Our Board

Our Board provides the leadership, strategic direction and scrutiny to enable Sovereign to achieve its social purpose, while growing sustainably.

The Board is supported by a committee structure with Board members and independent specialists, covering Audit and Risk, Remuneration, Treasury and Development.

As part of our commitment to best practice, the Board follows the National Housing Federation’s Excellence in Governance code.

Board members

Gordon Holdcroft

Gordon Holdcroft, Chair
Appointed 2017 (Joined Sovereign Board in 2010)

Spectrum Property Care (Board member)
A former chief executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors at Board level.


Rita Akushie

Rita Akushie
Appointed 2018 (Joined Sovereign Board in 2018)
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Formerly CFO at Thames Valley Housing Association and Deputy Chief Executive at Newlon, Rita will help us build on our strong financial performance so we can continue to build more homes and deliver our transformation programme. 

Barbara Anderson

Barbara Anderson
Appointed 2016 (Joined Sovereign Board in 2014)
Audit and Risk Committee (Chair), Development Committee
A senior private sector executive with business interests including corporate governance and compliance, strategy and brand, financial and investment planning, Board and stakeholder management and communications.

Lee Bambridge 100x100

Lee Bambridge
Appointed 2016 (Joined Sovereign Board in 2013)
Treasury Committee (Chair), Audit and Risk Committee
Finance Director of Newbury Building Society since July 2007. Chartered Accountant and Corporate Treasurer. Previously worked in the aerospace industry.


Jennifer Dykes

Jennifer Dykes
Appointed 2016 (Joined Sovereign Board in 2016)
Resident Board member, Audit and Risk Committee

Former NHS manager Jennifer has been a social housing resident for over 40 years. Her focus is on ensuring Sovereign remains a strong organisation, committed to maintaining high standards of service and providing housing for those in need.

Stuart Laird

Stuart Laird  
Appointed 2016
Development Committee (Chair), Spectrum Property Care (Board member)
A senior executive with a proven track record in facilities management and outsourcing markets, with expertise in leading on property acquisitions and disposals.

Simon Lindley 
Appointed 2016 
(Joined Spectrum Board in 2013)
Spectrum Property Care (Chair), Treasury Committee
An experienced housing association executive member and chair, Simon runs financial consultancy businesses across the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA. 

Claire O’Shaughnessy

Claire O’Shaughnessy
Appointed 2016 
(Joined Spectrum Board in 2016)
Treasury Committee, Development Committee
Claire helped set up the Homes and Communities Agency before leading many of its major land, regeneration and investment programmes from 2008 to 2014. Claire brings experience from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Deloitte Real Estate as a director in real estate consulting. 

Christine Turner

Christine Turner
Appointed 2016 
(Joined Spectrum Board in 2010)
With over 30 years’ experience in social housing as a senior executive, board member and regulator, Christine brings particular expertise on low cost home ownership, regeneration and customer involvement.  

Mark Washer, CEO

Mark Washer
Appointed 2018 

Mark, a highly skilled executive and non-executive with 25 years in the housing sector, joined Sovereign from Clarion in 2018. Mark is a chartered accountant, having qualified with Deloittes. Mark is also a former Board member and vice chair of the National Housing Federation and has been involved with a number of national charities, including the Citizens Advice.

Angela Williams
Angela Williams 
Appointed 2017 
Remuneration Committee (Chair)  
An experienced executive and non-executive who has worked across FTSE30, US (incl. NASDAQ) and French listed companies. Her expertise includes strategy design and delivery, global transformation, leading and creating customer focused businesses and teams as well as culture development and change management. Other skills include mergers, due diligence, restructuring, reward and pensions, leadership and talent development, employment law, business turnarounds, digital transformation, growth delivery and corporate responsibility.