Executive Leadership Team
This team is responsible for the day to day running and wellbeing of the organisation.
Julie Layton was appointed as Chief Executive of Advance in 2015, having worked for the organisation for a number of years as Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive.
Julie is a qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She has extensive experience in the social housing sector. She is a strategic, visionary leader who is passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable people and believes the non-profit sector has a big part to play in delivering change. Her philosophy is to embed a collaborative and open culture within the organisation and to inspire and empower people to perform well.
Julie has developed partnership working initiatives to ensure Advance can work with others to provide more high quality support options to customers to enable them to live the lives they choose.
Julie has been a member of the Charityworks Board since 2012, and became Interim Chair in 2017. Advance was one of the founder members of Charityworks, which was set up to create a network of leading non-profit organisations committed to building capacity through collaboration to increase the reach, quality and impact of their services and improve the lives of the people they serve.
In 2017 Julie was appointed to the Board of the Association of Mental Health Providers and is keen to take an active role in shaping the future of the Association and the mental health sector.
Mark Horlock is Advance's Executive Director of Resources, with responsibility for Finance, HR, ICT and Business Assurance.
Mark is an experienced finance professional who has a wealth of experience in our sector. He spent 11 years as Director of Finance for a large charitable organisation providing care and support for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Sinéad McHugh-Hicks joined Advance in November 2020 as Executive Director of Support, responsible for the strategic leadership of our support services and championing innovation and excellence in everything that we do.
Sinéad came to Advance after an 18 year career with Dimensions, a large charitable organisation providing care and support for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Sinéad began her career as a support worker, demonstrating just what great career opportunities there are in health and social care. Continuing in every role she has undertaken to ensure people receiving support are at the forefront of all that we do and recognising and championing the vital role undertaken by front line colleagues across the health and social care sector.
Ian Gilders joined Advance in March 2016 as Executive Director of Housing, responsible for Tenancy & Leasehold Management, Repairs & Maintenance, Customer Services and Housing Investment & Development.
Ian came to Advance from a similar interim role with Response Organisation, specialising in mental health. Prior to that Ian spent 6 years in a variety of senior roles with Sovereign Housing, including Regional Director and Projects Director. Before Sovereign, Ian was Head of Supported Housing for GreenSquare Group. Ian has also worked in Strategy & Commissioning as Supporting People Manager at West Berkshire Council, as well as being a qualified social worker.