Our team

Photo of Cat Hobbs

Cat Hobbs

Cat is the founder and director of We Own It. Cat ran a successful local rail campaign in Bristol before working at Campaign for Better Transport for three years where she lobbied nationally on behalf of bus and train passengers. She has also worked for a credit union and a sustainability consultancy. Cat studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. Cat is on twitter here.

Alice Dann

Alice works as Admin and Campaign Support at We Own It. For the past three years she has worked in volunteer coordinating and community organising, including overseeing a national volunteering scheme, building solidarity between University students and school pupils facing educational inequality. In the time she is not working for We Own It, Alice works part time for YWMP, a feminist youth charity based in Oxford. 

Johnbosco Nwogbo

Johnbosco Nwogbo works as Lead Campaigner at We Own It. He got his start in campaigning in the mid-2010s at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, as part of the Fees Must Fall and Decolonise the Curriculum movements. For the three years before joining We Own It, he has been a campaigner for renters and community rights as part of ACORN the community union.  You can follow Johnbosco on Twitter here.

Matthew Topham

Matthew works as a Campaigner for Better Buses in West Yorkshire alongside a diverse coalition, including trade unions and civil society groups. Before joining We Own It, he helped campaign for a green and socially just recovery to the coronavirus crisis and for racial and gender equality in science education and academia.

Zana Chaka

Zana is the Office Manager at We Own It. Before joining the team, she worked in the publishing and retail industries. In her spare time, Zana enjoys watching - and getting overexcited about - football. 

A photo of Tom Morton

Tom Morton

Tom Morton works as one of We Own It’s Lead Campaigners. With a background as a trade union activist with Unite Community and the IWGB, Tom has joined We Own It from ACORN the Union where he was Bristol’s Head Organiser. Tom has successfully led campaigns to build more council homes in Bristol, prevent illegal evictions in the city during COVID lockdowns, and win tens of thousands of pounds in compensation for renters.

Jack Yates

Jack works as the Press and Communications lead at We Own It. Before joining the team, Jack was one of ACORN's national Communications Officers following a stint as a local Comms Officer for the Union. He has a BSc in Politics and an MSc in Social Policy.

Photo of David Hall

David Hall

David Hall is on our Board. He is Director and Founder of the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) at the University of Greenwich, which researches privatisation and public services worldwide. He works internationally with trade unions and civil society on the problems of privatisation and ways of returning services to the public sector.

Fran Bury

Fran is the Treasurer on our Board.  She is a Public Health Registrar in London, and has previously worked in the voluntary sector, local government and for a small consulting firm.  She has been a Green Party member and activist for some years and has particular interests in climate change, social justice and making public services as effective as possible. 

Kamaljeet Gill

Kamaljeet is on our board. He is a policy officer focussing on public services at the Trades Union Congress (TUC). He has been at the TUC for four years, and has previously worked as a policy officer at the Electoral Commission and a research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust. He also serves on the board of Jubilee Debt Campaign and StopWatch.

Liz Peretz

Liz is on our board.  She has campaigned against privatisation in health and social care for over 20 years. She is also a long term campaigner against the unjust system of detaining migrants, indefinitely, without trial. This system has been largely privatised and has become yet another vehicle for private profit. A lifetime socialist, she has witnessed the dismantling of our public services, and is passionate in her fight to get them back into our own hands. She is a retired public services manager, a historian of social policy, and is an associate fellow at the University of Oxford's Department of Social Policy and Intervention.

Grace Egan

Dr Grace Egan is a volunteer at We Own It. Her background is in research, and education (University of Oxford; Cherwell School). She has volunteered with sustainability and access projects in Oxfordshire, and her interests include climate change and migrant rights.

Our Advisors

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe is a National Officer (Health) for Unite the Union. He also sits on the NHS Staff Council Executive and NHS Pensions board on behalf of the Union. He was previously seconded to work on behalf of the EU via ACAS as a pre accession social dialogue adviser in Romania between 2004 and 2006 and has served his community as a school governor and chair of a community centre trust. He holds degrees from the University of Manchester and the London School of Economics.

Dan Gregory

Dan Gregory

Dan Gregory is an independent advisor on the funding and finance of mutual and social enterprise, working both on policy at a national level and in practice at a grassroots, local level. He is currently Director of the Social Economy Alliance.

Photo of Neal Lawson

Neal Lawson

Neal Lawson is chair of the pressure group Compass and author of the book All Consuming. He serves on the Board of UK Feminista and is an associate member of the Bauman Institute at the University of Leeds.

Gail Cartmail

Gail Cartmail

Gail Cartmail is an Assistant General Secretary at Unite the Union. Her main role is to lead the union’s construction, energy, finance and public service teams, campaigning for better terms and conditions for members in that sector. She is a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Satoko Kishimoto

Satoko Kishimoto

Satoko Kishimoto is a researcher with the Transnational Institute, and was an environmental activist in Japan in the 1990s. She advocates for the public ownership of water, and has co-authored books on reclaiming public water and remunicipalisation. 

Photo of George Woods

George Woods

George advises us on campaign strategy and media. He works at the New Economics Foundation think tank, helping campaigners for social and economic justice to develop their knowledge and skills. Previously he worked as a trade union officer and community organiser, building popular support for public ownership of the railways and against cuts to local train and bus services.

Photo of Hilary Wainwright

Hilary Wainwright

Hilary Wainwright is a fellow of the Transnational Institute, and co-editor of Red Pepper magazine. She is a leading researcher and writer on how to strengthen democracy in the face of corporate power and on democracy - rather than market - driven strategies for public service reform and the positive role that trade unions and public service users can play in this process.

Sampson Low

Sampson Low

Sampson Low is Head of Policy at UNISON where he has supported members fighting privatisation. He previously worked for the Office for National Statistics as a researcher and was the local Branch Secretary for the IPMS (now Prospect) union branch.

A photo of Donna Hall

Professor Donna Hall CBE

Donna has been described as a “public service pioneer” by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. She was awarded a CBE in 2009 for innovation in public service and was Transformational Leader in the Northern Powerwomen Awards 2017. She was CEO of Wigan Council for 8 years and developed The Wigan Deal - a new relationship with residents which delivered 160 million savings and improved services and resident satisfaction. She was also accountable officer for the CCG at Wigan. She created another social contract with residents while CEO at Chorley Council - The Chorley Smile. She is a passionate feminist who championed “Believe in Her” and led a major equality change programme to ensure Wigan Council now has a zero gender pay gap. She is now the chair of the innovative national think tank New Local, the Chair of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of Possabilities, a local social enterprise supporting people with learning disabilities. She was appointed as an Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester in August 2019. She is also an Integrated Care System Adviser to NHS England. Adopted as a child she is passionate about person-centred public services and communities.

We're also lucky to have Rich Lott from Artful Robot stitching together the technology that runs the website.

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