Meet the Team and Trustees

Home About Us Meet the Team and Trustees

Sir John A. Mactaggart Bt


Sir John has worked in the commercial and residential property development and management business – London, Glasgow and New York – for 40 years. He chairs the Mactaggart Family Office and is actively involved with a number of public and private charities.

Baroness Jean Corston

Rt. Hon Baroness Jean Corston


Baroness Corston was Member of Parliament for Bristol East between 1992 to 2005 and served as Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 2001 to 2005 before she was named Life Peer in 2005.

In 2007, Baroness Corston published ‘The Corston Report’ her widely recognised landmark review of vulnerable women in the criminal justice system and deemed a pathway to accommodation after release from prison to be in urgent need of fundamental, gender-specific reform.

Baroness Corston also supported Commonweal in the development of our flagship Re-Unite project, which provided specialist support and accommodation to women leaving prison at risk of homelessness to regain custody of their children.


Rt Hon. Fiona Mactaggart


Between 2006 - 2019, Fiona held the position of Chair at Commonweal, where she shaped the vision and trajectory of Commonweal's work before stepping down in 2019 to become a Trustee.

Fiona has been a vociferous and ardent campaigner on social issues in Britain. She was Member of Parliament for Slough from 1997 to 2017, serving as parliamentary undersecretary at the Home Office from 2003 – 2006.

After 17 years on the Board, Fiona will continue to be a part of Commonweal's future as an Honorary Patron.



Jack Mactaggart


Jack is a Chartered Surveyor specialising in central London commercial investment. He completed a Masters in real estate at the University of Reading and a politics and international relations degree at the University of Manchester, where he focused on the relationship between issues of social injustice and housing.

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Amarjit Bains


Amarjit is a senior leader with extensive experience of delivering strategy, operations and transformation in both public and private sectors. She is well versed at collaborating across diverse and multiple stakeholders, and has a proven track record of delivering growth and restructure of businesses to ensure successful social value and commercial outcomes.

Amarjit has held leadership roles in the private sector for more than a decade, and most recently joined Bridges Outcomes Partnership as Programme Director for their Single Homelessness Partnership Services. She was previously a Director at Mears Group PLC where she was responsible for a contract to deliver homes and support to asylum seekers across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north east of England.


Russ Edwards

Russ is a qualified architect with over 15 years’ experience in award-winning architectural practice, much of which specialised in housing. Russ is a regular speaker at academic and industry events on design issues in association with housing in general and compact housing specifically.


Gary Medazoumian

Gary is a chartered accountant with over 30 years’ professional experience in all aspects of auditing, finance, tax and treasury for not for profit and public sector organisations. A founding trustee and honorary treasurer, Gary is responsible for the charity’s compliance and systems.

Elanor Warwick 2020

Dr. Elanor Warwick

Elanor is the Head of Strategic, Policy Evidence and Research at Clarion Housing Group, England’s largest housing association. She undertakes relevant housing research and policy guidance on a range of housing issues.

In her early career, she worked as an architect and urban designer before focusing on built environment research, particularly the design quality and the delivery of good quality, affordable housing. Elanor also has a PhD in Geography from King’s College University, London. Her doctoral thesis examines the geographical concept of Defensible Space, which has been influential in designing out crime, and has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe and beyond




Professor Jonathan Portes

Jonathan currently serves as Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London. His expertise covers a wide range of economic policy issues, including migration, labour markets, skills, poverty and international development, and international economic and financial issues.

Sheldon Shillingford

Sheldon Shillingford

Sheldon has a proven track record of successfully delivering complex construction and housing projects to high standards. He is dedicated to and passionate about helping shape a society where the most basic of human rights and security are afforded to all, particularly marginalised groups.

Sheldon’s professional background is in surveying, including over six years with Peabody in which he delivered a range of projects to maintain the organisation’s property portfolio and in turn enhance the resident’s home. Sheldon also has experience of the UK construction industry from a range of roles held over ten years, and has a keen interest in construction law. He holds qualifications in building surveying, construction technology and business studies, and is a Board Member of Cowley RMO.


Aphra Mactaggart

Aphra joins the Board as the youngest member, offering a fresh vision and understanding of the issues facing young people, with a special interest in issues that impact women and girls.

She holds a degree in Sociology from Newcastle University and has spent the last two years training as a midwife at Royal London Hospital. Aphra's appointment further entrenches the philanthropic legacy of the Mactaggart family, and their pivotal role in the creation and continued work of Commonweal.



Ashley Horsey


As former head of the Government’s Bed & Breakfast Unit, former Chief Executive of the Empty Homes Agency and previously Commercial Director at Local Space housing association, Ashley has over 30 years’ experience in homelessness and housing. He ensures the charity meets its strategic objectives and continues to develop and share housing solutions to social injustice.


Amy Doyle

Deputy CEO

Amy joined Commonweal Housing in 2012 with over 12 years’ experience in housing and not for profit organisations. As Deputy Chief Executive, Amy develops new and existing projects, researching potential areas of interest for the charity and leading on feasibility studies for new projects.


Matthew Wale

Senior Programmes Manager

Matthew joined Commonweal in June 2016 to focus specifically on developing the Peer Landlord project. Since then, he has taken on the development of several other Commonweal projects and ensures they are developed, tested and shared in line with the Commonweal project framework.

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Harry Williams


Harry joined Commonweal in 2021, coming from a background in public relations and public affairs, focused predominantly on the housing sector. Harry has advised household names including charities, housing associations, developers, fashion brands, and sports stars. He has a master's in Public Policy and studied Politics as an undergrad.

Lauren Aronin

Lauren Aronin

Communications Officer

Before joining Commonweal in 2022, Lauren previously carried out a volunteer Communications Officer role at the charity Housing for Women. She has a master's in Political Communications and an undergraduate degree in Politics.

Chelsea Baines

Chelsea Baines


Chelsea joined Commonweal from a mid-sized housing association based in Essex. As Project Team Administration Officer, Chelsea provides essential administration support for the project team, currently the Deputy Chief Executive and Senior Programmes Manager to ensure project success and development. She spent six months living in Los Angeles and spent a year studying at the London School of Economics.

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Fred Marquis

Finance Manager

Fred recently joined Commonweal Housing in 2022 with many years of experience in finance. Before joining us, she worked for the 999 club in Deptford for 16 years. Fred gained her Association of Accounting Technicians qualification in 2003 and is working towards finishing her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification.

Barbara Girvan

Barbara Girvan

Administration Officer

Barbara recently joined Commonweal from J.P. Morgan Investment Bank where she worked as a Senior Executive Assistant for 12 years. Prior to that, Barbara worked as a legal secretary in property/conveyancing, probate and matrimonial law.

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