City Gateway is made up of talented and dedicated people, passionate about serving communities most impacted by social and economic inequality. Every member of our team, whatever their role, is central to seeing this vision realised.

We place every individual at the heart of what we do, so, whether that is a young person, woman or family, we work as one team in order to deliver the best support we can to meet their unique needs.

/ executive team

David Wesson


‘My job is to work alongside and develop our fantastic team and to help make a real difference for those we serve.’ David trained at Arthur Andersen and learned how to do business at Virgin, where he was Trading Director at Virgin Retail. David worked in the commercial sector for 25 years before moving to City Gateway to help us realise a London where everyone reaches their full potential, no matter the place they start.

Polly Hughes

Development Director

‘Together with my team I help partners build a connection with our work and the people we serve. We then get to tell the amazing story of what happens next’. With a background in events and major gifts fundraising, Polly oversees our Fundraising, Partnerships, Outreach and Marketing having previously worked for charities including Tearfund and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Not afraid of a challenge, Polly enjoys running marathons and even completed the London Marathon for City Gateway in 2018.

Daniele Palacios City Gateway Director Apprenticeships
Daniele Palacios

Director of Apprenticeships

‘My role at City Gateway is about creating positive outcomes for our learners and helping them get into employment and training through work experience and Apprenticeships. I work with teams across the charity to equip our young people with the skills and experience they need. I also work directly with employers to secure opportunities for our learners to progress in to.’

With over 15 years experience with both private providers and colleges, Daniele is passionate about making a difference and giving learners the right tools to sustain employment.

Daniele is half French and in fact started her career as an Apprentice in hospitality management in France before moving to the UK in her 20s. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering and mentoring young people.

Hannah Pilkington

Director of Programmes

‘As Director of Programmes my role is to support an outstanding staff team to serve the young people, women, children and families in our local community – our aim is to partner with our service users to support them to reach their full potential and become beacons of change for their wider families and communities’. While Hannah’s first role was in the corporate sector, she has now spent eight years working in the charity sector in various roles from fundraising and events management to project development.

Hannah grew up in Tower Hamlets and is actively involved in the local community. She lives in the borough with her husband and daughter.

If you would like to join our team check out our latest vacancies >

/ our trustees

Deepak is a successful businessman who started his own business in Geneva at the age of 23. He is a former Commercial Director of a large privately owned family business with 4,000 employees and is currently a social entrepreneur, an award-winning Management Consultant and board member of Tearfund, as well as 4 other charities. He brings huge passion for City Gateway’s mission and fresh insights, helping increase the impact of City Gateway across all areas of delivery.

Alex is a political consultant turned humanitarian, now using his advisory experience to advocate for increased private sector engagement and collaboration in improving access to medicine in frontier markets and fragile states.

Prior to joining IHP, he worked as a lobbyist to the pharmaceutical industry, foreign governments and a diverse range of companies who required expert knowledge of the UK and European political systems. During his ten years at IHP, Alex has also served as Head of Corporate Partnerships and Director of Operations.

David’s passion is for leading community development and social change with churches and other faith based organisations. For six years he led Christian Aid’s programme across the African continent, working with communities to bring about lasting change in partnership with civil society, government and business. As Christian Aid’s director responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications he has a broad experience of leadership and governance in the charity sector. He will soon take up a new role as Chief Executive for the Diocese of Salisbury in the Church of England.

Edward is Managing Director at the Centre for Social Justice. Prior to this, he worked as a Special Advisor at the Department for Work and Pensions, with a particular focus on reforming welfare and tackling poverty. He is driven by a desire to support the most disadvantaged to be given every opportunity to reach their full potential. He has authored a number of influential reports on social policy on topics such as reforming prisons, preventing sexual exploitation and tackling drug addiction.

Kate is a facilitator who is passionate about spirituality and social justice. She is the Executive Officer of Creators of Peace global women’s programme. Kate has 20 years experience of working with faith-based and community organisations in civic engagement and trust-building. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution. Kate is an RSA Fellow and helps run the Two23 Network of Christians connected by LGBT+ issues. She is a member of the Othona Community and lives at St Saviour’s Priory in the east end of London.

Kate has a wealth of experience of strategic development across commercial, public and third sector organisations. Over her career, she has held a portfolio of executive director positions spanning education, training and children’s services. Kate’s main area of interest is in young people’s transitions – focusing on training professionals to better support children, throughout childhood and through transition to become robust, resilient, ambitious young adults. Kate is our specialist trustee for safeguarding.

Kenny is a political commentator, social entrepreneur and activist. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of ClearView Research Ltd, a leading-edge youth-led research company who specialise in research focussing on young people. Described by Huffington Post UK as a “young rising star making waves in UK politics” Kenny has written influential and award-winning publications and has led on innovative partnerships with global brands such as Uber, Tinder and Deliveroo, on campaigns to get young people registered to vote.

Nathan is a public affairs professional. He is currently head of public affairs and stakeholder relations at the College of Policing. He has been an in-house public affairs specialist at the Financial Conduct Authority, The Electoral Commission and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Association of Police Authorities and the Metropolitan Police. He is a trusted source for the media and gave evidence at the Leveson Enquiry.

Sean has more than 15 years of experience working with organisations to grow, develop and empower their people. He currently heads up the People and Talent function at M J Mapp, a niche property and asset management company. He has extensive experience in HR, Learning and Development and Change Management.

Sean has worked with commercial, government and not for profit organisations. He has extensive experience in leadership development, talent management and values driven organisations.

Yvonne Bajela is a venture investor and was previously a Senior Investment Manager at Mitsui, which is one of Japan’s largest trading and investment companies with over $100 billion in assets. During her time there, she executed over $200m worth of investments in technology companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Yvonne is also an adviser for the Mayor of London’s Access to Finance programme and is a board member and Trustee for various charitable and private sector organisations. Yvonne is a Charted Financial Analyst and a Shaper for the World Economic Forum. She has joined our board of trustees as our Finance Trustee and will be using her investment experience to support our finance team.