board members

The Board sets and actively drives the organisation’s social purpose, mission, and values, and through these, embeds within the organisation resident focus, inclusion, integrity, openness, and accountability.

What is the board?

Our board is made up of 12 members, 10 non-executive board members and two executive board members. The overall purpose of the believe housing Board Member role is to contribute experience, insight and expertise to steer and direct believe housing to achieve its corporate objectives in line with the group’s values, vision and mission. They support the Chair and the rest of the Board in ensuring good governance, financial viability and compliance with the appropriate regulatory and legal frameworks.


Skills, attributes and diversity

Board members are recruited and annually assessed against an agreed set of skills and attributes. These are included in the Renewal and Succession policy, which are reviewed at least every two years.

To find out what other directorships, boards and public positions that our Board members are on, please click here.

The Board adopts the same behaviours expected of our employees:

Do the right thing: for our people, for our customers, for our business.

  • Bring new ideas to the table.
  • It’s a group effort, we all have a voice.
  • Give respect get it back.
  • Bring solutions.
  • Be ready to open your eyes, your ears and your mind.
  • There’s always a way.
  • Add value through everything you do.

Every year, as part of our Annual Equality Report, we provide Board and Customer Voices members with the opportunity to update their equality data. This helps us to ensure that we are not only tailoring our support services to meet individual needs but also allows us to understand and target gaps where appropriate.

We will continue to update and review the Boards profile and use the National Housing Federation Equality, Diversity and Inclusion tool to understand how it compares with our customers and operating areas.

meet the board

hazel dale - Chair of the Board

As a qualified Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA) and a retired Director of Finance in the housing sector, Hazel brings a wide and varied knowledge and experience of housing management. She has spent many years in senior roles within private sector organisations. Hazel also acted as treasurer to a Cleveland based young carers’ charity, The Junction.

john marshall - Senior Independent Director

John is Chair and Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative; Non-Executive Director for North East Ambulance Service and North East Ambulance Service Unified Solutions Limited; and Chair of the North East England Chamber of Commerce. He holds numerous Board, senior and non-executive level roles, having previously been a board member, senior partner and practicing solicitor at Bond Dickinson LLP.

David Clouston mbe

David is Governor of Barnard Castle School. He served with the British Army, delivering significant operational activities. David is also a Trustee with Royal Logistic Corps Association and President of the Royal Pioneer Corps Association. He has several qualifications at Masters level and is a member of Institute of Directors, holding their Diploma in Company Direction.

kelly henderson

Kelly is Managing Director of community interest company, Addressing Domestic Abuse. She’s a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a trustee for Alice Ruggles Trust, and was one of the founding members of the Women In Social Housing (Northeast) Board. Kelly has a long history of working in the public sector, including the social housing sector.

kevan wales

After working as a Mechanical Engineer in the UAE, Kevan worked for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. His duties included developing, implementing and reviewing business plans and security risk registers. He is committed to ensuring the organisation delivers the best possible services to our customers.

monica burns

Monica is board member at Tyne Housing and the English Rural Housing Association. She was Head of Member Relations at National Housing Federation and a member of their Senior Management Team. Monica has a BSc (Hons) Geography and a professional qualification from Institute of Housing. She is also the member responsible for complaints.

rob auty

Rob is a Chartered Accountant and Director of Internal Audit at Railpen. He previously worked for PwC across a variety of specialisms. Rob has worked with an extensive range of organisations in the housing sector and spent two years as non-executive trustee with a charity tackling homelessness.

Faye Gordon

Faye joined us in September 2015 and became our Executive Director of Investment, Growth and Performance in April 2023.
A qualified accountant with accounting technical expertise, she is passionate about social housing, having worked as a professional advisor to the sector since 2003 supporting housing associations with their statutory reporting requirements and governance arrangements.

Christopher White

Christopher is the Chief Financial Officer of the Ecology Building Society and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has held executive and board roles in the housing and financial services sectors for more than 10 years. Prior to this he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in audit and assurance. He is passionate about providing high quality housing to underserved communities and improving the sustainability of housing across the UK.

Michelle Meldrum

Michelle has experience of working in both the English and Scottish social housing sectors over the last 27 years. She has worked in a range of different roles from frontline homelessness and housing officer roles to leading diverse teams across customer experience, housing operations, and broader executive remits. Her current role as Chief Executive at Berwickshire Housing Association began in November 2020

Andrew Malcolm

Andrew is a qualified accountant with over 20 years’ experience in a senior financial role in the housing sector. He has 10 years’ experience as a non-executive director in the education and charity sectors including as chair of an audit & risk committee. Andrew is passionate about social housing and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their individual circumstances.

alan smith

Alan has been with believe housing since its earliest days in 2015 and became Chief Executive in April 2023.
He has worked for housing associations for well over a decade and has been directly involved in setting up three housing associations in County Durham, though he has more than 35 years of experience in organisations that provide social housing.
He is also a board member of the Northern Housing Consortium.