Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Meet the team

Rica's team in London

As a charity, Rica is overseen by a board of trustees. For information about our location, see how to find us. To get in touch with any of the team, please contact us here.

Jon Quinn - Chief Executive

Jon became Chief Executive in April 2017. He joined Rica after four years with Shelter, most recently as their Head of Campaigns, having previously worked with the Conservative party at a local, regional and national level, becoming Head of Campaign Literature at CCHQ. He is also a trustee of Refugee Action, one of Britain’s leading refugee charities.

Dr Phil Friend, OBE, Chair of the Rica board of trustees said: "We are delighted that Jon is joining us at such a crucial point in our journey. He has all the skills and experience we need to move the organisation forward. Rica is determined to substantially expand its work as the consumer champion for older and disabled people, and Jon will help to ensure that we deliver this ambitious objective."

Catherine Cashman, researcher, RicaCatherine Cashman - Researcher

Catherine holds an MSc in Applied Social Psychology and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Sussex and joined the Rica team in February 2017. She is particularly interested in consumer behaviour and the factors and influences that drive vulnerable consumers’ decision making and actions. Prior to completing an MSc, Catherine also worked as an activity support worker for people with physical and cognitive disabilities in Columbo, Sri Lanka.

Catherine assists and supports the research team with data collection, analysis and reporting across a range of projects.


Gareth Edwards - ResearcherGareth Edwards

Gareth holds an MA in Social Research from the University of London and is particularly interested in issues surrounding independent living and older people.

Prior to joining Rica in November 2015, Gareth worked as a Sociology teacher in the further education and independent sectors. 

Gareth assists and supports the research team with data collection, analysis and reporting across a range of projects.



Freddie Gregory, Rica researcherFreddie Gregory - Researcher

Freddie is a sociology graduate from the University of Sussex and joined the Rica team in February 2017. His studies included health inequality, medical sociology and both quantitative and qualitative research methods. He is particularly interested in issues surrounding independent living and assistive technology. He has previously worked within educational market research and also has experience as a youth mentor with a local disability charity.

Freddie assists and supports the research team with data collection, analysis and reporting across a wide range of projects.

Eric Harris - Head of Research

Eric joined Rica in March 2014. Over the past decade he has worked as a Research Fellow within the Human Centred Technology Lab at the University of Sussex on UK government and EU funded projects. These focused on understanding how people interact with new and emerging technologies, with particular emphasis on participatory design and user experience with older and disabled people. Eric has an MSc in Robotics and previously worked as a designer of inspection equipment for the packaging and pharmaceutical industries. He also set up the website, which collects older people’s experiences and views of using technology.

Contact Eric for information about Rica's User Experience (UX) research projects and services.


Caroline JacobsCaroline Jacobs -  Head of Development

Caroline, who joined Rica in 1996, has over 25 years' experience of business development, fundraising and service delivery within the voluntary sector. She trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning at University College London (UCL), initially working on the design and development of specialist social housing projects, including at Metropolitan and Paddington Churches Housing Associations. Caroline also worked for the British Deaf Association (BDA), where she led on the development of new partnership services.

Contact Caroline for information about our portfolio of research services, usability research testing panel, or new projects and partnerships.


Chris LofthouseChris Lofthouse - Outreach Manager

Chris has worked at Rica since 2000. He believes in consumers having a powerful voice to ensure products and services are easy for everyone to use. Previous to Rica, he worked for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), a local Disabled Living Centre and Age UK. Chris has spent over 20 years working for the voluntary sector in fundraising and service delivery.

Contact Chris with press, publicity and events enquiries, more information about the RicaWatch panel, and with all website feedback.


Razia MohammedRazia Mohammed - Office Manager

Prior to joining the Rica team in October 2012, Razia worked as an executive assistant for the health and development charity, the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). Razia has extensive experience supporting deaf and disabled employees directly in their daily professional roles, working for the BBC’s Diversity department as a facilitator, for Islington Crossroads and the British Association for the Hard of Hearing (BAHOH) as a welfare adviser.

Contact Razia for general information about Rica and our range of research reports, surveys and free consumer guides, as well as finance and office management matters.


Frances OwenFrances Owen - social media and publicity

Frances is providing assistance on social media and website content. Frances worked in Communications for an NHS Foundation Trust, where she developed departmental communications strategies including designing and delivering a new website and branding, as well as writing and editing content.

Frances was one of the first BBC subtitlers and has also worked for the BBC as a producer, journalist and television publicity officer, where she pioneered internal communications for staff and oversaw publicity for the Equal Opportunities department.


Ed Peston – RicaWatch Admin

Ed is currently providing admin support for the RicaWatch panel.  Prior to this he worked for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists sourcing journal articles to produce clinical guidelines in women’s and children’s health.  Ed has also worked at University College London in their Development Office and for World Cancer Research Fund International and other roles in the not-for-profit sector.  He holds degrees from the University of Sussex and City University.

Contact Ed if you'd like to join our RicaWatch panel or have any questions related to membership.

Last updated: May 2017

See also: Rica Trustees | Our research | Latest news