The team

We are a proud and energetic organisation – built around a Board of Trustees and a team of committed staff who bring a wealth of diverse backgrounds and lived experience, including Gypsy, Traveller and other ethnic groups, and members of LGBTQ+ communities.

None of our work would have been possible without the support of our funders, trustees and our committed and hardworking team of staff

Claire Cooper, Trustee


Debby Kennett

Chief Executive Officer

“I am responsible for the overall vision, strategy and management of LGT, working with staff and trustees to ensure we continue to be a vibrant, effective and sustainable organisation. I am proud of our expert and committed staff team and our longstanding partnership with Gypsies and Travellers who have been involved with our work over many years.”

Geraldine Lindsay

Skills Development Co-ordinator

“My role is to increase self-confidence and independence within the community through skills, basic IT and literacy training. I work with individuals and families so that they can manage their own affairs more effectively and create pathways into employment.”

Ilinca Diaconescu

Policy and Campaigns Co-ordinator

“I coordinate LGT’s strategic policy work, seeking to increase opportunities for Gypsies and Travellers in London to have a say in decisions that affect them –particularly in terms of housing and planning. My work aims to gain recognition of the community’s knowledge and expertise, which is essential in order to achieve fair and inclusive policies.”

Mena Mongan

Community Engagement Officer

“I came into this job after volunteering for my community. I challenge everyday discrimination against my people. My job involves encouraging Travellers to speak out for their rights and get involved in LGT campaigns and programmes.”

Richard Lush

Admin Support

“Hi! I’m Rich, one of the more recent additions to the team. While I’m not a direct employee, I run a freelancer business that takes care of these guys! I primarily look after the operational side of things at LGT. Admin, finance, I.T. amongst other things. I have Romany heritage, which is what drew me towards working with the team.”

Tom Margetson

Community Development Worker

“I have recently joined the team as a Community Development Worker. My work involves uplifting and supporting voices within the Gypsy and Traveller communities. My work is not just about highlighting, and seeking to change, the prejudice that affects Gypsy and Traveller people, but also to showcase the history and rich culture that so many are unaware of. “

Olli Wells

Accommodation Advice Triage Worker

“I have recently joined the team, working within the Accommodation Advice Service supporting Geraldine and Warren. I help to provide advice and support to the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in order to assist them in securing and maintaining their accommodation. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I also support the organisation to be intersectional in the work we do.”

Padmini Ravi

Project Lead - Bright Futures Youth Mentoring Programme

“I am responsible for LGT’s mentoring programme for young people in the Gypsy and Traveller community. My work is aimed at providing comprehensive long-lasting support for young people to build on their own skills and talents, and feel confident and empowered to explore their aspirations and achieve their full potential.”

Board of Trustees


  • Marian Mahoney (Vice Chair)

Resident on Old Willow Close site in Tower Hamlets, secretary to the site residents’ group and actively involved in LGT’s campaigns for many years.

  • Richard Bennett (Treasurer)

Former teacher and councillor, who provides training to councillors on issues facing Gypsies and Travellers.

  • Claire Cooper

Formerly a senior civil servant in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government and the Home Office.

  • Sarah Edwards

Lecturer at University of Oxford with Romany and Traveller heritage.

  • Tunji Makanju

Finance Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation.

  • Giorgio Mariani

Institutional fundraiser who wants to support the work of London Gypsies and Travellers.

  • Mark Penfold

ASIST trained mental health crises volunteer and an English Gypsy.

  • Helena Kiely-Savin (Chair)

Joined the board in 2020. She is an Irish Traveller and Director of The Really NEET Project, a social enterprise providing alternative education to 16-25 with Special Educational Needs. As a qualified youth worker, Helena brings to the board her experience and passion for working with young people.



Supported By BBC Cin - Portrait               JRCT  LBF_RGB_Horizontal-01hackney          Trust for London logo




  • BBC Children in Need
  • The Henry Smith Charity
  • The Irish Government Emigrant ‬Support Programme
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • The Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • The London Borough of Hackney
  • The London Community Foundation
  • The Oak Foundation
  • The Trust for London
  • The National Lottery Community Fund
  • Moving for Change