Meet the Team

Chief executive, finance and operations

Jake Ferguson - CEO

Jake FergusonCEO

Jake joined Hackney CVS in 2001. As CEO he has responsibility for the development and support of Hackney’s voluntary and community sector including strategies around commissioning, premises and new funding.

Since 2001 he has helped the organisation grow from an annual turnover of £300k to over £3.5m.

Internally Jake oversees the organisation’s approach to business planning and sustainability as well as ensuring it is continually improving to deliver our vision of a fairer Hackney.

Jake is part of a number of national and regional initiatives looking at generous leadership, co-production and ways of working in the voluntary sector that will build a new generation of charitable leaders. He is regularly called upon to give voluntary sector insight and evidence to central government and funders.

Jake has been involved in lots of important strategies in Hackney including Outcomes for Young Black Men, and Health and Social Care Transformation as well as the former Team Hackney Local Strategic partnership which helped to establish Hackney as one of the highest performing boroughs in the country.

In his spare time Jake co-leads a band called The Heliocentrics which has toured the world and won awards for its musical output.

Mark Boisson - Director of Finance & Resources

Mark BoissonDirector of Finance & Resources

Mark joined Hackney CVS in December 2014 as its Finance Director and leads on all aspects of finance including that of our trading subsidiary, City and Hackney Together.

Mark is an experienced accountant and has previously worked at a senior level in a number of not-for-profit and other sectors, most recently in education.

Vicky Scott - Head of Operations

Vicky ScottHead of Operations

Phone: 020 7923 1962, ext. 8359

Berhane Gebrealfa - Senior Finance Officer

Berhane GebrealfaSenior Finance Officer

Berhane has many years of accounting experience, mainly working in the not-for-profit sector.  He had been Finance Officer at Hackney CVS between 2007-12.

He is also a treasurer of a community football club coaching kids between ages 7-18.

Mark Drinkwater - Systems Co-ordinator

Mark DrinkwaterSystems Co-ordinator

Mark has over 20 years’ experience working for charities, including 19 years working for CVS organisations in London.

Popi Begum - Receptionist

Popi BegumReceptionist

Popi is one of Hackney CVS’ longest serving staff members and supports visitors at front of house as Hackney CVS receptionist.

Communications & Hackney Giving

Matt Bray - Communications Director & Hackney Giving Lead

Matt BrayCommunications Director & Hackney Giving Lead

Matt has been producing and directing digital and print media for 15  years and heads up the communications team.

He is also the lead for  Hackney Giving, a local giving programme to support the borough’s smaller grassroots charities and community groups.

In addition to lots of hands on experience, Matt has an MA in Global Society and Media Communication.

In his spare time Matt enjoys playing tennis, cycling up mountains and watching dance productions.

Natasha Julien - Media Facilitator, Connect Hackney

Natasha JulienMedia Facilitator, Connect Hackney

Natasha facilitates the Connect Hackney Senior media group, where Hackney elders, many aged in their 70s and 80s, learn computer and media skills and produce content for Hackney Senior magazine.

Natasha has a background in community radio and training.

In her spare time, Natasha bakes colourful multi-layered cakes!

Mark Drinkwater - Communications Officer, Connect Hackney

Mark DrinkwaterCommunications Officer, Connect Hackney

Mark authors the Connect Hackney website and twitter feed.

Sarah Watson - Development & Programme Manager, Hackney Giving

Sarah WatsonDevelopment & Programme Manager, Hackney Giving

Sarah joined Hackney CVS in February 2020 to revive and develop the Hackney Giving programme, a local giving programme to support the borough’s grassroots charities and community groups.  Sarah has worked in and around the voluntary sector throughout her career and has previously managed several funding programmes offering grants at different scales: from one-off events to multi-year partnership projects.

When she’s not working, Sarah can often be found running in the local parks and green spaces and she enjoys sewing.  She was part of the team that saved Homerton’s Chesham Arms from closure and is a founder member of Protect Pubs, a network of campaigners supporting communities nationally to retain their pubs.

Monique Smith - Hackney Giving Project Coordinator

Monique SmithHackney Giving Project Coordinator

Communities and Partnerships

Mohammed Mansour - Head of VCS Development

Mohammed MansourHead of VCS Development

Katie Barton - Neighbourhoods Voluntary Sector Programme Manager

Katie BartonNeighbourhoods Voluntary Sector Programme Manager

Katie joined Hackney CVS in June 2019. Katie has over 8 years’ experience in volunteer management, outreach and programme management in the community and voluntary sector.
Katie loves meeting new people, live music and all kinds of arts and crafts.
Victoria McNally  - Neighbourhood Development Manager

Victoria McNally Neighbourhood Development Manager

Vic is part of the Well Street Common Neighbourhood pilot, helping to build a programme of training, development and funding support to the Neighbourhood’s local groups and organisations .

She has over 20 years’ experience in the community and voluntary sector, working across legal advice, organisational development, campaigning and policy.  Before joining Hackney CVS in September she worked for nine years at INQUEST supporting families in their campaign for justice and system change following deaths involving state abuse and failure. Her work has focused on challenging conditions and systems that curtail the equal treatment, health and opportunity of our communities.

Jahada Abdul - Safeguarding Adults & Children Coordinator

Jahada AbdulSafeguarding Adults & Children Coordinator

Jahada joined Hackney CVS in October 2016 as a Community Care Navigator.
Jahada has over 8 years of experience working in social care sector within community and hospital settings. Previously she had worked for Age UK East London and in various roles for the NHS.
She enjoys trekking for different charities, travelling and oriental food.  


Shamima Aktar - Networks Coordinator (on maternity leave)

Shamima AktarNetworks Coordinator (on maternity leave)

Shamima started work at Hackney CVS in March 2011 as an apprentice and was later employed as a receptionist before taking up the role of Network Coordinator  -supporting the the Health and Social Care Forum and the Children and Young People’s Provider Forum.

She enjoys spicy food and going to the cinema with family and friends.

Ali Aksoy  - Director of Hackney Refugee & Migrant Forum

Ali Aksoy Director of Hackney Refugee & Migrant Forum

A refugee from Turkey because of the Military Coup in 1980.

Ali was the Founder of first Turkish speaking Workers Association in Hackney in 1979 and the trade union organizer of textile workers in Hackney. He has organised many Refugee and migrant rights and services groups and campaigns locally and London wide. In Hackney Ali brings refugee groups together with the council departments and service providers to influence policy.

Aisha Forbes - Development Officer

Aisha ForbesDevelopment Officer

Aisha has worked in the social justice sector for 15 years.  She enjoys supporting social action and community development of individuals, community groups and organisations.

Her specialisms are in organisational development and capacity building, policy, advocacy and race equality.

Outside of working with Hackney groups at HCVS Aisha is also a co-director and facilitator of an anti-racist practice organisation in Islington.

Aisha also works as a nature-based holistic therapist and life coach with a clinic in Hackney and enjoys the intersection of healing and social justice.

Oladapo Awosokanre - ESOL Project Coordinator​, Network Coordinator (Maternity cover)

Oladapo AwosokanreESOL Project Coordinator​, Network Coordinator (Maternity cover)

Oladapo has over 18 years’ experience having worked as an editor, campaigner, project manager and trainer in not-for-profit and community organisations in Nigeria and the UK. He has a degree in Political Science and a Master’s in International Law and Diplomacy.

As a Hackney resident Oladapo has contributed to community development and empowering local people through training. He is passionate about social justice and human rights.

In his spare time Oladapo likes to write articles, travel and organise events.


Connect Hackney Ageing Better

Tony Wong - Programme Director

Tony WongProgramme Director

Tony joined Hackney CVS in November 2018. He has been in the third sector for over ten years and has worked on a range of issues including refugee and asylum seeking women, domestic abuse, and prostate cancer.

Tony is responsible for leading the Connect Hackney programme which aims to improve the wellbeing of people aged over 50 by preventing loneliness and isolation. Connect Hackney is one of 14 programmes across England funded by Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives, Ageing Better programme.

In his spare time, Tony keeps a healthy mind and body by going to gym, and has promised himself to take up tennis.

Judy Harris - Development Lead

Judy HarrisDevelopment Lead

Judy loves working with grassroots community groups who she believes often go above and beyond for the people they support. When she’s in a more bureaucratic mood Judy enjoys translating policy jargon into everyday language.

Judy was and forever will be studying for a PhD in early film theory at Goldsmiths University. She loves Polish gherkin soup.

Suj Ahmed - Development Coordinator, Lunch Clubs

Suj AhmedDevelopment Coordinator, Lunch Clubs

Suj has project managed community development programmes for over 25 years in various London boroughs with multiple partners. He really enjoys helping organisations to develop and serve the needs of some of the most vulnerable service users in our community, as well as supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Suj is passionate about family, films and Chelsea.

Kim-Lien Ong - Programme Coordinator

Kim-Lien OngProgramme Coordinator

Kim joined the Hackney CVS in 2017. She coordinates the delivery of the Connect Hackney programme, which aims to reduce social isolation amongst older people living in Hackney.

Before joining Hackney CVS, she worked in the support and care sector for over 6 years supporting vulnerable adults to be independent, have their voices heard and be involved in their community. Kim has a passion for vulnerable adults and enjoys projects which give vulnerable adults a voice and opportunities to influence policy.

In her spare time, Kim enjoys exploring different cultures and cuisines, cooking and travelling.

020 7923 1962

Youth Programmes Team

Saqib Deshmukh - Director of Young People and Families

Saqib DeshmukhDirector of Young People and Families

Saqib is an JNC qualified youth worker/manager with 20 years’ experience on the frontline in different parts of the country. He is responsible for youth leadership and employment programmes at Hackney CVS. Saqib is also a NVQ assessor and has a background of working with young men, arts/heritage and in policy and campaigning work.

Tim Head - Account Group (YIAG) Project Officer

Tim HeadAccount Group (YIAG) Project Officer

Tim started as a volunteer at Hackney CVS in summer 2018, working as a researcher with the Stop and Search Monitoring Group. He is now the project officer for Account, Hackney’s Youth-led Independent Advisory Group.

Outside of his work at CVS, Tim is completing a PhD at the University of Essex in the Department of Government.