Leazes Homes, an affordable housing provider based in Newcastle, has appointed Dawn Keightley as a trustee following a recruitment process.

The charity, which has over 500 properties throughout the city, provides a large amount of supported housing, including specific developments for those with extra care needs, learning and physical disabilities, and dementia.

It was formed as part of Your Homes Newcastle, the city council’s arms-length management organisation, in 2009 and became fully autonomous in 2012. Ms Keightley joins a Board of six, currently chaired by Bill Midgley.

She brings a huge amount of experience to the role, having spent over two decades in the social housing sector, mainly working for Anchor, a national provider of supported housing, for fifteen years and latterly for a regional provider, Four Housing, in a range of strategic roles.

Dawn’s background is in marketing and customer research and she is currently working with NHS England Transforming Care Programme focusing on increasing housing choices for people with learning disabilities and or Autism. She is also the Chair of the North East Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), a peer to peer knowledge transfer network across housing, health and social care sectors that explores innovative housing solutions which support older people and people with long term health conditions.

Chair of Leazes Homes, Bill Midgley, said: “Dawn is a fantastic addition to our strong team at Leazes Homes and her wide range of experience will help to provide vital insight as we continue to develop.

“Leazes Homes is fully committed to providing the best possible housing for those who are most in need in our wonderful city, something I know Dawn has dedicated many years of her career to achieving and that she understands fully.

“Myself and my fellow board members look forward to working with Dawn, building on our shared values to realise our ambitions for Leazes Homes and its tenants.”

Ms Keightley has already attended her first Board meeting and joins the charity at an interesting time, as it considers its future strategic direction.

She said: “This appointment feels like a natural extension of my previous work and experiences and I was particularly interested in Leazes Homes as it is relatively newly formed and offers a different model to the traditional registered provider. Leazes Homes has a significant level of supported housing and it is this housing which meets the needs of some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“Housing equals ‘home’ and it’s a ‘home’ which enables people to flourish. Everyone knows that good housing delivers significant health benefits and creates cohesive communities and this is backed up by many, many academic papers and research. So it’s an incredibly interesting area to be involved with.

“From a personal point of view, I spent the first eighteen years of my life living in social housing and I took the secure, safe and healthy home for granted. It was only when I started working in housing that I realised how different my life and that of my parents and grand-parent could have been without that security of tenure and the sound build quality of the property.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing and being a part of the difference Leazes Homes is making to tenants’ lives.”

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