Media Spokespeople at Hft

Our spokespeople are happy to talk on a range of issues, from the challenges currently facing the adult social care sector, through to pioneering new approaches to support that we believe have the potential to transform existing models of care.

If you’d like to contact any of Hft’s Spokespeople, please

call 0117 906 1697, or

email during office hours.

Robert Longley-Cook
Chief Executive

Robert joined Hft as Chief Executive in 2010 with more than 25 years of business experience.  He started his career at BP, working in both the UK and overseas, and held roles in sales, marketing, commercial strategy and corporate social responsibility, before making the move into the charity sector.  He spent four years working for WRVS – now RVS – as Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing, Communications and Volunteering before joining Hft.   Robert is passionate about delivering outstanding outcomes for the people supported by Hft – whatever their level of disability and ensuring the financial sustainability of the charity.  Robert can speak knowledgeably on a range of learning disability issues.  This includes the unprecedented challenges facing the social care sector, such as the implications of the introduction of the National Living Wage and the apprenticeship levy, and pioneering the move to outcomes based commissioning, through new transformational models of support and driving productivity in high quality services.

Image of person icon
Vanessa Edwards
Director of Fundraising

Vanessa Edwards joined Hft as Director of Fundraising in November 2018.  She has over 25 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector in a variety of roles and for a wide range of organisations including heritage and museums, education, conservation, children and young people, and the arts.  Vanessa manages a highly skilled fundraising team raising c£3m each year for Hft, to enhance the lives of the people we support.  Vanessa can talk about the challenges in the voluntary sector, a range of fundraising disciplines including running successful capital campaigns, major donor programmes, trusts and foundations, donor marketing, legacies and regional fundraising.  Hft is a member of the Fundraising Regulator and Vanessa can contribute to discussions around compliance, legal requirement and ethics in the voluntary sector.

Billy Davis
Public Affairs and Policy Manager

Billy is Hft’s policy and public affairs specialist with more than a decade of experience working in both Brussels and Westminster for private companies, charities and the higher education sector.  He can talk about the implications of key policy areas such as social care, funding and Brexit for providers like Hft and the people we support.   Billy also leads Hft on influencing positive policy change for people with learning disabilities, through campaigning, policy-based research and assisting and Voices To Be Heard, a speak out group for people with learning disabilities, to engage effectively with MPs, councillors and other key stakeholders. Billy is a member of the PubAffairs Network, and Public Affairs Cymru.

Sarah Weston
Innovation Manager

Sarah specialises in raising awareness of personalised technology and how it can be used to support people to live more independently, as well as developing new partnerships and projects around technology.  Sarah is passionate about the use of technology to enhance lives and can talk about Hft’s involvement in a number of projects trialling new technologies to improve health and well-being for people with learning disabilities and the use of universal design principles to develop technological solutions that are accessible for all.

Lee Campion
Specialist Skills Practitioner

Lee Campion is one of Hft’s Specialist Skills Practitioners, and leads our Positive Behavioural Support team; a dedicated service within Hft, established to ensure that a hands-on approach in the development of specialised behavioural support remains core to Hft’s daily operations. Lee can speak about how promotion of a positive behavioural support philosophy can result in outcomes that demonstrate reduced levels of challenging behaviours/restrictive practices and an improved quality of life for people with learning disabilities.