Leah Knowles is a senior HR professional with over 18 years working in HR across the public and charity sector.
Leah has an MSc in Human Resources and has held roles working with the National Lottery, Ministry of Justice, higher education, primary/secondary education and working at Havens Hospices itself. She now works for a large local multi-academy trust supporting the strategic people portfolio for over 600 staff and 4,000 children.
Leah was the HR Strategic Lead for Wellbeing and EDI for Anglia Ruskin University when Covid lockdown first took effect in 2020. She has led major people projects in these areas along with day to day operational HR services, learning and development and volunteering. She is a specialist in staff wellbeing and the role employers play to ensure people can bring their best self to work. More importantly, she can run a successful HR team of base-level operations.
Growing up in Southend and with relatives in Shoeburyness, Rochford and Wickford, she comes from a family with a strong service background, including nursing, policing and teaching. Both her nans’ received palliative care support before death in 2016/2018, and she is an advocate for the work of the charity, seeing first-hand the work of palliative care nurses. She is keen to contribute to how we reach further and higher to support the community.
Having previously been employed at Havens Hospices, Leah wanted to continue to support the charity and play a role in its important work. When the opportunity was suggested to her back in early 2023, she was very excited, given her HR background and expertise, love of the charity and appetite to continue strategic work. She feels HR expertise on a Trust Board is valuable and key to considering the people in organisational strategy direction.
Leah is a ‘half-decent’ runner, has two children, one cat, two kittens and is an avid reader of HR and employment law literature, including EDI and wellbeing for organisational success. She is embarking on her journey to become a fellow of the CIPD and is a mentor to other HR Leads in the education sector.