Dr Neil Goodwin CBE, Board Chair

Neil is an experienced board chair, leadership academic and a former chief executive.

He also chairs Liverpool Health Partners, the Liverpool City region’s academic health science partnership of NHS Trusts and universities. For five years, until October 2019, he chaired Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Merseyside. Neil’s CEO roles have included St Mary’s Hospital, London and the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority.

For more than 10 years, Neil was visiting professor of leadership studies at Manchester Business School and an honorary professor at Durham University and University College London. As a leadership academic Neil consulted on strategy, leadership development, the creation of academic health science centres, and undertook confidential inquiries into board leadership and governance. Neil is the author of the book ‘Leadership in Healthcare’ and holds postgraduate degrees from London and Manchester Business Schools. In 2007 Neil was awarded CBE for services to the NHS.


Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive

Since 2016, Bronwen has spearheaded the creation of Onward Homes from five separate housing associations, building a united organisation committed to the customers and communities it serves across the North West.

Under Bronwen’s leadership, Onward has achieved top governance (G1) and financial (V1) ratings from the Regulator and secured a top A1 (Stable) credit rating, ahead of a successful bond issue to support delivery of an ambitious Business Plan. Looking to the future, her priority for Onward is to work with customers to build thriving communities, supported by the security of good quality, green homes and places.

Bronwen has worked in housing and regeneration for 30 years, initially as a solicitor and then by delivering a number of large regeneration projects in the North West. Prior to joining Onward, Bronwen led the investigation and enforcement team at the Regulator of Social Housing.


Wyn Dignan, Senior Independent Director

Having served in a range of NHS organisations as Chair or Non-Executive Director for in excess of 20 years, Wyn brings extensive health and change experience from across North West public service networks.

She has additional experience from a former commercial career in banking and finance.


Brian Roebuck, Board Deputy Chair

Brian is a qualified mathematician, engineer and accountant.

He has worked primarily in social housing since 1994, but has also held senior management positions in the public, voluntary and private sectors, including higher education and health.

Brian also has extensive experience in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic financial planning, and risk management.

Brian is Deputy Chair of Onward Homes and Chairs the Finance and Performance Committee.


Paul High, Non-executive Director

Paul is a chartered surveyor with extensive property development and asset management experience, both in the commercial and housing sectors. He retired as Executive Director of the Orbit Group in 2017, having led a development programme building 1,700 new homes annually.

Paul was appointed to the Board of Onward in 2017. He also holds a non-executive position on the Board of BPHA – a housing association operating in the South East. From time to time he carries out consultancy work in the housing sector.

Having re-located from the Midlands to West Yorkshire, he completed the conversion of a 2-bed 1920s bungalow into a 4-bed house.


Sandy Livingstone, Executive Director of Property

Sandy joined Onward in November 2017, having acted as the interim Executive Director of Property for over a year.

Sandy is a Chartered Surveyor with extensive experience in all aspects of the housing sector, having previously been a Director in Savills’ Housing Consultancy division. He also brings a wide range of experience in property management, from the higher education, transport, healthcare, and commercial development sectors.


Michael Verrier, Non-executive Director

Michael is a chartered accountant and experienced Corporate Treasurer. His career includes 15 years as Group Treasurer at Wolseley plc.

Michael joined Onward as a Non-executive Director in 2017 and chairs the Audit & Risk Committee.

He previously held a Non-Executive Director position at Family Mosaic, where he also chaired the Finance & Development Committee.


William Hewish

William Hewish, Non-executive Director

William is the Chief Information Officer for Pets at Home Group Plc. He was previously CIO for the FTSE 100 company United Utilities Plc.

He has held senior technology roles in sectors such as pharmacy, distribution, retail and a digital start-up in the fashion industry. In 2018 he was recognised in the CIO 100 list as one of most transformative and disruptive CIOs in the UK.

William brings significant experience of digital strategy, cyber, IT governance and business continuity.


Rachel BarnesRachel Barber, Non-executive Director

Rachel is a non-executive director (lay member for Public and Patient Involvement) for Walsall CCG and holds a number of non-executive director and advisor roles within the housing and police sectors.

She has held senior executive positions within the water sector with a service delivery focus, achieving successful transformation, linking strategic direction to insight , improving services, achieving high customer satisfaction and continuous improvement across a diverse base.


Mike Gerrard, Executive Director of Finance

Mike joined the organisation from The Barnet Group, a housing and care group in North London, where he was the Group Director of Resources.

Prior to this, he began his career as an auditor for Arthur Andersen and gained experience with AstraZeneca and PwC Consulting before moving into housing with the Riverside Group as a Project Director in 2003.

Since then he has worked as Finance Director at Willow Park Housing Trust and undertaken senior finance and project roles with a range of housing providers


Dena Burgher, Non-executive Director

Dena has enjoyed over 25 years in strategic business development at FTSE 250 Construction companies and public sector organisations operating in the residential housing sector. She is currently an Independent Interim Director for Revision Property Solutions Ltd.

Dena has held senior Director roles with Vistry Partnerships, Kier Living and Lovell Partnerships, and is a Non-Executive Director at Storm Housing Group in the Midlands.

Dena joined the Onward Board in November 2020 and sits on the Development Committee.

Matt Saye, Executive Director of Operations

Matt joined Onward in September 2020, having worked in housing for over 20 years, with extensive experience of managing homes and providing services in communities. He brings a range of specialist knowledge having managing all types of property and developed numerous services.

As Executive Director Operations Matt is responsible for ensuring Onward works for its customers and plays its part in bringing benefits to the communities it operates in. He works with a committed team that provides customer and residential services along with community and financial support to our customers.