Who we are

Over 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 Mindful Employer as well as member of Locality.

Our Chief Executive and Senior Management Team work with our Trustees to oversee the strategic development of the organisation and to support staff in our 5 key delivery areas.

Senior Staff

Chief Executive
Alison Haskins


Alison joined Halifax Opportunities Trust in 2016 from a varied career that includes fashion, teaching and charity sector experience.

Having worked within the voluntary and community sector in Yorkshire since 1999, Alison 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. She was instrumental in quickly developing the organisation into a sustainable contract management vehicle, securing a £1.3m DWP/ESF contract within a year of joining and seeing a  five-fold increase in annual turnover within two years. In 2016 she was appointed as Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust.

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.

Operations Manager
Abrar Hussain


Abrar first became involved in the regeneration sector in 1998 in his role as Assistant Manager of Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre, a project which formed a key part of a Calderdale based regeneration organisation – West central Halifax Partnership. In 2002 he 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.

Area Manager (Children’s Centres)
Caren Parkinson


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.

In addition to her extensive experience, Caren holds qualifications at level 3, 5 & 7, NNEB qualification in childcare, an ILM award in management and the National Professional Qualification in Leadership. Caren’s professional development continues through the knowledge and skills that are being gained through the delivery of a contracted service.

Business Service Manager
Jason Bell


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 and more recently overseeing operations at The Outfront Kitchen, Halifax Opportunities Trust’s healthy school meal project.

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 – the ability to multitask and juggle projects is a must for this role and Jason

Completed Diploma in management studies at Huddersfield University in 2014.

Marketing Manager
Hannah Peevers


Hannah joined the Trust in 2010 to head up Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre’s creative and digital network, Creative Calderdale. She joined direct from the creative industries having spent 7 years working in various production roles within the TV industry after graduating university with a degree in Public Relations.

Since joining Halifax Opportunities Trust, Hannah has used her professional contacts and industry knowledge to build a credible and respected network for Calderdale’s creative and digital community as well as establishing a regular events calendar specifically aimed at creative professionals. Whilst Creative Calderdale continues to go from strength to strength, Hannah has moved into a wider marketing role for Halifax Opportunities Trust and established a strategic marketing plan for the growing Trust which incorporates both marketing and communications. As part of her professional development Hannah completed the CIM level 5 Diploma in Professional Marketing in 2014 and is currently working towards her ILM level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management.

Governance & Advisors

Halifax Opportunities Trust is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It was incorporated on 12 October 2000 and is governed by its memorandum of association and articles of association.

The Company number is 4089288
The Charity number is 1086183
The Group VAT number is 890 5405 16


Sally Morrell (Chair)

Rev Hilary Barber (Vice Chair)

Richard Hemblys (Treasurer)

Ruksana Bostan
Shabir Hussain
Pauline Nash
Mike Payne
Rizwana Rehman
Khalid Saeed
Cllr Dot Foster
Asmat Ali
Jeanette Harkness
Jon Craven
Helen Wright

Our Trust is supported by accredited and respected practitioners from various fields. These are:


Riley & Co, Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisors
52 Saint Johns Lane,
West Yorkshire


Unity Trust Bank
9 Brindley Place
B1 2HB


Finn Gledhill
1 – 4 Harrison Road
West Yorkshire


Eastwood and Partners
Northumberland House
Northumberland Street

Property advice and management

George Pickles Architects