Our Team

Changing Live

We House, Care and Support disadvantaged adults facing homelessness 

Changing Minds 

Meet The Ready4Home Team

Our experience in the social housing sector is uniquely diverse, enabling us to understand the challenges of local authorities, commissioners, Her Majesty’s Prisons and Ex-offenders. This 360° view ensures we can find the right solution with a customer-led, care-focused, sustainable approach.

What we have in common is our drive to create change in reducing re-offending thus making a positive, sustainable difference. The result is the delivery of high quality housing and support that meets the individuals needs.

Hilary Shepherd
Hilary Shepherd-CEO

Hilary is a Neuro Linguistic Master Practitioner (NLP).

Hilary has over forty years experience in building up a womenswear store into one of the countries largest independents, whilst finding time to commit to regional causes. She was Chair of the NSPCC in the 1980s and after several years serving on the Lady Taverners (giving disabled children a sporting chance) she returned to the committee after the birth of her daughter as Chair for the NorthWest region in the year 2002.

Other posts held during this time have been Chair of the British Shops and Stores Association (now BIRA), East Lancashire Business personality of the year and for seven years a Dragon at the Said Business school in Oxford.

Contact: hilary@ready4home.co.uk

Nicola Palmer
Nicola Palmer Non Executive Director

I am delighted to be joining Ready4Home as a Non Executive Director. I have over 25 years experience in secondary education where I am a serving Headteacher.

I am passionate about the whole Inclusion agenda with my specialisms being Behaviour, Special Education Needs and the Social, emotional health and wellbeing of young people and the wider community.

I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience to work alongside the team to develop an innovative provision for education and training opportunities in the pursuit of reducing reoffending and helping ex offenders rejoin society.

I have been involved in the governance of schools for a number of years including being the Chair of Governors for a Pupil Referral Unit and both Primary and Secondary schools. I hope this experience will enable me to bring an objective viewpoint to the board and an external perspective on the policy making and planning direction of the company.

Contact: nicola@ready4home.co.uk

Jackie Kirkwood
Jackie Kirkwood - non executive director- Support Worker Supervisor

I am delighted to be joining the Ready4Home Housing and Support CIC team as a Non Executive Director and Support Worker Supervisor.

I have worked for HMPPS for the past 17 years as a prison officer working with both men and women.

My specialism is Offender Management and Offender Assessment. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the Offender Management team working within government guidelines. The ultimate aim is to reduce reoffending by innovative sign posting towards multi agency partners to support those with complex needs.

My professional development whilst working in the prison service has given me a proficiency to work with offenders who have experienced, drug addiction, homelessness, mental health issues and have been victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

My role within the organisation is to add value and experience by giving guidance and training to both Support Workers and Service Users.

Contact: jackie@ready4home.co.uk

Netta Hymanson
Netta Hymanson - Director - Support Worker

Netta Hymanson is an entrepreneur with over 40 years experience running a number of successful businesses.  Netta has lectured at the Royal College of Arts and worked as a consult for many of the major brands we see on our high streets.

With first hand knowledge of how the prison service works Netta appreciates the support needed for those marginalised by their mistakes and those who have complex needs who find themselves homeless following a period of incarceration.  Netta has the requisite qualifications as a Peer Mentor which will add value to her role.

Contact: netta@ready4home.co.uk

Paula white - Strategic Lead Volunteer

Paula is a volunteer at Ready4home.co.uk, focusing on developing a sustainable company structure and growth, streamlining operations and internal strategies, whilst identifying the needs of those marginalised by society.

An entrepreneur and business strategist with an accountancy background. Business consultancy for a number of small to medium size businesses, including online and offline retail.  Property management, estate agencies.  Paula has also worked and consulted for the homeless charity St George’s Crypt in Leeds and so has first hand experience in dealing with the relating to those with complex needs.

Paula has first hand knowledge of the prison system and the required housing and support needed for those who find themselves trapped in a cycle of reoffending and returning to prison many times over. Paula has written and facilitated courses to women in prison such as The Freedom Program, Positive You and assisted in the policy writing for the MOJ. Paula also has the requisite qualifications for Peer Mentoring which are key to the successful outcomes predicted for the clients of Ready4Home.

Contact: paula@ready4home.co.uk

Rachel Stuart
Rachel Stuart - Volunteer Administrator
Rachel is a competent Support Administrator, with exceptional personal and administrative skills.  She works as part of our dynamic team in delivering an effective service, supporting Directors, managers and staff to deliver their portfolio of work.

Skilled in the preparation of agendas and minutes, taking appropriate follow-up action as required. Supporting the team with the management of projects, gathering information and responding to enquires.

Contact: info@ready4home.co.uk

John Goodwin
John Goodwin- Head of Crime - Partner

I qualified as a solicitor in October 1982.

From 1999 onwards I have concentrated purely on criminal and regulatory cases and represented clients charged with all types of offences.

In my career, I have dealt with over 50 homicide cases.As a Solicitor-Advocate, I undertook a number of Crown Court trials and conducted my own cases in the Court of Appeal. I am pleased to have received accolades in the Legal 500 and Chambers directories In 2017, Cohen Cramer was voted Regional Financial Fraud & Licensing Firm of the Year.

In recent years I have concentrated on Serious Financial Fraud dealing with Carousel, MTIC and other types of VAT fraud and bank fraud cases. I have represented a large number of clients charged with serious Drugs and Money Laundering offences.

I have always worked on the assumption that I am there to listen to my clients and never to discount what I am told without properly examining it.

Of paramount importance, and I hope I practise what I preach, is the fact that in my job you are constantly learning.


0113  244 0597

Lauren Bowkett
Lauren Bowkett - Head of POCA - Proceeds of Crime Act

Lauren deals with the departments most complex and high-profile cases in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).  She represents clients across the UK and internationally.

One of Lauren’s most complex matters to date related to a multi-million pound Hidden Assets Order.  Lauren was required to work exclusively on the case for four months and won, saving the client years in prison.  Lauren attended court and gave expert evidence.  She received praise from both the Judge and the CPS for her high standard of work and the manner in which she presented her evidence.

Due to her expertise, Lauren is on the committee for the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association (POCLA) running educational seminars and events within the area of POCA.  She also speaks at independent seminars on the subject matter.

Lauren has a clear analytical mind that understands the importance of review and consideration of the disparity between the benefit figure and the available amount. If not dealt with correctly it can affect a client’s life forever.

Lauren takes the lead in negotiations with Financial Investigators and Counsel. She has settled many matters out of Court without the need for a contested hearing, saving time and money to her clients.

In addition to main POCA matters, Lauren works on all types of ancillary matters such as extending the time to pay under Section 11 POCA 2002, advising and challenging applications from the Prosecution under Section 22 POCA 2002 to increase the available amount and reducing applications under Section 23 of POCA 2002.  Lauren also has a flow of private instruction for Section 10A applications, asserting her clients’ third party interests.

Lauren can deal with any issue raised in respect of Restraint matters brought under POCA and help with the settlement of Confiscation Orders.  She also acts as an advocate in the Magistrates Court at Enforcement Hearings, protecting clients from potential default sentences.

For the best legal advice contact Lauren:


0113 224 7811

Mark jackson - affiliated lawyer

I have over 20 years of experience in criminal defence work. I headed a national high tech crime unit defending those facing computer-based investigations.

In a current managerial role, I have forged links with many client-based and professional networks specialising in providing clients with a first-rate service.

I also run a Legal Clinic at HMP Styal on a biweekly basis.  This clinic is completely free of charge and an invaluable service for the women serving custodial sentences who may not have representation.  The clinic has now been run since 2015.

Email:  mark.jackson@cohencramer.co.uk

Tele: 0113 224 7806 Mobile: 07502 400 093