Home Appointments & Contracts North East’s fastest growing business more than doubles staff

North East’s fastest growing business more than doubles staff

Kate Hellens with the new recruits to Hellens Residential

Hellens Residential, named as 2020’s fastest growing North East firm in Ward Hadaway’s Fastest 50 Awards, has doubled the size of its workforce as it pursues an ambitious plan for sustained growth.

Hellens Residential Limited is a private, for-profit, registered provider of affordable housing with offices in Wynyard and Washington. It was created in 2012 by Hellens Group owners Kate Hellens and Gavin Cordwell-Smith. Gavin and Kate started the business to deliver positive social impact with the cash surpluses generated from the construction, development, and manufacturing businesses which form the Hellens Group.

It currently manages 250 properties across the North East, offering affordable rent as well as rent-to-buy options for lower income families.
Managing director of Hellens Residential, Kate Hellens, has doubled the number of employees at the firm in the past six months, adding six new starters to the team.

The company has employed two apprentices and two people using the government’s Kickstart scheme alongside a graduate surveyor and experienced housing officer.


  • Beth Chapman, graduate property surveyor, will work on Hellens Residential’s existing property portfolio, onboarding new units and assisting the modelling of new developments. The company will support her through her qualification from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
  • Lisa Harding, housing officer.
  • Chloe Shaw, business administration apprentice will assist the business development manager and study an NVQ Level 3 in business administration at Stockton College.
  • Lewis Davidson, property maintenance apprentice will assist the maintenance manager and study an NVQ Level 2 in property maintenance at Hartlepool College.
  • Kickstarters Ian Ferguson and Jamie Foster will support the team across a range of tasks.

Kate Hellens, managing director of Hellens Residential said: “Hellens Residential has grown significantly over the last 18 months. We’ve gone from managing approximately 120 properties to 250.

“Because of this growth, we’re delighted to have recruited six new people from a range of backgrounds, who join our team and ensure we’re able to maintain the highest level of service for our customers.

“We’re particularly pleased to have recruited two apprentices and two individuals using the government’s Kickstarter scheme. Supporting new opportunities and promoting employability goes to the heart of our ethos here at Hellens Residential.”

Ian Ferguson, customer service assistant at Hellens Residential, said: “I was attracted to Hellens Residential because it’s a small company and I felt like a would be able to have a big impact and help it grow.

“Everyone that works here is great and so supportive – we’re a really close-knit group.”

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