HACT staff

Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive

Andrew joined HACT in 2003 and has worked in homelessness, supported housing and wider social exclusion policy and practice for 26 years. Andrew has worked for HACT for 15 years although for 18 months he was seconded to the National Mental Health Development Unit at the Department of Health as the National Housing Lead. He is a Non-Executive Director at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. 

Jacqui Bateson, Managing Director

Jacqui joined HACT in 2020. As Managing Director at HACT, she provided day-to-day leadership and management and is responsible for driving HACT to achieve sales, profitability, cash flow, business goals and objectives. She works with clients both within and beyond the housing sector. Before joining HACT, she completed her Masters in Business Administration specialising in corporate finance, strategic marketing and business innovation and change. She has worked in the financial services sector in a wide range of roles and within the housing sector as a non-executive director for over 15 years.

Matthew Grenier, Business Development Director

Matthew joined HACT in 2021, although he has worked on and off for them since 2006. Before joining HACT, he had run his own company, managing all strategic partnerships and the delivery of a range of communications and marketing services, working closely with senior leaders, trustees and staff to build brands that deliver business objectives, on time and on budget. He has written and edited numerous research reports, articles and blogs, as well as co-authored a book on Chinese communism. 

Emily Barr, Lead Bid Writer 

Emily joined HACT in May 2021. As Lead Bid Writer she is part of the team responsible for developing and driving business opportunities at HACT. She has an MA in English Literature and History from the University of Edinburgh, and while studying ran a social enterprise supporting people affected by homelessness in her local community. Emily completed the Charityworks Graduate Scheme endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management and joins us from a drug and alcohol charity, Project 6.

Anna Burke, Head of Delivery

Anna joined HACT in August 2020 after nearly 10 years in Financial Services. She has a wealth of experience in Project and Programme Management, Business and Data Analysis including the delivery of customer insight platforms. Anna is responsible for the delivery of major projects across the organisation, including research and development to look at environmental and sustainability opportunities for the sector, as well as research and metrics analysis on optimising customer feedback and the UK Housing Data Standards. She is currently studying for an MSc Sustainability at SOAS, University of London.

Adam Chester, Project Officer 

Adam joined HACT in May 2018 and is now Project Officer on the Centre for Excellence for Community Investment. He has a BA in Sociology from The University of Leeds, as well as a not-for-profit sector graduate scheme endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Adam worked at Network Homes for a year and a half, where he combined a mixture of research experience and community engagement work. Adam is interested in making the connections between strategic decisions taken by organisations and the day-to-day experience of residents who experience those decisions.

Marcelle Dopwell, Head of Business Operations

Marcelle has worked for HACT since May 2009, starting in the role of Projects Support Officer. Having worked in content management in the digital new media field for 15 years, leaving BSkyB in 2006, she decided to change careers to the public sector. Marcelle also worked previously on projects with the London Development Agency and Southwark Council in Children Services. Marcelle has a Foundation Degree in London Studies. 

Frances Harkin, Head of Research

Frances joined HACT as Research Officer in 2015 following her PhD at Queen's University, Belfast. At HACT, Frances is involved with the development and delivery of numerous research projects and services, including housing and sport focused work, and has worked with organisations across the housing sector and beyond. Coming from a qualitative research background, Frances has extensive experience of researching diverse communities with her PhD research offering new insights into the role that sport plays in the development of community and identity for the Irish diaspora. Frances continues to develop this research by delivering lectures and contributing to academic conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

Billy Holt, Market Insight Lead

Billy joined HACT in July 2019. He has long been interested in the intersection between history and geography. Reading history at the University of Bristol and then for a masters at the University of Oxford, Billy specialised in urban and environmental history, exploring topics around technological modernity, environmental racism, suburbanisation and the lived experience of the London commute. Between study, he worked as a researcher for a social and environmental consultancy based on the south coast, working on projects around sport, health and wellbeing, as well as a variety of collaborations with humanitarian and environmental charities.

Michael McLaughlin, Digital Lead

Michael joined HACT in January 2020, with 16 years experience in various social housing roles, latterly as Digital Connector for Clydebank Housing Association. He has an MA in Social Sciences and a CIH level 4 Diploma in Housing Studies. He managed a digital project that increased services and digital access in a community in the top 5% of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). He worked alongside the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations in establishing a Digital Champions Network and with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum in developing GDPR model documents and guidance notes.

Thames Menteth-Wheelwright, Marketing Lead

Thames joined HACT in summer 2019 following the completion of her MA in journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London. Over the course of her studies, Thames researched and reported on issues of housing, homelessness, town planning, policy, local politics, and the built environment and has had articles published in several UK regional and national titles.

Rob Sugden, Head of Communities

Rob leads the delivery of HACT’s work focused on the role of housing in communities and neighbourhoods, including the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment. He joined HACT from Renaisi, where he led their work supporting the Big Local programme, as well as for other clients including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, The National Lottery Community Fund, and Power to Change. Before this Rob worked at Wandle Housing Association and set-up and ran Kingston University’s Community Legal Advice Centre for a number of years. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis exploring how local people have been able to influence the past fifteen years of government-led regeneration policies. 

James Williams, Head of Social Impact

James joined HACT in June 2017 from Onward, where he spent over 11 years working on community investment projects, strategies, evaluations and impact measurements. James is interested in how social housing organisations can embed social value systematically from within. James has worked at Business in the Community and at Bolton Council, where he helped to attract external funding and managed community investment projects. James has an MA in Geography, a Post Graduate diploma in Urban Regeneration and a certificate in management and has held positions as a school governor at Limeside School, Oldham and a Trustee of the Broughton Trust in Salford.