People: iStay; Alcedo Care Group; Your Housing Group; Gateley Legal; Four Recruitment; Teal Scaffold

Ann Chambers, CEO, iStay

Ann Chambers, CEO and founder of Liverpool-based iStay Group, has been appointed onto the Northern Fundraising board for the hospitality industry’s benevolent charity, Hospitality Action.

Hospitality Action was established in 1837 and has since offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK. The charity helps hospitality people by providing financial support to those in poverty or those who are dealing with physical or mental health conditions.

It was one of the first charities in the UK to mount an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, evolving its service offering and transforming its fundraising model throughout the pandemic to meet the changing needs of a sector that continued to bear the brunt of the economic and social impact of the crisis.

Hospitality Action receives no government funding and money raised for the charity is through grant streams and award-winning fundraising products. The charity works relentlessly in supporting every person in the industry throughout the UK, providing a safety net for more than 170,000 UK hospitality workers and their families.

Ann Chambers said: “I am absolutely honoured to have been invited onto the Northern Board and I hope that my ideas for the fundraising programme, alongside my connections, will help make a real difference in raising much needed funds at this critical time in the industry. At iStay, we have already appointed Hospitality Action as one of our two charities for the year ahead to further support those in need.”

Chairman for the Northern board, Stephen Miles, said “We are delighted to welcome Ann to the board and are already excited to see some of the new fundraising ideas being brought to the table.”


Tom Wilkes has been appointed registered manager of Alcedo Care Group’s Chester office, located on Crane Street, just outside of the city centre.

In his new role, Tom will take responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Chester branch, leading the dedicated 50-strong team to deliver the North West-based top-rated homecare provider’s exceptional portfolio of personal care, support, companionship and nursing services to service users in the local area.

At the same time, he will continue to grow the Chester office, working with local authorities, stakeholders and families to communicate Alcedo’s services to those wishing to remain independent in their own homes.

Tom Wilkes

Tom has a wealth of experience in the care sector, previously working for Next Stage where he was the registered manager for Cheshire and responsible for the services delivered between Sandbach and Birkenhead supporting clients with autism and mental health needs.

He has also focused on continued professional development, achieving relevant professional qualifications including Level 3 Mental Health First Aider and Level 3 Health & Social Care, working towards Level 5.

Tom said: “I have watched the solid growth of Alcedo Care over recent years and have always been attracted to the company’s reputation, family values and care ethic. We will continue to expand and are already looking to introduce and develop our complex care, live-in care and children’s complex care services.”

Alcedo Care offers Domiciliary Care Services, Live-in Care, Nurse-Led Complex Care Services, Supported Living and Children’s Services.


Your Housing Group has made Clare Oakley its permanent executive director of corporate services after her interim promotion last year.

In her role Clare will be responsible for leading governance, risk and assurance, procurement, communications, engagement and marketing, human resources, learning and development, and occupational health and safety for the housing provider.

Chief executive, Jacque Allen, said; “Clare is a very valued member of the Your Housing Group senior team. She has played a crucial role in our governance for the past six years, and in her interim role has shown herself to be an exceptional leader.

“Her experience in governance and as a company secretary bring a highly detailed eye, which is critical at a time when the sector is under so much scrutiny. Her knowledge in governance and fulfilling legal, regulatory, risk and compliance obligations, will support us in holding ourselves accountable and ensuring that we are doing the absolute best for our customers across all areas of the business.”

Clare Oakley

In her career Clare has spent time working at the Cooperative Group and Knowsley Housing Trust before she joined Your Housing Group in 2017 as director of governance. Clare is experienced in governance, as well as being a professional ICSA qualified company secretary. She also has a background leading on policy development and implementation and stakeholder management.

Clare Oakley said “Your Housing Group is a great organisation to be a part of, with a strong team of executives and managers that I have had the privilege of working alongside for the past six years. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the team to ensure that we are all striving to do our best for our customers in providing safe, quality homes for them to live and thrive.”

Birchwood-based Your Housing Group is one of the UK’s largest housing providers with more than 29,000 homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands.


Gateley Legal has expanded its Manchester-based specialist residential development team to a total of nine to service the North West property market.

The expansion is a result of continued success which has seen the team grow its client base and increase its number of legal panel appointments for regional and national housebuilders and developers over the past five years.

The team is headed up by partner Louise Ilhan, who joined in 2018 to lead Gateley Legal’s Manchester residential development offering. Louise is supported by legal directors Leanne Murray and Nick Molloy, who joined to make up the senior team. All three bring a wealth of experience to the team having each worked as in-house legal counsel within the housebuilding industry. The senior team is supported by associate Rebecca Nichols and solicitor Mohammed Bux.

Gateley Legal’s national residential development team is assisted by in-house complementary consultancy businesses, Gateley Hamer, Gateley Vinden and Gateley Smithers Purslow. The consultancies offer a number of specialist services to the property and construction industries.

Gateley new expansion team

Louise said: “Our Manchester specialist residential development team has gone from strength to strength since 2018. All three of the senior team members have in-house legal counsel experience which means we have an enhanced understanding of what support our clients need.

“This, alongside our complementary consultancy businesses, allows us to offer a unique full service property solution in-house. When coupled with the team’s expertise, this offering has quickly led to us becoming the go-to residential development team nationally, as well as across the North West.”

Gateley Legal acts for 18 of the top 20 housebuilders in the UK, on either a regional or national scale, and handles approximately 15,000 plot sales per annum. It says it is one of few legal businesses in the country with a separate housebuilder team specialising in services for residential developers.

The national residential development team operates from offices located in Birmingham, Guildford, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Reading, and includes 22 partners and more than 240 legal professionals.


Four Recruitment has appointed its first non-exec director. Chris Brindley has held some high-profile roles, with his most recent being managing director at the challenger bank, Metro Bank. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise that will elevate the business and support Four’s growth trajectory.

Claire Sofield, managing director, said: “After hearing Chris speak at an event in 2022 I was blown away by everything he has achieved and his mindset. His enviable career at companies such as British Gas, NatWest, Metro Bank and being awarded ‘Britain’s best Boss’ will enable him to lead Four into the next chapter of growth and success.”

Claire Sofield, Chris Brindley and Philip Sofield

With a 69% turnover increase in 2021 and a 39% increase in 2022, Four Recruitment has experienced huge growth over the past two years. To replicate this progress the business recognised the need to strengthen its executive board.

Claire added: “We’re so excited to welcome Chris as our non-exec director. Having worked with Chris for the last six months in a consultant capacity it became clear how much value he could add given the breadth of roles he’s held. That, combined with his empathetic, human side, felt like a great culture fit for Four.

“We feel really fortunate to have someone with his track record involved with Four and are looking forward to the future of the business.”

Chris will be working with Four on several commercial and people-focused initiatives to help develop and grow the business. He said: “It has been great working with Claire and Philip over the last few months, where I have seen first hand the commitment to supporting clients candidates, and colleagues. The business is ambitious and innovative and I look forward to supporting the plans for growth in the coming years.”


National Access and Scaffold Confederation member, Teal Scaffold has appointed Phil Coulton as new PASMA and stock manager.

The appointment of the longstanding colleague demonstrates the firm’s commitment to nurturing and supporting the talent and knowledge within the business to ensure continuity as it reaches new heights in the industry.

Teal Scaffold is part of the Liverpool-based Sovini Group, which provides construction, property, and facilities services to the public, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Dan McGregor and Phil Coulton

Phil brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in complex PASMA scaffolding installations, including extensive experience working first hand with several registered social housing providers.

Phil said: “I am looking forward to utilising my skills and first hand experience to contribute to the company’s growth”.

Head of operations, Dan McGregor, said: “Phil has been a true visionary and key contributor to Teal Scaffold’s success. His appointment marks an exhilarating time in Teal’s growth, allowing us to focus on our expansion whilst continuing to deliver excellence in all that we do.”

Teal Scaffold focuses on individual project requirements. It works collaboratively with clients from procurement to a final engineered solution, considering all project parameters.

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