Friday 3rd July 2020

WISH North East Summer Newsletter

WISH North East Welcomes New Board Members

WISH North East Summer Newsletter 2020


WISH North East Welcomes New Board Members

Our WISH North East Board is delighted to welcome three new Board members to help strengthen our efforts to create more inclusive and diverse workplaces across the housing sector.

The North East Board welcomes Claire Teasdale, Supported Housing Manager at North Star Housing Group, Karen Wheatley, Head of Commercial at Engie, and Carolyn Wood, Chief Operating Officer at Auckland Home Solutions CIC.


Claire Teasdale is passionate about promoting equality in the workplace: “I’m absolutely over the moon to join the Board of WISH NE. Having left college and stumbling in to the housing sector at the grand old age of 20 I’ve never looked back. I’ve spent 21 years working within social Housing mostly within Supported Housing Services. I’m currently Supported Housing Manager at North Star, I’ve been in this role with North Star for a little over 5 years. The role is so diverse that no two days are the same. I work across a vast range of client groups, enabling me to have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our customers. Within North Star I am the corporate lead on our commitment to the CIH make a stand pledge and a member of the organisational inclusion group. I’m proud to work for such an innovative organisation who encourage high levels of creativity and invest heavily in communities.

I’m keen to be a part of WISH NE board as I’m passionate about promoting equality in the workplace, promoting the sector and promoting the work we do within supported housing services. I look forward to growing my networks and sharing my experience with others.”


Karen Wheatley is keen to use her experience to make a difference and encourage more women to join the construction industry: “I left school and decided really all I wanted to do was earn a living that was a big mistake, very quickly I reengaged with further education. I commenced my first employment at the age of 18 with Sedgefield District Council, working my way up from Administrator to Estimating/Surveying Manager and was the first women allowed onto site, I left after 16 years of service. I commenced working with a Main Contractor (FHM/Keepmoat now Engie) and have again worked my way up over a 17 year period from QS to SQS to MQS to CM and now Head of Commercial for New Build. I enjoy my work immensely and work with numerous Clients delivering Affordable Housing for rent and sale, Extra Care, Commercial Buildings and Student Accommodation.

Within the industry it is apparent that there are still very few women, I am hoping that I can make a difference and help promote the Construction Industry as a desirable career option. I have a vast network of contacts from Clients to Supply Chain and hope I can join this important Board of ladies all supporting a very worthy cause and maybe bring some ideas from a Contracting/Commercial perspective. Exciting times ahead!!”

Carolyn Wood is excited to join the Board and keen to support vital work to influence and shape the future of the sector: “I am absolutely delighted to join the WISH NE Board and am looking forward to working alongside some of the region’s most inspiring and talented leaders.  I started my career in social housing north of the border at a specialist housing provider before moving to the local authority where I most definitely learnt the trade covering every aspect of housing management!


I then returned to university in Edinburgh to complete my Post-Graduate Diploma followed by a Masters qualification.  As part of the course I undertook a placement with one of the NE region’s largest housing association’s and I stayed there for the next 13 years.  I held various roles from Estate Manager at a neighbourhood level to Housing Manager with a regional remit as well as leading on the government Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder initiative in the West End of Newcastle. 


After taking time out of my career to raise a family, I returned to what I know best at the end of 2019 as Chief Operating Officer for a national specialist supported housing provider.  Whilst some things have changed in that time, the opportunities and challenges remain the same and I am excited to be involved in influencing and shaping the future of our sector.”

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