This Trustees’ Week (6-10 November 2023), the focus is on the individual talents, viewpoints and experiences trustees bring to their charity. Vicky kindly took time out of her busy schedule to talk about her involvement as a trustee with The Winchester Beacon.

Vicky Hemmings has been a member of our Board of Trustees since 2022. Vicky has over twenty years’ consulting experience supporting banks, financial services and pensions operations. Most recently, she has worked in central government leading, supporting and reviewing the end to end asylum system for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the UK and sourcing their wrap around services for temporary accommodation and shelter.

What are your views on the current picture of homelessness in the UK?
Homelessness in the UK is on the rise. It is an ongoing and underfunded problem. I think that society is getting better at recognising that it is a problem but it is still misunderstood as to why it happens. There are issues around unemployment, a lack of housing and the economy.

There are a record number of people in temporary accommodation and it feels like we are reactive rather than proactive in finding a solution. The pandemic has exacerbated the problem.

What motivated you to become involved in The Winchester Beacon?
After being so involved in setting up hotels for unaccompanied asylum seeking children I wanted to do more in this space than I had done before. Being at the forefront meant that I saw firsthand the complex vulnerabilities of the children. People are so much more than just a number and I wanted to find a way to do more as a society to address the issues.

What experience and skills do you think you bring to the board?
I think that my experience as a management consultant means that I am able to identify challenges and offer up solutions on a practical level. I can be objective whilst challenging and highlighting potential issues. I also have a lot of experience of safeguarding issues.

The board members are really diverse, we are lucky to have such a good mix of people. We are able to learn from eachother and provide different perspectives.

How do you think The Winchester Beacon is helping the homelessness situation?
The Winchester Beacon helps people to get back on their feet. It provides somewhere to sleep, eat and a network of support. Residents are able to reset.

Meet all of our Trustees here.

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