People at the Centre
Damon Gibbons, Director
Damon has twenty years experience of providing, designing, and commissioning services to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups and communities and has been involved in consumer campaigns at the national level on issues of credit, debt, and financial exclusion for well over a decade. In 1999 Damon founded the Debt on our Doorstep campaign and in 2003 he identified the grounds for a subsequent Competition Commission inquiry into the Home Credit or door to door lending market.
In 2005 Damon was a founder member of the European Coalition for Responsible Credit ('ECRC'), and he remains a member of its Management Board. In 2008 Damon's paper, written with Sir Ian McCartney, concerning the position of low income borrowers in the current financial crisis led directly to the Office of Fair Trading High Cost Credit Review.
Damon has previously been employed as the Head of Policy and Partnership at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, in which capacity he supported the Tackling Worklessness Review team commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Communities and Local Government and led by Cllr Stephen Houghton, CBE. During this time he also reported on the coping strategies of people in fuel poverty for Energywatch, and researched the barriers to increasing part-time employment opportunities for parents in London, which was commissioned by the Government's Child Poverty Unit.
Prior to joining Inclusion, Damon worked in local government with responsibiliies for advice and economic development services. He also served as an adviser to the Local Government Association on debt and financial inclusion issues, helping to design the criteria for the financial inclusion Beacon Council awards in 2007, and was responsible for the development of two nationally recognised services to enforce Minimum Wage payment to low paid workers, and to provide advice and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, in Leicester.
However, Damon's initial career was spent as a money and welfare rights adviser in the voluntary sector and during this period he provided county court and Tribunal representation as well as training services for new advisers and developed a partnership project to meet the advice needs of offenders in Warwickshire. He also served as an Executive Committee member and press officer for the Money Advice Association.
Damon holds a BA in Economics and Politics and an MA (Distinction) in Public Policy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.