The WKT Team


Barbara Thorndick, OBE, BA Hons, FCIH, FRSA  Managing Director

Barbara Thorndick has been leading and managing people, coaching and enabling them to achieve their best for over 30 years.  Prior to moving into consultancy in 2010, she was Chief Executive of West Kent Housing Association for nine years.  Under her leadership the Association became the first in the country to achieve three stars for excellent services with excellent prospects for improvement under the Audit Commission’s rigorous regime.  The Association was also one of the first to achieve the gold standard for Investors in People and achieve the Customer Service Excellence Award.  As well as using coaching techniques throughout her career as a line manager, she has coached a number of senior people across the sector, many of whom have achieved promotion, improved as leaders and managers, and increased their sense of self awareness and esteem as a direct result of her supportive but firm approach.

Throughout her career Barbara has championed giving opportunities to help young people achieve their potential.  Back in the 90s, when she worked for London & Quadrant Housing Trust, she helped bring the concept of foyers (schemes providing housing and job support for vulnerable young people) from France.  In 2011 she helped set up the ‘Give us a chance’ consortium of social housing providers – this national consortium is currently developing pilot schemes within the Work Programme to help unemployed young people gain job opportunities within social housing organisations and partner agencies.


Jonathan Shaw  Associate

Jonathan works as an Associate on employment and training and is working alongside Barbara on ‘Give us a chance’.

Jonathan was born in Kent and has worked as a fruit picker, care assistant, social worker, local councillor, MP and Government Minister.

Following a thirteen year career in House of Commons, representing the Chatham and Aylesford constituency, in 2010 Jonathan has developed a freelance consultancy business, The Shaw Partnership. The Shaw Partnership has a broad range of clients from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

In a voluntary capacity Jonathan works with Kent County Council on its Partnership Vision with specific focus on tackling disadvantage. In addition to this role he is an Independent Chair of a Children’s Trust Board.

During his time as a Government Minister Jonathan’s responsibilities included Minister for the South East, Minister for Disabled People and Minster for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs. He was also Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Education Department and spent four years on the Education Select Committee. In addition he served for one year as a Government Whip.

Jonathan assists clients developing business through new partnerships by using his extensive knowledge of public policy.  He is actively involved in supporting the ‘Give us a chance’ consortium.

Susan French, BSc Hons, M.Phil  Associate

Susan works as an Associate on organisational development, strategy and change management.

Susan has 20 year’s experience, working for some of the most successful RSLs in London. Most recently, she was Director for Service Excellence at the Hyde Group, leading a major review of customer service and running the UK’s first operational housing PFI contract. A consultant since 2008, Susan specialises in strategic management reviews, culture change, business planning and project management and is passionate about great customer service.

Recent projects have included:

Reviewing future options for growth in Care and Support for a South West-based Housing Group.

Working with staff and leaseholders in a large London-based ALMO to project manage a major Leasehold Improvement Plan.

Reviewing the future options for growth for an ALMO, a piece of work which helped secure the long-term future of the organisation.
Developing a Joint Homelessness Strategy for three local authorities in Kent.

Writing a Housing Strategy for a Kent-based District Council.

Reviewing future growth options for a BME association and facilitating a Board awayday to agree the way forward.

Susan has particular expertise in carrying out organisational and strategy reviews,  working with managers and staff to implement change programmes and writing bids.


Eamonn Dillon, CQSW, MBA  Associate

Eamonn works as an Associate as a corporate and executive coach.

Eamonn Dillon is a qualified social worker (General Social Care Registered number 1012851) and has worked at senior levels within local government, the private sector and housing associations for many years.  He is a trained corporate and executive coach and has worked with middle and senior managers in the public and private sectors.  He has comprehensive experience of project management and business start-up.  He launched a successful charity and consultancy business within social housing.  He delivers change and provides insightful analysis alongside an ability to relate to a wide range of people at all levels.
Recent consultancy experience includes:

Preparation of relevant policies, procedures for the launch of new Community Reablement Service, as Service Manager with Haringey Council.  Contributed to the design and delivery of staff training programme.  Ensured new service is compliant with Care Quality Commission requirements.

Regional Director - large geographical region (East of England) with Sanctuary Housing Group (7,500 General Needs 1,500 Sheltered units).  Oversaw the development and delivery of Local Offers, Resident Involvement and re-structure of Housing Services in the region. Undertook a national review of sheltered housing for the Group.

How can we help?

    If you or your organisation would like some assistance to develop your senior team, please get in contact.

    Call: 07796 266 994
    Email us here.

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