Find out more about the Conference speakers and workshop leaders below


Abdi Hassan

Abdi Hassan pictureAbdi Hassan, Founder; is someone who has (trigger warning) experienced child abuse, homelessness, addiction and lives with PD. Despite this Abdi was able to study and gain an Economics degree from the London School of Economics. Abdi has over 16 years Director level experience, working for PwC, Unilever and the Dorchester, Four Seasons, RAC and 45 other luxury hotel group. Abdi focuses his time on developing social enterprises and supporting the POC community to find solutions to impact change in their own lives. Founder of Coffee Afrik CIC, running 8 projects, across North East London, with a clear culturally competent focus, including violent reduction, peer to peer/individual therapy, Tree of life therapies and is a creator of social action and trauma centred safe spaces as well as sitting on NHS England's Mental Health Transformation Board. 

Alex Boys, Head of Business Develepmont, NAVCA

Alex Boys pictureAlex has worked with the VCSE sector for over 14 years. Prior to joining NAVCA in 2020, Alex was Chief Executive of a VCSE infrastructure body in the West Midlands, where he played an active part in the local Health and Wellbeing Board and was Senior Responsible Officer for the ‘Resilient Communities’ strand of the Integrated Care Partnership plan. Alex is also a director of Black Country Together CIC, a collaboration between local VCSE infrastructure bodies which plays an integral role in supporting VCSE engagement in the Black Country & West Birmingham Integrated Care System. 


Alice Wilcock, Assistant Director, Team London (Volunteering) and Sport, Greater London Authority

Alice Wilcock pictureAlice Wilcock is Assistant Director of Team London (volunteering) and Sport at the GLA. Alice’s team covers volunteering and social action and using volunteering as a way of bringing Londoners together. She is also responsible for the Community Sports programme.  

Alice joined the GLA in 2016 from the Community Development Foundation, where she was Director of Partnerships and Innovation. Her role included working with community groups on local social action, managing multi-million-pound programme Community First for Office of Civil Society and delivering training and consultancy to a variety of clients from the public, private and voluntary sector.  

Prior to joining CDF Alice worked for Barclays, where she headed their Community Affairs programme, covering community sponsorship and staff volunteering.

Dr Angela Bhan, Bromley Borough Director, Consultant in Public Health, SEL CCG

Angela qualified in medicine at the Royal London Hospital and spent her junior doctor years in north east London. She crossed the Thames to train in public health  in south east London  and Kent. First appointed to a consultant post in Bromley, she progressed to be joint Director of Public Health in Bromley Primary Care Trust and subsequently, Chief Officer of Bromley CCG. Now, as part of a bigger organisationsouth east London CCG, there have been even greater opportunities for system wide working, for example as SRO for various south east London wide workstreams. Latterly, as Gold Command for SEL CCG, Angela worked with key colleagues and core organisations, to shape and implement south east London’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Throughout her working life, Angela has been keen to promote integrated working with the patient as a focus, a population health management and a preventive approach, thus combining both public health and management. Overseeing the development of the One Bromley partnership approach over recent years, Angela has helped to ensure that voluntary sector organisations are core partners at the table and are enabled to help deliver improvements in health and services. In Bromley, the voluntary sector has played a fundamental role in service delivery, as a key partner within One Bromley.  

Christopher Evans, CEO, Community Links Bromley

Christopher Evans pictureChristopher joined Community Links Bromley (CLB) as Chief Executive in September 2019. He has extensive experience in strategic management having worked as Chief Officer at Basildon, Billericay and Wickford Council for Voluntary Service (BBWCVS) for nine years. Prior to this Christopher worked at senior management level at Citizens Advice, where he worked as Borough Director.He has diverse experience of developing and maintaining relationships with a diverse range of customers, stakeholders and partners including local third sector organisations, private businesses and statutory agencies. 

Christopher also serves as the voluntary and community sector representative on the Bromley Health and Well Being Board and is a Director of the Bromley Third Sector Enterprise.

Dawn Plimmer, Senior Head of Practice, Collaborate CIC

Dawn Plimmer pictureDawn is Senior Head of Practice at Collaborate. She leads Collaborate's place-based partnerships with a number of areas, work on funding and commissioning, and systems change learning partnerships with clients including Save the Children and the Cornerstone Fund. She is co-author of the reports Exploring the New World and Public Service for the Real World which set out an alternative approach to commissioning, funding and managing public service in complexity. 

Dawn's background is in grantmaking, including strategy and learning roles at the Big Lottery Fund and charity consultancy, NPC (New Philanthropy Capital). Dawn is trustee of Southwark and Tower Hamlets grant-maker, the Wakefield and Tetley Trust; and Xenia, a community group in Hackney which brings together women learning English and women who speak fluent English to enable language learning, social connections and cultural exchange. 

Jessica Lubin, Director of Health Transformation, Partnerships and Networks, Hackney CVS

Jessica Lubin is the Director of Health Transformation, Partnerships and Networks at Hackney Council for Voluntary Services. She has worked across health, social care and the third sector including managing a community service for people who had strokes and their families, and consulting in health governance improvement. She is part of an international research collaborative looking into partnership working across health and social care sector and has studied psychology to an undergraduate level and Global Health to a postgraduate level. 

She has a passion for the power of communities to look after their health, and in her current role at HCVS is working closely with communities and health professionals across Hackney and the City to improve health outcomes, challenging and reducing health inequalities. 

Marie Gabriel, Designate Chair, North East London Integrated Care System (ICS)

Image of Marie GabrielWith almost 20 years of NHS Board experience, Marie is currently the Independent Chair Designate of the North East London Integrated Care System, Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and of the NHS Race and Health Observatory.  Prior to this, Marie chaired East London NHS Foundation Trust and before that commissioning organisations with budgets up to £3bn Her first NED role was as Vice Chair of Newham University Hospital Trust.  Marie’s national roles include membership of the National People Board and National Equality and Diversity Group and she is also the Co-Chair of the London People Board and a member of the Greater London Authority’s London Health Board. Marie’s background is in local government and the voluntary sector with particular experience in social justice, regeneration and equity.  In 2020 Marie’s contribution to the NHS was recognised through her incorporation in the Health Service Journal’s list of the 80 most influential people in the NHS and the award of her CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.  Marie's contribution to the London Borough of Newham was recognised in 2010 when she was awarded Honorary Freedom of the Borough. 

Naomi Goldberg, Director of Strategy, Metro GAVS

Naomi Goldberg is the Director of Strategy at METRO Charity, a community and equalities organisation working predominantly across the South East of England with a strong heritage in the Royal Borough of Greenwich 

As part of her work, Naomi manages the CVS function for Royal Greenwich, supporting just over 1,000 voluntary, community and faith organisations in the borough. Naomi joined what was then a new CVS - Greenwich Action for Voluntary Service (GAVS) - as their Chief Executive in 2009, and oversaw the successful merger with METRO in November 2017. 

Naomi’s degree was in Pharmacology at King’s College London where she became the elected sabbatical treasurer. This student union experience led to a career of over 20 years in Local Government in London, working in five London boroughs culminating as an assistant director working on policy and performance. Naomi also spent a year on loan to the cabinet office in 2003 working on public service reform. Just before her current job she worked in Vietnam supporting the UNAIDS office to develop and improve as an organisation. 

As Director of Strategy for METRO, Naomi has lead responsibility for the development and support to Greenwich’s voluntary and community sector including the local VCS strategy, giving the sector a voice and supporting the sector to work together to secure funding from across a range of sectors 

She is a policy analyst, networker and facilitator.  Currently she leads two key cross-sector work-streams within the borough: improving coproduction across the system, and improvements to the mental health system. This includes supporting GAIN to establish itself as the user charity for people with mental health issues in Greenwich.  

On average METRO GAVS provides support to just under 200 organisations per year. GAVS and subsequently METRO GAVS have supported the securing of over £6million by their members since April 2015. 

Olivia Hughes, Social Value Development Officer, Flintshire County Council

Olvivia Hughes pictureOlivia is the lead Social Value Development Officer at Flintshire County Council. As an experienced social value practitioner, Olivia is responsible for delivering a strategic programme devised to measure and maximise social value across the organisation, its services and collective expenditure. 

Her main role focuses on the Council’s collaborative commissioning and procurement activities as a key driver for social value. She works closely with key stakeholders and providers to drive positive change through sustainable commissioning and procurement practices, through applying the core principles of social value and The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, centred on long termism, collaboration, co-production, prevention, involvement, assessment and inclusion of stakeholder and community needs. 

Moreover she challenges day to day procurement decisions, partners, services and providers to consider how they can generate additional value for the communities of Flintshire.  

Since joining the Council in 2019, Olivia has been responsible for developing a Flintshire specific social value measurement framework and bespoke system aligned to local needs and priorities, and which is now used to fairly and consistently measure and evaluate social value during the commissioning and procurement of all goods,  

Olivia currently leads as Vice Chair of the North Wales Regional Social Value Network Group, which aims to develop and share good practise of social value across the North Wales region.  

Prior to her current role, Olivia worked as an independent consultant supporting organisations within the construction sector to grow and develop through strategic procurement support and guidance.  

Professor Patrick Vernon OBE, Associate Director, Centre for Ageing Better

Patrick Vernon picturePatrick is recently appointed Independent Non- Executive Director of Birmingham and Solihull ICS where he leads on inequalities, chair of Citizenship Partnership for HSIB and Non-Executive Director for Hertfordshire NHS Trust and is Associate Director for Connected Communities for the Centre for Ageing Better. He is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow of Goodenough College, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, Fellow of Royal Historical Society, and former associate fellow for the department of history of medicine at Warwick University. Patrick was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work on tackling health inequalities and ethnic minority communities. 

In 2018 he received an honorary PhD from Wolverhampton University and was selected as one of the 1000 Progressive Londoners by the Evening Standard. In 2019 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award for campaigning and advocacy work by the SMK Foundation. In 2020 Patrick was selected by British Vogue as one of Britain’s top 20 campaigners and was included in the 2020 Power list of 100 influential Black People in Britain.In 2020 Patrick established the Majonzi Fund which is providing small grants to families and community organisations to organise commemoration events for individuals from BAME communities who have died of covid-19 over the last 19 months. Patrick is a broadcaster and writes blogs and articles for the national and international media on healthcare, cultural heritage, and race. In August 2021 Patrick was appointed by Wolverhampton University as Honorary Professor of cultural heritage and Community Leadership.

Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health, City of London and London Borough of Hackney

Dr Sandra Husbands pictureDr Sandra Husbands is Director of Public Health for the City of London and London Borough of Hackney. Before coming to East London she was Executive DPH at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board/Swansea Bay University Health Board, in South West Wales. Dr Husbands has over 30 years’ experience in health care, research and academia in the UK and internationally. She has held a number of senior public health roles at local and regional level, in the NHS,  local government and Public Health England. Sandra is devoted to unleashing the power of individuals and communities to improve their own health and wellbeing. She is committed to driving improved population health, through engaging communities and improving health care quality to achieve better outcomes for patients. Her particular interests  are increasing health literacy, preventing and improving outcomes from  long-term conditions and making better use of resources to improve outcomes. 

Sean Rafferty, Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning, London Borough of Bromley

Sean currently holds the joint posts of Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning with LB Bromley and Director of Commissioning for SELCCG (Bromley.) Prior to coming to Bromley he has held a number of senior commissioning and strategy roles in other London boroughs and the Home Counties. 

Susan Masters