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.”

Nancy Hawker

Policy and Research Officer

“I collect and analyse reliable information about discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in London. LGT relies on this evidence to campaign for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller rights. I am a human rights researcher and campaigner specialised in racial discrimination and economic, social and cultural rights. I love languages and fieldwork where I meet people from all walks of life.”

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.”

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)

Marian has been an LGT board member since 2007 and is the current Vice Chair. She is a resident on Old Willow Close site in Tower Hamlets, secretary to the site residents’ group and has been actively involved in LGT’s campaigns for many years.

  • Richard Bennett (Treasurer)

Richard joined the board in 2017 and is the current Treasurer. He started his working life as a schoolmaster before setting up his own business, and from 1987 to 2011 he was a councillor on Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. He led the Local Government Association’s investigation into the shortfall in site provision for Gypsies and Travellers and has for many years provided training to councillors on the issues facing Gypsies and Travellers.

  • Sarah Edwards

Sarah joined the board in 2017. Sarah has both Romany and Traveller heritage and has close family members who have lived ‘on the road’. She hopes to help break down prejudice towards Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. She is currently a lecturer and tutor at the University of Oxford.

  • Tunji Makanju

Tunji joined the board in 2016. He is the Head of Finance at the Fairtrade Foundation and is a highly proficient accounting professional with experience covering financial reporting, management accounting, planning, budgeting & forecasting, cash flow management and risk management.

  • Giorgio Mariani

Giorgio joined the board in 2017. He is a dedicated institutional fundraiser with experience in growing charities’ grant bases and working with UK trusts and foundations. Having grown up in Italy, he saw at first hand the treatment of Roma and wants to use his fundraising experience to support the work of London Gypsies and Travellers.

  • Helena Kiely-Savin (Chair)

Helena joined the board in 2020 and is the current Chair of the board. 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.

  • Chelsea McDonagh

Chelsea joined the board in 2023. Chelsea is an Irish Traveller and works at the Young Foundation as a senior researcher. She and is one of the co-founders of the Rom Belong programme, a widening participation programme for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people at King’s College London.



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