Meet the trainer

Find out more about our trainers

Raymond Ames

Health and safety Raymond Ames

Raymond Ames is an accredited health and safety professional and a qualified first aid instructor. He has a wealth of skills and experience gained through 20 years as a Police Officer and 14 years as a training manager in the private and public sector.

Chris Anderson

Health and safety Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is a highly experienced trainer with over 20 years’ policing experience, and an accredited expert in use of force issues. He specialises in personal safety awareness and is currently used to provide independent opinion by the Crown Prosecution Service, defence solicitors, coroners and Crown Court on the actions of police officers and members of the public. Chris is a member of the Institute for Conflict Management and licensed to provide personal safety awareness training.

Wayne Anderson

Technical Wayne Anderson

Wayne Anderson is an expert lecturer, national conference speaker, chartered surveyor, arbitrator and consultant. His training sessions are lively, colourful and interactive and are based on extensive experience gained over 25 years with best practice organisations involved in the housing repairs and maintenance sector. Wayne has a reputation for simplifying complex issues and encouraging frontline staff to develop a deeper understanding of maintenance issues that can be applied confidently on a day-to-day basis.

Kevin Bentley

Technical Kevin Bentley

Kevin Bentley will share with you the latest information and best practice, and his wealth of experience in asset management, repairs and maintenance costs and key asset management drivers.

Kerry Bland

Kerry Bland Kerry Bland

Kerry Bland is a qualified solicitor having worked for ten years in the legal profession with legal aid. She recently left Shelter to become a consultant solicitor for Duncan Lewis Solicitors. She has become known for her extensive knowledge of anti-social behaviour, homelessness, drug/alcohol, mental health and capacity issues in relation to housing and social care matters. Throughout her career Kerry has maintained strong professional relationships with support agencies and probation who continue to make referrals to her on a regular basis.

Sharon Bryan

Personal development Sharon Bryan

Sharon Bryan is a highly accomplished and qualified lifelong learning trainer, coach and development consultant with over 20 years’ experience of working with the social housing sector. Coupled with her experience of learning and development delivery and working through transformational change, she has developed an approach that is person-centred, participative and highly interactive. With a practical eye for detail and people she is able to simplify complexity, making it applicable, relevant, and fun. As a licensed Master NLP practitioner and MTQ48 Assessor her flexibility and range of delivery techniques give an added dimension to her courses.

Mel Cant

Legal Mel Cant

Mel Cant became a Barrister in July 2000 and both prior to and since that time has worked within the housing sector to improve services to the public and providers by providing leadership, practical advice, training, support and guidance in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Mel’s “can do” attitude along with her passion for ensuring equality and fairness for all through outstanding customer service and providing practical solutions has made her a “go to” person within social housing.

Jo Carr

Jo Carr Jo Carr

Jo Carr is a trainer, coach and development consultant with a 25 year career in leadership, management and staff development. Jo currently works with clients in the private and public sectors and has experience in social housing as both a senior leader and project manager. Jo’s specialism is behavioural change utilising a creative and adaptive approach. She uses her skills as an ILM coach and lifelong learning specialist to create and deliver stimulating and effective learning products.

Vicky Carroll

Technical Vicky Carroll

Vicky Carroll has over 25 years’ experience of working with Charities, Registered providers, Local Authorities and commercial businesses. She has significant experience in the private sector and has been a company Director in a commercial cost consultancy. In the public sector she has been a Director of a Private Finance Initiative with responsibility for developing and managing commercial enterprises.

Gary Cookson

Team leader Gary Cookson

Gary Cookson has held several senior HR roles across various sectors, including 12 years in housing. He has delivered CIPD, ILM and CIH programmes for many years. He speaks regularly at conferences about leadership and HR, and is a social media expert. 

Matt Dawes

Technical Matt Dawes

Matt Dawes has a wealth of experience in the asbestos industry and is fully BOHS qualified. He started as a technician in 2003 and has since worked in roles ranging from Technical Officer to Senior Consultant. He is now the Training Department Manager for Bradley Environmental Consultants Ltd.

Claire Denby-Knight

Legal Claire Denby-Knight

Claire Denby-Knight is a former police officer and independent training specialist with over 15 years’ experience of training law, diversity, sexual offences and restorative justice, as well as ‘soft skills’ such as communication, questioning and customer service. She is passionate about learning and development, and has used her skills in the criminal, educational and housing sectors.

Jackie Dickins

Income management Jackie Dickins

Jackie Dickins has been an HQN Associate since 2001 and is our lead consultant for HQN’s Leasehold Network. Prior to this she held positions at a London borough and two large housing associations based in London, where she was responsible for leasehold management and promoting work in the field of low-cost home ownership initiatives. Jackie undertakes many of HQN’s service reviews and service improvement work on leaseholder and home ownership. She has also worked in interim positions with a number of local authorities, arm’s length management organisations and housing associations as head of home ownership/home ownership manager.

Jackie also runs pre-exam workshops at associate and member level for the Institute of Residential Property Managers (IRPM) and is delivering training for apprentices seeking associate membership of the IRPM.

Jackie is responsible for developing, and is a lead assessor of HQN's leasehold accreditation scheme.

Kevin Farrell

Resident involvement Kevin Farrell

Kevin Farrell has worked as a freelance trainer since 2010 and a consultant since 2003. He has been a housing practitioner for over 30 years in strategic management, housing organisations and local authorities, and as an executive director of a housing association and a voluntary sector homelessness organisation. He has also contributed to teaching at the School of Architecture & Built Environment at the University of Westminster. He specialises in resident-led scrutiny and has helped develop and support a large number of scrutiny panels, as well as delivering training and briefing sessions nationwide.

John Fryer

John Fryer John Fryer

John Fryer advises housing organisations and private sector companies on how to interface with the media, including exploiting opportunities on the internet as well as handling press and broadcast interviews. John is a highly experienced journalist, having been business and industry correspondent for The Sunday Times and BBC News, and Editor of the Business News on Radio 4’s Today Programme. He was also Head of Communications at the Financial Services Authority, the main City regulator. John is a tutor in strategic management and holds a Masters Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Management.


Theresa Ganz

Customer service Theresa Ganz

Theresa Ganz has been a freelance trainer for over ten years and is a specialist in customer service, abusive contact handling, complaint management,  team development, communication, transactional analysis and presentation skills. Her background prior to her training career, comprised numerous roles in the housing sector, information technology and at Manchester Business School. Her courses are fun, practical and enjoyable. Theresa consistently achieves outstanding feedback about her training style and her ability to create a learning environment that attendees learn the maximum from as individuals and teams.

Martin Gilhooly

Customer service Martin Gilhooly

Martin has over 20 years experience of helping organisations develop and deliver customer service solutions that exceed customer expectations.

He is a specialist of the Contact Centre Association (CCA) and an Associate of the Institute of Developmental Transactional Analysis (AIDTA).

Martin has an excellent reputation in the sector and beyond for designing and delivering highly enjoyable memorable events.


Jackie Grannell

Resident involvement Jackie Grannell

Jackie Grannell is an experienced housing professional with over 25 years’ experience of working with tenants and landlords to develop their organisation into one that delivers the very best housing services. Jackie specialises in helping tenants and landlords to make the links between involvement, scrutiny and governance to ensure that customer engagement is meaningful, measurable and delivers positive outcomes.

Alan Greaves

Alan Greaves Alan Greaves

Alan Greaves specialises in providing technical management support and advice to many water treatment companies and end users in compliance to L8, including within the housing sector. Alan was also directly involved in re-writing the 4th edition of L8 and Guidance Document HSG 274 with the HSE.

Michael Guest

Leadership and management Michael Guest

Michael Guest has extensive experience as a consultant and trainer of governance in the housing and other sectors. He has advised and supported organisations in their effective governance and provided well-received training and coaching to develop the board member and executive role.

Michael has held governance and top leadership positions in the housing sector and is Chair of Governors at a school and an ‘additional skills’ governor available for other schools.

Michael gained an MSc with Merit in June 2017 in Leadership and Management and was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Leadership and Management.  He is well known for his approachable and participative style of training, ensuring that learning is retained and can be applied in practice.

Tahira Hussain

Equality and diversity Tahira Hussain

Tahira Hussain has extensive experience working in the statutory and voluntary sectors. She had a 16-year career in social work, mental health, community development, charity and the housing sector.

Tahira has a successful track record in consultancy, training and project management. As an experienced project manager Tahira has delivered a range of projects, these include equality and diversity, domestic abuse awareness and inclusion strategies. Tahira has worked across a range of customer groups, including young people foyers, care homes, sheltered schemes and refuges in a contractual and consultancy capacity delivering therapy support, engaging with service users and training staff.  Tahira delivers one to one and group coaching to young people and families to develop confidence, increase self-esteem, develop goals and manage wellbeing.

Qualified as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, she is a member of the BABCP and BPS and regularly delivers training sessions to organisations across a range of developing awareness topics in this area, including mental health awareness, managing mental health, autism and ADHD challenges and support, challenging behaviours, child protection and safeguarding. Tahira is also NLP qualified.

As a qualified and experienced specialist psychological therapist in primary mental health care she treats people with depression, worry and anxiety covering a range of issues. She has an excellent record in achieving recovery and integrating good practice in multi-agency support in patient centred therapy treatment plans. Working with a range of ages and groups, Tahira works on a one to one basis and in groups to deliver support. She has experience working with families of children with a disability, ADHD, Autism and Dyspraxia. Exploring wellbeing, tools and interventions with a focus on coping mechanisms and understanding different elements of managing on a day to day basis, Tahira utilises an experiential learning and development approach to ensure client led intervention and client focused decision making. Her approach is to empower and enable individuals to identify and manage wellbeing methods and self-help techniques based on CBT tools.

She also delivers psychological therapies as a school counsellor at Chethams School of Music supporting young people with a range of disorders including depression, worry, anxiety covering issues including bereavement, loss, PTSD, family, relationships, eating disorders, confidence and self-esteem issues using CBT based interventions. She also runs private client therapy sessions. This is combined with regular staff training sessions on areas including counselling, support skills and focused topics such as self-harm and dual diagnosis approaches.

Working as  a training associate for national agencies she has utilised her experience in the housing, health and care sector and delivered a menu of training packages aimed to support staff, stakeholders and residents on a range of topics including mental health awareness, mental health and wellbeing, safeguarding children and adults, equality and diversity, stress management, managing depression, effective psychological interventions, recovering from trauma and developing self-esteem.

Tahira is also an approved therapist and associate for Anxiety UK to support wellbeing and awareness of mental health through training, briefings, regular events and seminars.

Roger Jarman

Leadership and management Roger Jarman

Roger Jarman’s career in housing spans over 35 years. He has worked as an academic, in local government and for a range of central agencies. In the 1990s he was Head of Housing Management at the Housing Corporation. From 1999 to 2011 Roger worked at the Audit Commission where he was Head of Housing. He is now an independent housing consultant and trainer and has worked for a wide range of housing association and local authority clients. He is a well respected commentator on housing issues and has spoken and written extensively for HQN and others on housing policy, housing regulation, the private rented sector and related subjects. He has degrees from Essex and Birmingham Universities and is a Chartered Member of CIH.

Tony Kiely

Income management Tony Kiely

Tony Kiely is an HQN associate and has extensive knowledge and experience of income management, both operationally and strategically, having worked in the housing sector for over 35 years. Tony is an associate tutor at the University of Chester, and has devised and delivered modules for its Learning Pathways for Housing Practice programme. He is a member of the Chartered institute of Housing and is passionate about learning and developing staff to reach their full potential. His practical training style allows for lots of interaction and his courses consistently receive excellent feedback.

Clare King

Technical Clare King

Clare King has over 27 years’ experience in the social housing sector, delivering critical housing services and key management projects. She has an extensive range of change management, people management, strategic planning, commercial awareness, budgetary management and contract negotiation skills, and has delivered first class leadership and performance improvement. Clare has vast experience in training, recruitment and performance management, and has facilitated training and leadership events and conferences to help bring about service and organisational improvements. Clare is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and recently completed the Leadership Course at Henley Business School at Reading University.

Chris Knight

Personal development Chris Knight

After ten years’ experience as a police officer, Chris Knight has spent over 20 years working in social housing in a variety of senior roles in local authorities and housing associations, and most recently as a consultant specialising in performance improvement. He uses his experience to create an enjoyable, entertaining and positive learning environment.

LouDeemY Productions

Mental health LouDeemY Productions

LouDeemY Productions create and deliver exciting, unique and innovative multimedia performances and workshops.

From young people to mental health service users their aim is to involve their audiences and participants.

Co-founders Louise (Lou) and Nadeem (DeemY) are both freelance artists in their own right, who have merged their talent, skills, ingenuity and humour under the LouDeemY banner.

Alison Markantonis

Income management Alison Markantonis

Alison Markantonis is an experienced welfare benefits, financial capability and employment skills practitioner, who has worked successfully in the affordable housing and benefits sector for the last 27 years. She has worked with many housing and support organisations and brings her extensive experience to specialise in demystifying the benefits system, money management and employability skills training for both frontline staff and tenants. Her approach is participative and interactive, using case studies and her own experience to take the complex, and make it not only simple, but also applicable.

Danny McGowan

Mental health and wellbeing Danny McGowan

Danny McGowan BSC, MSC has been involved in supporting people with substance misuse, mental health and other complex needs for over 20 years. He has developed experience in many specialist areas, such as working with hoarders and those with a dual diagnosis, and has delivered training in techniques such as motivational interviewing and CBT.

Danny uses a combination of his years of experience, current good practice guidelines and research evidence to deliver the  topics he trains. He uses a holistic interactive training style that provides delegates with real skills and information, which they are then able to apply back in the workplace and beyond. He has delivered training and provided consultancy to numerous organisations during his career. Notable clients include the Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions and the Home Office as well as housing organisations across the UK.

Katrina Michael

Personal development Katrina Michael

Katrina Michael is a HQN associate. Katrina is a chartered accountant, and has worked as Company Secretary for over six years. She has worked in the housing sector for over 25 years. Katrina is passionate about good governance and her engaging style of presentation ensures that the training is informative, enjoyable and practical.

Helen Muir

Income management Helen Muir

Helen Muir has extensive experience in the housing sector having worked in senior roles for two large housing groups, where her responsibilities included sales programme delivery and the management of over 5,000 shared ownership/leasehold homes, as well as leading on anti money laundering process and procedure.

Helen has worked as a trainer and consultant since 2012 specialising in affordable home ownership, leasehold management, Right to Buy and anti money laundering. She has provided interim management and strategic and operational support to a number of registered providers, local authorities and private sector companies and is HQN’s lead on anti money laundering.

Bill Mundy

Bill Mundy Bill Mundy

Bill Mundy is a qualified trainer with wide-ranging experience of delivering leadership and technical courses. Bill was a police inspector in the Greater Manchester Police for over 30 years during which time he was involved in several terrorist operations including the aftermath of the Manchester bombing in 1996, and as a counter terrorist liaison officer. He has a wide range of operational and management experience. His last five years of service with the police was as Head of Leadership Training at the force training school. Since leaving the police Bill has delivered training in the housing sector and taught in high schools and lectured at further education colleges.

Wendy Murphy

Leadership and management Wendy Murphy

Wendy Murphy is an experienced coach who has helped to set up and run many in-house and external coaching and mentoring programmes. She has worked as a coach and mentor to hundreds of people in different sectors and at different stages of their careers. Wendy works with an action-orientated results-based coaching approach, to deliver key outcomes based on personal and organisational values.

Caroline Oubridge

Customer service Caroline Oubridge

Caroline Oubridge started out making community programmes for BBC local radio before working in press and communications for national charities for over 15 years. She's a strong believer in straightforward communication and now specialises in training and advising organisations on how to explain who they are, what they do and why it matters. Caroline always delivers training that is informative, enjoyable and practical.

Steve Palmer

Personal development Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is a highly experienced training and coaching practitioner with a background in sales within the finance and commercial sectors. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and delivers a wide range of highly impactful and enjoyable training programmes.

Richard Paris

Legal Richard Paris

Richard Paris has an MA from Queens’ College, Cambridge and a post-graduate Diploma in Housing from LSE. From 1991-93 he was senior research officer at LSE Housing, and has worked for short-life and supported housing agencies, mainstream housing associations and local authorities. He is a freelance housing law specialist with 20 years’ training and development experience undertaking educational training, consultancy, policy and procedure health checks. He specialises in housing law updates, dealing with anti-social behaviour effectively, preventing and controlling rent arrears, do-it-yourself possession proceedings, the law in supported housing and the law on disrepair and best practice.

Ian Parker

Leadership and management Ian Parker

Ian has worked in the public sector for 40 years. During his career he has worked in senior positions in local government and has been the Finance Director at four RPs.  Ian has worked as a consultant for the last seven years and during that period has:

  • Developed HQN's Cost Per Unit (CPU) model
  • Provided advice to clients about the sector's VfM agenda
  • Undertaken in excess of 30 mock In Depth Assessments (IDAs)
  • Developed HQN's merger model.

Ian is HQN's lead finance associate and in that role he provides advice to members of the Housing Finance Network and also ensures that they receive relevant news and technical updates.

Martin Pereira

Technical Martin Pereira

Martin is a committed housing professional with over 22 years’ experience of social sector property management, homelessness prevention and working alongside the private housing market to balance demand. As a previous local authority senior manager and now an independent housing consultant, he has become a valued member of housing executive teams with a proven record of accomplishment of leading services through change and programmes that have modernised operational functions.

He has held overall responsibility for key housing services including the Property Management and Procurement, Housing Research and Housing Strategy and Policy. Since then, he has secured contracts with the leading professional housing organisations to provide consultancy services, business support, seminars training courses.  

Many of his consultancy contracts have focussed on enabling housing organisations to maximise the use the private rented sector to tackle homelessness and looking at new ways to prevent homelessness, and innovative ways to tackle housing demand.  More recently, he has been helping local authorities develop new Housing Strategies that realistically deal with the current housing challenges and he has carried out reviews of services including Selective Licencing Schemes and Social Lettings Agencies.

This followed his achievement of establishing on of the country’s first fully operational Social Lettings Agency in the London Borough of Havering which, was recognised at the Inside Housing Awards winning the ‘Diversify your Business’ category in March 2015.

Steve Rafferty

Resident involvement Steve Rafferty

Steve Rafferty is an experienced trainer and consultant. He has worked in the housing sector since the early 1980s and has been delivering training courses within the supported housing sector for over ten years. He has also worked with numerous support providers throughout the UK and has helped to develop good practice.

Lisa Redwood

Mental health Lisa Redwood

Lisa Redwood has extensive experience working in the health and social care sector. She has a 25 years career in social work, mental health, housing, high risk offenders, substance misuse, complex needs and safeguarding. 

Lisa has been a freelance trainer/consultant since 2006 managing her own company supporting providers across the UK to improve their practice.

As well as working freelance Lisa has held the role of safeguarding and mental health specialist for a housing association in Somerset since 2015, providing all aspects of training and policy work regarding safeguarding and mental health.

Julie Ryder

Equality and diversity Julie Ryder

Julie Ryder combines an abundance of energy and knowledge and brings training alive. Her background is originally in commercial training with NatWest Mortgage Services. After losing her hearing she decided to use her deafness in a positive way, and for the past 12 years has been developing and delivering a variety of training on all disability issues. Julie has won numerous awards and has extensive experience in the housing sector, successfully training staff, managers and tenant groups.

Syka Sheikh

Legal Syka Sheikh

Syka Sheikh is a solicitor with over 15 years’ experience, in the housing sector. Syka has a wealth of experience in public sector work and specialises in housing litigation, tackling anti-social behaviour, defending disrepair proceedings, injunctions and possession proceedings. Syka provides training to a wide variety of clients, including housing organisations, the police and local authorities. Her style of training is informative and interactive with opportunities for delegates to ask questions relating to their areas of work.

Helena Taylor-Knox

Mental health Helena Taylor-Knox

Helena Taylor-Knox is a Managing Director in her own partnership consultancy specialising in the organisational development arena and consultant with HQN. With over 15 years experience in social and in particular supported housing, she is part of HQN’s consultancy and coaching teams. As a Business and Coaching Psychologist she has a BSc in Behavioural Sciences from Leicester University and a Masters in Mental Health (Organisational Psychology and Psychiatry) from King’s College, London. As well as being Certified to Level seven in both Coaching Psychology and Coaching Supervision. After completing her clinical training in New York, Helena moved to Wiltshire which is now home to her and her business. Helena has also been a Non Executive Director for nine years at the Green Square Group, which she left in 2016 and now sits as a Non Executive Director for Advance Housing.

Andy Turner

Health and safety Andy Turner

Andy Turner has over twenty years experience of managing occupational health and safety and enterprise risk management in the public and private sector. Andy has designed and delivered award-winning health and safety and risk management systems for the housing sector over the last seven years and has spoken at national conferences on safety and risk issues. He has a practical and common sense approach to managing risk with a clear focus on the priorities you need to ensure compliance and good practice.

Richard Walker

Customer service Richard Walker

Richard Walker is an HQN trainer and associate and has extensive knowledge and experience of customer service management, both operationally and strategically, having worked in the housing sector for over 20 years. Richard has proven success of both developing and turning round complaints services and he has undertaken numerous reviews and training sessions as a trainer and consultant. He is a trained Customer Service Excellence assessor and has also operated in a private sector customer service environment. His practical and relaxed training style ensures attendees engage and get the most out of his sessions.

Emma Walker-Cotton

Emma Walker-Cotton Emma Walker-Cotton

Emma Walker-Cotton is an organisational development specialist and executive coach. She has a passion to support organisations and individuals to fulfil their potential and believes that people management is a straightforward task, people just need the confidence, inspiration and right tools to do it.

She previously worked as a Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, successfully leading large teams, designing award winning Leadership Programmes and HR Strategies.

Emma has an MSc in Organisational Psychology, which has given her a good understanding of different organisational cultures, what makes them effective, and how to create the right work place climate so that people want to fully engage and perform to the best of their ability.

She is also  qualified in running psychometric testing and registered with the British Psychological Society.

When working with you, Emma will be direct, honest, ask challenging questions and can design bespoke programmes that will enable you and your organisation make deep seated lasting changes.

Ruth Walker-Cotton

Ruth Walker-Cotton Ruth Walker-Cotton

Ruth Walker-Cotton is a qualified project manager (APM PMQ) and a member of the Association of Project Management. Ruth has successfully written and implemented strategies and managed major campaigns and projects within the NHS, Housing and charity sectors. Ruth is experienced in people management and loves designing and implementing systems and processes to ensure clarity and efficiency.

Ruth’s main focus is project management – whether training a project team or guiding them through a project – and she can support businesses to improve their strategic and resource planning, working with them as they go through organisational change. Ruth has successfully improved performance in a variety of sectors, through setting targets in partnership with key stakeholders and achieving them successfully.

Rachel Whitrod

Customer service Rachel Whitrod

Rachel Whitrod has an extensive knowledge of social housing, resident involvement, volunteer management and training, which led her to create her own independent housing consultancy in 2011. Before this she managed customer services and complaints for a highly respected high street retailer where she utlised her key skills in customer insight and engagement. A practising NLP practitioner, hypnotist and coach, Rachel structures her sessions to be interactive, thought-provoking and practical.

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson has over 30 years’ experience in public and private sector housing. A chartered environmental health practitioner and a chartered surveyor, he has also worked as a housing manager responsible for over 11,000 properties. He is still actively involved in survey work, litigation and consultancy. He combines a wealth of ‘hands-on’ knowledge with an interactive training style and extensive experience.

Nancy Witham

Repairs and maintenance Nancy Witham

Nancy Witham has more than 30 years experience within the Social Housing Sector. She delivers innovative, engaging interactive training to operational staff in Repairs & Maintenance, Neighbourhood, Customer Service and Business IT systems. Nancy’s style of training makes learning enjoyable and relevant and her training programmes receive consistently excellent feedback.