Young Leaders 2019: Top 20 announced

24housing is delighted to announce the shortlisted top 20 for the Young Leaders competition 2019, along with how to vote for who you want to make the semi-final.


With housing facing unprecedented and rapid change, it is of vital importance that the sector has the very best young talent to guide it into the future.

We have seen a record number of nominations this year, showcasing some of the brightest and best young talent in the sector. After hard deliberation, we have whittled the nominations down to 20.

You can now visit the website to vote for who you want to see in the Top 10. The online vote will decide who goes to speak in front of an expert panel at the National Housing Federation HQ in London on June 7th.

Those nominated this year have already played their part in the successes of their organisation, working with both external and internal contacts to create and drive efficiencies.

But most importantly, they have bright new ideas that could change the way the sector operates.

Each candidate also showed potential to become a strong leader, both in their own organisation and in the wider sector.

“The Young Leaders competition shows the incredible amount of young talent there is in the sector, ready and eager to impress,” says 24housing editor Mark Lawrence. “Many of these are looking at becoming future chief executives in the sector.

“Reading their submissions, I think we are in pretty good hands. But the decision for who makes it further in the competition is up to you. Read the online submissions and get voting. Good luck to all nominees!”

Voting closes Friday 17th May.

Below is the full list of candidates, you can vote for them by clicking here.



Since joining in February 2018, she has undertaken and passed her CIPD Level 5 qualification with flying colours – no mean feat in such a short period of time. Katie has had an impact in the HR team in particular by helping us streamline our processes for invoices and recording new joiner ‘buddy’ meetings. She has been active in developing our HR system enabling a paperless environment and more things to be completed on-line. She supports managers with recruitment, other employee relations issues and has quickly established herself as a trusted colleague and someone that people can turn to. She has a positive attitude to work and has made a real difference to the team and GUHG.


Shauna is currently the Chair of our Information and Consultation Committee (ICC). This is a forum of elected staff representatives from around the business to act as a channel for meaningful and formal ongoing communication between management and staff. The ICC also comprises our Chief Executive, Executive Director of People and Technology and Director of HR. The majority of committee members are managers and, although Shauna is in a more junior position than many of them, she provides confident leadership and guidance to other colleagues in her role as Chair. She is always balanced in the way she approaches everything and is very skilled in taking the heat out of situations where other ICC reps may, on occasion, allow emotion to sway a more objective discussion.



Ally has worked at Trent & Dove for just over a year and a half and was recruited during a difficult period within the organisation. She was not fazed by this and took her new position in her stride. Ally had to deal with some negativity within the organisation, however she always remained positive and committed to her teams and our customers. She works closely with all sectors of the business and ensures customers are always at the forefront. Ally is responsible for three departments within our Neighbourhoods Team which include; Income Team, Community Engagement Team and Tenancy Sustainment Team. Ally is an exceptional team leader and is highly respected by all team members. This has been achieved by supporting the team closely whilst still enabling them to work independently, leading to high morale.



Beckie joined Plus Dane in 2014 aged 23, and in that time has taken every opportunity to develop her skills and her role. As a member of the communications team, she is a natural leader who takes her responsibilities seriously, thrives on challenges to her creativity and will always go the extra mile. A team player whether traditional PR, film, or events, she specialises in all things digital, earning her the nickname Techie Beckie. As social media has grown to become an essential marketing tool, she has taken the reins of our Twitter and Facebook accounts, significantly growing our followers and reach, from the hundreds to the thousands. This has also allowed her to network with peers in the sector around the country, and become an approachable and down-to-earth public face of Plus Dane.



Liane Southall joined Black Country Housing Group in July 2016 as a Trainee Accountant and since then has progressed from strength to strength. At just 20 years of age she is mature beyond her years and is a well-established and much respected member of our Finance Team across the organisation. Liane’s reputation isn’t only contained within BCHG, as we also provide a financial management service to a smaller Registered Provider that Liane is heavily involved in. However, it’s not just about the day job. Her beaming smile is all over BCHG, whether it be washing cars, organising charity events or even our own staff sports day in her role as a member of staff forum.



At only 23, Samehra has mastered housing management, and is growing into a natural leader. Less than two years since she took her first role in social housing, Samehra has already progressed to the role of senior housing officer, with the unanimous approval of the Senior Management Team panel. She manages a complex patch of supported housing, covering both Extra Care and Rough Sleepers Initiative housing. One of the values that marks Samehra out for leadership is her integrity and moral compass, which guides everything she does. Samehra works closely with her tenants, who are often extremely vulnerable, with chaotic lifestyles, and supports them to sustain their tenancy.



In the 18 months since joining Hastoe, Henry has researched, advised and written on a range of key social housing and policy matters, helped build partnerships across the sector and participated in the development of several key Hastoe projects. Henry’s main role is to work with and support the Chief Executive and Head of Communications and External Affairs in the development and maintenance of Hastoe’s influence and profile among key stakeholders including politicians, civil servants, local authority staff, national agencies and the media. His role also includes researching and interpreting information to provide new insights in order to facilitate Hastoe’s influencing work. In a relatively short period of time, Henry has proven himself to be not only highly skilled at identifying opportunities to influence national policy but has gone on to represent Hastoe at a regional and national level.



Lindsey was determined to make an impact on the lives of others and from day one she showed great ambition and a passion to make a change. She believes that everyone has the ability to have a direct impact on the lives of tenants and colleagues regardless of your role in the organisation. Her first role in the sector was with Wheatley Group as a GEM Graduate Management Trainee. Lindsey instantly hit the ground running in her role and during this time she developed an Engagement Framework which was rolled out across the business and completed a research project on Tenancy Sustainment services. Lindsey has recently taken up a role with Queens Cross Housing Association as a Performance and Service Improvement Officer.



Jason joined settle in December 2018 as our Head of Development Finance and Treasury – a really crucial role that underpins our strategic ambition to build more homes. In a relatively short space of time, Jason has successfully created a team from scratch and built effective relationships with key stakeholders across the business. Jason is also settle’s public face with our lenders and has quickly built strong relationships not just through his technical expertise but through his leadership style. He is open, reliable and collaborative; always seeking solutions that work for all parties. His career development may be in Finance but he has the skills to move into wider leadership roles in the future.



Lara is solution focused – no challenge is ever too much. She finds ways to lead colleagues and consultants to work together as a team. She cultivates brilliant working relationships at all levels across the business. She’s a firm believer of visiting her colleagues’ desks to discuss challenges and resolve them as opposed to sending emails! She’s a one-woman silo breaker. Lara makes a conscious decision to lead by example. She’s the ‘go to’ person for people, the positive influencer, who is always willing to help or give advice. Recently, Lara was nominated at a Gateway CEO Briefing session by colleagues in the Residents Services Department, for being collaborative and demonstrating great leadership skills.



What makes Morgan truly exceptional is the attitude she has and the behaviours she displays. Morgan takes genuine and personal ownership of her development, constantly seeks opportunities to learn and grow and is driven to get the very most out of her traineeship. Aside from her passion for her personal development, she demonstrates exemplary behaviours in her day to day work, taking a positive “can do” attitude, supporting her colleagues when there is an opportunity and giving constructive and balanced feedback where she sees potential for improvement. She has worked incredibly hard and has grasped every challenge that has come her way. She has keen business acumen and considers return on investment throughout her professional practice.


James Paterson

James is very respectful, showing self respect but respects others with dignity compassion and empathy regardless of differences. This approach earns the respect of others. This respect has also been earned by his courage to take a stand and take decisions in very difficult circumstances. He demands respect through his trustworthiness and the way he keeps his promises and fulfills expectations. He also possesses an impressive drive to make a difference, ensuring a positive outcome for individuals, the team, or the organisation. What sets James apart from many others of his age is his integrity and openness. He doesn’t simply tell people what they want to hear but challenges others and encourages them to be open and honest with each other.


Emily Power

During her time with Berneslai Homes, Emily has shown a strong passion for developing her career within social housing. She has taken every opportunity to develop her skills and to gain as much as experience as she can within all the different areas within the company. She is keen to learn new skills and has shown great commitment in all that does. Emily demonstrates her excellent communication skills – both written and verbal in everything she does. Her management reports are written to a high standard. She has been involved in developing guidance notes which have been to a high standard. She contributes in meetings and has put herself forward to chair meetings – all of which show an enthusiasm and commitment to her self-development.



Assertive and Nurturing: a strong desire to develop and lead others for their benefit. These are the core values and motivations that make Joe Hughes a future leader in housing. And in just eight years, Joe has gathered experience in a wide range of housing specialisms to ensure that, when the time comes, his leadership is underpinned with experience and authenticity. Joe’s assertive and nurturing values make an invaluable member of SLH’s in-house ‘Accelerate’ management programme, where aspiring leaders work in groups to develop innovative solutions to housing challenges. Joe’s group focussed on the voids process and his experience led the group to make a series of recommendations on how to reduce the cost of void properties.



Chloe has a “can do” attitude to resolving customer issues and has to work with other teams and officers to support, challenge decisions and find resolution for customer complaints. She has the ability to quickly identify gaps in service leading to dissatisfaction and she raises this with relevant officers to ensure we learn from dissatisfaction. This is not easy but she does this with great results and gains respect from colleagues along the way. She demonstrates emotional intelligence to not only understand the needs of individual customers but to ensure other teams and officers understand this too. On a daily basis she supports customers who naturally display a range of emotions, individual needs and often complex life styles. Chloe effectively resolves issues for our customers and supports other teams with her complaint resolution skills.



Sophie has a natural coaching ability and has been able to provide the support required for her team, her colleagues and myself as and when required. She received exceptional scores in the ‘My Manager’ section of our recent Best Companies survey where her team recognised her ability to support, develop and coach them to excel at their role. Sophie is a true Team Player and will often go out of her way to ensure that tasks are completed that may not necessarily be assigned to her. Sophie is a dedicated, focused individual and is passionate about delivering first class customer service. She is a strong team player who supports, guides and motivates the team with a positive can do attitude. An ‘outside the box thinker’ Sophie is quick to come up with ideas to resolve issues quickly as well as quickly adapts to new procedures and acts as an advocate which is very refreshing to see.



In the past year Laura has taken up a prominent role with the local CIH, so is encouraging others to get involved. She is studying at University for a degree in Leadership. She has also helped to set up a NE branch of WISH and is an activist. The highpoint of her year without doubt was joining the NHF Greenhouse Project. She was part of a team who have developed a range of products aimed to reduce the stigma of adaptations by providing modern dual purpose equipment…. a plant pot, a mirror, a toilet roll holder, and all can be used as a grab rail. She did almost every pitch to investors, steering group and the sector. She delivered her most amazing pitch at the NHF national conference. She was introduced to Theresa May, who was blown away by what the group had achieved and has since attended a meeting at Downing Street.



Tommy is an extremely competent and professional manager. He displays a can-do approach to everything he does and exudes a maturity well beyond his years. He is currently managing a significant contract for United Living and the demands of this partnership result in him engaging with residents, housing consultation committees as well the senior execs and directors of Westminster City Council. Tommy is an intrinsic member of the United Living “Junior Board”. This membership enables him to further demonstrate his management skills by leading a team to formulate best practice process within the group and presenting the same to the United Living Executive.


Keely Delaney

Keely started at Derwent Living six months ago as a Home Ownership Team Assistant. Just three months into the role she was nominated for and won our internal Bright Beginner award. Keely has already progressed in her career at Derwent Living and has been promoted to a Sales Co-ordinator role within the last month, which she is carrying out extremely effectively. Keely has great integrity and is always honest about the reality of situations. She demonstrates excellent people skills, managing customer expectations and willing to have difficult conversations when required. She has a natural ability to forge relationships and gain respect amongst her peers, management and customers alike and always responds promptly and courteously.



The strength of Matt’s leadership and resolve is quite remarkable, resulting in success after success. Nothing deters him – he’s shown he has the drive to deliver, from coping through a period of personal trauma to being accountable for the actions of teams and individuals to produce great customer service. During a recent restructure of Sovereign’s Property Services directorate, Matt applied for a Delivery Manager role. Matt had to pitch himself against 85 of his peers at a one-day assessment centre where he was assessed on many different competencies such as Leadership, Self-Awareness and Time Management. Matt successfully scored higher than all other candidates and was appointed to Delivery Manager within Empty Homes. He now line-manages up to 10 trades employees with an enviable record of success.

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