Example Placeholder Image

Group board

Kathy Doran - Group Chair 

Kathy joined Your Housing Group in 2013 and has nearly 40 years public sector experience across central government and NHS providers and commissioners. For 11 years until 2013, Kathy worked as a Primary Care Trust Chief Executive and from 2011 as cluster Chief Executive (covering four former PCTs).

Kathy became Group Chair of Your Housing Group in May 2018, she is a non-executive director and Vice Chair of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, where she chairs the Quality Governance Committee.

Kathy is also a trustee and chair of The Reader Organisation, a Liverpool-based charity and a member of the Local Governing Body of Birkenhead High School Academy.


Derek Cash

Derek was a former professionally qualified journalist, who embarked on a career in housing in 1990, after 14 years as a local councillor campaigning for better housing conditions and community facilities. During his 27 years’ experience as a housing professional, he has worked for various providers at executive level, including interim positions as chief executive, as well as head of the National Housing Federation’s south west and south east regions and a former inspector with the Audit Commission.

Now a self-employed consultant offering a variety of housing providers and charities advice on change management, governance and improvement programmes, he previously set up three housing associations from scratch in England and South Africa and laid sustainable foundations for them to flourish. Through his work on the YHG board, Derek hopes to help improve peoples’ lives, believing that unless families have a decent roof over their heads they cannot enjoy good health and education.

He joined YHG in 2017 having completed 9 successful years as a prominent board member of the GreenSquare Housing Group, including periods as chair of their main subsidiary and development and investment committee. Derek became chair of the Service Committee in May 2018.

Roy Grant

Roy Grant joined the Group Board on 1st August 2015. Prior to 2013 Roy worked as HR Director in a number of sectors including banking, health, and manufacturing and most recently in media for Trinity Mirror plc.

Since 2013 Roy has worked as an HR consultant as well as holding a Non-Executive role for RCNi, a publishing subsidiary of the Royal College of Nursing. He is also a trustee of Career Connect based in Liverpool.

His experience includes all aspects of human resources with an emphasis on merger and acquisition and employee relations. Roy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Alison Cambage

Alison joined Your Housing Group in 2018 bringing over 30 years of experience at a senior level in corporate sector organisations that include Jaguar, Bass PLC, Intercontinental Hotels, Barclays Bank and within the housing association sector at Midland Heart, Walsall HG and most recently as a Director at Bromford Housing Group.

She leads the HA sector’s Treasury Management Group; a network of over 100 treasury professionals and stakeholders across the UK and has done so for nearly 10 years and is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee at WM Housing.

Alison graduated with a BA (Hons) in Economics and holds an MBA from the University of Warwick Business School. Alison’s areas of specialism include treasury, risk, strategy and development and she is currently a Director of her own consultancy business.

Alison lives in the Midlands and has an active role in her local community both as a Parish Councillor and trustee for a local charity.

Alistair How

Alistair is an experienced executive with a wealth of expertise in social care. He provides the board with valuable front line guidance and knowledge in areas such as elderly care and learning disabilities. He has held senior positions in Bupa, Four Seasons Health Care, Eden Futures and is currently Chief Operating Officer for Akari Care which provides care for elderly people.

He is also the Managing Director of White Rose Capital, which undertakes Consulting and Interim Management, advising a number of senior teams and working within the private equity and corporate restructuring space.

Prior to this he held a number of roles in marketing, business development and strategy for Thomson Reuters, Boots, Halfords, KPMG, Kodak and ICI. 

Alistair lives in North Yorkshire with his teenage family and enjoys hill walking (having climbed Kilimanjaro in 2010), golf, cycling, and is a Cub Leader.

Val Aherne

Val is an independent healthcare specialist working with primary and community healthcare organisations providing strategic development, executive coaching and change management programmes.  

Val graduated with BSc (Hons), MEd,  MA (dist) and has worked for 34 years within the NHS in a range of organisations including mental health, large and small hospitals and primary and community healthcare with 14 years’ experience of working at Board level in both operational and strategic positions. Val’s passion remains health promotion and disease prevention recognising the fundamental role housing has to play.  

Val continues to undertake a number of voluntary roles having recently finished as a Board member of Sustrans the national cycling Charity she regularly undertakes voluntary work for cycling organisations and is the Treasurer of the National Transport for Health Study Group.’  Val actively contributes to the health and wellbeing of her local neighbourhood.

Brenda Smith, (BA, MBA, ACA, FRSA, Doctor of Letters

A chartered accountant and a media business executive with experience in a FTSE 100 company at Executive Board level.

Brenda worked as President EMEA for Ascent Media Group, a subsidiary of Liberty Media U.S.

A previous role includes Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Granada Television and ITV Studios and has served in a number of NED roles in the private and public sectors. Brenda is currently a member of the Investment Advisory Panel for North West Business Finance, a Governor of Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Advisory Boards for Manchester Business School and the Centre for Islamic Finance at the University of Bolton.

She continues to work as an advisor in the digital and media sector.

Richard Groome

Richard is a qualified engineer with exposure to a variety of private and public sector projects over the last 40 years. He has been, amongst other roles; Chief Executive of a Healthcare Buildings provider, Operations Director for John Laing plc., Production Director for Muller Dairy UK Ltd and Chair of Inspiral Oldham (Housing). Recent large capital projects that he has been involved with from scratch include the new Alder Hey and Stoke on Trent hospitals, and he has extensive experience in modular building construction.

Currently Richard runs his own management consultancy advising on risk management, compliance and board effectiveness.  He is also a plc director on two companies running schools in Peterborough and Leeds, and a solar investment company.

In his spare time, Richard is the Clerk to a local Parish Council, and enjoys travel, keeping fit and family time.

Paula Steer

Paula joined Your Housing Group in 2018 and has over 30 years experience in the property and utilities industries. She is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Paula currently works for United Utilities Water Limited as the Director of Health, Safety & Wellbeing, having previously held several Operational director roles.

Aside from her main role within United Utilities, Paula is a pension trustee, sits on the Street Works UK board and is a Director of the non-regulated property Company.

In her spare time Paula enjoys travelling and spending quality time with her family.