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Management team

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At present DASH has a Management Team of three people; Mark Prinn, Heather Witham and Louise Ridsdale. As Director, Mark has overall responsibility for the operations within DASH. Heather is the Finance & Admin Manager, and Louise has the role of Supported Housing Manager. All three report to the DASH Management Committee at the bi-monthly meetings.

See our management team profiles below.

When did you join DASH?

13th March 2023

What was your background before joining DASH?

I have held several roles where I have had overall responsibility for all housing services across the country covering from Northumberland to London.  This includes a range of services including crisis accommodation, supported, dispersed and Housing 1st models.

I have delivered Strategic management and development of services and models. I have managed large budgets across a range a local authority of circa10 million, sourcing and developing new business opportunities.

Over the years I have mobilisation new services and contracts and the management of both commissioned and non-commissioned services, providing data and reports to senior leadership teams and board members, thus ensuring contract compliance across a range of services.

I have development of new systems to enable effective compliance monitoring of contracts and budgets, along with building and developing relationships with key stakeholders and commissioners.

Furthermore, I have support services through change management processes and developed housing strategies, key priorities, and contingency plans for housing services with a strong inference on partnership working across various sector, risk monitoring, health & safety compliance, ensure high quality service delivery.

What appealed to you about working for DASH?

The change to work in a small but unique long-established Charity, that cares and is commented doing its best for its resident staff and community.

What does your role include?

Each day is different in this role; I try to bring an enterprising approach to my work. My values are closely aligned to the charity with a strong commitment to social equality, fairness and the wider issues surrounding homelessness.

As the Director, I provide strategic direction for the charity as well as empathetic and inspiring leadership for our employees and volunteers. I am focussed on driving improvements to our service and keeping our residents at the very heart of what we do, helping them to build on their strengths, overcome problems and support them to move towards a more independent lifestyle. This is done through our care, respect, empathy, and commitment.

I am also responsible for building strong relationships with our Board of Trustees to deliver DASH’s mission, aims and objectives. I am a good networker, advocate for DASH and I promote its aims and the wider issues of homelessness externally through public speaking, media engagement and strong connections with stakeholders and partner organisations.

What is the best thing about working for DASH?

A unique sense of community.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Understanding, kind, and reliable

When did you join DASH?

6th March 2023

What was your background before joining DASH?

Previously, I have held roles as both Support Worker and Accommodation Coordinator with an organisation providing support and accommodation to victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.  I am also a qualified Person-Centred Counsellor and have worked exclusively with adult male and female victims of all types of abuse and so have extensive experience of working with vulnerable adults with multiple needs.

As such, I have a sound understanding of trauma and of how adverse childhood experiences can often increase the likelihood of an individual developing mental health issues and engaging in substance abuse.

I have experience of delivering and developing operational and quality assurance procedures, line management of staff, ensuring health and safety compliance, delivering staff training and facilities management.

What appealed to you about working for DASH?

The values of DASH align very closely to my own that given the right environment, access to effective support and a safe place to live, individuals are capable of overcoming issues of their past and of changing their futures.  

What does your role include?

I oversee the operational delivery of our services both in our dispersed accommodation, and in our Women’s Project.  This involves working closely with support staff to ensure that the needs of all residents are properly identified and that the appropriate support is given. 

I am responsible for overseeing the referral and assessment procedures for new residents, and alongside our Property Management Officer, I deal with housing management issues and promoting good Health & Safety Practice.

I also work closely with the Director on developing our service delivery procedures and business continuity strategy.

What is the best thing about working for DASH?

Being part of a dynamic, visionary staff team

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Empathic, adventurous, adaptable

Staff Questions

When did you join DASH?

March 2015

What was your background before joining DASH?

I worked for another charity the Albert Kennedy Trust, a LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity working with young people aged 16- 25.

What appealed to you about working for DASH?

I was looking for a part time job, I liked working in the charity sector and DASH was a good fit.

What does your role include?

I manage the day to day finances and I am involved in the 30 year forecasts.

What is the best thing about working for DASH?

I enjoy seeing DASH develop and evolve in meeting the needs of its residents.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Active, problem solving and cat owner!

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