Alison Romaine

Youth Organising Lead

Alison has a background in student organising - across both union and grassroots groups - with an interest in redistributing power through communities of care. In her spare time, she is a volunteer member of Sheffield Community Land Trust - which aims to reclaim the right to affordable and secure housing for all - through co-operative decision making and community ownership; reconnecting us to the land. She also works part-time at Age UK Sheffield - fundraising and supporting arts-based event programming to tackle increasing social isolation in the city.

Joy Matthew

Grants and Operations Officer

Joy has a background in law and is studying the LLM. She previously completed the 2027 placement scheme, which is designed to introduce lived experience individuals into the funding sector. Joy is now exploring the philanthropic space and has a particular interest in network, collaboration, and advocacy. She joins the Civic Power Fund from two years at the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, working on policy and grant management. She wants grassroots communities to be trusted by funders to lead their own transformation.

Zain Hafeez

Community Fund Manager

Zain is a part-time Community Organiser with Citizens UK. He has previously served in campaigning, funding, and leadership roles with the Red Cross, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, and Voices Network. He has a decade of first-hand experience of the asylum and immigration system. And he has campaigned for reform throughout. He looks forward to combining his organising skills with his understanding of the challenges grassroots groups striving for justice face.

Martha Mackenzie

Executive Director

Martha has a background in organising, campaigning, fundraising and charity leadership. 

She was previously Head of Global Humanitarian Advocacy at UNICEF in New York, and has led teams and campaigns at Shelter and Save the Children in the UK. 

Martha has balanced progressive fundraising and advocacy with campaigns rooted in redistributing power. She has worked with renters to tackle revenge evictions, campaigned with parents on childcare costs, helped establish the youth activism charity Advocacy Academy and won multi-million dollar advocacy grants. 

In her spare time she is a Trustee of Oxfam GB.

Mohammed Afridi

Director of Organising

Mohammed was the former National Coordinator of Rize Up, a voter registration campaign aimed at marginalised and BME youth. 

He has also worked as a consultant for the UK Democracy Fund, Cook 19 and other third sector organisations and was the former head of operations at Momentum. 

Prior to joining the Civic Power Fund, Mohammed held several senior positions in private sector firms, including Bloomberg LP.

Eliza Baring

Project Support Officer

Eliza has a BA in Philosophy and is studying for a Masters in Public Administration at UCL. 

She works on research and strategy development for the Civic Power Fund, as well as managing the fund's network of stakeholders, donors and grantees. 

Eliza has also worked as a researcher and supported grantmaking and fundraising  for Arise Foundation, a modern slavery charity.

Matthew Howgate

Governance Hub Director

Matt leads the Governance Hub, providing advice and support on organising, campaigning and governance. He is a non-practising solicitor and organisational governance and compliance consultant.

Previously, he was Senior Legal Adviser at the Legal Services Commission and Legal Standards Principal at the Coop Legal Services. He cut his teeth as a litigator in high street practice.

Matt works with social justice, human rights and advice organisations. He is on the Board of the Community Justice Fund and Director of the LAPG Management & Leadership Programme, where he strengthens organisations through training.