Young Leaders: Top 20 announced

24housing is delighted to announce the shortlisted top 20 for the Young Leaders competition.


Once again we were overwhelmed by nominations for the brightest and best young talent in the sector. After hard deliberation, we have shortlisted the nominations down to just 20.

The sector can now visit the website to vote for who they 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.

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

But most important for the future of the sector, they have bright new ideas that could change the way the sector operates.

The candidates also showed potential to be a strong leader, not only in their own organisation, but also in the wider sector.

Mark Lawrence, 24housing editor, said: “As the sector pushes for greater diversity, the Young Leaders competition shows the incredible amount of young talent there is in the sector, ready and eager to impress.

“Many of these are looking at becoming future chief executives in the sector. Reading their submissions I think we are in pretty good hands. I’d recommend looking at the nominations, getting inspired and then voting for who you think should go through to the final 10.”

Voting closes on Friday 18th May.

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



Why nominated: Will has shown great leadership during his time at CHC, working closely with the sector on sensitive and important policy issues ranging from the Welsh sector’s response to Grenfell to Universal Credit, LHA and Supported Housing.

In a relatively short time with CHC, he has already chalked up a number of policy wins including the overturning of the LHA cap on social rents following the publication of the ‘Postcode Lottery’ research on LHA rates which Will co-authored, and the development of a more suitable model of funding for supported housing which Will has been heavily involved in lobbying for.

Will is an excellent communicator, has built strong relationship with colleagues, members and key stakeholders and has a big future ahead of him.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Tash started with Wandle under our apprenticeship scheme and has flourished within the organisation. Tash has embraced change and actively shown commitment to working as a team player in the Wandle Repairs project group to procure a new partner to deliver a fully managed service.

She has been the ambassador for the DLO and has supported her colleagues in working to understand the benefits of the changes and has fed back their views and opinions. She is always prepared for her working groups and raises issues and risks with a sense of maturity and business thinking which enables respect for her views and contributions.

Tash has a strong commitment to working to enable women working in trades, she has taken part in many initiatives which support this ethos and written many articles for the Wandle website and newsletters inspiring our residents to consider the possibilities of working in trades and applying for apprenticeships.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Sian joined the organisation in January 2017 as general manager with the internal repairs provider. At the time of joining, a number of changes were underway due to the merger of Circle Housing and Affinity Sutton.

Sian demonstrated strong leadership skills and has not only managed the team through a challenging period of change but has also taken an underperforming team to become a top performing team.

The leaderships skills she has demonstrated are her vision to drive improvements; passion, commitment and tenacity to continue with her goals, often when facing difficult circumstances; strong communication skills and the ability to use her initiative.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Stephanie has a tremendous amount of passion, enthusiasm, energy and drive. She aspires to give her all each and every day and this is clearly evident in her team leading skills. She instills organisation and focus into the customer services team she leads.

She leads a team and helps respond to 52,000 calls annually as well as online and social media enquiries. She pro-actively manages a team of seven staff who act as a front line call handling service for North Star Housing.

This includes, logging repairs, dealing with housing related issues and low level ASB. Stephanie has stepped up to being a team leader on a secondment basis and has done so for the past eight months.

She has helped bring stability and galvanised our customer services team. She has led with training, recruitment, performance reporting as well as being an integral part in our five-year corporate vision.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Laurie started work with Liverty in 2009 and in his eight years with the organisation has worked his way through the ranks culminating with his current post of income manager within the neighbourhoods and customer services directorate, a post which he has successfully held for the last 18 months.

Laurie manages a team of seven staff who are motivated to deliver the high standards of personal service to customers whilst also delivering excellent performance. He achieves this by mentoring, coaching and developing his team. This includes regular individual mentoring sessions once development areas have been mutually identified. Laurie is a real team player and lives by the ethos that he would never ask anybody to do something he would not be prepared to do himself.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: As the first and predominantly only point of contact for all our leaseholders and freeholders, Becca ensures she is always accessible, giving the most up to date and suitable advice and information to our residents.

Becca is the first to offer to take on more responsibility and workload which has naturally led to a recent personal development opportunity in terms of line management. I am of no doubt that once Becca is comfortable leading, inspiring and managing staff she will be heading up a service area and doing it with aplomb.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: With no previous experience of the housing or construction sector, Amelia Norton joined Futures as a graduate, but very quickly rose through the ranks.

Only 14 months after starting her career she was given the opportunity to manage a £1.2m development scheme. Despite her inexperience, Amelia demonstrated project management skills which meant she was involved in all aspects of the development to provide 12 new homes in Derbyshire. This work included purchasing the land, working with the wider businesses and liaising with contractors and solicitors.

Her professionalism and experience have meant that she was quickly assigned to mentor a new graduate within the team, offering him advice and insight into how the organisation and the development team works. This has also been furthered as she is now also responsible for introducing new Futures team members to the development team during their induction programmes.



Why nominated: Erin joined Clarion in early 2017 as head of sales progression. She is one of four heads of service reporting into the director of sales & marketing and operating as a senior member of the sales & marketing management team, who are collectively responsible for a sales operation that is on target to bring in over £1bn of sales receipts in the next three years.

Erin plays a key role driving performance in her own workstream, as well as being an active member of the senior management team making strategic decisions about how the wider team develops and operates.

Erin manages a current team of 12 she inherited from two legacy teams, and she has been fundamental in supporting them through change, bringing them together and creating a new culture as a single forward-looking team.

She is a confident and articulate leader and is well respected by the team and has fostered an open and collaborative environment. She supports and nurtures the team, but also shows maturity when it comes to managing difficult situations and being clear on decisions and expectations.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Moving from school to his first job as benefit and money advice administration apprentice at Yorkshire Housing, Muhammad thought his opportunities to lead would be limited.

This coupled with the transition of joining a company with over 700 employees, knowledgeable in their areas, was overwhelming at first. Muhammad found himself in the first months listening, observing behaviour, learning about how people interact, to help him start paving the behaviours and traits he would like to continue to develop alongside doing the actual practical job.

Muhammad always have wanted to go over and beyond what is required, someone who can help head a group and lead them to successes individually or as a team.

Muhammad has not given up any opportunities that have come his way. This year he has taken on the role of apprenticeship ambassador for the regional Young Apprentice Ambassadors Network, representing Yorkshire Housing.

His role is to raise awareness of apprenticeships and clear the misconceptions of them. Muhammad does this by going into schools, events and businesses to talk about his journey and experiences of apprenticeships.



Why nominated: 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.



Why nominated: Sophie joined a newly created complaints team at a time when there was a great deal of uncertainty over systems and processes.

She took on responsibility for leading the team, learning as she went and allowed her manager to gain visibility of the issues that were present. Despite only being in this role for a very short time, the difference that she had made to her team and their performance made her an obvious candidate when a manager role became available.

Sophie has worked incredibly hard to stabilise the service offered to customers, always going the extra mile when there was someone in need of help and built good relationships with internal teams and external contractors alike.

Sophie led her team to successfully deliver against a challenging HCA imposed target, achieving the required service level every month for a full 12 month period. The team has also seen an improvement in customer satisfaction scores over the last 12 months. She has also received compliments from customers.

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