Meet the team

Helen Watson Chief Executive My role as CEO is to make sure we are the best charity we can be. For me this means housing and supporting those who come to us for help with empathy and intelligence and ensuring that our staff feel supported to deliver their best work. I love to see the real impact we deliver and enjoy talking with current and ex clients about how they are moving on with their lives. My work is also about making sure that as a local charity we can contribute to a larger arena, sharing our results and our ideas with other organisations such as Crisis and Homeless Link PS: I once took part in a fundraising event and spent the night sleeping next to the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus to raise money and awareness of homelessness.

Helen Watson

Chief Executive

My role as CEO is to make sure we are the best charity we can be. For me this means housing and supporting those who come to us for help with empathy and intelligence and ensuring that our staff feel supported to deliver their best work. I love to see the real impact we deliver and enjoy talking with current and ex clients about how they are moving on with their lives.

My work is also about making sure that as a local charity we can contribute to a larger arena, sharing our results and our ideas with other organisations such as Crisis and Homeless Link

PS: I once took part in a fundraising event and spent the night sleeping next to the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus to raise money and awareness of homelessness.

Helena Horsford Operations Manager I have worked at Rentstart since the early days and have seen the charity grow over the 13 years that I have been here. My job involves assessing clients' needs, finding appropriate accommodation and then providing support to ensure the tenancies are successful for both tenant and landlord. I am responsible for maintaining the data and statistics for the charity, ensuring that we meet targets for our funders. We never know quite what the day will bring as supporting our tenants once in a property brings so many different scenarios. The challenge of helping them overcome difficulties and seeing our clients re-building their lives is very rewarding. PS: My claim to fame is that I have sung and performed on stage at the Guildfest music festival!  

Helena Horsford

Operations Manager

I have worked at Rentstart since the early days and have seen the charity grow over the 13 years that I have been here. My job involves assessing clients' needs, finding appropriate accommodation and then providing support to ensure the tenancies are successful for both tenant and landlord. I am responsible for maintaining the data and statistics for the charity, ensuring that we meet targets for our funders.

We never know quite what the day will bring as supporting our tenants once in a property brings so many different scenarios. The challenge of helping them overcome difficulties and seeing our clients re-building their lives is very rewarding.

PS: My claim to fame is that I have sung and performed on stage at the Guildfest music festival!

 

 
Liz Belok Office Manager As office manager my role is to make sure that the office and all of our systems run smoothly allowing us to deliver our services efficiently. Every day is different and there is never a dull moment. I really enjoy working for a charity that makes such an immediate and direct impact to the lives of real people in real need. P.S. I was nearly trampled by a caravan of runaway camels when camping in the Sahara desert.  

Liz Belok

Office Manager

As office manager my role is to make sure that the office and all of our systems run smoothly allowing us to deliver our services efficiently. Every day is different and there is never a dull moment.

I really enjoy working for a charity that makes such an immediate and direct impact to the lives of real people in real need.

P.S. I was nearly trampled by a caravan of runaway camels when camping in the Sahara desert.

 

Jenny Holmes Project Manager My role is extremely hands on with our clients. When someone comes to Rentstart for help I tend to be the first person they deal with. I give advice on the phone and then go on to conduct face to face interviews with people we are helping to house. I need to carefully assess each client I meet and work with them to identify the right type of housing and any extra support they may need. Every day is different for me, I see a huge variety of people—what I really enjoy is helping our clients to achieve their goals. P.S. I've climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge

Jenny Holmes

Project Manager

My role is extremely hands on with our clients. When someone comes to Rentstart for help I tend to be the first person they deal with. I give advice on the phone and then go on to conduct face to face interviews with people we are helping to house. I need to carefully assess each client I meet and work with them to identify the right type of housing and any extra support they may need.

Every day is different for me, I see a huge variety of people—what I really enjoy is helping our clients to achieve their goals.

P.S. I've climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sam Pannell Support Worker My role as support worker has three main components. I provide pre-tenancy training and support our clients once they are housed. I work on the Freedom 2 Work project: a scheme trying to break the cycle of homelessness by combining housing, training, and support for re-entering the job market. I also link with our local community to further the work of Elmbridge Rentstart in many different ways. I am really excited to be working with a charity who adopt a tailored, personal approach, aiming to create lasting and sustainable change in people’s lives. P.S. I enjoy being active and exploring new adventures! Once during an overnight triathlon race, I learned that it is indeed possible to fall asleep whilst running!

Sam Pannell

Support Worker

My role as support worker has three main components. I provide pre-tenancy training and support our clients once they are housed. I work on the Freedom 2 Work project: a scheme trying to break the cycle of homelessness by combining housing, training, and support for re-entering the job market. I also link with our local community to further the work of Elmbridge Rentstart in many different ways. I am really excited to be working with a charity who adopt a tailored, personal approach, aiming to create lasting and sustainable change in people’s lives.

P.S. I enjoy being active and exploring new adventures! Once during an overnight triathlon race, I learned that it is indeed possible to fall asleep whilst running!

Sarah Nicholson-Smith Property Manager I am a Property Manager at Rentstart which involves looking after the condition of the properties on behalf of our Landlords as well as our tenants.  I am the tenants contact should they experience any issues within their accommodation.  I help tenants with their finances to help them maintain their accommodation.  I am so pleased to be working for a Charity which helps homeless people immediately and throughout their journeys.  P.S At primary school I started my own Homeless charity called "Help the Homeless" and raised £75.00 for SPEAR by selling cakes and cookies…

Sarah Nicholson-Smith

Property Manager

I am a Property Manager at Rentstart which involves looking after the condition of the properties on behalf of our Landlords as well as our tenants.  I am the tenants contact should they experience any issues within their accommodation.  I help tenants with their finances to help them maintain their accommodation.  I am so pleased to be working for a Charity which helps homeless people immediately and throughout their journeys.

 P.S At primary school I started my own Homeless charity called "Help the Homeless" and raised £75.00 for SPEAR by selling cakes and cookies…

Joan Nash Finance & Administration My job is to look after multiple financial transactions, particularly around our deposit guarantees and our clients' savings scheme. I really enjoy attention to detail—which means I find a lot of satisfaction in my work. P.S. I've always enjoyed sports and as a teenager played volleyball at both county and national level.  

Joan Nash

Finance & Administration

My job is to look after multiple financial transactions, particularly around our deposit guarantees and our clients' savings scheme. I really enjoy attention to detail—which means I find a lot of satisfaction in my work.

P.S. I've always enjoyed sports and as a teenager played volleyball at both county and national level.