Our team

Who we are

King's Arms Project Team

The objectives of King’s Arms Project are delivered by a lively and passionate team, committed to making a positive difference in the lives of people we come in contact with. Our culture is solution focused, person centred, and we are very much a family! The team consists of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, bringing their own life experiences and professional qualifications both as volunteers and paid employees.

Staff team

Kirstie Cook

Chief Executive Officer

Kirstie has been the CEO of King’s Arms Project since January 2021, having previously served as trustee for the charity from March 2009 until June 2020. She brings a passion and a desire to see the lonely and excluded brought into community, bring hope and restoration to broken lives and speak out on behalf of the defenceless. Motivated by her Christian faith, Kirstie brings considerable experience and skills to this role following 15 years working in criminal justice and 3 years serving on the leadership team of Kings Arms Church. She is particularly interested in exploring creative new ways to prevent the cycle of homelessness by tackling its root causes.

When she is not working, Kirstie enjoys time with her family, walking her crazy spaniel, running the occasional marathon and cheering on West Ham United.

Sarah Blakey

Director of Services

Sarah is a qualified Social Worker and has spent many years working in Youth Offending teams. She has worked for King’s Arms Project at different times in its history as a Support Worker and Outreach Worker as well as developing mentoring and prison leavers outreach. Sarah is passionate about bringing hope to individuals and seeing lives changed.

Sarah loves the outdoors, walking and kayaking are a few of her favourites. She grew up on a farm and hopes to start beekeeping later on this year. Sarah loves baking and keeping fit along with travelling. Fun fact: Sarah has slept in a jungle, and eaten piranha!


Matt Croxon

Head of Operations

Matt is responsible for oversight of the Operations functions across King’s Arms Project. After working in the Public, Private and Charity sector for over 20 years, Matt joined the staff team here in order to be a part of something that is changing lives in Bedford.


Joe Beaty

Head of Accommodation & Pathways

Joe oversees King’s Arms Project’s Supported Accommodation and Pathways teams. Having been part of the charity for several years, his knowledge of homelessness support comes from his experience in various roles, including outreach work, hostel support for clients with complex needs, and piloting our No Recourse Accommodation service.

Joe focuses on service growth and enhancement, ensuring we provide the best support to our clients in carefully cultivated community environments where people can thrive. He is passionate about developing ways to help those most marginalised, is a keen learner, and enjoys spending time with his young family.

Laura McCulloch

Refugee & Migrant Services Manager

Laura oversees our services for refugees and migrants (including our ESOL and Support Teams). Laura is passionate about advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees. She strongly believes that everyone should be treated with dignity. She and a team of caseworkers assist those with complex immigration situations to access legal advice as well as providing holistic support.

Laura has a degree in Arabic and Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews. Prior to working with the King’s Arms Project, Laura was based in Iraq working for an NGO. Laura is OISC L1 registered in Immigration and OISC L2 registered in Asylum and Protection.

Amged Mechail

Refugee & Migrant Services Team Leader

Amged leads our Refugee and Migrant Services team. With long experience of travel around the world and supporting displaced people in areas of conflict, Amged is passionate about supporting people with complex immigration situation and refugees in the UK. He and the team of caseworkers supports vulnerable migrants and refugees.

Amged is a chartered linguist. He is OISC L1 registered in Immigration and OISC L2 registered in Asylum and Protection.

Stuart McCaw

Fundraising Manager

Stuart has been involved with charity fundraising for the last 9 years and has joined with the goal of bringing stakeholders closer to the amazing work taking place here at King’s Arms Project. In his career so far, he has worked in different elements of fundraising at different charities, including working in F2F (facetoface), Major Donor management, corporate fundraising, and Legacy and Gift in Wills.

In his free time, he enjoys sports and fitness, long romantic walks to the fridge and studying Theology.


What the team say...

It's been a privilege to see many of our clients with no recourse to public funds go from literally having nothing to be in secure housing with an income, a hope and a future.

Outreach Team

The thing I love most about working for KAP is the team that I am in and how everyone looks out for each other, I love that we can pray together as a team when we feel like we have exhausted all visible options and we then see answers.

I have worked closely with one resident who has really struggled with both his physical and mental health since the first day I met him but has recently been prescribed the correct medication finally. He said he  'felt the most hope he had felt in over a year about his future' and was making jokes which he hadn't done before and looked like a new man!

Accommodation Team

Many of those I and my team work with have been through serious trauma both in their home countries and in the UK. Being able to bring hope to them by providing practical and emotional support is a huge privilege. 

Welcoming a new family from Syria has been wonderful. As their support worker I went to meet them at the airport. Journeying with them as they adjust to life in the UK has been an absolute joy.

Refugee and Migrant Services Team

It is such an amazing thing to be part of this team and make a real difference in people's lives.  It is really rewarding when we support vulnerable clients and see their difficult situation change to the better.

Refugee and Migrant Services Team

Trustee team

Vanessa Williams-Lipski

Chair of Trustees

Nigel Taylor


Matthew Burge


Samantha Roach


Simon Cook


Sue Frossell


Volunteers & experts

As well as our paid staff and Trustees, King’s Arms Project benefits from the support of a wide range of volunteers and the regular input of experts by experience – those who we have helped in the past who now help us shape the future.


Experts by experience 

At King’s Arms Project we consider ourselves to be one big family. Whether you are a paid member of staff or someone attending one of our language classes we recognise everyone has something to offer and experience which may help others. As such we actively seek to have experts by experience bringing their insight and opinions to who we employ, how we shape our activities and who we work with.

Work Opportunities

Thinking about a job change? Want to be part of a supportive and inspiring team? We have a number of vacancies available...

Bedford winter night shelter