Who we are

“At its heart, Z2K is, simply, people passionate about other people”
Z2K was founded in the 1990s by the late Reverend Paul Nicolson and a small group of volunteers who were deeply concerned about the impact of the Thatcher Government’s ‘poll tax’ – a fixed payment from every adult, regardless of their income or circumstances. We were formed as a charity in 2000 and registered on the Charity Commission in 2005.

Today we continue to hold true to our founding principles, challenging injustices in the Social Security benefits and housing systems. We believe that adequate, stable income and housing are key to creating a more equal society where everyone has the chance of a stable and dignified life. 

Our team

Afua
Danquah

Operations
Officer

Alex
Kane

Case
worker

Alex is a caseworker focusing on welfare benefits.

He joined Z2K in 2021 after two years in policy and casework at a criminal appeals charity and law practice, during which time he worked on a cross-party inquiry into miscarriages of justice. He previously worked in frontline social welfare advice and casework at Citizens Advice North & West Kent and FRU, and has also volunteered with Liberty. He studied law at University College London and has an LLM in international law from Queen Mary University of London.

Alex is passionate about helping the public access their rights and using casework to drive systemic change.

Anela
Anwar

Chief
Executive (CEO)

Anela joined as Chief Executive in June 2020 and is responsible for driving forward Z2K’s strategy to address poverty in London caused by unfairness in the legal, social security & housing systems. Anela was previously Head of Programmes and Partnerships at Oxfam GB, where she worked to bring about transformational change for people facing poverty and inequality in Britain. Before that, Anela headed up Roshni – a dynamic charity working to improve the lives of black, minority ethnic and refugee communities in Scotland.

Anela graduated with an honours degree in Law, after which she worked in the third sector on a diverse range of issues such as violence against women and girls, community development and youth empowerment and participation. She is a dedicated intersectional feminist and is passionate about ensuring experts by experience are at the heart of decision-making.

Anela is also the Convenor of the Poverty Alliance, a Board Member of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, and holds membership of the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Advisory Group.

Anne
Kearns

Casework
Assistant

Ella
Abraham

Policy & Campaigns officer

Ella has worked on Z2K’s policy and public campaigns over the last three years. She has led on campaigns such as #ScraptheLetters, #StopMisleading, #IncreaseLegacyBenefitsand #PeopleBeforeProcess, calling for fundamental reform of the disability benefits assessments processes. As the Campaigns Co Chair of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC), Ella has focused on coalition campaigning and leading on engagement with disabled people and disabled led organisations. 

She previously campaigned for organisations such as Doctors of the World UK  and UN Women working on healthcare, migrant rights and gender equality. Prior to this, Ella worked directly with clients for three years while at the Helen Bamber Foundation, a human rights organisation advocating for survivors of cruelty including torture and trafficking. 

Hannah
Davis

Participation
Officer

Hannah leads Z2K’s participation work, which aims to involve people with lived experience of poverty in our policy development, campaigns, service design and governance. Prior to joining us, Hannah has facilitated research and participation projects in a range of public and third sector settings. This has included co-producing initiatives to improve social cohesion, supporting community researchers to explore underrepresented histories, and using participatory film-making as an advocacy tool. She cares deeply about the meaningful involvement of people with lived experience in decision-making.

Marc
Francis

Director of Policy & Campaigns

Marc leads on all our campaigning, parliamentary and policy work. His key areas of focus in recent years have been council tax charges and the impact of housing policies on low-income households. He was formerly the Housing & Neighbourhoods Policy Advisor at Save the Children and before that, Public Affairs Manager at Shelter. He led Shelter’s successful campaigns for mandatory Tenancy Deposit Protection by private landlords and against the use of Bed & Breakfast accommodation for homeless families.

Natasha Cross

Case
worker

Natasha supports the casework team with disability benefit issues and housing problems. She first started at Z2K as a volunteer and has previously worked at Citizens Advice. Natasha studied Politics at Surrey University, and is interested in understanding how government-led policy changes affect people in real life. She is deeply committed to supporting the active policy-influencing network Z2K are creating and to helping those negatively affected by welfare reforms.

Neal McCullough

Client Support Worker

Neal joined Z2k as a Client Support Worker in February 2022. Neal is from Northern Ireland and has a background as a lawyer and queer historian. Neal previously worked for Citizens Advice in Hammersmith and Southwark where they provided advice and support to clients on a variety of issues including debt, housing and welfare benefits. In their spare time Neal likes swimming, going to the theatre and volunteering for Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline as a listening volunteer and trustee.

Samantha Evans

Fundraising Manager

Samantha manages Z2K’s fundraising and also works to improve the charity’s communications. She previously fundraised for organisations such as Help Counselling, Borderline and Crisis and has also obtained the Certificate in Fundraising. Samantha is extremely passionate about growing the charity so that everyone in London has the income, housing and support they need to live a stable, dignified life.

Sharon
Bawa

Pro Bono Project Coordinator

Sheila
Holder

Housing caseworker

I joined Z2K in October 2021 after six years with Duncan Lewis Solicitors housing team completing the trainee solicitor programme.    I have experiences of housing cases including homelessness, allocations, disrepair, and possession.  I have previously worked for non- for-profit organisations, including Citizen’s advice Bureau and Independent Age providing advice and information to clients on housing matters.  I like reading and am a fan of Formula One. 

Tanya
Sutton

Office
Manager

Tanya oversees all the organisation’s day to day operational work; her remit covers a broad range of areas including governance, finance, monitoring, supplier contracts, HR matters and office policies. Alongside her operational skills, she has a genuine commitment to all our project work, and an empathy with our clients that makes her an invaluable part of team.

Vicky
Allen

Director of Advice Services

Vicky is our Director of Advice Services and oversees our Tribunals Project and wider casework team. Vicky has worked in the charity sector for over 15 years, she joined us from the Expert Advice Team at Citizens Advice and has also worked for Shelter. Vicky is passionate about access to justice and has a particular interest in ending youth homelessness and the impact of poverty on children and young people.

Zoë
Adkin

Casework
Manager

Zoë first joined the team as a volunteer in 2014 before becoming a paid member of staff in March 2015. Zoe has a particular interest in tribunal representation and achieving successful outcomes on behalf of our clients. She also enjoys working with volunteers.

Our Patrons

We are grateful to each of our patrons and everyone who continues to support us in our work to improve the lives of people facing poverty
Founder Patrons

1996 – 2000

The Rt. Rev. Lord Runcie

1996 – 2009

Sir John Mortimer CBE QC

Patrons

Our Trustees

Mick is an experienced advocate for economic and social justice. He is founder and Co-Director of The Financial Inclusion Centre, a UK not-for-profit policy and research group. The Centre’s mission is to promote financial markets that work for society. He is a director of Action for Financial Inclusion (AfFI), a community interest company set up to turn policy ideas into action.

He is also Chair of Registry Trust, Deputy Chair of the Consumer Council of Northern Ireland. He is a board member of the CARITAS (Westminster) Advisory Board, Council member of the Irish Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, and a member of the UK Regulators Network (UKRN) Expert Panel.

Emma is the Director of Lawyers Against Poverty (LAP) and has ten years’ experience in the non-profit sector working on human rights and legal access. She is an experienced trainer in welfare, social security and housing law. She first joined Z2K as a volunteer and then staff member before joining the board.

Robin is Professor of Accounting at Brunel University. He has been awarded the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the advancement of accounting and finance to the academic community. Currently, he is the Special Adviser to European Federation of Accountants and Auditors (EFAA). Robin was a member of the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) group in the development of IFRS for SMEs followed by membership of the IASB’s SME Implementation Group. For 11 years he was as a member of European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s (EFRAG) Supervisory Board and Research and Policy Committee. He is Director of the Registry Trust Ltd, which he chairs the Audit and Risk Management Committee, a board member of the Genesis Initiative and a member of the team at the Financial Inclusion Centre. In recent years Robin has researched and written on personal indebtedness. In the summer of 2021 he chaired a Peer Review of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) recommendations on the measuring of the need for debt advice.

Over the past 25 years Siobhán has served as trustee, diocesan president and on numerous national committees for the St Vincent de Paul Society, a charity that makes around 600,000 visits to people in need throughout England and Wales and runs a national homeless pack project which she started in 2010. She is a trustee and national president elect of the Catholic Women’s League, is on the executive team for Taxpayers Against Poverty and has started a variety of organisations to support refugees and serve her local community.

Randeep is a chief leader writer for the Guardian. His career at the Guardian has seen him tackle a variety of roles, including as a foreign correspondent, social affairs writer and investigative reporter. He also edited the Guardian’s history of the Iraq War. Randeep is a trustee of the Guardian Foundation and on the advisory board for the University of Sheffield’s Political Economy Research Institute.

Alex is a BAFTA nominated actor, best known for his role as Neil’s Dad in the Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners, and Julius Nicholson in the BBC’s The Thick Of It. He studied English at Durham University and International Relations at Pembroke College, Cambridge, before qualifying as a Barrister at the Middle Temple in London. In 2018 he was elected by the Inn as a Master of The Bench.

Helen has been a civil servant and worked in the Children’s voluntary sector. She was the MP for Bishop Auckland and the Government Minister who put the Child Poverty Act onto the statute book. She is very knowledgeable about the social security system. She is also involved in work on carbon-free energy at Durham University, where she is a Professor in Practice.

Lindsay Judge is an experienced researcher with a background in economics and law. She is currently Research Director at the Resolution Foundation where she leads the organisation’s work on housing, labour market rights and lived experience. Prior to joining Resolution Foundation Lindsay worked for the Social Mobility Commission, Child Poverty Action Group, the World Bank and Oxfam. She has an expert knowledge of the UK social security system and a strong personal commitment to giving voice to those living in poverty. Having worked in and with a very wide range of organisations over the course of her career, Lindsay is adept at marshalling evidence to achieve policy impact.

Emeka is a strategy consultant specialising in public affairs and communications. He currently works for WA Communications, supporting clients in higher education, children’s social care and financial services. He also sits on the board of Room to Heal — a charity supporting victims of human rights abuses — and helps to lead the award-winning campaign group, #CharitySoWhite.

He previously worked for Barnardo’s, providing in-house policy and public affairs support, and for a leading global public affairs agency with clients including Google DeepMind and AstraZeneca. He holds a degree in Politics and a master’s in Social Anthropology and International Development from Birkbeck, University of London.

Give a single gift

A single donation, big or small, can transform someone’s life by helping them access their rights and entitlements when they need it most

Give a regular gift

Your regular monthly gift can help someone to understand and defend their rights and entitlements, at the most difficult time in their life

Volunteer - Pro Bono

Our dedicated volunteer lawyers share their time and expertise on our Tribunal Project, so that individuals can access their benefits they have been wrongly denied