Trio of new appointments for Yorkshire homelessness charity

P:ictured are Leah-Charlson, Liz-Knight and Scotty-Bell. Picture by Sam Toolsie

West-Yorkshire-based homelessness charity Simon on the Streets has made three new appointments to its growing team.

Simon on the Streets, which offers practical and emotional support to rough sleepers in Bradford, Leeds and Kirklees has recruited Scotty Bell as co-production lead, Leah Charlson as fundraising manager and Liz Knight as outreach team leader.

Having been homeless himself, gaining his first fixed address in 17 years in 2010, Scotty started his career in West Yorkshire Probation Trust, before going on to work for Kirklees-based counselling service Lifeline. Commencing with the charity as co-production lead last month, Scotty’s role ensures that the charity involves the people that use the service to better improve it.

Commencing as fundraising manager this month, Leah Charlson joins the charity with two years’ experience working in the third sector for Leeds United Foundation and St Johns Hospice in Lancaster.

Liz joins the charity with 17 years’ experience in the sector having worked for Community Links, a hostel for people with mental health issues that have just left hospital before working at St Anne’s Community Services where she undertook several roles including support worker and managerial positions.

With a desire to work directly with clients, Liz then joined the Change Grow Live (CGL) Street Outreach team. With an award for outstanding client commitment and a passion for working directly with clients, Liz says she is delighted to have found the ideal balance of working both with clients and being able to manage and support Simon on the Streets’ team of seven outreach workers across the three areas of West Yorkshire.

Scotty Bell said: “My role is essentially customer service and market research to make sure that Simon on the Streets involves the people using our service in everything from the design and delivery and capturing and using their feedback to deliver a better service for them. This is something businesses do, and it is just as important, if not even more important, that we do this as a charity too. We work in this sector because we care about people and we are problem solvers. Our hope is that we can empower people to take action themselves.”

Leah Charlson said: “I’m so excited to have joined the Simon on the Streets team. I’ve spent my first few weeks getting to know all aspects of the charity and going out with the outreach team to fully understand how my work supports the great work they do.

“Covid has changed the world overnight with charities hit particularly hard. We’re starting to rebuild our efforts and create new ways to engage people across business, education and communities.”

New outreach team leader Liz Knight said: “The greatest thing about working for Simon on the Streets for me is that the charity is independent and does not rely on government funding. This gives us an opportunity to work with people based on how they want, and need it and importantly, for as long as they need us.”

Simon on the Streets’ CEO Natalie Moran said: “We’re delighted to welcome Scotty, Leah and Liz at what is a critical time for Simon on the Streets. They all bring a wealth of experience which will help us to connect further with our service users and support our clients in Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees.”

Set up in 1999, Simon On the Streets is a registered charity that focuses on unsupported people with a history of rough sleeping across Bradford, Kirklees, and Leeds. The team offers street-based, emotional, and practical support for those who cannot access mainstream services. Part of Simon on the Streets’ role is tackling the behavioural issues and mental illnesses that result in homelessness and addiction.

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