Leazes Homes trustees 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 trustees 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.

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.

Councillor Linda Hobson

Trustee, Leazes Homes (Newcastle City Council representative)

Linda was appointed to the YHN Board by Newcastle City Council in May 2019. She was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 2011 and is the Labour Councillor for Blakelaw Ward where she grew up. Linda is a Registered Nurse, a lead activist for UNISON, and a graduate of Labour’s first Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme. She has worked within the NHS since 1997 and has lived in Newcastle all her life. Linda was previously the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and is now Cabinet member for Housing. Linda was appointed to the Leazes Homes Board as the YHN representative in July 2021.

William Thompson

Trustee, Leazes Homes

William was appointed as a Leazes Homes Trustee in April 2018. He is a non-practising qualified solicitor with health & safety qualifications and over 30 years' operational experience in the field of waste, recycling, land regeneration and sustainability in the North East. During his career, William has held several directorships and company secretary positions, and is the Group Company Secretary at Northumberland County Council.

Kath Heathcote

Trustee, 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.

Jon Ritchie

Trustee, Leazes Homes

Jon is a Chartered Accountant and is currently Executive Director of Corporate Services at Sunderland City Council. He is the Council’s statutory Chief Finance Officer, a role that is responsible for the management of the Council’s £600m revenue budget and £200m capital programme. He also oversees a range of corporate services, including legal, HR, procurement, IT and corporate affairs. Prior to moving to Sunderland in 2018, he has held a range of senior finance posts working in and with local authorities, including Your Homes Newcastle and North Tyneside Council