Andy Palmer, Chair
Andy joined YMCA London South West at the beginning of 2016 and is the Chair of our Board of Trustees. He has over 20 years of experience in the Care and Support sector, mostly as a senior manager with a housing association. This includes managing up to 200 staff within schemes for adults with a learning disability and mental health and also residential care for older people. Previous roles include being Head of Housing to provide general needs accommodation within large housing estates. Andy is currently Chief Executive of a Housing Association in Essex.
He is also Chair of another Board of Trustees that provides Respite Care across East London and Essex.
Andy’s interest in YMCA mainly comes from a previous role working with young adults within a Housing Association, to provide accommodation, support, education and training to vulnerable and homeless 16 – 24 years olds.
Andy has completed courses in mentoring and coaching and has mentored over 20 senior managers in recent years, within the private and charity sectors.
He lives in East London with his family and when he is not working he enjoys cycling, rowing, watching films and is a season ticket holder for a West London football team! He has been a treasurer for a rowing club for several years and this included the opportunity to row the Thames in the Great River Race.
Howard has many years’ experience in the Housing sector of which the last 12 years are in senior management positions. He has worked for both Local Authorities and Housing Associations in a number of different roles.
Howard is currently leading 5 business units of around 60 staff in a medium sized Housing Association, delivering front line services to around 10,000 rented, leasehold and market rented properties in over 30 Local Authorities in London and the South East.
Prior to this role, Howard built up 8 years experience of leading 2 different Housing Associations in delivering a successful shared ownership sales programme of around 350 homes per year.
He has a post-graduate Diploma in Housing and has undertaken a high level Institute of Leadership Management programme through the Warwick Business School.
Mike was born and grew up in Bradford in Yorkshire, where he started his career in the television industry as a television cameraman at Yorkshire TV. He moved to London in 1984 and developed his career on the commercial side of the TV business, initially at ITV and for 20 years in a number of senior sales and marketing roles at Channel 4.
Mike has worked as a pro bono business mentor with a number of charities including Streetshine (a social enterprise business for the homeless), the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the UK Youth Parliament. He also spent eight months as Interim Fundraising Director of the NSPCC. Mike is currently developing a number of business investments and advising a number of business start-ups. He also does casual work with the events team at the RHS Garden Wisley.
Mike lives with his wife in New Malden and plays an active part in church life at Christ Church and having four sons “enjoys” a full on family life. He passionately believes that charities play an enormous role in society and that adopting the best practices of the business world can make them more efficient in delivering their charitable objectives.
After many years first as a social worker and then a senior manager in local authority settings, Thora worked for ten years in the senior team of YMCA London South West. Her career has centred on providing services for people with disabilities. Now retired, she is a Pastoral Assistant within her local parish church and enjoying walking, gardening, travelling, music and the arts and leading a U3A Family History group.
Thora is also a Peer Assessor for YMCA Insync Standards.
Lis worked for a number of years in HR management within the professional services sector. She now works as a senior manager for a charity that supports homeless and socially excluded people, responsible for capacity development of its member organisations. She lives in Surbiton where she was brought up and has seen how the YMCA has developed over the years.
Lis made the move into the charity sector following a two year placement with VSO, working in SE Asia with grass roots organisations. She has a love of travelling and exploring new cultures and takes every opportunity to feed this passion.
Louise Hedges is a Civil Servant who has worked on housing policy for a number of years. Before that she worked for a large housing association. Louise lives in Surbiton with her husband and daughter.
Ken is currently Group Finance Director at Family Mosaic; a 24,000 unit London-based Housing Association, having the responsibility for Finance, Treasury, Collections, IT, Facilities and Service Charge/Leasehold administration.
Ken has operated at Executive Finance over a long career, spanning Recruitment, Security Services, Kitchen supply, Music and most recently Housing.
Ken is a qualified accountant, and chair of the G15 Finance Directors Group (A group representing the 15 largest Housing Associations in London).
Kathy is Head of Utilities, Environment and Compliance at Stansted Airport. She has been involved with YMCA for 6 years most recently as Chair of East London’s Audit Committee and then for the last 10 months, Chair of the Board. Kathy is committed to seeing the merger between East and SW London work for the sake of the wider federation but more importantly so that it benefits the communities that it serves.
Colin is Development and New Business Director for Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association and is also lead officer for the North River Alliance, a development consortium of 10 small to medium sized Housing Associations operating in north and east London. He has worked in social housing for more than 30 years.