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People Make

Us Great

Helping us put long terms plan into action

Our Senior Leadership Team and Trustees are instrumental in ensuring we continue to progress towards our vision and set out strategic direction so all teams can work together for positive change.

Our Senior Leadership Team

Our Senior Leadership Team oversees the way the Trust operates, developing strategy and implementing plans to support our charitable objectives. Halifax Opportunities Trust is led by:

Alison Haskins

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Alison has worked at senior level 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 Chief Executive of Nova Wakefield District. In 2016 she was appointed as Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust and in 2020 added the role of Chair at Locality, the national membership network supporting local community organisations to be strong and successful.

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.

Janet Graham

Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Jan has worked at a senior level within the financial services industry for 30 of her 36 year career. She started working in a branch of Halifax Building Society in Keighley in 1987. She has experience across a range of business areas including Business Strategy, Business Growth, Large People Leadership roles within branches and contact centres, she’s been an Auditor, a Trainer, an Account Manager, led the implementation of multi-million pound change programmes and most recently was responsible for the distribution plan/target for insurance and protection business within a large financial group.

Jan actively wanted to put her commercial acumen into practice within the ‘not for profit’ sector but is primarily driven by ‘making a difference’ and ‘achieving results’ – Doing the right things in the right way is really important to her and operating with integrity, honesty and fairness is paramount. ” As Chief Operating Officer, I think I have a lot to offer in terms of skills and relevant business experience and an aptitude and passion for ‘keeping things simple’ “

Abrar Hussain

Programs 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

Children and 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.

Sabha Nazar

Finance and HR 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.

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.

Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees help us put long term plans into action.

Halifax Opportunities Trust is governed by a diverse board of trustees who oversee the strategic direction of our work. Becoming a trustee of HOT is a hugely rewarding experience and is not limited to those with a background in business, management or charity work.

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.”

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.”

Roseanne Mulligan


“I’m passionate about social and environmental justice and am pleased to be able to contribute the skills and knowledge I’ve gained working in the media and NGOs to HOT, given its key role tackling inequalities and promoting inclusive growth in Calderdale.”

Helen Hunter


Helen is a local Calderdale resident who works for the NHS. “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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Aqib Hamid


Having lived in Halifax for over 25 years, Aqib has first-hand experience of the challenges faced by Park Ward residents and, more importantly, the opportunities that exist. He has a keen interest in the third sector and has played a fundamental role in establishing multiple charities, including the Halifax Community Fridge.

Aqib’s experience as a senior brand strategist for some of the world’s biggest brands will be utilised to provide strategic direction for the Trust and its subsidiaries.

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.

Shebana Sadiq


Newly appointed – more info coming soon

Share your knowledge,

strengthen communities

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.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a trustee at Halifax Opportunities Trust, please complete our expression of interest form below:


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 (HOT Enterprises 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

Creating Opportunities for a Better Life

We’re here so people have the opportunity to grow in a vibrant, multicultural and self-sustaining community.

Our Why - HERO (1)

Our Values

In our daily endeavours to achieve our goals, we are guided by our values. They reflect our culture, the way we want things to be and our expectations of the people we work with.

We are committed

We collaborate

We care

We are enterprising