Young Leaders: Top 10 revealed

Here are the ten names you have decided to put through to the semi-finals!


The faces of the future of housing.

The above are our ten Young Leader semi-finalists who will now head to the National Housing Federation’s HQ in London to battle it out for a place in the final five.


Judges for the semi-final will be:

David Orr, National Housing Federation Chief Executive

Mark Lawrence, 24housing Editor

Vanessa Howell, Chartered Institute of Housing Head of Professional Standards

Molly Bishop, 24housing Young Leader 2017

Boris Worrall, Rooftop Housing Group Chief Executive

Graham Sibley, NHBC Market Development Manager.

24housing would like to extent their congratulations to all who made the top 20, the votes were extremely close and we are sure they have a bright future ahead of them.

Without further ado, here are your ten semi-finalists and why they were originally nominated.


Juber Ahmed, Wandle Housing Association’s Sales and Marketing Manager – age 28

Juber shows great respect to others, treating people with dignity and compassion, showing a complete understanding of how a property purchase can have an impact on individuals.

His approach, whether its relating to internal or external customers is to make a positive difference in all that he does. To demonstrate this, Juber joined a sponsored sleep out in November to raise funds for the Robes Project, a local homelessness shelter.

His leadership skills are evident in all that he does, and he inspires others to work to a higher level. Recently he was explaining to colleagues a case where he had been helping a customer to become a home owner when they were having a difficult time. The outcome was a life changing experience for the new home owner and Juber’s role and the customers storey was truly inspirational.


Carly West, St Leger Homes of Doncaster’s Universal Credit Project Manager – age 27

Carly demonstrates unique and creative leadership values in her everyday work. She is not only effective but she is also innovative and impactful, making a difference in everything she does for our customers and the workforce. Carly is calm and assured and oozes confidence and charisma making others respect her and aspire to follow her lead.

Carly works exceptionally well with partners, such as the Department of Work and Pensions and the local council. She is well respected in her field of work for her knowledge, capability and positive outlook. She also has a great ability to listen and consider so she can form a well-rounded view.


Scott Swaby, Stockport Homes Group’s Commercial Manager – age 28

Over the past year Scott has been managing Stockport Homes Group’s new trading arm, Threesixty. He stepped up to this role from his previous role of quantity surveyor at a time when there was a significant amount of work to be done to drive forward the trading company and ensure that it delivered high quality works for the company whilst returning a surplus.

Over this time the company has grown significantly and has gone from strength to strength. When Scott took over the reins, only a small number of operatives were employed who delivered minimal works. Now Threesixty has over 60 staff delivering around £5m of construction works to a very high standard.


Katie Howells, Merthyr Valleys Homes’ Strategic Project Officer – age 27

At 27, Katie is Merthyr Valleys Homes strategic project officer and is managing the biggest project in our history, and is doing a fine job.

Katie has involved the community, the employees and the project is on schedule. Katie leads all the project teams from the project board of contractors and cost consultants, to finance, to ITC infrastructure, to health and safety, to space and parking allocation and also manages the community benefit.

Katie has the rare ability to be both very very good at her job and very passionate. Katie without a doubt has the ability to be chief executive and, if that is what she wants, I am sure she will achieve it.


Ashley Rudge, Wandle Housing Association’s Communications Manager – age 28

In just over three years he has lead the organisation’s response to a number of external challenges with enthusiasm, skill and a desire to make a significant impact across the sector.

Ashley has developed a young PR & communications team and despite his young age, acts as a mentor to his team and inspires them to deliver a strong, exciting and professional service delivering internal and external communications.

As well as his role at Wandle, Ashley also leads on communications for Houseproud, the national network for LGBT professionals in the housing sector and is a trustee for Stay Brave, who take a modern approach to tackling abuse, rape and intimate violation regardless of gender or orientation. Ashley also represents Wandle in Homes for Cathy and PlaceShapers events.


Helen Donald, Longhurst Group’s Service Manager – age 26

Although Helen has only worked for the group for a little under a year, she has already made a significant impact on both colleagues and the residents she is responsible for.

Demonstrating the group’s core values of improving lives, pushing the boundaries and providing a heartfelt service, she has transformed the lives of many young people. Helen has also been really supportive to other service managers and provided them with training. She has encouraged her team to develop in their roles, focusing on their strengths and how they can better support residents.

We expect Helen to have a long and successful career in the housing sector, particularly within care and support. She has demonstrated very strong leadership, coaching and mentoring skills, as well as innovation and compassion, which we believe will support her to develop in her future career.


Rebecca Simpson, Incommunities Group’s Policy Officer – age 25

Rebecca’s experience is grounded in a passion to improve the lives of others. She joined incommunities in 2013 and took on the role of neighbourhood officer. Over the years she’s impacted on the lives of hundreds of tenants. 

Rebecca is an ambitious and driven young individual who has now progressed her career into a more strategic position in the policy and performance team. Rebecca has grown her network and now regularly works alongside senior leadership and board members taking on projects such as coordinating and taking on a lead advisory role for a submission to the government’s Housing Green Paper on behalf of the boardroom, a forum of board chairs across the country.

Rebecca also recognises the importance of working at a grass roots level, supporting community equality steering groups to raise awareness and develop inclusive customer services across the organisation.


Catrin Jones, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd’s Service Manager – age 26

Catrin has achieve a lot in 10 years, from leaving school at 16 with 10 GCSEs to being appointed a service manager at the age of 25 in January, responsible for an in-house responsive and electrical team of 21 operatives.

Catrin is a quick learner and has come to understand the nature of the responsive service, she brought with her skills and experience from her previous role at CCG as clerk of works.

In a male-orientated field Catrin really is a shining star who has developed into a young, strong and ambitious woman with many looking to her for guidance. She is an excellent role model for women in housing as well as women in construction.


Angelina Lord, Accord Group’s Locality Manager – age 25

Angelina Lord embodies the very definition of a leader – she is tenacious, knows the power of good, effective communication, is resolutely solution-focused and driven by innovation. Angelina has effectively acted as a leader from the age of 18 when she knew she wanted to make a difference to people’s lives.

Deciding that the university route may not get her there straightaway, Angelina joined the housing sector working within customer services for a large West Midlands housing association.

Angelina’s style is to unearth the root causes behind customers who may have vulnerable tenancies whether that be mental health issues or learning disabilities. Angelina will leave no stone unturned in talking to the right people and agencies to get help and support needed for her customers.

Inspired by the locality model, Angelina became a neighbourhood coach at age 22 and surrounded herself in the values and ethos of being a coach.

For Angelina, it is about coaching and working with customers to take control of and responsibility for their own lives and actions so that individuals can work together to help make the place they live somewhere that is lively and desirable for others.


Shannice James-McFee, Network Homes’ Lettings Manager – age 28

Shannice is an exceptional manager who is an inspiration to her peers and sets the bar for all other managers to follow. She is recognised across the organisation as an outstanding manager and provides informal mentoring and advice to other managers within Network Homes who approach her for guidance and support.

She will always help them to find solutions to issues they are experiencing, helping strengthen the management tier. She has actively supported other managers to develop their staff to bring about positive change which has resulted in improved working practices and performance across the business.

Shannice uses her exceptional interpersonal skills when dealing with both internal and external customers. She has great capacity to take on board new challenges and passes her enthusiasm and knowledge on to her colleagues. She is known for taking ownership of issues, keeping her promises and delivering on her commitments.

Similar stories by tag