CIH Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Board member, Clive Greenwood was In Conversation with Nick Atkin, CEO of Yorkshire Housing to discuss how Yorkshire Housing are fully embracing being agile and what technology is being used to do this. Nick shared his thoughts and observations on how this benefits the organisation, staff and customers, how they have all been engaged in this movement and the how Yorkshire Housing is overcoming the challenges in moving to this way of working. This interiew is a great opportunity to hear from one of the leading organisations in this area.
Hannah Absalom shared aspects of her research and invited delegates to feedback opinions and experiences looking at the role of housing and it's social purpose.
Areas covered were:
Owning Your Future 2020’ is a new series of informal ‘how to’ style sessions designed to provide you with a range of professional development skills, tools, knowledge and advice to turn your career aspirations into reality and set you on the right path to success. The fourth session in this series we looked at making difficult decisions and heard from our speakers on their own personal journeys, lessons that they have learnt and tips for ensuring that you are prepared for whatever lies ahead in your career journey.
We looked at the key elements of the Draft Building Safety Bill which is due before the CLG select committee in July. Debbie Larner, head of knowledge and products, presented the key elements of the bill and considered what this will mean in practice for landlords and, importantly, what must be done to prepare for the new regime.
Supporting the ‘Homes at the Heart’ campaign, experts in the industry discussed the role of social housing today in this webinar. The topics discussed included the role of social housing in the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, the need for innovation in the sector, the use of modern construction methods and how to enable this. Our speakers drew on examples from the City of Bristol.
Black History Month took place throughout October and we are proud to present members with a webinar from leading race speaker Karl George. Karl’s personal story as a black man growing up and living in Birmingham throughout his life is one of real power and significance. Racial injustice has been and continues to be rife within British society.
Here at the CIH, we are determined to do more to tackle this and will do more. We want to celebrate the diversity of talent within the sector and support organisations in creating meaningful opportunities for people from all backgrounds to progress in their careers, irrespective of race, gender, sexuality or any other protected characteristic. We also want to do more to ensure that the people that live in our homes, our tenants, residents and customers also have equal opportunity.
At this time of immense change, making the most of your CIH membership is invaluable. The housing profession is on the frontline of helping to support residents, colleagues and the wider community through the impact of COVID-19. We heard from special guests Aileen Evans and Catherine Hinton who shared some of their experiences about their careers and how CIH has supported them as housing professionals.
We heard conversations around what equality and diversity means in a Northern Ireland context. It enabled participants to gain an understanding of how the area of equality and diversity has progressed over the years in Northern Ireland, as well as opening up an honest conversation around what more can be done promote the role of women, ethnic minorities and LGBT+ within our organisations.
We want to give members the confidence to address these issues with colleagues and management within their respective organisations.
What is the future of diversity in the sector? Our speakers and chairs in this webinar examined and discussed:
CIH Yorkshire and Humberside regional board member, Helen Smith was In Conversation with Mark Pearson, CEO of Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association, and Adele Rae, tenant board member to discuss how they have driven collaboration and tenant voice throughout the organisation and into their recent Corporate Strategy “Together 2023”.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to work differently and adapt to new practices. As we start to look at what comes next, what aspects of our work do we want to take with us and what do we leave behind?
Simon Bernstein explored three key themes:
It’s more important than ever that social housing providers understand the difficulties that residents have experienced in the past or likely to experience in the future. It is in our interest to work with our residents and see what part we can play to make things easier. We want to keep as many of our residents in their homes as possible and want fewer people to be struggling. We heard from Jahanara Rajkoomar, director of community investment, Metropolitan Thames Valley.
In this virtual event for CIH volunteers and regional group members we heard from Gavin Smart, chief executive officer at CIH as he gave an update on the last year including the impact of COVID-19 and his general reflections on where CIH are at now. He shared a glimpse of future plans, as well as thanking you as volunteers for all of your commitment to the profession and membership. Debbie Larner, head of knowledge and products at CIH updated delegates on the CIH professional standards framework and discussed next steps in the project and our initial plans to start rolling this out across the sector, with the support of CIH volunteers.
Aileen Evans, CIH President, joined us to provide an update on her presidential campaign ‘Shine a Light’. She explained that the fundraising efforts have been continuing till been taking place and she raised awareness of the campaign. Aileen also introduced us to the new mental health tool kit for the sector which was recently launched.
We as a professional body are committed to supporting the sector with professional standards, but in particular championing diversity at all levels. This event explored good practice already in existence, but also importantly discussed the challenges for the sector in ensuring we have diversity across our organisations, but also are representative of our communities. In a continuation from our first Building better boards event, Mark Brown, CEO of the Dolphin Index expanded on how boards cannot live by governance alone, exploring how having diversity on boards can drive better decision making, and enable greater success.
Gera Patel, senior consultant at Campbell Tickell brings close to 20 years’ experience of working in and with a wide range of organisations. Now sitting on the consultancy side, Gera provided her insights on how a board’s recruitment and succession planning can be improved, opening themselves up to the wealth of talent available from across the diversity spectrum.
Mushtaq Khan, currently interim CEO at Housing Diversity Network also brought his lived experience of rising to senior roles within the housing sector. Housing Diversity Network are one of the leading organisations that help organisations to be better. We heard his take on where the sector is right now, and what are the practical measures that boards can take to change things for the better, encouraging more diversity at all levels.
Progress Housing Group were one of the first organisations to try and create a board development programme for candidates who perhaps didn’t have direct experience sitting on a board, but aspired to do so. We heard about their programme, the successes it had, but also where there is learning to be had in how programmes like this can be rolled out more widely and ensure that the talent being generated does then result it greater diversity actually being on the boards at the end.
We heard from a fantastic line-up of expert speakers at this inaugural Building better boards Cymru virtual event. We discussed the roles of boards and listened to best practice and how CIH is committed to supporting board members and governance professionals in Wales to overcome the challenges they face. Our speakers debated what the immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis has had on providers, and considered how we can all inspire positive change to develop good governance within organisations long into the future.