Martyn Craddock
Chief Executive

Martyn Craddock

Martyn joined the United St Saviour’s Charity as Chief Executive in January 2015. His career began in the food industry, before joining the charity sector in 1998, eventually becoming Chief Executive of St Luke’s Trust in Islington, an award-winning community charity. He has an MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management from South Bank University and is Chair of Governors at TreeHouse School, a north London autism school which his son attends, and Chair of Dulwich Almshouse Charity.  Martyn has deep family roots in Southwark and cares passionately about the borough.  He loves working right by Borough Market and all its food delights, and does lots of cycling and running to ensure it’s not his ruin.

Alison Benzimra
Head of Research and Influence

Alison joined United St Saviour’s Charity as the Head of Research and Influence in January 2022.

Alison has extensive experience in the ageing research field. As manager of the Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well, she gained valuable insight into the almshouse movement and worked closely with residents, staff and academic partners on a variety of research projects. Alison is passionate about supporting and building capacity for researchers in ageing and is on the British Society of Gerontology’s (BSG) Emerging Researchers in Ageing committee. She has her MPhil Inclusive Innovation. Her research explored innovative models in the healthy ageing sector. Her involvement in the BSG’s Ageing, Business and Society Special Interest Group underpins her belief that health and socio-economic inequalities across the life course will truly be addressed by fostering a collaborative approach between the public, private and third sectors.

Alison loves the vibrancy of working in Southwark and on the weekends enjoys running along the Thames towpath in Weybridge, Surrey where she lives.

Sarah Thurman
Head of Community Investment

Sarah started working with United St Saviour’s in the summer of 2016.  Before that she was Director of Community Investment at Housing Association.  She has an MSc in Development Planning and many years of experience in community investment, grant-making, low cost housing and the charity sector – in the UK and abroad.  In South Africa, she spent several years working with charities and local authority on community development and housing projects, and in East Africa she worked with the Intermediate Technology Development Group and The Ford Foundation on a variety of programmes to improve living conditions in urban settlements.  Sarah lives in Lambeth but loves Southwark, live music and festivals, cycling, and her allotment.  And working at United St Saviour’s of course.

Jude Leighton
Head of Housing


Jude joined United Saint Saviour’s Charity as the Head of Housing in November 2016.

Jude has had an extensive career in social housing, working in both Local Authority and Housing Association settings before joining United St Saviour’s Charity last year. She qualified as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing in 1996 and has a special interest in housing for older people. She has particular expertise in resident involvement and believes passionately in providing exceptional services to the residents in our almshouses. Jude is a trustee for the Leytonstone Festival and Box for Life, two charities which are based in Waltham Forest where she lives.

Alessandro Schianchi
Operations & Executive Support Manager

Alessandro joined United St Saviour’s Charity as the Operations and Executive Support Manager in January 2022.

Alessandro has over 15 years’ experience managing operations for charity organisations, from leisure and medical centres to art institutions. He grew up in Parma, Italy where he gained his Architecture Technician diploma. He worked as a designer and quantity surveyor for 7 years. For challenges new, he moved to London in 2005 and has since then been committed to and involved in delivering support for its diverse community’s wellbeing and development. Alessandro is very passionate about sports, historical buildings, gardens and photography.

At the weekend he loves cycling around Wanstead park where he lives and enjoys walking his dog Bruno. Being Italian, he is of course a fan of the best food available, so it’s no surprise that he now loves working next to Borough Market!

Will Cole
Programme Director – One Southwark (The Giving Scheme)

We are delighted to welcome Will Cole as the Programme Director of One Southwark, which is The Giving Scheme for Southwark. Will started at United St Saviour’s in September 2021. He is a Youth Work Professional with over 15 years’ experience working with Young People across London.

Will moved into Southwark as a young boy and lived on both the Heygate and Rockingham Estates where he benefitted from the resources and support local youth organisations offered. He has since dedicated his career to giving back such support to the community.

He has worked in Southwark based charities KickStart, Catch22 (Southwark) and Power2 and is passionate about helping the young people of Southwark achieve their potential.

Will is also a passionate Man United Fan (on a good day!) and still carries hope of them bringing back the glory days.

Bas Ahsan
Finance Manager

Bas Ahsan

Since joining us in January 2012, Bas Ahsan has been responsible for managing our day-to-day finances.

Bas spent the previous twelve years as Finance Manager of the Institute of Child Health.

Marjo Cili
Building Service Engineer

I was born in Albania, but my work experience started when I was 18 in construction sites and managing properties in Italy.

I was looking for a new challenge and opportunities for development, so I moved to London in December 2016 and joined a charity where I was appointed Building Engineer Service and Duty Manager.

I love to learn about new cultures and history; therefore, I feel privileged to be part of a charity with such a deep-rooted history. I am looking forward to learning more about how we support the community, and how I can support the charity in achieving its goal of creating a united, thriving, and equal Southwark.

Growing up in Italy allowed me to have access to great food, so I feel fortunate to work near Borough market, where I can continue to sample great foods from around the world.

In my spare time I enjoy meeting friends, exploring London’s many historical sites,  swimming and cycling in local parks and along the Thames.

Morgan Tume
Community Investment Officer

Morgan is a brilliant addition to the Community Investment Team and brings with her a wealth of knowledge about Southwark having been born and bred in Bermondsey.   She has worked as a fundraiser, an events manager and is a qualified trampoline instructor – and of course she’ll be able to bring all these skills to her work with United St Saviour’s!

Over the next few months Morgan will be getting out and about to meet people and will be taking on responsibility for our Small Grants Programme, among other things.