Meet Us

Mike Clark (Chair)

Mike currently works as Development Director at Dysart Developments Ltd, and is responsible for identifying development opportunities, joint ventures and establishing development partnerships for Dysart and its group companies.

Mike is a former local authority CEO, and has chaired a number of other Boards including Thirteen Housing Group and Future Energy Supply.


Cyd Smith (Treasurer) 

Cyd is managing director of an accounting practice based in Low Fell which has celebrated a 25 year anniversary in 2017. The practice deals with small businesses of all kinds including charities from start ups to larger organisations. “It’s not just about getting the numbers to add up, it is important to learn all about what makes clients tick which allows the practice to give relevant business advice”. Cyd is also Chair of the Northern Regional Branch of the Institute of Financial Accountants and had the real honour in October 2017 of being awarded the Association of International Accountants ‘Accountant of the Year’.

David Jackson

David has over 25 years of experiences starting and growing businesses, a seasoned sales professional with an outstanding record in generating sales, opening up new markets and sectors, and building effective strategic partnership beneficial to all practises.



James Armstrong

James Armstrong is an Associate in the Real Estate Team at Muckle. James has extensive experience advising variety of charitable bodies on all aspects or real estate law, including the disposal and acquisition of property and leasehold premises.

James is also a trustee/director of a substantial local arts festivals charity which operates across the entire North East. Its an experience that gives him a real insight into the challenges facing those working in the sector.


Monica Burns (Adviser)

Monica has been the External Affairs Manager in the North East and Cumbria for the National Housing Federation for the last 10 years. This position involves promoting the work of Housing Associations both regionally and nationally and ensuring that emerging policy represents the issues in the North East.

Monica has also worked for a number of local authorities in senior management including Lewishan, Lambeth, Kirkless and Edinburgh. During this time, Monica managed area offices delivering a wide range and housing management and development to various estates.

Paul Irwin (Adviser)

Paul is the Director of TryLife, an online interactive film series aimed at educating young people about life choices and the consequences of their actions. If you remember the old choice-based aventure books, you will love TryLife.

Paul has personally experienced homelessness in his youth. His journey from centre user to youth worker to work within the media and the BBC is his motivation when engaging with young people.

Paul has won innovation awards in business, social care, health care, and youth work. He was shortlisted for outstanding contribution to youth work. TryLife won Pitch at the Palace 2017 and are currently working on three projects in the USA as well as developing and interactive domestic violence and grooming episode in Leeds.

Sharon Brown, Director

Sharon has spent over 25 years working across the youth policy and youth homelessness agendas with local authorities, the Third Sector and importantly, young people. She is Chair of the North East Homelessness Think Tank, and a member of the North East Child Poverty Commission.



Victoria Clark, Administrator

Victoria joined YHNE in October 2017. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all voluntary sector governance and fundraising having worked in the sector for a long time.

Victoria will help YHNE networking with the funding sector. Her previous experience managing grant giving schemes will be very useful for what funders want and expect from YHNE.

“This is the first time for me working for a regional charity so it will be a challenge but I’m really excited to be part of such an important organisation in the fight against homelessness in the North East.”


Zinnia, Youth Champion

Zinnia is 24 and lives in Sunderland. She’s a painter and decorator for the North East Autism Society.  “I find it is important for young people to have a voice. I want to help young people and show them that no matter what, you can achieve your goals and dreams.  It will help you understand why helping people like me is so important.”



Picture Neil Wilkinson

Neil Wilkinson, Software Engineer

Neil Wilkinson is a highly experienced software engineer specialising in native Android and iOS app development. He has developed more than 20 apps, many featured by Google and Apple, as well as an App Store #1. Neil has worked for BT, Calrec Audio, and TopHatch. He was originally introduced to Youth Homeless North East through Sage and has continued working with us as his career moved to freelancing.

Maddie Broxup

Maddie works as a full-time Marketing Executive at a product and service design agency in Newcastle. Since graduating in 2017, she has worked on exciting campaigns and has had the opportunity to work with some interesting brands – such as the Racing Point Formula 1 team. Maddie was introduced to YHNE through her previous employer and will work alongside Martin and Andrew to communicate YHNE’s message.


Andrew Robson

Andrew is a Data Specialist working in Newcastle. He interprets data and uses statistics to help tell stories which shed light on important issues in the North-East.

Andrew graduated from Newcastle University with a Masters degree in statistics and has previously worked on projects for The Prince’s Trust and Hospice UK to help them make sense of their local needs through data analysis.

He is also on the taskforce for GoodGym Newcastle. They run every week to help out with tasks such as cleaning, gardening and furniture building for North East based charities such as Changing Lives, FoodCycle and The Bike Garden.



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Youth Homeless North East
MEA House
Ellison Place
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 255 1911


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