Meet the Team

Claire Randall

Co-Scheme Manager
After leaving school I turned my weekend job at Tesco into a full time job and soon found myself on their management training program. From this I gained many transferable skills that I now use.

I joined Home-Start in 2004 as an Organiser working in the rural area and since 2012 have been Co-Scheme Manager with responsibility for day to day scheme running and finance.

Outside of work I love spending time with my family, Duncan and I have been married since 1998 and we have two big children, Hana and Luke. We have recently got two French Bulldogs, Nala and Kobe who take up a lot of my time and fill the forthcoming empty nest. I also have a passion for coffee, baking, window shopping, eating out and the cinema.

Kat Wiles

Co-Scheme Manager
I have worked at Home-Start Ashford & District since 2002 taking on a variety of roles including volunteer training and support, family work, community development, group facilitation, supervision of staff and currently fundraising.

In addition, I have worked on other projects through the voluntary sector most notably for Canterbury Open Centre and Catch 22 (formerly Rainer) on some challenging projects with homeless people and mentoring services for ‘Looked After Children’ and you offenders.

Prior to working in the voluntary sector I completed my studies at Canterbury Christchurch and Kent University with a First Degree in English and Art and a Post Graduate Degree in ‘Modern Literature and Culture’.

I love to view (and occasionally make) art whenever possible and visit large and small exhibitions both locally and nationally. I enjoy comedy evenings, film, reading, and walking. I also volunteer as a parent helper at Tenterden School Federation.

I live with husband, Matthew and daughter, Amelia.

Jane Taylor

Family & Volunteer Co-Ordinator
I am originally from London and relocated to Kent in 1998.

After leaving school, I qualified as a NNEB Nursery Nurse and worked in a variety of primary school settings plus work placements in France and Spain supporting children from 0 – 8 years.

In my mid-twenties, I decided to change career direction and studied for an administrative qualification which opened up new opportunities for me including a Community Fundraising role at the Multiple Sclerosis Society Head Office in London where I helped support the fundraising interests of a network of over 300 local MS Society Branches nationwide.

Since moving to Kent I have worked in a variety of community and event/co-ordination focussed roles. Before securing my position at Home-start Ashford, I was a Home-Start Volunteer and have also previously volunteered as a parent helper in my children’s primary school and for Save the Children as a Schools Link volunteer.

I am married with two young children, William and Ellie and live in Kennington. In my free time I enjoy cookery (especially baking), reading, walking, and travel.

Helen Brown

Dads Worker and Community Fundraiser
After leaving university I worked in the motor industry for eleven years before deciding on a career change after the birth of my second son.

I have worked within Social care ever since. Starting as a community carer progressing to a Manager for a care agency and then working for Pilgrims Hospices before joining Home-Start in 2015.

I chaired my son’s PTA for two years and still assist at the junior schools and I am on the committee for the local cub group and fundraise for my eldest son’s football team.

I am married and have two boys, Isaac and Matthew.

Helen Hawkins

Administrator
My first involvement with Home-Start was back in 2007 when I volunteered for a couple of years supporting two families.

I kept in touch with Kat and Claire after leaving to take up full time employment in an Estate Agency on the sales side of the business. Going back to part time work I then joined the NHS 111 service but found this work far too stressful and the shift hours far too long!

In 2016 I found that Home-Start Ashford were looking for an Administrator so here I am! I have been here since February working 12 hours each week.

I am a single parent with two great girls, Maisie and Rosie, which certainly keep me busy with any spare time I have!

Steph Senior

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Ken Grant

Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Dad’s Representative
I was born and brought up in NE Scotland and studied Business Management Degree at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen

I have worked as a Contracts Consultant in the Oil & Gas Industry for many years then latterly in the Renewable Energy Industry

I am married with a son and we live in Tenterden, I originally attended Chill with Dad with Ewan. When I left I was approached to become the Dads Representative on the Board of Trustees.

My other commitments include being a Foundation Governor at the local Schools Trust and a committee member of the local Residents’ Association. I am also involved with the church and enjoy family time, travel and films.

Margaret Jordan

Company Secretary, Treasurer and Trustee
Now retired, I have the time to indulge a number of my passions including hill walking, cycling, music, my five grandchildren and of course Home-Start.

I am a lawyer by training and was a partner in a law firm in the City of London. I specialised in corporate and European law and was based in Brussels for over 20 years.

For the last fifteen years of my working life I worked for a multinational company. As a result, I have a range of skills beyond the law including strategic planning, management and governance. I like to believe that the experience of working in various parts of the world has also made me very open to new ideas and doing things differently.

Kathy Corby

Home Visiting Volunteer and Volunteers’ Representative on the Board of Trustees
I became a home visiting volunteer in 2007 and to date I have supported seven families and have represented the volunteers on the board of Trustees since 2011.

I was born and lived in Greater London until 1989, when my job as Fundraising Manager for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in London moved me to the South-East. I was responsible for community volunteers raising funds to support lifeboat crews in Kent and East Sussex until my retirement in 2004.

Whilst living in London I was a volunteer for a charity providing a 24/7 telephone helpline called ‘Parents’ Anonymous’ for eight years, taking on the responsibilities of Secretary, S. London Co-ordinator and organising the monthly on-call Duty Rota.

My husband Richard and I live in Tenterden and we have two daughters and a son, and six grandchildren ranging in age from 26 years to 6 months. Many of our family live and work in USA and Middle East, therefore holidays are often focused in opposing directions.

My other interests are gardening, yoga and history and I am the Excursion Secretary for the Tenterden local history society.

Richard Henderson

Trustees
My working life ended with me being MD for Henderson Global Investors plc in the Varieties and Private Clients Division.

Following my retirement I have had various roles including Chairman National Trust Finance Committee for Southern England, Chairman Kent Magistrates Association, Vice Chairman Governors Ashford School, Church Warden and Treasurer for Warehorne Church and Warehourne Parish Councillor.

I am married with four children and four grandchildren. I joined Home-Start Ashford & District in 2002 after being introduced by a mutual friend. I served as Chair for over 10 years and have recently stepped down but remain actively involved.

My hobbies include amateur painting, travelling through old Soviet Union, theatre trips and I’m an active member of Ashford Choral & Kelly’s choir.

Derek Smyth

Trustees
Having studied an honours degree in Politics and Modern History at Manchester University my business career then took off mainly in the brewing industry where I was involved in market and financial analysis as well as long range forecasting. I have also been a director of a Co-operative retail society.

In 1998 I was elected as a member of the Kent County Council representing South Ashford and became the Lead Member on local government finance in the Labour Group. I retired from the Council in 2017.

Since 1998 I have been a member of the Board of Home-Start because I believe strongly that the early years of a child’s life are critical to their later development enabling them to seize as many opportunities in life as possible.

Antony Bartlett

Trustees
Originally from Bournemouth, I qualified with a Masters degree in Nuclear Physics and have spent most of my professional career as a scientist and latterly as a senior executive in multinational hi-tech companies ending up in North Kent. In 1989, together with a local venture capitalist, I formed a small group of companies based on the acquisition and turn-around of failed hi-tech start-ups. After successfully disposing of these my last 12 years before retirement were spent working for the government through Business Link Kent liaising with KCC, Local Authorities and partner organisations to help create jobs and grow the Kent economy.

My wife, Wendy, and I have now lived in Ashford for over 20 years. In 2015 I was elected to the Westwell Parish Council and also Chair the Sandyhurst Lane Residents Association.

I have two daughters, five grandchildren with the recent addition of four great-grandsons; all of whom live locally. When not involved with the family our interests are travel and cooking. One often complimenting the other

I have been a Trustee of Home Start Ashford & District since 2012.

Jenny Webb

Ashford Borough Council Advisor to the Board of Trustees
I have lived in Ashford for 25 years and was elected as an Ashford Borough Councillor in May 2015. Part of my council responsibilities require that I represent the Council on an outside governing body.

I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother so I fully understand and appreciate that some families require assistance at times no matter what their background. My daughter had immense help from Home-Start when she lived in Redhill, so when as part of my council responsibilities I was chosen to represent the Council on the Ashford & District Home-Start board I was delighted.

It is a great team and organisation to be part of!

Amy Honey

Education Advisor to the Board of Trustees
I am currently employed by Goldwyn School where I work as a Specialist Teacher in the Ashford District for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. My role entails: supporting schools and individual pupils within mainstream Primary and Secondary schools; delivering core and bespoke training to schools; offering recommendations to schools with regards to referred pupils to support with inclusion and effective intervention strategies and resources.

Previous to this role, I worked at Furley Park Primary Academy for 14 years as a Primary Teacher and SENCO.

In my own time, I like to do simple things like: spending time with my children; gardening; walking our dog; reading; and experimenting with textiles on my sewing machine. I keep meaning to get back in to my love of arts too…and will do when the moment catches me.

Vicky Oddell

Family Representative on the Board of Trustees
My work history is varied, Health Insurance negotiator, home carer, mental health support worker, fosterer for Cats Protection and finally Special Needs Teaching Assistant. After the birth of my second child I was diagnosed with a Chronic condition called Fibromyalgia which can leave me in severe pain on a daily basis, and sadly at this stage unable to maintain a job. In fact leading a normal life is a daily battle.

Luckily I was referred to Home-Start and allocated wonderful support who visited me weekly and helped me through very difficult times, I felt a failure, to poorly to see a way forward and very alone. My children and I had a steady hand to guide us and remind me that I was a good mum. It gave me back my confidence and I learned to adapt without feeling a failure.

Because of this confidence I now embrace things in a different way. I can’t run around a park, but I’m great at arts and crafts so we make things. I can’t go on fun long walks, but I can get him to a local sanctuary to pet Farm animals. I can’t go for long walks at the beach, but we can paint pebbles and have a picnic. My husband is now support by Chill with Dad, so we are still happily connected with Home-Start and feel very much like family.

I am married to Steve and have two boys, Matthew and Nathan.