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.


Susan Johnson

Susan joined Durham University Council as a lay member on 1 August 2010 and is a member of the Nominations Committee and the Audit Committee, and Chairs St Aidan’s College Council. She is a co-opted lay member of the Diversity and Equality Group. In January 2015 Susan was appointed as an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner.

Susan has recently retired as Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. Her appointment in 2005 meant Susan was the first woman and non-uniformed chief executive to lead a Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom, overseeing a budget of over £30 million and almost 700 employees.

Professor John Mawson

Professor John Mawson is Director of the Institute for Local Governance which is a North East research and knowledge transfer partnership between the region’s 5 Universities, 12 Unitary Councils and other key public bodies including ONE North East, the Strategic Health, Police and Fire Authorities.

He has a multidisciplinary professional and academic background having worked as a town planner for Strathclyde Regional Council and subsequently as Director of Economic Development at West Midlands County Council and Chief Executive of the West Midlands Enterprise Board, a local authority controlled venture capital institution.

David Jackson

David has over 25 years of experience 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 partnerships beneficial to all parties.



Caroline Moore

Caroline Moore is People Director for Sage UK & Ireland. Sage have almost 2,800 colleagues across UKI and 13,000 globally in 23 locations. Caroline has over 15 years Generalist HR experience across predominately Tech and Financial Services Sectors.



James Armstrong

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

James has also been trustee/director of a substantial local arts festival charity operating across the entire North East. That was the experience that gave him a real insight into the challenges facing those working in the sector.


Cyd Smith (Treasurer)

Cyd is managing director of an accounting practice based in Low Fell which has just celebrated a 25 year anniversary. 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 chairperson 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’.

Monica Burns 

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.

Prior to this Monica worked as a Rural Housing Enabler working with local communities, Local Authorities and Government to ensure rural development to create sustainable communities. Monica was involved in establishing one of the first Community Development Trusts and led on their housing scheme.

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

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. Victoria has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all voluntary sector governance and fundraising having worked in the sector for a long time. Victoria has excellent contacts with the funding sector and has previously managed grant giving schemes therefore having first hand experience of what funders want and expect.

“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.”

Kate Hillyard, Youth Engagement

Kate is our Youth Engagement Worker and runs her own Emotional Health & Wellbeing CIC across Tees Valley. Kate is responsible for her village youth club tackling youth loneliness and rural isolation. Kate has a BA Hons in informal and community education and has experience over many years of anti-bullying, mental health, youth voice participation and youth work.

“I am very pleased to be part of the Youth Homeless North East Team and look forward to delivering an exciting project with young people who may be about to, currently experiencing or have experienced youth homelessness.”

Kevin Gonzalez, Comms and Administrator

Kevin is our Communications Officer. He supports YHNE’s website and social media channels. Kevin has a master’s degree in Public Relations and Communication at Newcastle University. Before moving to the UK three years ago, Kevin studied Journalism and Communication in Spain where he worked as professional journalist and collaborator for several regional and local medias online and offline.

Picture Neil WilkinsonNeil 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.

Kieran Cutting, Doctoral Researcher

Kieran is a Doctoral Researcher at Open Lab, Newcastle University and oversees more experimental projects for us, particularly those that use digital technologies.

Since February 2018, Kieran has been designing and developing a digital peer support system for young people with experience of homelessness.

Maddie Broxup, Marketing and Communications

Since graduating from Newcastle University in 2017, Maddie has worked within the field of marketing and communications. She currently works at a product and service design agency where she is responsible for all internal and external communications, event and sponsorship management and the creation of content via the company website and social channels.

It was in Maddie’s previous role where she crossed paths with YHNE Director, Sharon, and was shown all the fantastic work that YHNE do for young people and knew she wanted to get involved. Maddie will be working closely with Andrew and Kevin as a volunteer in her spare time.

Andrew Robson, Data Specialist

Andrew is a Data Specialist working in Newcastle having graduated with a Masters in statistics. He interprets data and uses statistics to help us tell stories which shed light on important issues surrounding young people and 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. Please take 5 minutes to read my story: Zinnia’s Story. It will help you understand why helping people like me is so important.”




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Contact Us:

Youth Homeless North East
MEA House
Ellison Place
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 255 1911


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