Halifax Opportunities Trust Appoints New Chief Executive


Halifax Opportunities Trust has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer. Alison Haskins will join the Trust in November from Nova in Wakefield and takes the reigns from long-standing Chief Executive Barbara Harbinson who has headed the Trust since 2002 and retires later this month.

The appointment comes at a high point in the history of the Trust with the extension of their Children’s Centres contract, the securing of several new contracts to work with members of the public seeking employment and the recent announcement of another outstanding judgement by OFSTED. Alison is very keen to build on this success and had this to say about her appointment: “I am delighted to be joining the team at Halifax Opportunities Trust and contributing to the continued success of such an enterprising and innovative local charity.” Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sally Morrell added: “Alison is an exceptional appointment for CEO, her track record at Nova is testament to her ability and reputation. Myself and the rest of the Board of Trustees are delighted to welcome her to the Trust and cannot wait to work together with her on the next phase of the Halifax Opportunities Trust.”

Since its formation in 2000, Halifax Opportunities Trust has delivered services primarily within the Park Ward area of Halifax that relieve poverty and unemployment, advance education and training and support small and medium sized businesses as well as providing family support services. The Trust now delivers Children’s Centres services across 11 sites throughout Calderdale and last year launched a catering kitchen to provide healthy and nutritious school dinners to primary schools in Calderdale. Retiring Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Harbinson said: “Over the last 15 years the Trustees and staff have built the Charity to a point where it is now in a position to help improve lives right across Calderdale, whilst never forgetting of course its roots and its core purpose.  The opportunities ahead are limitless. Alison is the right person to make the most of those opportunities.”


The Charity Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT) was formed in 2000 and has been operational since April 2002. It was established as the successor body for a Government funded regeneration programme in the Park Ward area of Calderdale.

The Charity’s purpose is to carry out activities that relieve poverty and unemployment, advance education and training, particularly among unemployed people, including the provision and creation of training and employment opportunities and the provision of childcare.

HOT’s Charitable work was initially primarily focused on the Park Ward area of Calderdale but increasingly it is operating across the whole of the borough building working relationships with private, public and voluntary and community sector organisations to provide services in other communities.

HOT has two commercial properties on long term peppercorn leases from the local council.  They are used as a base for HOT’s charitable activities and are also let to local businesses to promote and encourage local business growth.  In addition HOT runs services form 11 Children’s Centres sites in the Calderdale from Todmorden in the west to Southowram in the East of the Borough.  The property interests are managed by two wholly owned subsidiary companies, Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre Ltd and the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre Ltd.  The Charity is governed by a diverse Board of volunteer Trustees and Directors who come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions.

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