University of Sussex Students Union, Falmer House, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QF

Our team

Current members

Ruthie Walters

Co-Founder and Committee member

Ruthie joined SEASALT in 2018 before we even had a name! It was around that time she was looking to move into privately rented housing and realised how poor it was and still is. She has been part of the project from registering as a co-operative to working on the share offer. Ruthie graduated from the University of Sussex in 2020 with a degree in international development with Spanish. She now works in international development campaigning and is a board member of Student Coop Homes.

Simin Wadiwala (She/her)

Co-Founder and ex chair

Sim is an MSc Sustainable Development graduate (Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex University). Previously BSc of Neuroscience at the same university. Sim has been a member of SEASALT since it was born in February 2018, becoming involved with it a week before her undergraduate dissertation was due in (because everyone knows that the most meaningful knowledge learned at university isn’t academic). This kickstarted a keen interest in macroeconomic policy, cooperative living, housing affordability and renting conditions. After completing her undergrad in Neuroscience, she began a masters’ that enabled her to learn more about climate justice and housing affordability, even writing her masters’ dissertation on sustainability within student housing. While at university she was also BME officer, student rep, university senator and board member for ACORN Tenant’s Union. She won the leadership award at the Sussex Student Awards 2019.

Tom Green (he/him)

Committee member

Tom is an MSci biology graduate from the University of Sussex and he joined SEASALT in June 2020. He is interested in the environment, sustainability and land use as well as human rights and politics. Gaining experience working as a researcher for the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at Sussex, he undertook various projects covering bees, pollinators, their ecology, behaviour and conservation. At SEASALT, Tom works on our website, social media and graphics as well as writing their respective content. He also helps to run our share offer, sustainability content and communicates with external organisations to arrange partnerships and collect data. The aim is to create policy analyses and interactive tools about co-ops and housing for renters and website visitors.

Ophelia Mancey

Committee member

Gurbir Matharu

Committee member

A recent BA Economics and Politics graduate from the University of Sussex, Gurbir joined SEASALT in July 2020. She is interested in preserving the environment, human rights issues, and racial justice. One of her biggest roles during her university experience was being a Race Equity Advocate for the Business School where Gurbir helped to produce a Race Equity Action Plan to implement practices including introducing an option for BAME students to choose to be housed with other BAME students in university accommodation. Gurbir decided to join SEASALT in order to provide more affordable and sustainable housing for students, as she had experienced extortionate rent prices in Brighton which impacted her university experience. She hopes that, one day, housing co-operatives will take over private renting with landlords. Gurbir will be one of the tenants at our first SEASALT property.

Matt Baldwin

Committee member

I was drawn to the co-op movement after my experience working for a housing law clinic. I've seen first hand the state that people are being left in. Joining SEASALT was a natural progression for me to improve housing access and justice within the Brighton and Hove area.

Amelia Yates

Committee member

Amelia joined SEASALT as a co-founder and Treasurer in 2019. She is inspired by the forms of social change that co-operative living facilitates. This year, she will be completing an MA in the Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation at Sussex. Her commitment to co-operative values and principles has encouraged her to get involved with MAIS (Mutual Aid in Sussex), recently running an event on co-operative alternatives to care work in Brighton. She has also worked for the BHCLT, a local land trust that supports community-led housing projects like our own.

Then and now

(Slide to see our members past and present) 

SEASALT group image 2019SEASALT social