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.

Kathy Morrissey, Vice-chair
Kathy is Head of Asset Maintenance Operations at Stansted Airport with a background in engineering, environment and utilities, having previously worked as a management consultant and as an engineer in the oil industry.  Kathy has been involved with the YMCA for almost 7 years and was previously chair of Forest YMCA East London Board of Trustees.  She is now Vice-chair of YMCA London South West, and Chair of the East London Area sub-committee and of the group’s Asset Management and Development committee.

Ken Youngman, Treasurer

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).

Howard Dawson

Howard is currently Director of Residential Services for a 15,000 unit Housing Association in the South East of England. He leads 5 business units delivering front line services to rented, leasehold and market rented properties across 30 Local Authorities. He has over 25 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 including sales and marketing. Howard is a previous Chair of YMCA London South West and joined the Board in 2012.

He has a post-graduate Diploma in Housing and has undertaken a high level Institute of Leadership Management programme through the Warwick Business School.

Louise Hedges

Louise is a Civil Servant in the Department for Communities and Local Government working on Local Government Reform. She previously worked on housing policy for a number of years, including leading the development and implementation of the Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme, as well as work on Starter Homes, Affordable Home Ownership, and Right to Buy policies. Before that she worked for a large housing association.

Louise also has an MSc in Housing and Regeneration from the London School of Economics, and lives in Surbiton with her husband and two small children.

Louise Hedges YMCA LSW Trustee

Paul A Pearse

Born in Liverpool in 1958 and married to Camilla in 1998, they lived most of their married life in South West London and have 3 grown up children. They have recently moved to live in Brockenhurst, New Forest.

Paul has spent his career in the corporate world as an IT programme manager. Outside of his IT work he helped setup a local youth charity that was supported by more than 20 churches from all denominations, he established the board of Trustee’s and was Chair of Trustees from the start in 2001 until stepping down in 2011. He is also trained as a Street Pastor. In September 2017 he has joined the YMCA Trustees.

Paul Pearse YMCA LSW Trustee

Colin Archer

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.


Lis Judge

Lis works for Emmaus UK, a charity which provides a home and meaningful work to homeless and other socially excluded people. Emmaus UK is the federation office for the Emmaus movement within the UK and is part of a wider international movement. As Head of Membership Services, Lis takes a strategic role in the development of member organisations (communities) for financial and organisational sustainability.    In particular, Lis works closely with the board of trustees and executive lead staff at communities, advising on:

  • Governance – dealing with practical issues (in line with the NCVO code of governance), advising on model articles of association and empowering service users to participate in governance.
  • HR/OD – aligning practices and systems to suit the individual members, developing policies for employees, volunteers and service users.
  • Developing local strategic plans, through stakeholder engagement.
Liz Judge YMCA