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People

Kirsty McHugh

Chief Executive

Kirsty McHugh has been chief executive of ERSA since 2010, the membership body for providers of employment support, during which time she has overseen a fivefold increase in membership and a major expansion of services. Prior to ERSA, Kirsty spent nine years at Business in the Community, the national charity dedicated to responsible business. As Director for Regeneration, Kirsty led work on employment, regeneration and enterprise and as Director of Partnerships, Kirsty led BITC’s national delivery programmes, including a network of 100 local groups delivering regeneration, employee volunteering and pro-bono schemes. Kirsty is a board director of an East London housing association, Gateway Housing, and is a trustee of the national body for Neighbourhood Watch. She also serves as a member of Impetus-PEF’s Investment Committee and sits on the Big Lottery Fund panel for the Building Better Opportunities programme. Previously Kirsty was a local authority councillor for 12 years, served as a board director of a social housing management organisation and chaired the project board of a major PFI programme delivering a £200 million regeneration project. Kirsty has degrees from the University College London and Birkbeck College, London. She has two children and lives in South London.

Roger Horne

Head of Membership Services

Roger has been working in the welfare to work industry for over 15 years. Prior to ERSA, Roger was at TBG Learning/The Rehab Group, a third sector organisation primarily working with disadvantaged people, in a number of Business Development roles. Roger was previously Head of Business Development at the time of the Work Programme competition. In has extensive experience working with commissioning bodies including the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and its predecessor the Learning and Skills Council, the Young people Learning Agency (YPLA) and Further Education Colleges.
Jack Thurston, Membership and Communications Officer

Jack Thurston

Membership and Communications Officer

Jack joined ERSA in October 2016. Prior to that, he was an Insight and Engagement Officer at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. During his time with CQC, he helped create and deliver the annual provider survey, which was sent out to over 7,000 providers. His previous roles include working as a Communications Assistant at Health Education North West London, one of the thirteen Local Education and Training Boards overseen by Health Education England.

Olivia Buse

Executive Officer

Olivia joined ERSA in September 2016. Olivia has over 15 years experience in finance and administration, having worked in both the private, public and not for profit sectors. She was in her previous role as Finance Administrative Support Officer at Hackney Learning Trust for 11 years, and organised school transport for children with complex special needs.

Matt Byrne

Communications and Public Affairs Officer

Matt joined ERSA in November 2017 as the Communications and Public Affairs Officer. Previously, he worked for the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, supporting his employment and welfare brief. Prior to that, he worked in Public Affairs for the Salvation Army. In this role, he worked on a number of key areas, including devolution, employment and homelessness.
Laura Benfield, Events and Marketing Manager

Laura Benfield

Events and Marketing Manager

Laura joined ERSA in October 2014. Laura has over 15 years experience working with professional forums, government departments, charities and professional institutes to deliver a range of successful events including awards, conferences, congresses, AGMs, workshops and exhibitions from concept to delivery. Laura is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Howard Weinberg

Finance Officer

Howard joined ERSA in November 2017.