Who We Are

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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.



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.


Sarah Jackson, OBE

Former Chief Executive of the respected charity Working Families, Sarah has led work-life balance campaigning and culture change for over twenty years. She is an acknowledged expert and has worked across the political spectrum to push for positive change including the right to request flexible working, maternity and paternity leave and fathers’ rights at work.

In 2007 Sarah was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Quality of Life Issues.


Rt Hon. Fiona Mactaggart

Fiona was Member of Parliament for Slough from 1997 to 2017, serving as parliamentary undersecretary at the Home Office from 2003 – 2006. She is currently also Chair of the Fawcett Society and Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk.

Fiona held the position of Chair at Commonweal from 2006 to 2019.


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.

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Sneha Patel

Sneha is the Senior Adviser for External and International Affairs in the Mayor of London’s office. She is responsible for integrated communications campaigns for the Mayor. This includes delivering the Mayor’s most high profile campaigns including on knife crime, air quality, Brexit, housing and gender equality.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Sneha worked extensively across central government and Parliament, including as the Head of Tax Communications at HM Treasury and for the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

She is a passionate champion of gender equality. At City Hall she has delivered the biggest public sector sponsorship initiative in the UK - Our Time - and introduced TfL’s diversity in advertising competition. She is also on the Women in PR Committee.


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.


Becky Rice

Becky has over 15 years’ experience in research and evaluation, with specific focus on homelessness and vulnerable groups. As well as holding senior research positions at organisations such as St Mungos and Shelter, Becky also has an MSc in Social Science Research Methods.

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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.

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Jeremy Swain

Jeremy is a Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), where he was previously Deputy Director of Rough Sleeping and Homelessness, after being seconded to MHCLG from his role as CEO of homelessness charity Thames Reach. Jeremy started work in the homelessness sector in 1980, moving to Thames Reach in 1984 where he spent four years as a street outreach worker before progressing to housing services manager and then chief executive of Thames Reach in 2001. Jeremy is a long-standing friend of Commonweal Housing, having served as a member of the advisory panel for several years



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 Chief executive

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

Research & Evaluation Coordinator

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 Masters in Public Policy and studied Politics as an undergrad.

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Sarah Ogundu


Sarah is a recent Masters Graduate with a degree in International Relations. Sarah joined the team in 2021, bringing experience as a charity fundraiser representing Scope and the British Red Cross at HOME.

As Policy and Projects assistant, Sarah works to further Commonweal’s research and communications work around our priority areas of focus on social injustice.


Yetty Ejere


Yetty manages and oversees all finance operations for Commonweal Housing. She joined Commonweal in January 2017 with over 15 years of finance experience within both the public and private sectors. Prior to Commonweal, Yetty worked as a Finance Manager at the British Accreditation Council and the Nazareth House.


Melanie Keys


Melanie has extensive secretarial and administrative experience in both the private and public sectors and holds a range of relevant qualifications. She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the office and supports the team across a range of different tasks.

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