Andy Mottram

Andy joined Keystage as a non-executive chairman in October 2021. Having met our CEO, James O’Grady, as fellow school governors,  Andy learnt more about Keystage and how it was experiencing success in helping those faced with rough sleeping in the local area.

“I could tell James was fully committed, passionate and, importantly, compassionate to the needs of those facing the prospect of homelessness. It was clear he had already made significant inroads in supporting those sleeping rough in our local communities, and it was also interesting to hear about Keystage’s growth plans to extend into more regions, to help more people. This felt like it was not only worthwhile, but extremely important given the challenges facing the sector. I went to visit the teams at Luton, North Hertfordshire and Hitchin and saw first hand how everyone working at Keystage had the same drive, passion and compassion as James. It was immediately clear that this was a set of committed and capable people who saw a challenge and were doing something about it.”

Andy’s background and experience meant he had several skills that would help Keystage in the non-executive chairman role. His career at Whitbread in senior finance roles saw him based in Luton and Dunstable, making him familiar with the area and providing him with an understanding of the housing and homeless challenges facing the county. Further, his role in growing brands, such as Premier Inn, into a national chain providing the same standards of good quality hotel rooms at affordable prices across the UK, was complementary to James’ vision for housing for the homeless. That together with 20 years in the property industry in his later career meant that Andy understood James’ vision and had the experience to support him to extend Keystage’s housing offering and related support services into boroughs that needed it the most.

“I truly believe this is a model that can be successful in many more regions. I also believe it is a model that can work financially, bringing in the right capital to fund it, so that Keystage can continue to deliver vital help to all those facing the prospect of rough sleeping. What is key as a business grows is keeping the culture that makes it special, it’s not easy but I have seen it done several times in my career and I believe Keystage will achieve it too.”

Fundamentally, the vision for the structure of the company meant there would be no compromise on the quality of the accommodation, nor the quality of the vital support offering that Keystage provides to all residents. Indeed, having seen first hand Keystage’s work in Luton, North Hertfordshire and Hitchin, it was clear to Andy that this was a workable model that provided the important link between housing and the homeless community – all underpinned by the same quality and commitment provided by all staff to every resident needing their help. “It’s a crucial service and one which we need more of in our towns and cities. The homeless community depends on support such as that provided by Keystage.”

Andy’s primary role is guiding the business in the right direction, so that its accommodation and support services can reach a wider group of people. “My role is twofold; support in bringing in investment capital to ensure the business is well funded so it can operate, while ensuring that Keystage continues to run a successful model on the ground, one that delivers for the people who need it most.”


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