Who We Are
Mark left school at the age of 16 and moved from Dorset to London to look for a job. After sustained letter writing to dozens of City merchant banks, Mark was employed in the post room at Rothschilds, delivering the mail. Over the years, Mark moved up through the ranks and has worked for various global financial institutions, holding senior positions and spending a lot of his time developing business strategy and managing major international projects.
After 30 years in the City, Mark left the corporate world in the summer of 2016, deciding that he wanted to work within the property development industry. He therefore worked for the next 18 months as an apprentice site labourer with a local builder to learn the basics of the residential building trade.
Mark has a passion for learning and is happy diving into the details to try to increase his understanding. A lot of the skills and experience Mark gathered during his time in the City can be utilised in his current career, and he regularly shares successful techniques and tools to help others become more efficient and effective.
Mark firmly believes that the Supported Living Gateway will help simplify and improve the way that supported living providers work with property owners. Mark is proud to be part of the team behind the Gateway and knows that they will make a difference by helping create homes for the more vulnerable in our society.
Lisa spent over 20 years working in the NHS. She worked her way up to the role of Senior Sister and Emergency Nurse Practitioner in a busy East London A&E department, then moved to the community as a Health Visitor. She loved the diversity of both nursing roles and has seen the direct impact that quality of housing, or lack of housing, has on people’s health and wellbeing.
Lisa has always had a passion for property; her sister jokes that she was looking in estate agents’ windows from a very early age! Moving to Devon a few years ago, she set up Pebble Properties and loved breathing new life into tired buildings. A chance encounter led her to discover Supported Living and she loved combining her “nurse brain” with her “property brain” to develop property for adults with complex needs. However, as a property investor she found many frustrations with Supported Living and that there was little reliable information available. She decided to set up the ‘Supported Living – Property Investing with a Difference’ Facebook Group and has formed a community of property investors who are interested in investing in Supported Living.
Lisa spent 12 months teaching English in a government school in Thailand and ran a summer school in a refugee camp on the Burma border. She is married to Andy and before having children they enjoyed travelling; they once lived in hammocks in the rainforest for 3 months as the medical team on a wildlife expedition in Borneo. They now have two boys, dogs, cats and chickens and love spending time on the river, sea or the moor altogether as a family.
Lisa was a school governor for 5 years. She has been a trustee of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust since 2013 and has supported families with visually impaired children, advocating to help them access education services.
With over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, Russ has successfully delivered a range of residential and commercial schemes, moving from renovations projects and new build homes, to delivering highly desirable mixed-use developments. He has built his own diverse property portfolio in the UK in several sectors, including BTLs, serviced accommodation social housing, supported living and large commercial property.
Over the last 6 years, Russ has worked closely with care providers, housing associations and local authorities to facilitate the requirements for quality, sustainable supported living accommodation that improves the lives of vulnerable adults. Through these collaborations, he has delivered a large number of schemes.
In 2018, Russ established a Project Management Consultancy, helping to ensure successful project delivery from inception to completion, with a strong view on control and management processes. Through the consultancy business, he regularly assists in the successful delivery of projects, ranging from commercial to residential conversions and new build sites for the public and private sector.
With the Supported Living Gateway, Russ looks forward to continuing to work closely with supported living providers and ensuring more homes are created for vulnerable people.
After 20 years working in the financial services sector in the City of London, Leah has recently given up her full-time City career to become a full-time property investor.
During her corporate career she worked in a number of organisations with teams spread internationally. Her role in the City was to support large and complex projects, often dealing with some very challenging characters! She was known as ‘the glue’ to a lot of her colleagues. Leah is always enthusiastic and positive and cares for people.
Leah’s first property investment in 2011 was a full refurb of a derelict property in Dover, to provide her parents somewhere to live when they needed to return to England after several years living abroad. From then, she and Mark have continued to successfully grow their portfolio of properties.
Leah and Mark love to travel and experience different cultures, especially learning more about the different cuisines of the places they travel to (and often recreating them at home!). Leah volunteers as a gardener at a London museum, and is a volunteer fundraiser for a local charity supporting socially isolated older people in the community.
Leah’s background in coordinating, organising and structuring projects has helped underpin the Supported Living Gateway business. She is excited to see how the team’s combined and diverse experience will enable the Gateway to help the supported living community.
Richard was a Military Officer, helicopter and jet pilot for 21 years, and is also a successful property investor and developer, with a passion for providing homes to those more vulnerable across a spectrum of needs. Graduating from Newcastle University in 1998, Richard joined the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot and saw combat around the globe, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He has been on operations in Libya, Syria and multiple times in Afghanistan where he was involved in many multinational operations.
Three years flying Search and Rescue helicopters covering the West Coast of Scotland proved some of the most exciting, dangerous and challenging conditions ever seen; 212 live rescues included rescuing fallen climbers from Ben Nevis, sailors from sinking boats and even the swift movement of premature babies in incubators between remote Scottish locations in order to save lives.
Alongside globally flying on Military Operations, Richard was growing his property portfolio and business. He even bought a development building while deployed to Afghanistan using only a satellite phone to secure the deal. This took remote and challenging investing to a new level – battling bad communications and extensive due diligence!
Richard is an advocate for the eradication of homelessness within the ex-service and veterans’ community. With the Supported Living Gateway, he hopes that the whole Supported Living Sector can benefit from improved communications and smoother relations between providers and developers, collectively working together to provide homes and spaces to improve everyone’s future.
Richard enjoys travelling and spending time with his family. His lasting claim to fame is his role as an X Wing pilot in the Rogue One Disney movie that is part of the recent Star Wars series.