Senior Staff Team

Around 200 people work for Halifax Opportunities Trust, the vast majority are women and the vast majority are in front-line positions delivering projects and services in the community every day. We’re proud to be a Living Wage Employer and a Mindful Employer. Halifax Opportunities Trust is led by:

Alison Haskins – Chief Executive

Alison has worked within the voluntary and community sector in Yorkshire since 1999. She was Regional Director of the Scarman Trust for eight years, then Deputy Director of Involve Yorkshire & Humber. Following this role Alison became Business Development Manager, then Chief Executive, of Nova Wakefield District. In 2016 she was appointed as Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust, a large community anchor delivering a wide range of regeneration and community economic development services across Calderdale.

Originally trained as a fashion designer, Alison set up and ran her own retail and design business after graduating and then spent 6 years living and working in Lesotho and South Africa. During this time she taught in vocational colleges, whilst developing her understanding and passion for politics and social justice. This led her to an MA in International Development and her current career in the not-for-profit sector in the UK.

Sabha Nazar – Finance Lead

Sabha joined the Trust in August 2017 from a career in finance working for employers such as Yorkshire Water and the NHS. She moved into the charitable sector when she took roles with Groundworks and National Day Nurseries. At Halifax Opportunities Trust she manages both the finance and HR teams and works closely with senior staff colleagues and the trustees to ensure excellent strategic and operational financial management. Sabha is an ACCA affiliate and has over 10 years experience of financial management in the charitable and public sectors.

Data Office, Mags

Mags Ciewiertnia – Quality and Systems Lead

Mags has 11 years experience of working in welfare to work sector, supporting business improvements, performance and financial services. Since 2014 her role expanded within Quality Assurance function and fundamentally worked on accountability of business performance and compliance results. She has developed, reviewed and agreed defined measures such as quality and system processes on delivery of number, of DWP and Skills Funding Agency contracts. Mags is now Quality and System Lead for Halifax Opportunities Trust and is responsible for compliance, business system and risk management and she is taking on the role of Data Protection Officer.

Abrar Hussain, Operations Lead

Abrar Hussain – Programmes Lead

In 2002 Abrar joined Halifax Opportunities Trust as a Training Co-ordinator and quickly progressed onto becoming a Training Manager. As Training Manager he helped to establish and develop the training arm of the Trust. He then progressed on to become the Operations Manager in 2011 for the Trust where he is responsible for delivery of welfare to work, skills and community development contracts and programmes.

Abrar has played an instrumental role in growing and expanding the range of contracts delivered by the Trust around skills, employment and community development, these include those funded by DWP, ESF and Skills Funding Agency.

Caren Parkinson

Caren Parkinson – Children & Families Lead

Caren has worked in partnership with the Trust since commencing in the role as Children’s Centre Manager in 2008, managing Little Stars Children’s Centres at Parkinson Lane & Warley Road and New Road Children’s Centre, employed by CMBC prior to taking a secondment with Halifax Opportunities Trust in 2011 as Area Manager and then securing the role in 2013.

Caren has over 30 years’ experience of working with the child & family, in health, child development, family support and management roles. Since joining the Trust Caren has had a fundamental role in securing of the commissioned Children’s Centre contract and delivery of the service.

Jason Bell

Jason Bell – Business Centres Lead

Jason began working for the Trust in 2009 as Business Manager for the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre. Due to rapid growth in the Trust’s activities, his role has expanded since that time to include managing the Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre. Prior to joining the Trust Jason worked in customer service, as a manager for training venues and in various hotels. His current role sees Jason act as first point of contact for visitors and tenants alike in our two very busy business centres as well as overseeing the technical and maintenance requirements of such largescale properties to ensure a consistent and professional standard of operations at both sites.

Faye Gilling – Marketing & Communications Lead

Faye has recently joined the Trust to lead marketing and communications. With a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting and ten years’ experience in dedicated in-house marketing roles, Faye has a range of skills and experience to support the Trust in this role.

Working across all business areas of the organisation to build awareness of its positive impact on the community, Faye is focussed on building a strategic marketing plan that will help the Trust reach its goals.