and business processes. Prior to this, Dorothy held senior international HR and consulting positions.

Caroline Langdell

Joined hyh: September 2018

A qualified fundraiser, marketer and experienced grant maker, Caroline has spent over 10 years working in and around the voluntary sector in roles ranging from fundraising and communications officer at a small charity to Fund Manager at Hertfordshire Community Foundation where she managed funds on behalf of local, regional and national donors including individuals, families, corporates, statutory organisations and charitable trusts, helping give away over £800k in 2017/2018.

She now works as a freelance consultant and trainer, using her experience from both sides of the funding fence to provide practical and strategic support to grant making organisations, small and medium sized charities and community minded businesses.