Leazes Homes board members are equally and jointly responsible for developing and implementing the supported housing vision for the YHN Group, and the strategic leadership, oversight and delivery of services to the supported housing stock managed by the Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) Group, including properties owned by Leazes Homes and properties owned by Newcastle City Council that are managed by YHN.

The board members come from a range of professional backgrounds, each bringing valuable knowledge and experience to the role. 

 You can read more about all of them below.

Dawn Keightley

Chair, Leazes Homes

Dawn Keightley was appointed as a Leazes Homes Trustee in April 2017 and became Chair in August 2018. She has spent over two decades in the social housing sector, mainly working for a national provider of supported housing and latterly for a regional provider in a range of strategic roles. Dawn previously worked with NHS England Transforming Care Programme focusing on increasing housing choices for people with learning disabilities and/ or Autism and she's currently the Managing Director of a registered provider of social housing in the North East. As the representative of Leazes Homes Board, Dawn was appointed to the YHN Board as an independent member in August 2021 and is a member of the YHN Group Appointments Committee.

Ged Walsh

Vice Chair, Leazes Homes

Ged was appointed as a Leazes Homes Trustee in April 2018. Ged's last full time role was as Director of Development and Assets at Karbon Homes and he has over 30 years of experience working in the construction and housing sectors. Ged is a chartered surveyor and, during his career, worked for several large social housing organisations as well as for Homes England. He is also now Development Committee Member for Gentoo housing in Sunderland. Ged was appointed to the YHN Board as an independent member in February 2024.

Kath Heathcote

Board Member, Leazes Homes

Kath is a housing professional who has held several senior positions in housing, including Head of Housing for Derwentside District Council. Over her career Kath has managed a range of services and has experience and expertise in supported housing, which is particularly relevant to Leazes Homes. Kath currently undertakes interim management and consultancy roles and this experience of different organisations and ways of working, along with her experience and expertise in housing is a great addition to the Board of Leazes Homes. She is a member of the YHN Group Finance and Performance Committee.

Irim Ali

Board Member, YHN Representative

Irim is a cabinet member for Dynamic City on Newcastle City Council covering housing, planning and regulatory services. She provides political leadership for housing and planning strategies, responsible for the Council’s approach to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping and overseeing advice and support for people facing homelessness. Irim leads the Council’s approach to community wealth building and cooperative development in delivery of housing and planning functions, including a focus on growing Newcastle’s SME sector and on opportunities for expanding social housing across the city. Irim is the YHN Board representative on Leazes Homes Board, the YHN Group’s charitable subsidiary.

Pip Hughes

Board Member, Leazes Homes

Philippa Hughes (known as Pip) joined the Leazes Homes Board in January 2022. Pip works in a senior management role within the NHS, bringing her housing expertise to the Learning Disability and Autism Programme. She is also a Trustee of the regional Children's Charity, Children North East. Pip has more than 20 years’ experience in the housing sector, predominantly within the fields of homelessness, supported housing, specialist support services and business development, working for a range of national charities and local social housing providers. Pip has always enjoyed bringing together strategic partners from social care, health and housing to deliver real change and is passionate about the truly transformative power of having the right home on people's life chances. She is a member of the YHN Group Health and Safety Committee.

David Hern

Board Member, Leazes Homes

David joined the Leazes Homes Board in September 2022. He is currently a Director for Turner & Townsend and has worked on some of the major construction developments in the north, including residential and social housing, as well as interim appointments for Manchester and Bradford City Councils. David has Bachelor and Masters degrees from Northumbria University and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Member of the Association for Project Management and a Certified PRINCE2 Project Management Practitioner in 2010. He was also an External Assessor at Northumbria University and in his spare time is heavily involved in providing voluntary service for his local church and is also a volunteer at The People’s Kitchen in Newcastle. David is a member of the YHN Group Health and Safety Committee.

Daniel Gibson

Board Member, Leazes Homes

Daniel joined the Leazes Homes Board in September 2022. Having worked in the property industry for 15 years, he has built up experience in property development, management, surveying, residential lettings and property investment. Daniel set up his own residential estate agency and investment company in 2012 and over the years has worked on numerous multi-million pound housing developments. Daniel currently holds positions as a director and non-executive director across several housing companies within the private and social housing sector. He is a member of the YHN Group Finance and Performance Committee.

James Clifford

Board Member, Leazes Homes

James joined the Leazes Homes Board in September 2022. He is a qualified management accountant who has worked in the housing sector for over a decade. James has held senior posts at a number of housing organisations in the region, including Finance Director at Byker Community Trust. He is now Assistant Director of Finance at Karbon Homes. James is a member of the YHN Group Audit and Risk Committee.