The Midlands

LandAid's Midlands Board has joined with St Basil’s to develop Phase 2 of its Live and Work Scheme.

Live and Work, is an award-winning scheme, run by local charity St Basils, which has transformed disused nurses’ accommodation to provide both high quality homes and apprenticeship opportunities for homeless young people at a local NHS Trust. 

Phase 2 which will convert a disused block into 52 units of accommodation for homeless young people.

It is our aim to unite the Built Environment in the Midlands to make this remarkable project happen. 

With our help, the industry can come together, and secure a remarkable legacy of change for homeless young people in Birmingham.

To do this, we need to raise at least £850,000 in the next 3 years.

LandAid has already part-funded Phase One, refurbishing 32 units, with HRH Duke of Cambridge visiting the project to see the work in progress and give his seal of approval.

The scheme provides both a safe and secure home for a young person who is homeless, and the job opportunities and skills training which they need  to move away from homelessness, for life:
Of the 70 young people have benefited from the scheme since 2015; none have become homeless
Over 30 young people have secured permanent employment following their NHS apprenticeships. 

An independent evaluation concluded that the first phase of this project saved £14 to the public purse for every £1 spent.

For more information about LandAid, the Live and Work scheme and how you can support it, please contact Michael Regan, Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager:


See who's on our Midlands Board below.

  • Michelle Adams

    Board Member

    Michelle Adams is a director in the Real Estate Litigation team at Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, leading the Birmingham offering. She is recommended in the Legal 500 UK 2020 and experienced in a broad range of property-related disputes for financial institutions, retail, telecoms, media and logistics clients in the management of their English and Welsh property portfolios.

    Michelle is strong advocate of the Midlands, having been Birmingham Young Professional of the Year Award (Legal) and Future Face of Legal at the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards in 2019. She has supported Landaid for a number of years, taking part in the Midlands Sleep Out, Midlands and London 10Ks and Steptober.

  • Rupert Wood


    Rupert has over 25 years experience in the UK real estate sector having worked for Lendlease and St. Modwen Properties Plc where he spent 13 years as a member of the Executive Team. He is currently advising on a number of real estate related developments and new businesses. He is also an Executive Adviser to FitForCommerce, a leading global digital and omnichannel consultancy.

    He has worked across multi-real estate sectors and has extensive experience in delivering transformative real estate solutions. He has created, delivered and managed major mixed-use assets and portfolios executing and delivering strategic business objectives as well as optimising value through driving transformation and ROI performance whether from acquisition, development, management and divestment. 

    Rupert was appointed to the LandAid Midlands Regional Board as Chair in January 2019.

  • Gurjit Atwal

    Board Member

    Gurjit joined Eversheds Sutherland in 1995, became a partner in 2002 and is now Head of the Real Estate Sector.

    He specialises in advising FTSE and Private Property Companies, Property Funds and Asset Managers, Inward Investors and Institutions, covering the full breadth of real estate finance, development, management and investment in the real estate, leisure, retail, office, residential, healthcare and industrial sectors.

    His clients include Blackstone, Grosvenor, Hammerson, Landsec and Lendlease.

    Gurjit is a member of IPF and BCSC and co-authored the pan-European guides to leasing and development for the ICSC.

    He is listed as a leading individual in Chambers and Legal 500 and accredited by clients as a “Star Lawyer” in the Acritas survey.

  • Stephen Brandsma

    Board Member

    For more than 15 years, Stephen has been advising both domestic and international clients on talent acquisition within the Real Estate, Development and Construction sectors.

    Stephen started his career back in London, in 2004, acting on behalf of construction and development groups. In 2010, Stephen left the big smoke for the beating heart of the Midlands. Here in Birmingham, Stephen leads the Built Environment division of Gleeson Recruitment Group as the Divisional Manager.

    Stephen is passionate about contributing to the local community, and he will do all he can to raise funds and awareness for great causes. To this end, Stephen has organised teams to take part in several LandAid events including the Birmingham SleepOut and the St Mowden 10k charity run. During the SleepOut, Stephen even made his TV debut on ITV News!

    Though Stephen has no further plans to appear on television, he remains committed to supporting efforts in the fight against homelessness, mental health and addiction.

  • Owen Dutton

    Board Member

    Owen is a Principal Associate at the international law firm Eversheds Sutherland, specialising in commercial property development and acting for some of the UK's largest developers on a broad range of work from site assembly, development, letting and funding to acquisitions and disposals.

    He is a joint LandAid Lead Ambassador for the Midlands and has enjoyed organising and participating in a number of fundraising events including the LandAid Sleep Out, Midlands 10k and Birmingham Velo.

  • Jess Hurley

    Board Member

    Since joining Core in 2018, Jess has become a key member of the team, leading on all things social. Her day to day work sees her helping a range of clients within Birmingham’s property sector to raise their online profiles by creating digital strategies, delivering day-to-day campaigns and providing social media training and support.

    Working on a voluntary basis for BPS Birmingham, Jess coordinates its marketing, showcasing the mentoring schemes and personal development opportunities, promoting events which connect those in professional services across the city and recognising the impressive young talent within the region.

    Never one to take her finger off the pulse, she is always keen to try something new, whether that’s with a social media platform, a recipe…or abseiling down one of Birmingham’s tallest buildings in the name of charity.

  • Damian Lloyd

    Board Member

    Damian joined Avison Young in 2000 and is a Principal of the business.  He is an Investment Agent specializing in the acquisition / sale of investment and funding opportunities, in all sectors, across the Midlands.

    Damian is also a Board member of the IPF in the Midlands and believes passionately in the good nature and generosity of the property community.  When he is not in the office, he will likely be entertaining / doing homework with / playing taxi for…. his four children!  In the very rare moments of peace and quiet, he enjoys good fiction books, running and occasionally a bit of skiing.

  • Tom Johnson

    Board Member

    Tom has been advising clients in the commercial real estate market for the best part of 25 years, having earned his legal spurs with Linklaters and now heading up the transactional real estate team at law firm Pinsent Masons LLP, where he leads a team of around 200 lawyers operating across the UK and internationally. In the meantime, Tom has played his part in the renaissance of Birmingham, including advising on the deal that saw HSBC set up its HQ in the city centre and advising on a variety of other projects that have transformed the Birmingham landscape.

    Tom has been a supporter of LandAid for a number of years and has even been on the podium at the recent Midlands 10k around Longbridge (handing out a trophy, although he did also run the course!). 

  • Neil Rami

    Board Member

    Neil is Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company. Supported by local authorities, universities and a wide range of regional businesses, the Growth Company was established in 2017 to create new jobs, expand existing businesses and attract new inward investment and visitors to the region. Its plans are aligned to the ambitions set out in the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan.

    Previously, Neil held similar economic development roles in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. He is currently Chairman of the Midlands Trade and Investment Group, a member of the British Tourism Industry Group and a former Governor and Board Member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is also a non-executive director of Creative England.