Our board

Henry Barker – Chairman (Remuneration)

Henry started his community involvement in the late 1990's working alongside Allerdale councillors during the transfer of its housing stock. He later became a Tenant Board Member of Derwent & Solway Housing Association, eventually becoming its chair.  He was also a Board Member of Harvest Housing Group and a Tenant Inspector with the Audit Commission, where he formed part of a team carrying out housing inspections.  Henry’s focus has always been tenant & resident involvement and he continued his community involvement as chair of the Cumbria Tenants & Residents Participation Forum.

Henry was also an independent Board Member of Eden Housing Association, where he became chair. He continues community work through chairing a charity which runs a local village hall. He is a trustee of other charities including Carlisle & Eden Mind, Fairoaks Housing Association and Cumbria Family Support. He brings his experience of tenant and resident involvement to Westfield, supporting community activities and looking at the services we provide and how these services meet tenant and community needs.

Kevin Foley 

Kevin is a Chartered Business Manager holding both Bachelors and Masters degree in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick. Commencing his career in the British Army as an Engineer, Kevin, a former resident of the estate, has held roles in the NHS, Further Education, Waste Management and now the Nuclear Industry where he is responsible for a European wide Radioactive Waste Logistics operation.  Living in Workington with his wife and two young children, Kevin believes the future success of WHA is as important as its past and that a good quality home should be accessible for all.

Graham Howarth

Graham spent his career as a housing professional, working for both local authorities and housing associations in the North of England and covering both the public and private sectors.  He become Chief Executive of Westfield Housing Association in 1996 and continued in that role until his retirement in 2018.

Carni McCarron-Holmes

Carni is local to West Cumbria and has a professional employment background in the Probation Service.  She has many years experience of Local Authority Governance via Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria County  Council with a specific interest in Housing and Health issues.  Carni has a good listening ear; able to understand housing legislation  and  is a “look for solutions People person”.

Karen Wilson (Audit & Risk)

Karen is a qualified accountant with experience in health, care and education. Within these roles she has gained experience of financial management and reporting, corporate governance, strategic management, risk management, property development and maintenance, quality management systems and Human Resources. Karen has project management experience and is APM qualified.

Cecelia Tibble  - Vice Chair

Cecelia, is currently a Cabinet Member of Cumbria County Council with responsibility for the environment.  Having been born, raised and educated in Workington, she left the area to join the West Yorkshire Police where she served for several years before leaving to raise a family and to re-train as a Psychiatric Nurse.  Following which she returned to Workington with her husband Philip and their children, Matthew, Daniel and Beth.  Cecelia worked as a Psychiatric Nurse both at West Cumberland Hospital and in the communities of Allerdale and Copeland but is now retired.  Formerly an Allerdale Councillor, she served in several roles, including a year as Mayor.  She is currently a Board Member of West House and a Committee Member of Northside Community Centre.  Cecelia is committed to ensuring that good quality affordable housing is available to everyone who needs it.

Steven Kirkbride (Audit & Risk) 

Steven was brought up on the Westfield estate and still lives locally. He is a Chartered Accountant with experience of working with mainly local businesses from many sectors such as retail, hospitality and leisure, construction, tourism, consultancy and research and development. From managing his own client base in West Cumbria, he has gained experience of financial reporting, audit and assurance, tax compliance and planning, cash flow management, business start-ups and cloud accounting.

Lisa Ford (Audit & Risk)

Lisa has always lived in West Cumbria and until the end of 2021 worked in a local Housing Association for 25 years carrying out various roles.   Now working out of the area is keen to keep an interest in supporting local communities and the essential need for housing and support locally.  Lisa is currently a Governance and Risk Manager for a Housing Association in Bristol and has a broad experience specifically related to housing associations; covering governance, Company Secretarial duties, compliance, risk, audit, policies, health and safety and communication.

Chris Sowiak 

Chris has worked in IT for over 18 years; 12 of which have been within the Housing Sector. Chris has a BSc (Hons) in Computing and IT, is a member of the Chartered Institute for IT, a PRINCE2 Practitioner Project Manager and is certified in IT Service Management.  
 
Chris started his career as a Radio Systems Operator within the Royal Corps of Signals and began working within IT whilst on operations in Iraq. He has worked for a Housing Association in an IT Management role and was involved both strategically and technically in a company merger. Chris is now a Senior Consultant, specialising in IT systems integration for the Housing, Local Government and Healthcare sectors.