Philip Sparke, Chief Executive
Phil’s former career in the Royal Navy brought experience and knowledge to his voluntary role within the Trust as Chair of the Armed Services Region, which he held for six years.
“It is with great personal pleasure that I take up the position of Chief Executive at HCPT – The Pilgrimage Trust,” says Phil.
“The Trust has helped me strengthen and focus my faith over the last 16 years of volunteering. It has allowed me to understand the true spirit of giving and now offers me the opportunity to contribute in new ways as Chief Executive. I relish the opportunity to guide the Trust through uncertain and difficult times, but with those challenges I also see great possibilities for the second biggest Catholic charity in the Country, one that has already touched so many people in so many ways and has a loyal and enthusiastic supporter base behind it every step of the way.”
Anna Baxter, Accounts Manager
Anna joined HCPT in April 2011 after two years of managing and mentoring the accounts payable team of a Northamptonshire trading company. Anna moved to Rugby in 2006 after graduating from university with a degree in EU Structural Funding and a Masters in Economics.
"Having worked with underprivileged children as a summer camp teacher during her university years, I knew straight away that working for the Trust and being part of the process that makes a positive difference to children’s lives will give me a great deal of job satisfaction."
Anna ensures correct allocation of funds, reconciles Trust bank accounts and online payments, and manages income and payments for group accounts, internal fund transfers, as well as sending balances of group accounts.
Jennie Black, Assistant Pilgrimage Organiser
Jennie joined the Trust in January 2012. She has a background in training and events management, organising a wide range of events, conferences and training seminars for professional bodies including lawyers, accountants, chemical engineers and college inspectors. Jennie has a degree in Business Information Technology with French, and as as part of her university degree lived in the South of France for over a year.
Jennie works in the Pilgrimage Department and helps to organise the Easter and Hosanna House Pilgrimages and visits to Bartes Villa, as well as translation work.
Philip Burns, Pilgrimage Organiser
Phil is responsible for planning and managing all the operational details for the Easter and Hosanna House Pilgrimages, which includes planning and booking flights, trains, coaches, hotels, all the excursions, chapels and large mass venues in Lourdes. He is also responsible for the administration of Risk Assessment and Management, Safeguarding, and is the Lead Countersignatory for CRB and CRBS. Inside HQ he is responsible for the IT support for the staff team, developing and maintaining the intranet (Group Leader web pages), and switching computers off and back on again when people press the wrong keys.
Phil started coming to Lourdes in 1992 as a helper, and after Easter 1997 his Group Leader showed him an advert for a job vacancy at HQ, which was then in Banstead, Surrey. He joined HQ in November 1997.
Linsey Green, Finance Assistant
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Sue Hopkins, Office Assistant (currently on maternity leave)
Sue started working for HCPT in 2008 after seeking employment via a recruitment agency. She works with Catherine McGoohan in the Chief Executive's department, processing all Helper application forms, references and interviews for the Easter Pilgrimage. Sue is also responsible for distributing CRB procedures for both Easter and Hosanna House groups, for which she is a CRB and Disclosure Scotland Countersignatory.
Aside from the pilgrimages Sue is responsible for arranging Group Leader induction days, Hosanna House Group Leader meetings, renewal weekends, Nurses' meetings and all administration necessary to facilitate any Trust Conferences. On a day to day basis Sue assists with the administration of the Chief Executive's Department and HQ, and issues all luggage labels and name badges for Easter and Hosanna House pilgrimages. Sue works in the administration office whilst in Lourdes.
Catherine McGoohan, PA to Chief Executive
In 2002, after four years working in the Pilgrimage department, during which time Cath gained a good knowledge of the Easter and Hosanna House pilgrimages, the office relocated to Rugby and she moved to the job of PA to the Chief Executive in June 2002. She has been working in this role ever since.
In addition to many standard PA duties, Cath is also responsible for all administration relating to group leaderships. She look after much of the staff planning for the Easter Pilgrimage and checks all references submitted for new helpers. She is responsible for the administration of Trustees' meetings and senior staff meetings, and take the minutes of both, as well as taking the minutes of Finance Committee meetings. Cath is also responsible for controlling the holiday and sickness leave records, and other HR duties. With a degree in French, Cath is often called on to do translation work within the office.
Cath is a CRB and CRBS countersignatory and works closely with other staff in devising the CRB procedures for Easter and Hosanna House groups. In Lourdes at Easter Cath looks after the HQ office, which operates as the main point of contact for all groups.
Yvonne McKenna, Assistant Pilgrimage Organiser
Yvonne joined the Trust in February 2012. She has most recently worked in sales and customer service roles but has a background in childcare and is a trained Montessori teacher. Yvonne lived in Bordeaux, France for nearly two years while studying and working for a camping holiday company. She now lives in Rugby with her partner and young daughter, having moved there eight years ago from Ireland.
Yvonne works in the Pilgrimage Department where she helps to organise the Easter and Summer pilgrimages.
George Mullis, Donor Development Officer
George spent 8 years in funding management with Leicestershire Constabulary before joining HCPT in February 2011. Prior to this George held a number of account management roles in the advertising sector, working with a diverse range of clients including Walkers Crisps, Vauxhall Motors and the Environment Agency.
His early career was in marketing management roles with the Co-op, Bulldog Tools and Kingfisher Wallcoverings.
George is a native of Co Mayo in Ireland and has lived in the UK for all of his working life. He lives in Market Harborough and is married with two teenage children.
Debra Oliver-Tyson, Office Assistant
Debra joined HCPT in February 2012 having previously worked in banking and politics (being heavily involved in the last two General Election campaigns).
Debra works with Catherine McGoohan in the Chief Executive's department and process all Helper application forms, references and interviews for the Easter Pilgrimage. She is a CRB counter-signatory, ensuring that all forms are processed and the relevant data entered on to the database.
Aside from the pilgrimages Debra is responsible for arranging Group Leader induction days, Hosanna House Group Leader meetings, renewal weekends, Nurses' meetings and all administration necessary to facilitate Trust Conferences. On a day to day basis she assists with the administration of the Chief Executive's department and HQ, and issues all luggage labels and name badges for Easter and Hosanna House pilgrimages.
Outside of work, apart from being a busy mum, Debra helps coach young athletes, maintaining her life-long love of track and field.
George Overton, Head of Fundraising and Communications
Since January 2012 George has led HCPT's fundraising, communication and marketing functions.
He joined the Trust after nearly 15 years in fundraising at national charities such as Home-Start UK, Methodist Homes for the Aged, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Ellie Parris, Accounts Assistant
Ellie joined the Trust in July 2011 after finishing university in Leicester where she gained a degree in Accounting and Finance. This is Ellie’s first full time job but prior to joining the Trust she worked for The Co-operative for six years.
Joan Prendergast, Director of Finance
After travelling as a helper with the Easter Pilgrimage for three years, Joan applied for the job of Accounts Assistant with HCPT in 1998, whilst the offices were in Banstead. Joan moved with the office when the Trust relocated to Rugby and, having changed jobs within the Finance department, is now the Finance Director.
The Finance Department has responsibility for all the finances of the Trust both in the UK and in France. All HCPT groups pay their funds into a central bank account so Joan's team also administers the income and expenditure for all groups. In addition the Finance Department works closely with the Finance Committee of Trustees and advisors to ensure the appropriate management of Trust funds.
"My favourite part of the year is spending the week with my Hosanna House group!" says Joan.