National Leadership Team in 2024

On 16 May 2024, about thirty people met for ATD Fourth World’s annual Away Day at Frimhurst Family House. Activists with lived experience of poverty, team members, our board of directors and our trustees reviewed achievements and thought together about the future. The first agenda item was an announcement from the Renewal Group that has worked over the past year as part of our inclusive governance. Following a hand-over period from the 1st of June to the 30th of September 2024, the National Coordination Team named in 2019 will be replaced by a new National Leadership Team (NLT): Murielle Double, Tish Mason, and Lareine Mouoguia. In this article, they introduce themselves.

From left: Tish Mason, Lareine Mouoguia, and Murielle Double

Murielle: We work as a team, reliant on each other

I’ve been working with the Frimhurst team since 2007 and have been a full-time employee at ATD since 2000. However, what you might not know is that my connection with ATD dates back to my childhood. Growing up in a disadvantaged family in the north of France, ATD provided us with crucial support for a significant period. As our situation improved, my father became a dedicated activist for the organisation. Seeing his passion inspired me to make a positive impact, leading me to leave my previous job and join ATD as a full-time employee.

My role has changed significantly since joining Frimhurst. Last year, I had the opportunity to contribute to the renewal process in June, which included reassessing our aims and structure. We came up with a set of goals that everyone agreed on after extensive debate.

In April, I was informed that my name had been suggested. Asked whether I’d be interested in taking on the position, I happily accepted. I am looking forward to working with all of you.

Tish: We work with partners, showing what we do well

One day a long time ago, I walked along the canal past the sign saying ‘Frimhurst Family House’.  I rang up and asked: ‘Who are you, and what do you do?’

Natalie, an American member of ATD’s International Volunteer Corps, invited me to a Christmas party. The house was full of people, children were laughing, there was a tall Christmas tree by the stairs. I could not find out whose party it was, it seemed to belong to everyone. I loved it! I have been involved with ATD ever since, giving lifts and helping in the creche, cooking, cleaning windows, clearing the grounds. For the last ten years I have been on the board, and for the last eight, the chair of directors.

In recent months, I have been acting as secretary for the Renewal Group to draft the new leadership mandate: making notes, organising meetings, and summarising our decisions. It has been a difficult task but the previous strong team leaves a sound basis for the future leadership. I am pleased to take on this new role and to share responsibility with  Murielle and Lareine. We have contrasting life experiences, and different ideas which can work well together.

I bring an outside perspective. I retired from civil service a few years ago and can still find my way around Government, statutory and legal websites. I am in touch with many charities and have an understanding of how different organisations work. In the past I have been responsible for assessing bids for funding so I have an idea of what grant-making bodies are looking for.

ATD Fourth World achieves great things in the fight to eradicate poverty. What we need now is to show more clearly what we do in order to attract more funding. This is not a job for one or two people; it is something that we must all work at together.  I am looking forward to this challenge. What I most admire about ATD is the ability to adapt quickly, to be flexible and warm in relationships, and to respond to people’s circumstances.

Lareine: How we work together respects and includes everyone

It is a real joy and pleasure to be standing here in front of you. I am honoured to have been given a chance to be part of this amazing NLT team and I am looking forward to seeing what the years to come will unfold.

I would like to introduce myself. Many of you know me already, but I am going to take this chance to unfold a bit more. I was born in Cameroon.  I am the second of a family of seven children. We are four boys and three girls. My mum passed when I was 19, though still in Cameroon. My dad passed when my second daughter was 2 months old and I was in the UK already.

I left Cameroon 23 years ago to come and join my then husband as we knew each other from back home. We together have three kids but unfortunately the marriage did not work out and we went our separate ways.

How did I meet ATD? It was through an organisation that was called the doorstep library. Basically, I was going through hard times as I have a child who is severely autistic. I was struggling because of the huge pressure his condition had on me. That organisation decided to connect me with ATD because they thought it was a great organisation that would be able to help me.

ATD was very supportive to me. They offered me, through their well-being programme, a week-long residential break at Frimhurst Family House. That break was a life-changing to me. I will always say this: ATD has been so good to me.

I know I will never pay them back, but the little I can do is to give them my time whenever I can.

I love the idea behind ATD: the fact that they fight for the poor and are the voice of the voiceless is what attracts me more because it also goes with my ideology .

Throughout my little time with ATD, I have done and learnt a great deal. For example, I have been part of ATD’s Giving Poverty a Voice a programme where people that have gone through, or are still dealing with some sort of difficulties, speak publicly to share stories, and to bring out ideas or strategies to ease or fix the situation.

This project has helped me a lot with ideas about what to say or what not to say in a given situation. My confidence is growing now and I am able to handle certain complex situations by myself without any help.

ATD is my inner and hidden strength.

I was also able to be a part of a video to enlighten others about the deepest and hidden sides of poverty, even if you are in employment.

Another thing I’ve done with ATD is to emcee for the first time. Trust me, the first time was not easy–I was shaking like a leaf!

I recently also joined ATD’s well-being project. Basically I am enjoying meeting families every week. Seeing the positive impact the project is having on them is just amazing.

I am very excited to take on this challenge and I am open and ready to learn. I am ready to go beyond my expectations. I will definitely make sure I am very involved. I refuse to be an outsider; I will be an insider. Together, let’s work hard, but also let’s chillax and have some fun!

I couldn’t be with a better team. Thank you, Murielle and Tish, for having me amongst you. ATD is the place to be. ATD here I come!


To learn about the values and ethos behind ATD’s inclusive governance, please click here.

The NLT meets with ATD’s regional European team: Vanessa Joos, Pierre Klein, and Ketty Tremoulu