Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

0113 240 2444

Crown Point House,
167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

The Leeds GATE Team

Executive Board Team


  • Elizabeth Spaven Chair)
  • Laura North (Treasurer)
  • Rose Cawley
  • Helen McAuslane
  • Emma Clarkson
  • Teresa Birtle (Secretary)


​ Staff Members 

Helen Jones

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Leeds GATE  leads the staff team to deliver the organisation aims and objectives on behalf of the Executive Board. Helen has worked for Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange since the beginning, as development worker; project manager, and lately as CEO.

Before Leeds GATE, Helen's employment was mostly spent in fields and factories, and she still regards herself as 'an apple picker'. In 2002, a happy series of events allowed Helen to bring her experiences of living and working alongside Gypsy people, and the opportunity to work at Leeds GATE, together. Helen has been lucky to bring her education, enthusiasm and passion for  justice, to enable and support the Gypsy and Traveller people, and their colleagues and partners, who have made Leeds GATE what it is today. If asked, Helen describes herself as a human rights worker.

Email: helen@leedsgate.co.uk
Mobile number: 07891 336 954

Ellie Rogers

Deputy CEO (Head of Delivery and Impact)

Ellie joined Leeds GATE in 2014 as partnership manager and was recruited to Deputy CEO in December 2017.  Ellie supports the CEO in all activity but with particular responsibility for delivery of services, monitoring and ensuring impact.  

Email: ellie@leedsgate.co.uk
Mobile number: 07855 801 743

Sharon Hague

Operations Administration Manager

Sharon is responsible for all administrative aspects of Leeds GATE, leading on finance, building management, quality assurance and accountability.

Email: Sharon@leedsgate.co.uk
Telephone: 0113 240 2444

Teresa Birtle  

Administration and Project Support Assistant

Teresa provides administration and project support at Leeds GATE. Teresa is keen to deliver on the organisation value that Leeds GATE is welcoming.

Teresa is also a member of the Travelling Community and joined our team in 2013.​

Email: teresa@leedsgate.co.uk

Telephone:0113 240 2444

Claire Graham   

Communities Manager

Claire's role as Communities Manager at Leeds GATE represents development on a theme of advocacy and development since she started work with the organisation in 2005.

Claire supports and works with community members and staff to achieve our organisation goals.  The Communities team deliver frontline advocacy, youth inclusion and all sorts of training, one off events and community development projects.  The team deliver presentations and training packages to other professionals about working effectively with Gypsies and Travellers.

Email: Claire@leedsgate.co.uk
Mobile number: 07967 679 892

Rachael Darling

Advocacy Service Co-ordinator

Email Rachael@leedsgate.co.uk

Mobile number 07951576947

Tove Vrbnkova


Tove provides front line advocacy for Leeds GATE members. 

Email: tove@leedsgate.co.uk
Mobile number: 07958686245

Ella Montgomery-Smith

Youth Inclusion Worker  

Ella works on behalf of young Gypsy and Traveller people to provide individual education and employment support, signposting and working strategically to raise the profile of the needs of Gypsy and Traveller young people within mainstream services.

Email: Ella@leedsgate.co.uk
Mobile number: 07951 950 836

Kirsty Birtle

Community Organiser

​Kirsty works with Gypsy and Irish Traveller communities accross West Yorkshire to find out what communities want and support them take action and speak out about subjects which matter to them.                         

Kirsty joined our team in July 2017 and is also a member of the Travelling Community 


Grace Cunningham

Youthwork Assistant

Grace joined the team in 2018 to support our youth work.




You can complete our online volunteering form if you want to offer your services.