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 and these are included in the Renewal and Succession policy which is reviewed at least every two years.


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 Values Group 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 have used this equality data during the last recruitment for Board members in 2021 by identifying that we were underrepresented in terms of women and people under 55. This helped to shape our recruitment process as the skills assessment review conducted prior to the recruitment campaign identified the Board as being highly skilled across the required skills set. This allowed us to carry out a more open recruitment to try and attract applications from less represented groups mentioned above. Our recruitment process was designed to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible and resulted in the appointment of three individuals who bring a variety of experiences and transferable skills to the Board and an increase in the number of women on the Board.

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

meet the board

Judith Common - board chair

Judith has been involved with the organisation since its inception. She also spent eight years as an independent member on Your Homes Newcastle and Leazes Homes’ Boards, including time as Vice Chair at YHN. Judith works as a Learning and Development Consultant and previously held senior roles at Northumbria Police.

Doug Ross - Senior Independent Director

As a qualified accountant with significant housing experience, Doug helped secure the organisation’s initial funding. He retired as Managing Director of Tees Valley Housing in 2014, having previously been Group Director of Finance and Corporate Services. Doug is also Audit and Standards Committee Chair at North of Tyne Combined Authority.

David Clouston mbe

David served with the British Army, delivering significant operational activities. He’s 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 Certificate in Company Direction.

gurpreet singh jagpal

Gurpreet is Chief Executive of Durham Group, a Chartered Accountant and studied Business Economics at Durham University. Gurpreet uses his skills and knowledge to ensure financial decision-making is realistic and well-managed. He’s passionate about providing better opportunities for future generations and believes our communities are a vital part of that.

hazel dale

As a retired Director of Finance, Hazel brings wide and varied knowledge and experience of housing management. Hazel also acted as treasurer to the Cleveland-based young carers’ charity, The Junction.

john marshall

John is Chair and Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative. He’s Non-Executive Director for North East Ambulance Service and North East Ambulance Service Unified Solutions Limited. 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.

kelly henderson

Kelly is Project Manager (National Domestic Abuse Lead) with Morgan Sindall Property Services. She’s also 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 is on Women In Social Housing (North East)’s Board.

kevan wales

After working as a mechanical engineer, then the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. Kevan took a leading role developing, implementing and reviewing business plans and risk registers. As a tenant, he’s committed to ensuring the organisation delivers the best possible services to its 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.

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.

alan smith

Alan has worked with housing associations for more than a decade and been with believe housing since its earliest days in 2015. He has more than 35 years of experience in organisations that provide social housing and is a board member of Prosper, a regional public sector procurement organisation.

bill fullen - Chief executive and Board

Bill started his housing career in 1979. He led the transfer of Durham County Council’s housing stock to County Durham Housing Group and was appointed Group Chief Executive in 2015. He has since led on the transformation of the organisation into believe housing.

About Us

We are an innovative, multi-award-winning, not-for-profit housing association. It is investing heavily to deliver life without barriers in homes and communities.

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Executive Team

The Executive Management Team provide leadership, direction, and inspiration for believe housing.

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Values Group

Comprising mainly of tenants, the Values Group is the voice of our customers.

Find out more