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Our Team | South Lakes Housing

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 voluntary 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 management team who look after the day-to-day operation of the business and the delivery of services.

    SLH currently holds the highest gradings for ‘Governance’ (G1) and ‘Viability’ (V1) from the Homes and Communities Agency (the social housing regulator).

    A summary of each Board meeting is published here;

    • Board Directors 
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      John-HolmesJohn Holmes

      John has lived in Crosthwaite since 1999 having moved from Bradford/Leeds. He has spent the last 45 years Managing Director of a General Contracting Company engaged in the building of Schools, Hospitals, Churches, Housing for Local Authorities, Housing Associations and private clients as well as considerable works for Industry and Commerce. Having trained as a Quantity Surveyor he spent most of his working life in project management including design build projects.

      During his time in Crosthwaite he has become involved in several community organisations and Charitable Trusts and in 2011 he was elected as a Councillor for the Lyth Valley. He served as Chairman of South Lakes Housing from September 2013 to April 2018.

      Key skills: Commercial, Construction and Planning

      Stephen BoltonStephen Bolton

      Stephen has lived in Ulverston since 1960 and has been a tenant since 1987. Stephen became a Board Member in November 2018 and has been engaged with the organisation for a number of years including Chairing the Tenants’ Committee and involvement in Tenant Scrutiny Reviews and the Tenant Complaints Panel. He has over 25 years’ experience of boards and committee’s over the last 25 years, including holding the positions of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer at Ulverston Sports Club and Ulverston Rugby Club.

      Stephen served for 7 years in the Armed Forces in various locations including Germany, Canada and the UK. He was also a taxi driver for over 15 years, including a period of self-employment. Stephen possesses a number of accountancy, IT and health & safety related qualifications. For the last 5 years Stephen has been a volunteer adviser at Barrow Citizens Advice providing welfare advice and this experience is of particular benefit to the SLH Board given the risks around welfare reform.

      Stephen’s main interest is the development of more social housing and improving services for the disabled.

      Key skills: Tenant Engagement, Financial Inclusion

      Peter-KuitPeter Kuit (Vice Chairman & Chair of Development Panel)

      Peter’s past work includes pioneering regeneration schemes and major re-structuring initiatives. He has operated at a senior management level for more than 20 years and, prior to his retirement in September 2009, was Director of Development for Preston City Council.

      Peter brings extensive and relevant experience to the Board, ranging from multi-disciplinary project management to the challenges faced in making provisions for the homeless, to motivating staff and colleagues at all levels. He is also a volunteer business mentor for the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency and an Executive Director of the Cumbria Community Asset and Reinvestment Trust.

      Key skills: Regeneration, Development, Planning

      Brian McDonough

      Brian’s career was in education and between 1990 and 2008 he was Deputy Principal at Joseph Chamberlain College, Birmingham, a city-centre Sixth form college with over 3,000 students. His main responsibilities included managing Human Resources, IT, Information, Financial and Risk Management.

      During that time he gained considerable experience with working with local community groups, bidding for national and EU funding and managing capital projects. He was also chair of a local Primary School Board of Governors.

      He is interested in helping South Lakes Housing to be a top performing organisation, providing good quality housing and services to people of the local area.

      Key skills: Human Resources, IT, Performance Management

      george-taylorGeorge Taylor (Chair of Remuneration and Governance Committee)

      George has lived in Kendal for 16 years. During that period, he has served as a board member of the Kendal Brewery Arts Centre for 10 years and Kendal College for 12 years. His principal other activities are acting as chair of the trustees of four pension schemes, two based in Carlisle. From 2010 until the role ceased in mid-2015, he was a Public Member of Network Rail, representing the public interest as investor in the railway network.

      He has extensive board experience in housing, having served from 2004 to 2008 as chair of the board of Newlon Housing Trust in north-east London, when Newlon was the social housing partner of the Arsenal Football Club in all their development in the London Borough of Islington. George has also served as a board member of the Community Gateway Association in Preston and in 2013 as interim chair of the board of Great Places Housing Association, based in Manchester.

      George’s principal career was in human resources, with his final role being HR Director of Meyer International, owner of Jewson, the builders’ merchants. He left Meyer in 1996, following which he built up a portfolio of work principally in pensions but also in widening participation in higher education, in which he is a very strong believer. He has local authority experience, having served as a councillor in the London Borough of Islington from 1971 to 1978. George’s principal leisure interests are mountaineering and fell walking locally, in other parts of Europe and in the Himalaya, also theatre and cinema. He is married with two adult children and two grandchildren.

      Key skills: Housing, Development/Regeneration, Pensions

      keith-bevanKeith Bevan (Chair of Audit and Risk Committee)

      Keith was previously a Co-optee on the Audit & Risk committee from May 2016. He is a keen environmentalist and involved with a number of local charities. He is based in Ambleside and enjoys walking cycling and climbing holidays.

      He has worked in the Life Insurance market for over 25 years focussing on risk management and consultancy work. He has worked in Europe with some of the largest international insurers as well as smaller scale UK mutuals. Over the last 10 years he has supported a number of senior leadership and Board teams in making financial, risk management and capital management transitions due to regulatory change.

      Keith is looking forward to supporting South Lakes Housing as it makes its transition to the new strategy and business model and coping with the inevitable regulatory changes that will emerge over the next few years.

      Key skills: Risk, Audit, Governance and Regulation

      Eve MartinEve Martin

      Eve has extensive experience in delivering services to residents through her work with local authorities and charities which gives her an insight into the challenges in providing affordable housing.

      Until recently she has chaired a national charity which focussed on improving sexual health of young people. She has an exceptional governance track record and significant experience in a regulated field.

      Previous roles in Local Authority including HR and organisational development bring additional benefits to SLH. Eve is currently a volunteer adviser with South Lakes Citizens Advice and is a Director of Eden and South Lakeland Credit Union. Eve lives locally and is looking forward to using her experience to contribute to meeting the challenges that SLH faces.

      Key skills: Governance, Strategy, Organisational Development

      Maggi MorrisMaggi Morris

      Maggi is an independent Public Health consultant and as a resident of South Lakeland, Maggi is acutely aware of the housing issues affecting local residents, especially younger and older people regarding health and wellbeing issues.

      Maggi has worked alongside local communities and Housing Associations in North Liverpool in order to help regenerate housing and facilitate the local community development. A former Director of Public Health she has a wealth of knowledge and connections with the health service and is committed to improving health and well-being of residents.

      Her expertise in organisational development brings additional benefits to SLH.

      Key skills: Health, Environment, Organisational Development

      Ian MunroIan Munro (Chairman)

      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 degree he has set up and chaired a multi-academy education trust and a local media company.

      Ian was appointed to the SLH Chairman 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 the 2017 New Years Honours list.

      Key skills: Strategy, Governance, Housing

      Maggi MorrisLoraine Birchall

      Loraine Birchall lives in Great Urswick and has been a Board member since 2014. Loraine is a self-employed web developer and designs knitwear patterns in her spare time.

      Loraine previously worked in the defence, financial services, ICT support/system admin, retail and hospitality. In her current business she’s acted as a consultant for Business Link, Manufacturing Advisory Service and West Cumbria Development Agency on a variety of projects. Loraine has a particular interest in accessibility, social and economic exclusion.

      She believes technology can enhance life for many, but, for disabled people it makes a life possible.

      Key skills: Technology, Community engagement and Governance

      John BurtJohn Burt (Co-Optee on Audit & Risk Committee)

      John has worked in social housing most of his working life and is passionate about social purpose. Having worked 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 a good knowledge and experience of what makes a board effective and able to fulfil their responsibilities.

      Key skills: Development, Governance, Audit

      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 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, Audit, Governance

  • ExecutiveRead more


    • The Executive Management TeamRead more
      cath_purdy_obe_004webCath Purdy
      Chief Executive

      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 25 years as a housing professional, 15 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 the National Housing Federation and Housemark and previously serving on the CiH Council and Northern Housing Consortium Board. She has a first 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 Local Government in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

      Having previously delivered two successful transfers Cath is committed to delivering the promises made to tenants on transfer to South Lakes. She is keen to build on the strong foundation of the first few 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.


      Hilda Kaponda
      Director of Corporate Services (Interim)

      Hilda Kaponda joined South Lakes Housing in June 2018, having previously been in similar roles in the North West for the last 18 years and in finance for over 25 years. Hilda has worked as a regulator at The Housing Corporation and external auditor at PWC. She is a qualified accountant (FCCA), has an MBA from Manchester Business School and a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (BEng).

      She has been very active in the sector as a Non-Executive Director over there years and is currently Chair of Governance & Remuneration Committee at First Choice Homes Oldham and Chair of Audit Committee at Arawak Walton Housing Association and a member of the National Housing Federation Board Member Group established in October 2018. Her other NED roles include member of Board and Audit Committee in the NHS and various community charity Boards.

      Having previously worked in stock transfer organisations at Harvest Housing Group (Partington Housing Association & Derwent & Solway), Eastlands Homes Partnership Limited, Community Gateway Association, NED roles at Parkway Green Housing Association and Stockport Homes (ALMO), Hilda is committed to delivering the promises made to tenants on transfer to South Lakes as well as ensuring South Lakes continues to be a financially sound and sustainable organisation, provides value for money services and good quality affordable housing. She has extensive experience in sourcing funding to grow and support the business and working with regeneration funding partners like Homes England, Single Regeneration Budget, European Investment Bank and DCLG.


      Richard Hayes
      Director of Assets and Improvements

      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 managementteam 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 & Investments in 2015. In his current post Richard is responsible for the successful delivery of SLHs’ Improvement Programme, New Development, Compliance and Aids & Adaptations.


      Alison Kinnon
      Director of Customers and Communities

      Alison was appointed to the Executive Team in August 2016.  She gained an MBA from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1998, a post graduate diploma in Housing Studies from De Montford University in 2004 and is a Member of both the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

      Alison’s career in social housing began in 1984 with Glasgow City Council in the rent collection team in an area housing office.  During her 14 years with Glasgow she was the housing lead on the demolition of three multi-storey flats in the Roystonhill area of north Glasgow before becoming the Neighbourhood Housing Manager for the Sighthill area consisting mainly of 20 multi storey flats.  She moved on to work for Stirling Council as an Area Housing Manager before joining Manchester City Council in 1999, where she worked for five years as part of the New Deal for Communities team on the multi million pound project to regenerate East Manchester.  It was at this time Alison started coming up to the Lake District at weekends to go hill walking and fell in love with the area.  This resulted in her relocating to Kendal and started working for Lancaster City Council firstly as the Local Strategic Partnership Co-ordinator and latterly on the project to regenerate the West End of Morecambe.

      Alison joined South Lakes Housing in 2007, spending her first seven years as the Housing Manager, helping to prepare for the Audit Commission’s inspection then assisting with the preparation for the large scale voluntary transfer (LSVT).  In 2014 she became the Assistant Director of Customers & Communities with responsibility for the day-to-day front line housing services and ensuring key performance indicators were met and also led on the review of the sheltered housing service.