Board of Trustees

John Norley

John is an experienced charity CEO, having worked in the homelessness and charity sectors for over 18 years.  An effectively networked non-executive director with several organisations over the years, John has built a portfolio of interests and experience that contributes effectively to the good governance of the charity and provides a supporting operational perspective too.


James Gilbourne
(Honorary Treasurer)

Jim’s working career has always been within the social/mutual sector of the financial services industry, most recently as the CEO of Mission Housing Association, who are dedicated to supporting church and charity workers with their housing needs, in deprived London boroughs. He was previously DCEO for Charity Bank, where he was able to see many third sector firms, large and small, undertake a variety of strategies to improve their social impact, improving the lives of those often excluded from mainstream society.


Kelly Freeman

Kelly Freeman has been working in strategic communication for over twenty five years working across the public and private sectors. She held positions as Director of Communications in both Defra and the Serious Organised Crime Agency where she led internal culture building exercises for senior leaders and developed external communications strategy that met stringent targets and won awards. She led the highly successful ‘Hector’ campaign to introduce self assessment in taxation in the UK and more recently has been working for governments in the Middle East, undertaking various assignments including strategic audits, developing communication strategy, capacity building and coaching and mentoring. She holds a Masters in Strategic Communication from Leeds University where her thesis was centred on measuring the effectiveness of integrated strategies in both public and private sector organisations. She is a former Master of the City of London Guild of PR Practitioners and is a former winner of the International Visual Communications Association’ Career in the Industry’ Award.  She also currently sits on the Board of two charities, mentors a Communications Director in a related field through the Media Trust and is an advocate of and regular contributor to – Getting on Board – an organisation that encourages senior practitioners to sit on Boards in both the public and private sectors. She is hugely experienced in leadership communication which delivers behavioural change and business benefit.


Andy Vincent

Andy has worked in the Housing industry for over 20 years. He has worked for a number of local authorities, the Chartered Institute of Housing and Arm Length Management Organisations. Much of Andy’s early career has focused on supporting homeless households, both as a Homeless Assessment Officer for Bradford Metropolitan District Council and as lead advisor for the Chartered Institute of Housing for homeless within their Professional Practice Team. Andy is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Housing, has a Masters Degree from the University of York in Housing Studies and has recently completed an MBA at the University of Hertfordshire.


Laura Blake

Laura is an experienced fundraiser who has worked in the third sector since 2009. She is currently Head of Philanthropy at education charity Teach First, responsible for managing the charity’s relationships with major philanthropists and generating £1.5m of income annually. Prior to this role, she has worked in fundraising roles for Barnardo’s and The Prince’s Trust, after beginning her career in higher education fundraising. Laura is passionate about giving vulnerable individuals the best possible support to overcome adversity and reach their potential, and volunteers as a mentor for disadvantaged young people in her spare time.


Philippa Nancoo

Philippa has a degree in law, attended law school and recently studied a LLM in International human rights and development. She has volunteered both abroad and in the UK for over 19 years, giving her time and expertise to organisations like the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Free Representation Unit. She is passionate about homelessness issues and volunteers as a supervisor and adviser with a homeless charity every Christmas. She currently works for a homeless charity based in a Young Offenders’ prison, giving housing advice and support.


Sarah Miller

During Sarah’s 30 year career she has mainly worked in the voluntary sector with adult with learning disabilities, starting off life as a support worker, working her way through different roles and qualifications and is currently a Deputy CEO of a national disabilities provider. Sarah has worked with Walsingham Support for nearly 6 years now, but her background includes Sense (Deafblind and Rubella Association) and RNID among other charities. In her spare time Sarah is working on her MBA and enjoys walking her dog. She also has a passion for motorcycles and has a custom Harley Davidson having ridden motorcycles since a very early age.


Senior Management Team

Donna Pearson
(Executive Director)

Donna is responsible for leading the charity and the senior management team.

Having started her career in local authority, administering housing benefits, Donna worked her way up to senior officer. Deciding not to return to that role after maternity leave, she entered full-time study, gaining a Bachelor of Law with Honours from the University of Kent in 2004.

Donna worked for the Women’s Support Service (supporting female victims of domestic abuse across Kent and Medway) after graduating, tasked with introducing an infrastructure, associated policies and line management structure during a period of steep growth. She joined HOPE (Kent) Ltd in 2009, working in various roles for the organization over the years, moving into the role of Executive Director in 2016.


Louise Humphrey
(Head of Resources)

Louise is responsible for managing and developing our central support functions. She is responsible for financial planning and management, HR, maintenance and oversees other administrative processes. She is Company Secretary and ensures the statutory compliance of Pathways to Independence as a company and charity.

Louise joined Pathways in 2015 having worked at Green Alliance, an environmental think tank and charity, for ten years. Prior to that she had worked freelance in the charity sector and had spent six years in Brussels mainly working in the European Parliament as a researcher and adviser to an MEP.

Louise holds a PgCert ICSA in Charity Management, an MA in European Integration from Bradford University and a BA in modern European studies from Nottingham Trent University.


Helen Campbell-Wroe
(Head of Services)

Helen is responsible for the work and welfare of the clients and staff across the services. Helen is responsible for managing the delivery of supported accommodation and community based services by the Services staff team, as well as developing other services to provide opportunities for clients to build their skills and resilience to enable them to become self-supporting.

Helen joined Pathways in 2016 having worked for ten years as a manager in Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Prior to this, Helen qualified and worked as a secondary school teacher, as well as working within a 16+ Leaving Care Team.

Helen holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature, an MA in English, a PGCE and QTS, and, most recently, has completed a Masters in Criminology, Penology and Management from University of Cambridge.