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Board structure

Board structure

DAMHA has overhauled its board structure as part of its drive to become the best provider of retirement homes in the North East of England.

Following an 18-month process, we recently unveiled our new Board of Trustees.

The Board replaces the our Executive Committee structure, bringing us into line with the vast majority of other housing associations in England.

This consists of 11 non-executive members, including three new additions – Gillian Bramfitt, Paul Nilsen and Mark Reid.

Gillian currently runs a training company, Abode Training, which specialises in training in the housing sector. She worked for DAMHA in a housing management role for 18 years.

She said: “It’s lovely to be returning to an organisation which is so familiar, and I am looking forward to using my knowledge and skills in housing management to contribute to the continued success of the Association”

Paul is currently Head of Business Assurance at Bernicia, a housing association with homes across the North East. He has worked in social housing for 20 years.

He said: “DAMHA has an amazing history and legacy and I see my role as a board member as being a custodian of the values of such a unique organisation, whilst ensuring it evolves to meet the challenges of the modern world.”

Mark recently retired from his role as Director of Resources at Karbon Homes, one of the largest housing associations in the North East and Yorkshire. He worked for over 20 years in social housing.

He said: “DAMHA has always punched well above its weight and I hope to be able to bring my expertise in ensuring it continues to be a well-run and governed organisation.”

The eight other members of DAMHA’s board are Barbara Christie (Chair), Ray Gibson (Vice Chair), Steve Fergus, Paul Hewitson, Stephen Guy, Lesley Armstrong, Cyril Smith and Una Mack. Una is a resident board member.

Paul Mullis, DAMHA Chief Executive, said: “In order to continue to meet the standards set by the national social housing regulator, it was necessary to modernise our board structure and adopt a skills-based approach when it comes to selecting members.

“We’re delighted that members of the former executive committee have moved over to the new Board of Trustees and that many retain close links to our coal mining heritage, which is still very important to us.

“In addition, in Una we have someone who will continue to provide a vital residents’ voice on the Board.

“We are pleased to welcome Gillian, Paul and Mark as new board members. Their experience in various areas of the social housing sector will stand us in excellent stead as we aim to deliver our strategic goals and ultimately realise our vision of being the best provider of retirement homes in the North East of England.”

As part of the changes, Gordon Parkin has stepped down from his role as President and Chairman of the former Executive Committee, but he has been granted the title of Honorary President and will continue his contact with the Association attending formal events in this role.

Paul added: “Gordon has been a tremendous servant to DAMHA over 40 years and we would like to pay tribute to him for his hard work and dedication.”