Jodie Geddes – CEO
Jodie is a lifelong Medway resident who has worked for AMAT for 17 years. Jodie’s journey with AMAT UK started after a relationship breakdown, which meant that she became the sole provider for her 2 young children. Prior to starting her family, Jodie worked in retail, which would not give her the flexibility she needed as a single parent of primary school aged children, so Jodie attended an adult education centre and retrained in administration. Once qualified, Jodie secured a 3-week work experience placement within AMAT UK’s HR Department.
Luckily for us, the AMAT UK Directors quickly recognised Jodie’s potential, her ability to build rapport with staff and residents, her unparalleled work ethic and acute ability to problem solve and crisis manage. Jodie was offered a permanent position as HR Manager’s assistant. Continuing her professional development, Jodie achieved a CIPD qualification in 2006 and was promoted to HR Manager. Over the next 4 years – AMAT UK saw a sustained period of growth due to the increased demand for supported accommodation for homeless adults in Medway. Jodie worked closely with the directors to ensure that the changes to the organisation were coherent and sustainable, her work in this time and the growing need for a more strategic overview of the charity saw Jodie promoted to one of two Senior Managers.
AMAT UK has always been a front runner in best practice within the Medway homeless sector. After consultation with an independent charity consultant, our board voted that AMAT UK would benefit from a major restructure which included the appointment of Jodie as AMAT UK’s first CEO. Jodie’s drive and passion to ensure that homeless adults and residents remain at the centre of what we do and that AMAT UK always provides an unrivalled service made her the natural choice. Jodie leads from the front, but never forgets to make sure those at the back have the skills, support, and inspiration they need to do their jobs in the best way, whilst always remaining true to the charity’s mission of providing homes and rebuilding lives.
Lynne Charles – Senior Manager Facilities
Lynne has worked at AMAT UK twice, giving her 14 years’ worth of knowledge and experience. Lynne started as a House Manager and did that for 2 years, then following a 2-year break she applied to come back, starting out as House Manager again, but was soon promoted to the Manager for Housing Management. Lynne achieved a CIH qualification in 2018, and in 2020 Lynne was promoted to her current role.
Lynne is extremely organised and methodical; she liaises with the Landlords and has been instrumental in making improvements to the housing stock and our compliance.
Elaine Hendrick – Senior Manager Core Functions
Elaine joined HM Forces (Army) in 1990, beginning her career as a telecommunications technician before transferring to Human Resources in 2003 and progressing to Management Accounting services in 2009. Elaine has been an Associate Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) since 2013 under the CIMA professional body. She left the Army in 2015 to work as a contracted Management Accountant for MKC Training Services, a major training provider for the Ministry of Defence, alongside studying for a BA Hons in Sustainable Performance Management which she achieved in 2018.
In 2018, Elaine came to AMAT UK as the Finance Manager. In 2020, Elaine was promoted to Senior Manager of Core Functions, continuing to manage all the finance functions within the organisation and overseeing the management of Human Resources, Housing Benefit and Quality and Compliance functions.
Cat Smithurst – Senior Manager of Support Services
Cat is a lifelong Medway resident, who has worked in the charity and statutory Sectors for nearly 20 years.
I started my journey with AMAT UK in 2011 and managed our first community project 423 HUB, I was then promoted to support services manager. In 2013, I left for pastures new, and went onto work for an Advocacy Charity, and then onto to KCC as a project manager within their adult safeguarding department.
My background is in personal development, and how to improve personal, social and employability skills using activity and social events. I am also a professional musician and song writer, so luckily for me, my relationship with AMAT was formally reconnected in 2016 when we set up the AMAT UK ALIVE AND SINGING Choir. A project I am extremely proud of, and privileged to have a front row seat to see the progression and outcomes achieved by our members. During 2019 – 2022, I also worked with AMAT UK as a fundraising consultant, which has been really enjoyable work. Being able to analyse and write about the achievements and outcomes that our residents and staff had achieved together, reinforced what a special and important organisation we are lucky enough to have within the heart of Medway. This work came to its planned end in October 2022, so when the post for Senior Manager of Support Services came up, I knew that this was an opportunity for me to continue my journey with AMAT, one that I couldn’t pass up, and I was thrilled to be offered the position after an extensive interview process.
I am so excited and proud to be able to use my skills and experience to shape and nurture our Support team, grow our community project, and ensure that the quality and best practice that AMAT is known for is maintained, upheld and developed, as well as having a strategic impact on the reaction and direction of the whole organisation.
Liam Breen – Front Office and Allocations Manager
Liam is a lifelong Medway resident that came to work with AMAT UK in 2005. Although he had little experience of working within the homeless sector – he demonstrated a great knowledge of the local area and Medway faces.
Having been with the charity for such a long time now, Liam has experience in most AMAT UK departments, and always showed an aptitude for developing rapport with our residents. His promotion to Front Office and Allocations manager in 2015 was a natural progression and played to his strengths in such a customer facing role. Liam shows a very real understanding of how homelessness has impacted the lives of our residents and how many of us could be in a similar position.
Becky Hutley – Human Resources Manager
Following a move from London to Kent, Becky began searching for a role closer to home which resulted in a part time HR admin assistant role at AMAT UK.
Within months of working at AMAT UK, Becky was given the opportunity to train in HR and completed a CIPD Level 3 Certificate in HR Practice in order to fulfil the position of HR Coordinator, later promoted to HR Manager. Throughout the last decade, Becky has continued her professional development, and is now studying for her CIPD Level 7 Diploma. Becky is also an associate member of the CIPD.
Becky’s previous experience in roles prior to her time at AMAT UK include retail, mental health organisations and various veterinary – the empathic skills she developed within these roles have ensured that her approach to HR is always respectful, understanding and with set clear boundaries.
Lisa Baker – Housing Benefit Manager
Lisa is a lifelong Medway Resident. After various job roles and a career break to have her children, Lisa decided it was time to get back to work and in 2007 applied (successfully) for a role as a Housing Benefits Assistant with AMAT UK. Lisa was promoted to Housing Coordinator in 2012.
Lisa has completed various training with AMAT UK during her 14 years with the company, and is now the Housing Benefit Manager. Lisa has always been able to build good rapport with out residents, and despite promotion to management, has always maintained client-facing work as a part of her role.
Jo Akehurst – Quality and Compliance Manager
Jo is a lifelong Medway resident, who had various roles in different sectors before joining the AMAT UK family in 2004.
Jo started her journey with AMAT UK as a housing benefit assistant. After 6 months of working as a housing benefit assistant she was promoted to housing benefit manager and was in that post for 6 years. Following her return from maternity leave, Jo was offered a promotion to Quality and Compliance Manager, the main focus of which is to ensure that AMAT UK’s policies and procedures are fit for purpose as well as remaining resident focused. Jo has been instrumental in AMAT UK successfully achieving both the ISO 9001 & OHSAS 18001 (later ISO 45001) certificates, and is now leading the way to us achieving the NVCO trusted charity trademark.