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The Trustees

Who we are:

Peter Hill – Chairman    As well as Chairman of LEAP since it was established in February 2014, Peter is also Chairman of the Wivenhoe Housing Trust, another almshouse charity which manages 13 properties and where he has been Chairman for over 25 years.  He has been active in his local community of Wivenhoe since 1975 leading various organisations, including 25 years on his local council where he served as Town Mayor three times. He previously enjoyed a career in the City of London where he was Treasurer and director of a bank before moving into IT, leading the design of operational risk and compliance management systems for banks around the world. He took early retirement from professional life in 2012 to work in various organisations since then.

Ian Dudley – Vice Chairman  After 36 years in branch banking, Ian also took early retirement. Prior to leaving the bank he enjoyed a two year secondment as Appeal Manager to the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, helping raise the £3 million needed to complete this ancient building with a magnificent gothic tower.  He has since worked as a fundraiser for a number of charitable organisations including The Princes Trust. In 2004 he became Clerk to the Trustees at the John Henry Keene Memorial Homes. Keene Homes is a relatively modern almshouse charity with 42 properties in central Chelmsford.

Chris Andrews – Founder Trustee  A solicitor and partner in Colchester-based law firm, John Fowlers LLP, focussing on work relating to trusts and private clients. He specialises in Court of Protection cases dealing with incapacitated adults and their property and financial affairs, and also their health and welfare issues. He is a member of the Panel of Deputies for the Office of the Public Guardian.   He is a trustee of the Winnocks and Kendalls Almshouse Charity.

Diana Hoy – Founder Trustee   After 20 years in private legal practice, Diana left to bring up her children.  She served on the Church Council and then spent 12 years as Chair of Governors of two Primary Schools and Chair of Board of Directors for the District Citizens Advice Bureau. For the past 13 years she has been a Trustee of the King Edward VI Almshouse Charity with 46 properties.  She is also Trustee of three other grant making Trusts and Committee member for the largest parish church in Essex.  In 2014 she was elected Essex Director for the National Almshouse Association.

Michael Siggs – Founder Trustee   Chartered Surveyor by profession.  Associated with the social housing sector since 1973 when he was a founder member of the Colchester Co-ownership Housing Association, later to become Colne Housing Society.  Became an Almshouse Clerk in 1985 and subsequently became regional Clerk serving 12 almshouse charities in Essex and  Cambridgeshire.  For twenty five years served as Essex Representative of the Almshouse Association.  Previously a Trustee to the Doctor Spurstowe and Bishop Wood Almshouse Charity at Hackney. Founder member of the St Petersburg Healthcare Trust developing the hospice movement in St Petersburg and across the former Soviet Union.  A member of Housing LIN.

Gerrard O'Driscoll - Trustee appointed 25th August 2015. Accountant and a trustee of the Willie Almshouse Charity, which owns and manages seven almshouses in Great Totham, Essex.

Alison Pooley - Trustee appointed 17th May 2017. Alison began her career as a housing officer in East London. She then went on to study architecture and worked in architectural practice throughout the 90s, during which time she also served on the board of trustees for Circle 33 Housing Association. Alison moved into academia in 2003, and is currently Course Leader for Architecture at Anglian Ruskin University.

Robert Neve - Trustee appointed 17th May 2017. Rob retired in 2015 from the firm of quantity surveyors Burr & Neve LLP in which he was a founder although he remains a consultant to the practice. He brings a wealth of building knowledge and experience to the board of LEAP. He is also a trustee of his local almshouse charity in Wivenhoe. 

Brian Butcher Trustee appointed 31st October 2018. Brian retired after 35 years as a Chartered Structural Engineer with an East Anglian based firm of civil and structural engineers in 2017, of which he was a Founder and Director. He spent many years in the firm's London office delivering new build housing association properties with national contractors before concentrating his time on investigating building failure in the UK and Europe, as well acting when instructed as an expert witness, a role he still undertakes. He has been an elected parish councillor in West Bergholt for many years; he is chairman of the Premises committee and Vice Chair of the Planning Committee, as well as having a leading role in the drafting of West Bergholt’s Neighbourhood Plan.

Rosie Pearson - Trustee appointed 17th July 2019. Rosie has been campaigning around sustainable and affordable housing issues in Essex for several years. Prior to that, Rosie was a business development and marketing manager in a variety of sectors.  She has a degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge.