Copy of Our Team

We have a professional team of staff who deliver our vision through outreach, advice and policy work, education and training, research and more. The work of our staff is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. At least half of our staff, interns and volunteers are Travellers.

Sarah became FFT’s CEO in 2018, after working in training and project management across FFT.

Previously, Sarah trained in nature conservation, and cared for Sussex downland sites for the National Trust and later led a families’ project in Brighton whilst raising her children.

Sarah came to FFT to be part of an organisation that fights for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people's rights and celebrates and uplifts our fellow activists and organisations.

Policy and Public Affairs

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Emma has been at FFT since 2000.

She has carried out a variety of roles including casework, media, group facilitation and policy work.

She currently works as Policy Manager working with local and national government, MPS, police, schools and other statutory organisations.

Emma studied Social Anthropology, and enjoys reading and dancing.

Ivy has held a range of roles at FFT, since starting in 2017. She is a Romani Gypsy and has lived roadside most of her life.

Ivy is a strong advocate for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and works closely with religious institutions to encourage 'sanctuary stopping' for nomadic families.

Zillah joined FFT’s Policy Team in 2023.

Previously, Zillah worked in youth and family justice policy and research focussing on tackling racial disproportionality and inequalities.

She is a qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), and worked in front-line domestic and sexual abuse advocacy and safeguarding in the public and third sectors.

Victoria joined FFT as a volunteer on our National Helpline in 2017, while studying for an MA in Community Psychology.

Previously, she worked as an intern for the Global Ecovillage Network, and as an administrator for a community development initiative in The Gambia.

Victoria joined FFT because she wanted to be part of a community-led organisation that challenged systemic racism. 

Victoria keeps busy with her two young children but occasionally gets the chance to enjoy laying in a dark room, not having to talk to anyone or be responsible for anybody.

Development 

Michelle Gavin has been at FFT since 2010, working to improve health outcomes for Gypsies and Travellers – both nationally and across Sussex.

Michelle is interested in working with Gypsies and Travellers at a grassroots level, to help tackle the necessary policy changes. She is also a tutor, keynote speaker and trainer.

Michelle is an expert witness in Gypsy and Traveller planning matters.

Michelle joined the team in 2024.

She has a background in project management and international development, with experience managing large scale projects in the UK and abroad, liaising with government grant-holders.

Barry joined FFT in 2022 as an experienced Community Development Practitioner working on the Oak Project.

He has worked in a variety of roles and contexts for local authorities, Housing Associations and in the voluntary and community sectors in England and internationally.

He’s motivated professionally and personally in working alongside communities, of identity and geography, in balancing the Social Justice scales. This is reflected in his interests such as volunteering, politics and reading. And his passions that include music, his rescue dog, his camper van and the outdoors.

Rosie joined FFT as Health Policy & Projects Officer in 2023, after graduating from an MSc in Human Rights & Politics at LSE.

With a background in community organising around health and migrant justice with the PatientsNotPassports campaign, Rosie was keen to contribute to FFT's mission to address the root causes of inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, particularly in terms of health and social care.

In her spare time Rosie travels as much as she can, but otherwise will be found out and about in nature with Otis (her Miniature Schnauzer), doing yoga and circus arts, or reading in coffee shops. 

Kara Hewitson joined FFT on November 2023, and assists in leading the Sussex Inclusion Health Network project.

Kara holds an MSc in Clinical Psychology and Health Services, and her background includes working with GPs and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to address the broader needs of individuals, providing both emotional and practical support.

James joined FFT in 2023, after studying law as a mature student.

James is passionate about working for an organisation with a strong track record of defending human rights and fighting racism and discrimination.

Sam Worrall joined FFT in 2023, having previously also worked in Health Policy at FFT, as well as a range of other Gypsy and Traveller organisations.

Sam has been living as a New Traveller and liveaboard Boater for about 25 years and currently lives on her narrowboat in Oxfordshire.

She is passionate about boat life and the boater community and previously established the floating market on the Kennet & Avon canal, and now co-ordinates the floating market at the annual Banbury Canal Festival.

In her spare time, Sam can be found traversing the country in her campervan exploring ancient monuments and ruins with her beloved ancient dog. 

Communications and Campaigns Team

Sami McLaren joined the team in 2019, as a Communications Officer.

As Head of Communications and Campaigns, he oversees all charity communications and public campaigning activity.

Holding an MA in International Relations from Sussex University, Sami has previous professional experience with UK, Japan and Germany-based international digital marketing companies, as well as Third Sector communications.

He is passionate about protecting Human Rights, understanding society through a historical materialist lens, and decolonisation.

 

Scarlet Hannington joined the team at the beginning of 2023.

With a degree in Combined Social Sciences from Durham University, Scarlet’s previous professional experience is grounded in addressing socio-cultural inequalities and power relations, through digital communications.

Working at FFT brings together her passion for tackling injustice and creating short- and long-term change through the written word (and being surrounded by a great team helps too!).

Elijah joined FFT in 2022 as a Communications Assistant, having previously worked with FFT in a freelance capacity.

With lived experience of site life, Elijah is also a Romany Gypsy artist who is passionate about spreading a light on the beauty of his Romany roots.

Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites and Art Nouveau, Elijah expresses his art through delicately strong themes, that empowers communities to embrace their heritage.

Elijah has previously produced work for the BBC, MUBI, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury Publishing, and Glastonbury Festival.

Doug Devaney started working at FFT in 2023, on the Moving for Change communications spoke.

He is a writer, podcaster and journalist whose series, The Plastic Podcasts, was one of the few to incorporate interviews with Travellers into the story of the Irish in Britain.

Having had articles, poems and short stories published internationally, Doug is a firm believer in the power of the word to change lives and shape countries.

He also plays the ukulele and once met William Shatner (these two facts are entirely unrelated).

Chris McDonagh is an Irish Traveller and father who joined FFT in 2021 FFT.

Chris created the online group TravellersAgainstRacism in order to challenge online hate and racism and educate people on who Travellers truly are, breaking down the stereotypes and challenging commonly held misconceptions.

Chris has written blogs for charities and groups and likes to spend his spare time learning new things.

Rami joined FFT in 2022, having trained and worked as a local dog for just over a year. 

He came to FFT to be part of an organisation with a track record of defending the right to roam. Rami enjoys eating things off the floor, pats, and sleeping on the job.

Service Delivery

Samson joined FFT in 2015, as an intern. 

He's a staunch advocate for health equity and inclusion, and has led many projects across Sussex and nationally to try and break down access barriers for Gypsies and Travellers.

Samson's work received major recognition for his work when he was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the communities, in December 2019.

Angela joined FFT’s Casework Team in 2017, following a period of volunteering on the advice line.

Prior to starting at FFT, Angela was supported by FFT due to experiencing constant evictions from pieces of land with her family, and Angela decided that she wanted to give back to FFT by volunteering.

Angela came to FFT due to her lived experience and desire for social justice. She enjoys listening to and playing music, and being a general complainer.

Tommy Buck has been with FFT since 2019. He joined as an intern whilst studying Politics & Legal Studies at the University of Sussex.

Tommy's outwardly passionate about supporting young Gypsies and Travellers, especially around employment and education. 

In his spare time, Tommy enjoys going to the gym and playing rugby. 

Martha joined FFT in 2018 after starting out as a volunteer on our National Helpline.

She was bought up in the New Traveller community and studied Textile design at university.

After joining our Service Delivery team, she has worked on community development projects throughout Sussex with a focus on art, culture, skill-sharing and employment.

Jonathan joined FFT in 2021 following a varied career including professional photography, filmmaking, and teaching Pilates and yoga.

Lockdown led to a career change, studying MSc Psychology and Neuroscience whilst working in mental health as a carer. Living roadside meant FFT was the perfect place for him to combine a multitude of experiences to best serve members of the communities.

He is driven to try to tackle the root causes of the vast inequalities experienced, whilst supporting the often horrific effects of these.

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Rosie joined the FFT Service Delivery team in early 2018.

She has a particular interest in complex cases involving multiple failures by local authorities and statutory services.

She works on a wide variety of matters, including housing and homelessness and protection from domestic abuse.

Rosie works part time at Friends, Families and Travellers, and is also employed by a charity in West Sussex.

Jessi joined FFT in 2021, working on the National Helpline team.

She previously worked in supported housing advocacy and as a therapist at a Queer Therapy Hub in Brighton, and she’s thoroughly motivated by the intricacies of culture, society and the human condition.

Land rights hold a special place in Jessi’s list of passions, with a steadfast belief in open access rights for communities.

She enjoys wild swimming, boating and hiking, and working towards an equal future for everyone.

Georgina has worked as a caseworker at FFT since 2022, after working at Brighton and Hove Citizen’s Advice on their EnergyWorks project, and for the Macmillan Welfare Benefit Service.

She has previously been Chair of the Brighton branch of the tenant’s union ACORN, where she was involved in community organising around tenant’s issues. She enjoys doing the daily crossword with her colleagues on the casework team, and drinking litres of tea.

Ruby joined FFT’s Service Delivery Team in July 2022 after working in domestic abuse and stalking services previously.

This was around the time that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into effect, and Ruby wanted to work for an organisation who was actively opposing this.

She joined FFT because she is committed to advocating for those who don’t have equal access to services and to contest the discrimination experienced by Gypsies and Travellers.

Anna joined Friends, Families and Travellers in early 2023, as a volunteer.

Before this she worked in an all-female supported housing charity, supporting young women and mothers with their babies.

Anna has also managed an after-school club and worked within nurseries. She likes taking photographs, singing and is attempting (for a year) to learn Spanish. 

Hal joined  FFT in 2024, after studying and working at the University of East Anglia as a research student in philosophy and research intern in decolonising the humanities.

He is driven by social and environmental justice, and has undertaken many years of volunteering and organising right to roam groups.

Access to land and waterways is something he is deeply passionate about and one of the reasons why he joined FFT — to help uphold and protect the nomadic way of life.

Lulu started out as a volunteer at FFT in 2022, having previously been supported by our casework team.

She is passionate advocate for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, with a deep understanding of the issues experienced having had lived experience.

Lulu is a proud mother of two, and she hopes to build a better future for her children.

Operations

Suzanna joined FFT in 2007 as Admin and Finance Officer.

In 2012, Suzanna also oversaw the creation and development of our Crystal's Vardo project, and continues to lead on this. 

Suzanna trained as an actor with a background in theatre. Prior to FFT, she worked for a women's safety charity.

In her spare time, Suzanna enjoys a range of activities from nightclubbing to gardening.

Lena started at FFT in 2020 within our Operations Team.

She worked in the circular economy private sector previously, and in Education before that.

Lena loves working at FFT because it is a cause that she fully supports, and the staff work so hard that it is a pleasure to be able to support them in some way!

Ngawang joined FFT’s Operations Team in 2019 after holding a Finance Admin Assistant role at INTO University Partnership, Brighton. Before that, he studied accountancy and worked as Finance Administrator at Tibet Society, London.

Ngawang has a track record of defending the right of Tibetan Nomads to roam and campaigned against forced relocation of Tibetan Nomad communities. Previously, he co-founded Tibetan Youth UK, helping organise events and protests.

Ngawang enjoys English translation of Japanese Literature, protest poetry and cycling.

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