2020 Judges

The 2020 Judging panel

Alun Hughes

Chartered Surveyor


Alun Hughes is a Chartered Surveyor, whose working career has been spent in passionate support of the wider social housing movement both in terms of quality and development.

Having spent five years at Liverpool City Architect’s Department, directly engaged in the refurbishment of its housing stock, he them spent a further five years in the Merseyside Regional Office of the Housing Corporation (forerunner of Homes England) as a technical consultant and auditor.

After spending time at Riverside Housing he then became the Chief Executive of Wirral Methodist Housing Association, from which he has recently retired after 30 years. During his time there, he more than doubled the size of its housing stock, winning many awards and accolades for his work in terms of innovation, design and imagination along the way.

He is most proud of leading the regeneration of The Hamilton Quarter of Birkenhead and developing schemes of Shared Ownership for people with Long-term Disability.

Mandy Elliott

Chief Executive, Crosby Housing Association


Last year Mandy celebrated 40 years working in the Social Housing sector.

Her career started working for CDS in Liverpool and then to Greater Hornby Housing Association before taking up a role with the Housing Corporation in 1998. Here she developed a wealth of experience in a variety of roles starting in finance and moving forward as programme manager, investment manager and regulation manager. She has a good understanding of the issues faced by the sector and of smaller housing associations in particular.

Mandy has been Chief Executive at Crosby Housing Association since 2005. She believes passionately in the work of community based housing associations and she is an active member of the Community Housing Association North West (CHANW) group. Until Sep 2018 Mandy was chair of the NHF Smaller Associations National Group.

She is involved in wider community activity – chair of Waterloo Town Team, a member of: Crosby and Waterloo Coastal Communities Team, New Realities team led by Sefton CVS and Sefton Coastal landscape Resources Group led by Sefton Council

Andrew van Doorn

Chief Executive of HACT


HACT is a UK innovation charity, social enterprise and industry-focused think/do tank established by the housing association sector. It seeks to influence and innovate in ways that help all housing providers deliver more effectively within their communities.

This includes their pioneering work on Data Standards, Community Insight and Social Value, helping housing associations to demonstrate their social impact and value for money and be fit for a digital future.

Andrew has worked for HACT for 16 years and in housing, homelessness, supported housing, community development and wider social policy and practice for 28 years.

He is a Non-Executive Director at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

Caroline Gitsham

Business Consultant

Caroline has over 30 years experience working in the Public Sector, including 15 years working at an Executive Level. She is passionate about customer service and making a difference and she has worked with a variety of partners across her career including working in an advisory capacity to the government and other bodies. She has managed a range of complex services and a number of new and innovative service offers have been developed under her leadership, many of which are award winning with tangible outcomes.

She has experience of managing significant resources in challenging environments across a range of agendas. She has also led on a number of significant key corporate agendas.

Her previous employer describes her as ‘a consistent top quartile performer, demonstrating passionate, energised leadership, a role model for others and a force for positive change. She brings a different dynamic, challenges the norm and encourages a greater focus on cultural and values alignment, outcomes monitoring and social impact. Her strengths are many, she has an extraordinary belief in people and their ability to achieve their potential. A supportive leader, well networked who enjoys challenges and variety’.

Caroline is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and in 2014 she was awarded an MBE for services to business in the North East of England.

In 2016 after being made redundant she set up Caroline L Gitsham Consulting Ltd. It exists to encourage, challenge and inspire people and organisations to enhance their contribution for customers, communities and society.

In March 2018 she became Chair of Women In Social Housing (North East) and was awarded Outstanding Business Leader of the Year at The Chronicle Sunshine Awards in 2020.

In April 2017 she joined South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group as a Lay Member and became Chair in July 2019.

She has a number of other voluntary positions including:

  • Governor for The Links School in Sunderland (PRU) and the Link Governor for Careers Information & Guidance.
  • Trustee on the Board of Humankind and member of the Innovation Sub Committee.
  • Ambassador for Signal (Poverty StopLight) which aims to eradicate poverty.

Tracy Harrison

Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC)


Prior to joining the NHC in 2006, Tracy held a variety of senior marketing and business development posts in blue chip private sector organisations, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods giant, Robert McBride, and Sage Software.

With the housing sectors’ ever-increasing focus on driving efficiencies, Tracy has been instrumental in ensuring that NHC offers its members products and services which support them with achieving this aim, and developing solutions which can help improve the service they offer to their customers. Tracy has also helped to develop NHC’s influencing activities, particularly around placemaking and addressing quality issues within the North’s housing stock.

Tracy is also an Independent Board Director of The Gateshead Housing Company and a Trustee of Age UK North Tyneside.

Julie Marsh

Executive Director of Neighbourhood Management, South Liverpool Homes

Julie has over 36 years’ experience of working within the housing sector . Julies career started at Liverpool City Council before joining South Liverpool Homes in 1999. In her current position as Executive Director of Neighbourhood Management  Julie oversees Neighbourhood Management ,Community Safety, Income Management and allocation of homes.

Julie is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) having completed her term of office as chair of the North West CIH Board, she remains an active member of the board.

Chris Seeley

Director of ARK Consultancy Ltd

Chris has a strong track record in sourcing, delivering and selling homes; strategic asset management; project and programme management; and in mentoring individuals and supporting teams to maximise their success.

He is passionate about working with people and about the importance of building strong relationships with delivery teams, residents and stakeholders.

Chris has undertaken a wide variety of interim and project management roles across development-site sourcing, business development and project management as well as procurement and research projects.  Chris is an enthusiastic hockey player and walker.

Helen McHale

Chief Executive, Stockport Homes

Helen is the Chief Executive of Stockport Homes Group and Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers Forum.  She has worked in housing for 34 years across a range of North West local authorities before moving to Stockport 18 years ago.  She set up the ALMO, taking the housing service from zero to three stars.

SHG has almost tripled in size during this period, becoming a Group Structure with a development, trading and charitable arm and consistently recognised as a Best Practice Employer, being awarded IIP Platinum and the third Best Place to Work for not for profit organisations, in the country during 2019.

SHG has won numerous awards and accreditations.  Helen herself has been in the Top 50 Power Players in housing for four of the last five years, Inside Housing Who’s Who of Development twice and won the Most People Focused Chief Executive of the Year (HR Magazine) in 2019.

Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey

Chief Operating Officer at West Lancashire Borough Council

Jacqui has recently been appointed as COO at West Lancashire Borough Council leading the Council at a period of rapid change and transformation.

She joined West Lancs in 2016 as Director of Housing & Inclusion managing the retained housing stock, delivering the Council’s housing development and regeneration programmes, housing strategy, private sector housing, homelessness and setting up the Councils development company.

Jacqui previously had 15 years’ experience at Executive Director level, 10 of which were spent developing a successful stock transfer organisation in Cheshire. She is passionate about inclusiveness, authentic leadership and helping people deliver social impact through their work.

Jacqui also has significant experience as a Board Director and Trustee in a range of businesses including RSLs, private sector, social enterprises, partnerships and voluntary organisations. She has been Chair of Tawd Valley developments, is a member of the Chartered institute of Housing and is currently on the ARCH Executive Board.

Phil Morgan

Housing Professional

Phil has specialised in resident involvement and scrutiny for over 20 years.

He was Chief Executive of TPAS for 10 years and then Executive Director of Tenant Services at the Regulator of Social Housing. Currently he works with both Housing Associations and Councils.

He is also a Board Member of the Guinness Partnership chairing their Service and Performance Committee, Chair of Healthwatch Salford and on the Panel of Advisors to the Housing Ombudsman.

Phil is author of Learning from Regulatory Downgrades.

Adam Brannen

Head of Regeneration for Leeds City Council

Adam is Head of Regeneration for Leeds City Council responsible for the delivery of Place outcomes aligned with the city’s Inclusive Growth Strategy.

Adam is a Chartered Town Planner leading a multi-disciplinary team focussed on local regeneration across the Leeds district; strategic infrastructure and major growth zones; and securing housing growth, choice and quality.

Pragmatic and commercially minded, Adam is dedicated to collaboration and cross-sector partnership and to ensuring the achievement of genuine regeneration outcomes from these relationships rather than just the delivery of new real estate.

He is leading on key areas of Leeds’ success as a growing city and economy through city centre developments – including South Bank, one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects, major urban extensions that will result in thousands of new multi-tenure homes, the planning and delivery of new affordable homes, neighbourhood renewal in the city’s Priority Neighbourhoods, brownfield land developments, town centre improvements and heritage-lead property schemes.

Adam is keen to see schemes that are responsive to climate change, address health & well-being and which make a genuine difference to the lives of people and communities.

Charlotte Carpenter

Executive Director of Growth and Business Development at Karbon Homes

Charlotte is Executive Director of Growth and Business Development at Karbon Homes, a leading social landlord which operates in the North East of England and Yorkshire. Charlotte is responsible for Karbon’s development programme of circa 600 new homes a year, the investment plans for Karbon’s existing 30,000 properties, and leads the strategy, planning and communication teams.

She has a passion for housing’s role in the economic and social regeneration of the North East, borne from senior roles with One NorthEast and The Northern Way – a precursor to the Northern Powerhouse.

Charlotte is an alumnus of Cambridge and York universities and holds a PhD in Medieval History.  She is a member of the CBI North East Council, the CBI’s National Infrastructure Board, and the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Policy Advisory Committee.

Outside work Charlotte is an adventurous and prolific traveller, and an enthusiastic runner with Tyne Bridge Harriers.

Ciarán Tully

External Affairs Manager – North West, National Housing Federation

Ciarán Tully is the External Affairs Manager for the North West at the National Housing Federation, taking responsibility for engaging housing associations and stakeholders across the region.

Ciarán leads on community cohesion and engaging NHF members on devolution in Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region.

Ciarán joined the Federation from a political party, where he held various roles across the country.

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