Movement for Change has a team of full time staff who will work within the Labour movement to train and develop community organisers. The staff team are below. Volunteer trainers and organisers are also an essential part of Movement for Change. As we develop this website you will be able to find and contact local activists near you.
Kathryn Perera - Chief Executive
Kathryn Perera (nee White) manages the Movement for Change team and works with the membership to provide strategic direction to the organisation. She spends as much of her time as possible working in communities alongside the rest of the community organising team.
Kathryn grew up in the market town of Aylesbury, Bucks, the child of Irish Catholic parents who spent their working lives in teaching and the youth service. Having studied History at Oxford University, she worked in India for a children’s education charity before returning to the UK and studying for the Bar. Kathryn practised as a barrister at 11KBW Chambers in Temple, specialising in education and employment law. During that time she represented the Labour Party, government departments, trade unions and low-paid individuals in tribunals and courts, including the Court of Appeal. Between 2008 and 2010 Kathryn returned to Aylesbury to stand as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the General Election. Having left the Bar in order to concentrate on writing, she joined Movement for Change as the Head of Innovation in February 2011 before her appointment as Chief Executive in June 2012.
Mike Buckley – Community Organiser
Mike joined Movement for Change because of the opportunity it offers to rebuild links between national and local politics, the big issues and the stuff of our day to day lives. Working with local Labour constituencies, other parts of the movement and local communities provides the opportunity to join the dots and work with others to change ideas, policies, and communities.
Mike previously worked in international development, seeking to build change and strength in communities in developing nations. He’s a Yorkshireman, born in Hull, brought up in Sheffield and Doncaster. He now lives in South London. In addition to working with Movement for Change Mike is studying a politics masters at King’s College London.
Jack Madden – Community Organiser
Jack is a Community Organiser for Movement for Change. He lives in south London but is originally from Darlington in the North East. He’s particularly proud of the fact that the first passenger railway in the world ran between Darlington and Stockton in 1825. Jack is a triplet, and has a younger sister too, so he had to learn the art of negotiation from an early age!
Prior to working for Movement for Change, Jack worked in Parliament for two Labour MPs and got the chance to see close-up how hard Labour MPs, members, and activists work on behalf of all people both in Westminster and in our communities.
Jack studied History at the University of Leeds. It was at university that Jack got his first real taste of political activism, and those experiences on marches and protests continue to influence his views today. Through the stories he read about organisers and activists in the past, and through the stories he heard from organisers that he interviewed during his studies, he developed a strong belief in the importance of holding those with authority to account by building the power of citizens and civil society.
Stewart Owadally – Community Organiser
Stewart is a community organiser on the Movement for Change team. He works with partner organisations in the Labour movement, training individuals to develop their institutions by using community organising.
Stewart hails from South Wales where his father moved from Mauritius. His family were strong labour supporters and Stewart joined the Party whilst in University. He began studying for a Politics Masters in London and has worked for Movement for Change since its early stages. Now, with continuing experience of community organising, Stewart hopes to help contribute to strengthening the grassroots of the Labour Party through Movement for Change.
James Scott – Community Organiser
James is a both a community organiser with Movement for Change and a PhD Candidate at Queen Mary University, conducting research into the organisation of the British labour movement and contemporary theories of social democracy.
Originally from Newcastle, James attended the University of Liverpool where he was awarded a first class degree in Human Geography and wrote a prize-winning dissertation on community development in East Lancashire. On graduating he entered local government, working in South London on social housing regeneration and corporate change. Outside of his work with Movement for Change, James has an interest in tenants rights and campaigning to improve housing conditions.
Kate Talbot – Community Organiser
Kate grew up in Newcastle, where both parents were involved in the local community and her Dad was a union shop steward. She started her political activism at a young age, going on her first march in a buggy! After finishing at her local school, Kate spent a year working and travelling abroad, including at a school in rural India.
On her return she studied History at Cambridge, and was heavily involved in Access work to help dispel some of the myths that discourage students from non-traditional backgrounds from applying to Oxbridge. Following her graduation she worked as a Commercial Manager for a major retailer, but was drawn back into politics after becoming involved with Movement for Change as a volunteer. Kate passionately believes in the importance of the Labour movement, and that grass roots community organising is a key way to strengthen it.
Verity Taylor – Director of Operations
Verity oversees the day-to-day running of the Movement for Change office. When she isn’t in the office Verity spends as much time as possible working in communities alongside the rest of the community organiser team.
Verity grew up in a very political family in West Yorkshire and is passionate about tackling injustice and inequality. She trained as a lawyer and became interested in community organising after working on her firm’s pro bono projects. Verity was first involved in the Movement for Change during David Miliband’s Labour leadership campaign.
Heli Nissinen – Communications Officer
Heli grew up in Finland and has always been passionate about matters of inequality. After graduating from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, with a Master’s Degree in social sciences, Heli joined the Finnish Foreign Service to work with the Finnish Embassies in Canberra, Australia and Washington DC, USA. Heli also runs her own non-profit organisation in Western Kenya to help improve the lives of underprivileged children. Heli joined the Movement for Change team in early 2013 when she moved to the UK.