Chris Lewis, Castles & Coasts Housing Association.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Chris Lewis, Castles & Coasts Housing Association

Castles & Coasts Housing Association has appointed Chris Lewis as board chair.

Currently chair of its staffing and governance committee, Chris will take over the role of chair later this year from Fiona Moore who is retiring.

Chris had a career spanning over 35 years in a senior role in a multinational pharmaceutical business.

Commenting on his appointment, Chris said: “It’s a privilege to take on the chair role, and with that comes a huge responsibility to build on all that has been achieved under Fiona’s stewardship.

“The organisation is in a very good place, as we approach the mid-point in our corporate strategy, which sets out the vision to 2023.

“However, as we come through these truly unprecedented times there will be challenges and our focus has to be steadfast – on delivering value for our residents and our stakeholders; on growth; on engagement and on sustainability, in the widest sense of the word.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Castles & Coasts’ talented board and excellent executive team to build on the legacy Fiona leaves.”

Fiona added: “I am delighted that Chris has been appointed as my successor and with the full support of the executive team and the board, I know that Chris will steer Castles & Coasts safely on its journey of development and growth and that the organisation will continue to flourish in the years to come.”

Lala Rukh, GCSEPod

Newcastle-based e-learning company GCSEPod has appointed Lala Rukh as junior web developer.

Northumbria University master’s student Lala Rukh will support the digital publisher with its ‘education on demand’ proposition..

Pakistani national Lala initially joined the team in January 2020 on a part-time basis, before securing a full-time position after GCSEPod successfully applied to UK Immigration Services for a sponsorship licence for a Tier 2 Visa.

Helen Newies, operations director at GCSEPod, commented: “We had gone through two unsuccessful rounds of recruitment to find a junior web developer before we found Lala.

“When we met her, we knew immediately that she was a great fit for us, with highly accomplished technical skills and the experience and qualifications we were looking for.

“We quickly decided to sponsor Lala and support her UK Tier 2 Visa application to allow her to work for us permanently.”

Richard Haigh, The Key

Youth development charity The Key has appointed Richard Haigh as its new chief executive officer.

Richard has over 25 years’ experience in a range of roles in the statutory and voluntary sector, including recent positions as assistant director for impact at Barnardo’s and director of quality and resources for Safer London.

Richard said of his appointment “I’m absolutely delighted to be appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for The Key.

“I know first-hand how much The Key and its framework can offer the young people who directly participate, the organisations they are involved with, and the wider community, so I was thrilled to pursue an opportunity to join the team.”

Chair of trustees, Andrew Silver, added: “We are delighted to appoint Richard in the role of CEO for The Key.

“He has a wealth of experience working in the charity sector and shares our passion for inspiring belief in young people.

“Richard clearly demonstrates The Key’s core values of focus, growth and collaboration and we look forward to supporting Richard and the team on the next stage of our journey to inspire belief in an ever-increasing number of young people.”

Nick Bramley, FloKi Health

Health tech startup FloKi Health has appointed Nick Bramley as business development director.

With over 30 years of experience in sales, performance excellence and customer development, Nick will oversee new business strategy and outreach at the startup.

Commenting on his appointment, Nick said: “I am delighted to be joining such a dynamic business with a genuine passion to deliver improvements and value to the NHS.

“I hope to engage and inspire a wide range of NHS professionals, by showcasing the advantages that FloKi Health can bring to patient care through deployment of our smart technology solutions.”

Fenwick Smith, CEO of FloKi, added: “This year has been a pivotal moment for FloKi Health and there has been a step change to ensure we have a solid solution that will really make a difference to the NHS.

“The expansion of our team has not only meant that we can develop our platform and beacon technology, but that we can also expand beyond the North East and into hospitals across the UK.”

Erica Hardy, Hay & Kilner

Law firm Hay & Kilner has appointed Erica Hardy as a solicitor to its clinical negligence team.

After completing her legal qualifications, Erica worked as a solicitor in private practice on behalf a number of North East NHS trusts, carrying out defence work in clinical negligence cases.

While her family was young, she moved away from her legal career to become a teacher for children with special educational needs before eventually coming back to the law and resuming her clinical negligence work within the region.

Erica commented: “Hay & Kilner has always had an excellent reputation for its clinical negligence work and when the opportunity came along to join, I was extremely keen to take it up.

“It’s a very professional practice with a friendly and approachable team, and also fits the profile of the sort of firm for which I was looking to work.

“Clinical negligence work challenges you to really listen to your clients and to empathise with their situations while also remaining objective in your analysis of how you can help them, and being part of such a strong team gives me the ideal environment in which to further develop my skills.”

Clare Thompson, partner and head of the clinical negligence department at Hay & Kilner LLP, adds: “As well as having the requisite professional knowledge, clinical negligence lawyers also need to have a very specific set of personal skills to enable us to help people who are facing challenging and emotional situations.

“Erica ticks the boxes on both fronts and we’re very pleased to have her joining our team.”

David Ripley and Jane Castor, Thirteen

Housing company Thirteen has made two new senior appointments to its executive team.

David Ripley has been appointed as executive director of customer services, while Jane Castor has been appointed as chief financial officer.

David joined the company in 2017 as director of business development and most recently, worked as director of repairs and maintenance.

Jane has worked for Homes England, and its predecessor, the Homes and Communities Agency, for the past 16 years. She brings a range of experience in finance and governance, having served, most recently, as Homes England’s finance director.

Chief executive Ian Wardle commented: “At Thirteen, we continually strive to provide our customers with better and better services, putting them at the heart of everything we do.

“We’re delighted to announce David’s promotion to executive director of customer services, a role in which I’m sure he will flourish. David’s knowledge of Thirteen and previous experiences make him the ideal candidate to lead on our commitment to provide the highest level of customer service.

“We’re thrilled too, to welcome Jane on board, who, with her vast knowledge and experience gained from many years working in the sector. She will be a real asset to our top team, supporting our future plans.”

Annaliese Barber, Richard Reed Solicitors

Law firm Richard Reed Solicitors has appointed Annaliese Barber as private client solicitor.

In her new role Annaliese will assist with a variety of legal matters including wills, trusts and Court of Protection work.

Annaliese has undergone training as a Notary Public, which enables her to oversee the authentication and certification of signatures, authority and capacity relating to documents used in other countries.

Annaliese has previously worked at Hartlepool’s Tilly Bailey and Irvine LLP Solicitors since 1996.

Commenting on her appointments, Annaliese said: “It was a huge decision to move after such a long time at one firm but I was very excited about the opportunity at Richard Reed and it just felt right from the moment I arrived for an interview.

“It’s a firm with a fantastic reputation and it’s very exciting to be part of their Private Client team and bring some of my experience to them.”

Wendy Mustard, head of wills, trusts & probate at Richard Reed Solicitors, added: “Annaliese’s extensive knowledge and experience makes her an ideal appointment at the firm.

“This is the first time Richard Reed Solicitors will have a Notary Public as part of the workforce, which means we have an additional and extremely useful service we can offer our clients.”

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