Homelessness charity Shelter has recruited international
development campaigner Ben Jackson to head its PR function.
Jackson joined the charity this week from Anti-Apartheid Movement
successor Action for Southern Africa, where he was director.
He is tasked with driving through a raft of campaigns, including calls
for legislation to prevent homeless families being cared for in
The campaign is now seen as urgent by the charity after two test court
cases earlier this year of the Children's Act (1989) decided that local
authorities have no obligation to keep families together, instead
putting children in some circumstances under the care of social
Other public affairs work to be headed by Jackson includes ensuring the
passage of the Homelessness Bill through Parliament. This aims to
toughen up local authority responsibility for the homeless.
Shelter will also be seeking to work closely with newly created
government body, the National Homelessness Unit, which is tasked with
helping those who are forced to live in bed and breakfast accommodation
and on the streets.
Jackson replaces Rachel O'Brien, who left last month to join the
Institute of Public Policy Research. He has a 14-year career campaigning
against world poverty.
Campaigns at Action for Southern Africa, which he joined in 1995,
include negotiating better trade terms between post-apartheid South
Africa and the EU, and winning compensation for South African workers at
the company Cape, suffering from asbestos-related diseases.
He was previously head of campaigns at the World Development Movement
and a parliamentary researcher for Ann Clwyd MP, when she was shadow
spokesperson for international development.