Our Team

From a dedicated team of directors to a passionate board, we have an experienced team of people who shape the plans and direction of our organisations. Our Board makes major decisions about our aims and how we can achieve this. It steers our executive management team who look after the day-to-day operation of the business and the delivery of our services.

  • Our BoardRead More

    The organisation is run by a Board of Management where people are recruited based upon a criteria of skills and competencies required by the Board to fulfil their business objectives. The Board makes major decisions about what the company aims to do and how it will achieve this. It steers the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) who look after the day-to-day operation of the business and the delivery of services.

    SLH currently holds the gradings for Governance’ (G1) and ‘Viability (V2) from the Homes and Communities Agency (the social housing regulator).

        • Board DirectorsRead more

          Ian Munro (Chair)

          Until recently Ian had been the Chief Executive of New Charter, a highly successful and respected Housing Association in the Manchester area. Ian has served as a non-executive director on the Board of SLH since September 2017 and as well as his significant housing pedigree he has set up and chaired a multi-academy education trust and a local media company

          Ian was appointed to the SLH Chair role from 1st May 2018. Ian has been a former board member of the National Housing Federation and was awarded an OBE for services to housing in the 2017 New Years Honours list

          Key skills: Strategy, Governance, Housing, Property Management.

          Declarations of Interest: Chair and Non Executive Director (NED) of Bolton at Home Housing Association, Trustee Bridgewater Hall Education Trust,  Director IHM Services Ltd, Director at Maxmedia Communications Ltd.


          Andy Oldale (Chair of Audit and Risk Committee)

          Andy is currently an Executive Director of Finance and Governance at Yorkshire Housing and has a breadth of strategic finance and governance experience having held a number of other senior positions within the sector and is also an independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee at Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

          Before working in social housing he led finance teams in customer-focused retail businesses.

          Andrew is a qualified accountant and has a sound understanding of internal control, the sector and the regulatory environment and experience in health and safety and treasury management.

          Key Skills : Strategy, Risk, Finance, Governance and Regulation

          Declarations of Interest: Executive Director Yorkshire Housing, Independent Member of Joseph Rowntree Audit and Risk Committee.


          Kerry Byrne

          Kerry is a Chartered Certified Accountant, having qualified with Deloitte where she spent almost 12 years specialising in internal audit and risk management in both the public and private sectors. She spent three years in the industry as the Head of Internal Audit for the Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd before moving back into practice for three years with Ernst & Young where she specialised in Banking.

          Kerry is a Governor of Liverpool John Moores University, where she is Chair of the Finance Committee. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Alder Hey Childrens NHS Foundation Trust where she is Chair of the Audit Committee.

          Kerry now runs a property business, letting properties to tenants and developing properties for sale.

          Key skills: Finance and Treasury, Audit, Risk, Governance.

          Declarations of Interest: Non Executive Director (NED) at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Director Byrne Lettings.


          John Burt (Chair of Development Committee)

          John has worked in social housing most of his working life and is passionate about social purpose. Having worked previously in a large housing association he is interested in helping with the challenges faced by SLH. His vast experience with developing new homes and regenerating estates is coupled with his governance experience as a Deputy Chief Executive. Having served a number of boards for the past 30 years he has good knowledge and experience of what makes a board effective and able to fulfil their responsibilities.

          Key skills: Strategy, Development, Governance, Risk, Property Management.


          Steve Bentley

          Steve has over 35 years of experience in corporate banking, having qualified with the institute of bankers and was the former Relationship Director for Barclays specialised in supporting Social Housing providers in the North West before retiring in 2019. He brings considerable corporate governance, finance and treasury management experience to South Lakes Housing. Steve lives just outside of Kirkby Lonsdale and is also the senior independent director at the ForViva Group a social housing provider with wide-reaching commercial activities based in Salford.

          Key Skills: Finance, strategy, performance and treasury management

          Declarations of Interest: Senior Independent Director at ForViva Group and ForHousing.


          Silas Heys

          Silas is a qualified solicitor who specialises in property law.  He moved to Kendal in 2017 after working for international law firms in Manchester and Liverpool, where he acted for pension funds, retailers and large charitable and educational institutions on their property transactions and portfolio management.  Silas is currently in-house Legal Counsel at Cumberland Building Society, where he advises the Society on all aspects of property, banking and finance and commercial law, as well as on corporate governance.

          A geography graduate and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Silas has a keen interest in sustainability and the environment.

          Key Skills: Property law, management and development; Commercial Contracts; Risk; Governance and Regulation.

          Declarations of Interest: Officer and Member of Wray Village Store Limited, Member and Employee of Cumberland Building Society.


          Susanne Long

          Susanne has lived in Kendal since 2012, moving up from the south coast where she worked for IBM UK Ltd.

          Susanne is a Councillor for both South Lakeland District Council (elected in 2019) and for Kendal Town Council (elected 2018).  Susanne is especially interested in the areas of Planning and Housing and is also a Board member for Kendal Futures.

          Susanne’s previous career was within the IT sector, working in various sales and sales enablement roles all of which were focused on Client Relationship Management (CRM). In her role as Business Transformation Consultant, Susanne worked with Clients to re-design & simplify processes, deliver the infrastructure to support their evolving business needs and to prepare them for the change required to ensure their successful adoption.

          Key skills: Organisational Change Management (Business Transformation), Consulting: change & adoption, project & program management, Community engagement, CR

          Declarations of Interest: Member of Kendal Community Land Trust, Board Member Kendal Futures.


          Nicola Haywood-Cleverly

          Nicola is an engineer with over 30 years of experience applying her analytical, digital, informatics, environmental and leadership skills to the design and delivery of solutions and transformation. Having worked in the private sector, local government, higher education, health, social and integrated care, Nicola was recently appointed by Lincolnshire to be one of the first Chief Digital and Information Officers to sit on an Executive Chief Officer Team.

          Nicola brings a wealth of expertise in leading and delivering customer-focused, digitally-enabled improvements, coupled with a strong belief in applying technology and data for the greater good. She has a passion for sustainability, supporting communities and doing what’s right to protect people, especially the most vulnerable.

          Previously a university governor and chair of an academy trust, Nicola sits on various technology advisory committees, including the Institute of Engineering and Technology Health and Care Panel. She has a lifelong relationship with Cumbria and welcomes the opportunity to give something back to the area.

          Key skills: Digital Transformation, Data and Informatics, Cyber Security; UXRD; Business Improvement; Change & adoption; Customer Services; Partnerships

          Declarations of Interest: Executive at Lincolnshire Advisory Panel, Health Tech, Highland Marketing Advisory Board, Director Aurora Peak Ltd.


          Tony Muir

          Tony is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and he has worked in property asset management for over 30 years. His roles have spanned the private sector, public sector and over the last five years, Social housing. Tony has worked in property consultancy working with various nationwide clients, advising on both the clientside and delivering as a contractor or supply chain partner. Tony is an experienced Statutory CompanyDirector previously managing a number of property services companies delivering to major local authorities and housing providers. His most recent roles in housing have seen him operating at Director and Executive level reporting to the Board.

          Key Skills: Property Asset Management, Health and Safety and property compliance, operational performance and Sustainability.

          Declarations of Interest: None

          Catherine Lindsay

          Catherine has worked within Customer Services, Customer Experience and Operations for over 25 years.  She has a wealth of experience gained across multiple industries, having worked for GE Capital, Santander, Hermes and Hitachi Capital.

          She is currently the Operations Director of Newcastle Strategic Solutions, part of the Newcastle Building Society, where her and the team are focussed on delivering great experiences and outcomes for customers.

          She is a strong advocate of the Customer Service and Contact Centre sector and plays an active part in industry associations. She is also passionate about promoting and supporting equality, diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

          Key Skills : Customer Experience and Operational Leadership, Customer Experience and Operational Transformation.

          Declarations of Interest: Operations Director at Newcastle Strategic Solutions (Newcastle Building Society).

          Sarah Swindley
          (Co-opted Board Member)

          Sarah is CEO of the Lake District Foundation, an independent charity working with the National Park Partnership to drive innovation in fundraising, grant making and new models of finance.

          Sarah is also a non-executive director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

          She has a particular interest in connecting the natural environment with communities who don’t traditionally access our national parks and with the wellbeing benefits of our natural world.

          Key Skills : Strategy, Partnerships, Community Engagement, Social Value.

          Declarations of Interest: Board Director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Trustee of South Westmorland Multi Academy Trust.


          David Butcher (Independent Member of Audit and Risk Committee)

          David is a chartered accountant and has held various financial management positions in both private and public sectors.

          He is currently Director of Finance and University Secretary at Leeds Trinity University, with responsibilities including strategic and operational financial management, strategic business planning and leading on the risk management processes.

          David grew up in and still has ties to the South Lakes area and is keen to support SLH in the key role it plays in the area.

          Key Skills : Finance and Risk Management

          Declarations of Interest: Governor at Shipley College.


    • ExecutiveRead More


      • The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) Read more

        Cath Purdy

        Chief Executive

        Leads the Executive Leadership Team.

        Responsible for People and Culture & Development.

        Cath Purdy joined South Lakes Housing in July 2015, having previously been Chief Executive of Housing Hartlepool and Group Chief Executive of Vela Housing Group, before briefly becoming Deputy Group Chief Executive of Thirteen Group in the Tees Valley.

        Having spent over 30 years as a housing professional, 18 of which have been at executive level, Cath is passionate about social housing and how the sector contributes to economic and social wellbeing. She has been very active in the sector, currently serving as Board Director of HouseMark and Placeshapers. She has previously served as Board director of the National Housing Federation, the CiH Council and Northern Housing Consortium Boards.

        She has a BA (Hons) degree in Social Policy, a diploma in Housing Policy and a Masters in Business Administration. She is a fellow of the CiH and in 2011 was awarded an OBE, for her work in Housing in the Queens Birthday honours.

        Cath has previously acted as a Trustee of a Primary Care Trust and a subsidiary of the National Museum for the Royal Navy. She is currently a Leader in residence at the Lancaster University Management School.

        Having previously delivered two successful transfers and two mergers, Cath is committed to build on the strong foundation of the early post transfer years and with an excellent staff team improve core services, value for money and grow the business through the development of much needed new homes. By working in partnership with the Local Authorities and others she intends for South Lakes to be at the forefront of delivering the economic, social and health benefits of good quality affordable housing in the area.

        Declarations of Interest: Board member of Housing Plus Group, PlaceShapers and Housemark

        Richard Morris

        Director of Finance

        Responsible for Finance.

        Richard joined the Executive Team from within the organisation, where he has been the Head of Finance for the last 3 years providing key financial support to teams and senior leaders across the organisation.

        Richard, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has extensive experience in high-level finance roles in the housing, construction and education sectors. Having previously held senior finance roles for Your Housing Group, Trafford Housing Trust, One Manchester and before joining SLH a Deputy Principal role in Further Education.

        In his role as Finance Director, Richard is responsible for elevating the finance function at SLH through the effective use of technology, communication, processes and systems.

        Richard Hayes

        Director of Homes

        Responsible for Repairs, Building Safety, Stock Condition, Planned Maintenance and Sustainability. Richard is the health and safety lead for tenant services.

        Richard graduated in 1995 as a Quantity Surveyor and initially worked for Knowsley Design Consultancy in Liverpool. He was a member of the design team to deliver the Liverpool Football Club Academy in Kirby and new leisure centres in Halewood and Huyton, Liverpool. Through the consultancy he worked with Knowsley Housing Services during their stock transfer to Knowsley Housing Trust in 2002.

        Richard moved to Sefton MBC and then latterly to One Vision Housing in Bootle where, as Head of Investment, he managed a multi disciplinary team of Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors and Building Surveyors to successfully deliver a £200M property improvement programme within four years. Richard was a member of the management team when One Vision Housing won the 2012 Sunday Times Best 100 Companies Award.

        In 2012 Richard moved to South Lakes Housing to take up the post of Assistant Director of Assets and Investment and was subsequently appointed Director of Assets & Investment in 2015. In his current post Richard is responsible for the successful delivery of SLHs Improvement Programme, construction related compliance and the Cumbria Housing and Property Services company (CH&PS).

        John Mansergh

        Director of Business Improvement

        Responsible for performance & risk management, health & safety, internal audit, communications and marketing snd co-regulation. He is Company Secretary for SLH.

        John has been at South Lakes Housing since 2010, initially to manage the stock transfer programme and a range of business improvement projects. He also provides executive support to the Audit & Risk Committee.

        John has over 15 years in managing performance and leading projects both within housing organisations and the adult social care sector. John has a 2:1 Honours Degree in Housing Studies and began his housing career as a Housing Officer before moving into corporate services roles.  

        Declarations of Interest: Governor and member of the Audit and Risk Committee at Kendal College

        Niki Stockton

        Director of Customer Experience

        Responsible for housing and customer services, customer engagement, feedback and insight, neighbourhoods, allocations and income management. Niki is the consumer standards lead for tenant services.

        Niki joined SLH in 2022 from a north west housing provider where she was the Executive Director of Operations. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has 30 years’ experience in social housing, the last 15 years in senior Executive roles and Non-Executive Board Member roles. Niki is passionate about social justice and providing safe, affordable, quality homes and excellent customer services and recognises the positive role that social landlords can play in place making.

        Niki is an experienced leader and has significant skills, knowledge and experience across the breadth of housing services, including homelessness, improving homes and services, neighbourhood management, development and regeneration, asset management, mergers and stock transfers and has previous lived experience of social housing. She has worked for a local authority and small, regional and large national social landlords. She also brings a wealth of experience in terms of strategic planning, governance and risk management and change management. She is currently Chair of the Board of another housing provider and has been on the Boards and Committees of a number of housing providers across Greater Manchester.

        Niki is part of the Executive Leadership Team and oversees the development and delivery of an excellent customer experience at SLH and is leading our culture change programme, embedding our Customer First approach across the business and recalibrating our relationships, working with customers and communities to ensure that our customers’ experience and outcomes across the business are exceptional. She is also the executive lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. At SLH 

        Declarations of Interest: Chair of Irwell Valley Homes