Halifax Opportunities Trust is governed by a diverse board of trustees who oversee the strategic direction of our work. Becoming a trustee of the Trust is a hugely rewarding experience and is not limited to those with a background in business, management or charity work. We welcome expressions of interest from individuals across Calderdale who think they have something to bring to the Trust and are passionate about the work of our organisation.

Our trustees ensure we stay true to our charitable objectives and also act as directors of the company. They live and/or work in the local community that we serve, and include those who currently use or have used HOTs services in the past. For more information about becoming a trustee contact Alison Haskins at

Current Board Members

Revd Canon Hilary Barber – Chair of Trustees

“As Vicar of Halifax I’m an enthusiastic community champion and I can’t think of a better third sector organisation than Halifax Opportunities Trust in trying to improve peoples lives in tackling poverty, health and social cohesion issues. Its a privilege to serve as a Trustee for such a well established organisation with such a strong record of success.”   

LinkedIn     Twitter: @HalifaxMinster

Jon Craven – Vice Chair

Jon lives in Calderdale and has spent most of his career with mutual businesses. “I hope to support the Trust with my knowledge of the local area and the third sector.”


Paul Blackman

“I have a joint role within HOT as Director and Chair of the management board for the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre and as a Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT), Trustee. I decided to join as I wanted to freely share my UK and International commercial business experience to assist in the continued growth and strategic trajectory of a well-respected and community focused charity. I live locally, working in my own consultancy and passionately believe in the work of the Trust.”    LinkedIn

Helen Hunter

Keeps herself busy by trying to improve local health and care services for people and communities in Calderdale through Healthwatch. “I’m really drawn to Halifax Opportunities Trust’s ambition to create multi-cultural and self-sustaining communities – I think Calderdale is great place to live, full of fabulous people, and I’m really keen to play my part in making sure that everyone who lives here is seen as a valuable asset.” LinkedIn    Twitter: @helenwhwc

Chris Pinder

Chris was born in Halifax and proudly lives and works in Park Ward.  Chris joined the HOT board in August 2020 because he wants to support local people and community initiatives whilst giving himself a new challenge.


Mel Stead

“I decided to become a Trustee for Halifax Opportunities Trust because the organisation has a strong reputation and a clear focus on supporting people within the community and I was really impressed with the work they do to support employment & training of local people.  As a local business owner in Human Resources, Education and Training I felt I could support these initiatives and add some value to the Board in this area.”  LinkedIn

Tim Male

“I have enjoyed living and working (as a marketing professional) in Halifax for last 30 years so was looking to give something back and support a fantastic community based organisation that truly lives for what it stands for to make a real difference for the area it serves.”


Richard Hemblys – Treasurer LinkedIn

Sally Morrell Twitter: @sallyemorrell

Gill Rhodes

“I am lucky to have lived and worked in Calderdale for the majority of my life and am pleased to now have the time to be involved with HOT. Being recently retired from a fulfilling career in Health and Social care I look forward to supporting this innovative organisation and various projects.”

Ambreen Qureshi

A resident of Park ward, Ambreen has a long-standing interest in community development and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. She has experience of working for multinational and local organisations in Pakistan, delivering operational and educational services including experience and skills in financial management.  She says “Being a part of the Park Ward community, I have seen the work HOT has done for the betterment of the local community. I believe my experiences in the education and corporate sectors, plus my own life experiences, which are not too different from many in the local community, can help me to support HOT and the local community to successfully grow. “

Aqib Hamid

Aqib is also a Park ward resident and attended Calder High School, followed by Calder High Sixth Form, and then the University of Huddersfield, where he graduated with a 2:1 in Marketing Management. He has extensive third-sector experience, having founded the Madni Youth Movement in 2012, which opened a youth centre in Halifax. In 2015, helped establish the Rabia Institute – a charity focussed on providing Islamic education . He currently works as a Marketing Strategist and used to work for a company based at the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, so has first-hand knowledge of how HOT supports local businesses.

Leigh Burrows

“After a long working life involving accountancy, teaching, business ownership and third sector involvement, I would like to use some of the time that retirement gives me to work with my local communities, share skills and take part in local development projects.”

Sabir Hussain

Sabir has lived in Park ward for over 50 years. He is currently a self-employed tutor delivering private science and maths tuition (KS2 to KS5) to predominantly BME children. He has extensive experience in the public sector: as a non-executive board member of Calderdale NHS PCT; Leeds Tribunal Service; Senior Organisational Development Consultant at Kirklees council; Chair of the Corporate Kirklees Black and Minority Ethnic Employees Network. Before becoming a full-time tutor he was the OD and Performance Manager for Manningham Housing Association – a registered social landlord with circa 1500 homes within predominantly BME communities in Bradford and Keighley. Sabir helped to set up Together Against Grooming (TAG) to tackle child sexual exploitation, delivering awareness sessions.

You can find all governance information, including our Memorandum and Articles of Association and Annual Reports on the Charity Commission website.

HOT is sole shareholder in a trading subsidiary company (Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre Ltd) which runs our two business centres. The directors of EWIC Ltd have commercial skills related to managed workspace and building management/development. You can find information on the Companies House website here.