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Meet April, Justlife’s newly-elected Chair of Trustees

  • 2 min read |
  • Posted by Justlife
  • On 04 June 2021

April Baker has been elected by Justlife’s Board of Trustees as the new chair as Steve Coles, Justlife’s Chair of Trustees for 4 years steps down.

April will bring over ten years of experience in the voluntary sector to her new role, having worked as the CQC registered manager of Mental Health Services in Brighton, alongside other roles that include managing outreach services for young people, ex-offender schemes and large hostels in London.

April is currently the Head of Development and Quality for Turning Tides, a homelessness charity in West Sussex, where she oversees Business, Property and Community development alongside Quality and Performance.

April’s appointment comes as Justlife seeks to develop and deliver support for people living in temporary accommodation with even greater impact over the next few years, and April will play a vital role in driving these initiatives forward.

"I am delighted and honoured to be appointed Chair. I am grateful to Steve for all his passion, expertise and commitment to Justlife over the last nine years. He leaves big shoes to fill.

Reducing homelessness and rough sleeping has been a passion and priority throughout my career. It has also given me first hand insights into the challenges and devastating impact this can have on individuals and communities.

By supporting people living in temporary accommodation with their health and well-being to prevent them from falling in to rough sleeping, Justlife plays a vital role in reducing the negative consequences of this societal issue, whilst importantly raising awareness of the large amount of people who are living in this form of accommodation.

I very much look forward to engaging and listening to all those involved in this critical and much needed mission at Justlife, to develop a shared strategy that will make an even more positive impact in the future for our communities."

During Steve’s 4 years as Chair, and 9 years in total as a board member, Steve has overseen the expansion of Justlife’s services across Brighton and Greater Manchester and the development of research and campaigning on a national level.

Steve’s years of experience in the voluntary sector have been hugely beneficial to Justlife through his role on the board, and for the past 4 years as chair.

The Board of Trustees and staff team would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for all his hard work and commitment, all given voluntarily, towards the cause of making peoples experience of temporary accommodation short, safe and healthy.

It has been an absolute pleasure to serve Justlife over the last 9 years or so, first as a Director of Justlife CIC, and then as a trustee of the Justlife Foundation and over the last four years as chair of the board. Justlife is a wonderful organisation that makes a massive impact despite its relatively small size. That comes from an amazing team, ably supported by a talented and committee board of trustees. I have every confidence in April as she takes over as chair and leads the board. I look forward to seeing Justlife go from strength to strength into the new season ahead.

Steve Coles, outgoing Chair of Trustees

Firstly I would like to welcome April as our new chair of trustees, I believe April has the skills and abilities to be an excellent chair and I really look forward to working closely with her over the next few years. I would also like to say how grateful I am to Steve for his input and commitment to Justlife over the past 9 years, and especially his support to me since I became CEO.

Simon Gale, CEO of Justlife