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The Reverend Kate Bottley

Vicar, mum of two, TV and radio broadcaster, Kate Bottley has been Patron of OCH since 2017. Kate is passionate about bringing stories of faith and belief to the widest audience possible and is a firm supporter of women’s issues and of ‘women helping women’ to overcome disadvantage and discrimination.

Originally from Sheffield, and graduate of Leeds Trinity University, in 2012 Kate was part of a wedding flashmob video which went viral and led to her being approached by Channel 4 to take part in Gogglebox, which has since resulted in her becoming a much loved household name.

Kate currently presents Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2 alongside Jason Mohammed, and is a regular presenter on Songs of Praise and The One Show. She has also made guest appearances on Celebrity MasterChef, Hairy Bikers Cracking Christmas and 8 Out of 10 Cats.

In 2017 Kate journeyed to Camino de Santiago for The Pilgrimage, a three-part travelogue series for BBC 2. She has also presented and contributed to several BBC Radio 2 programmes including The Sunday Hour, Saturday Breakfast and the Weekday Breakfast Show.

Kate has recently discovered a new passion for open water swimming and regularly tweets of her swimming adventures.

Kate says of OCH:

I became a patron of Oasis Community Housing because of my passion to see women being given the right help and support to reach their full potential, whatever life has thrown at them, be that finding themselves homeless, in troubled family relationships, having been in and out of care, experiencing abuse, drug or alcohol addiction or mental health issues.  I have been inspired by seeing and hearing real stories of transformation made possible by the really special work that OCH does to show real love and worth to so many who have never experienced this before.

Phil Dobson

Phil Dobson
Director of Programmes

Phil heads up Oasis Community Housing’s Programmes department that consists of Crisis services, Employability and Domestic Abuse teams. He has been with OCH since 2005 and worked within the charitable sector for 20 years.

During that time he’s had responsibility for fundraising, tendering, establishing new projects, operational and strategic management, ethos development, safeguarding and Health and Safety. He is currently a member of Gateshead’s Safeguarding Adults Board and Homeless Link’s National Advisory Council.

Phil has a post graduate degree in Careers Guidance and a first degree in Business Studies and History.

He is married to Sam, and they have three sons. In his spare time he’s also a trustee of a local charity that develops community work within churches. His passions are football, prog rock and church, in equal measure.

David Smith

David Smith
Chief Executive

David has been Chief Executive since September 2016 and is responsible for leading the organisation, setting the culture, vision and strategy, and representing Oasis Community Housing externally.

Working with charities in the UK and overseas, David has focused on projects working for social justice and the empowerment of the vulnerable. This has included managing the establishment of a nationwide reconciliation project for young people in Northern Ireland that tackled sectarianism; and fundraising roles with the international development charity, Tearfund. In his previous role as Head of International Programme with the Bible Society David oversaw a seven-figure grant-making programme that has brought transformational change in more than 40 countries worldwide.

David studied at the University of Glasgow for his undergraduate degree in Modern History and Politics, graduating in 1998. Over the following 10 years David also studied Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University in Washington DC, French language at University of Sunderland, and an MPhil in Reconciliation Studies from Trinity College, Dublin.

In his spare time David reads political philosophy and theology books, plays football with endless enthusiasm and suffers from following St Mirren, Sunderland AFC and the Scotland national team.

Jen Gauden-Hand

Jen Gauden-Hand
Director of Housing

Jen leads the Department responsible for supported housing provision, the Social Lettings Agency, Maintenance Team, and InForm data system, and has spent her working life to date within our charity.

After gaining a law degree (LLB) from the University of East Anglia, Jen took a gap year during which she volunteered for Oasis Charitable Trust, and had the opportunity to put her passions for young people and homelessness into action through working on a street outreach team in Central London, a substance misuse recovery centre and leading youth and children’s work for local churches.

Jen has 16 years’ experience in the housing and charity sector, and has undertaken frontline roles as a Support Worker, Deputy Manager and Project Manager before moving into senior management as Head of Housing and now Director of Housing. Work stream specialisms include supported housing for young people, and women.

In her spare time Jen loves snorkelling, photography, time with friends and family, and enjoys any excuse to bake. She can be found at her church, All Saints Peckham, singing in the worship band and helping out on the Fairtrade stall. Or in the stands at Selhurst Park watching Crystal Palace attempt to play football!

Crystal Hicks

Crystal Hicks
Head of Business Development

Crystal leads the team responsible for income generation, marketing and communication, and developing the sustainability of our services.

Before joining Oasis Community Housing, Crystal worked for over a decade in the charity sector, leading teams to engage supporters, generate sustainable income and create meaningful partnerships between charity, public and business sector organisations. She has worked for the National Trust, Southbank Centre and National Museums of Science and Industry and has a wealth of experience of fundraising across many sectors.

She has a first class degree from Newcastle University and a Masters in Cultural practice – a response to Equalities legislation. She has a passion for equality and diversity and sits on the Women in Social Housing North East board.

In her spare time Crystal looks after her twin daughters, and is a keen amateur runner (because she loves cakes, not running). She is also a trained florist and creates arrangements for her church, St Joseph’s in Benwell.