Meet your HouseProud Steering Group
Anna Kear - Co-chair
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Anna is CEO of Tonic Housing Association working to create LGBT+ retirement communities. Although new to the HouseProud Committee, Anna has worked closely with HouseProud in her role as Chair of the ‘Housing with Pride’ steering group to actively promote LGBTQ+ residents inclusivity and affirmative action in social housing.
Anna is also Chair of the ‘Building Safe Choices’ action research group working with Stonewall Housing and Opening Doors London. She is a member of the London Housing Panel, working with the GLA on policy changes on equality, diversity and inclusion.
Anna has worked in the social housing sector for over 30 years. Prior to joining Tonic, Anna was Executive Director of UK Cohousing and active in the growing community-led housing movement helping establish new community-led housing hubs across the country.
Jamie Hickling - Co-chair
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Jamie works with WLM (West London Mission) overseeing services in Southwark, Lambeth and Westminster. He leads teams delivering supported housing, low cost housing, winter provision, adult education and community hubs. He has worked in homelessness services for over 20 years and is excited by the role of arts, sport and community to enfranchise people.
Back in 2014-2016, Jamie was the Co-Chair of St. Mungo’s LGBTQ+ network and helped to develop a strategy to think across diversity strands, intersectionality and about coproduction for which Stonewall ‘Network of the Year 2016’ was won as part of the workplace equality index.
Jamie is passionate about lifelong learning opportunities and thinks it is never too late to learn from each other. He has completed study with Birkbeck and Central St Martins in the last 10 years and hopes to keep learning.
Jamie says, “HouseProud has been a real lifeline for me in terms of development opportunities and support networks. I’m pleased to be able to support the work of HouseProud as Co-chair and look forward to strengthening the unity of purpose over the next year.”
Danielle Burke - Administrator
Danielle works in at the Office of the Housing Regulator
Sophie Collinge - Trans Officer
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Sophie has worked for housing associations for over eight years and has a strong commitment to the housing sector and the residents that it assists.
In 2018 Sophie became the first employee in the recently merged Peabody to transition and has since been an active participant in the Peabody LGBT+ Network. Sophie is on the steering group of this committee, representing trans and gender non-conforming employees, and is currently working with the committee to develop a policy for employees intending to transition at work.
Sophie has helped with increasing awareness in the company of trans issues and employees through participation in related information sessions and also by publishing on the company Intranet about the significance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, as well as some personal history of her journey.
Sophie has also been active in regards to trans issues outside of work for many years, attending events and being part of the discussion. Sophie is passionate about the issues and the people that make up the community and she is dedicated to helping spread awareness to improve the lives of trans people.
Kevan Forde - Research Officer
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Kevan was Head of Innovation at Anchor Hanover Housing, a national provider of housing for older people.He is particularly passionate about the housing and care needs of older LGBT people and is leading Hanover’s initiative to make an Extra Care estate in Brighton LGBT affirmative.
Kevan has an MSc in Social Policy and was a magistrate for seven years.
Miles Lanham - Press and Communications
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Miles is Assistant Director of Housing at Octavia, delivering housing management services to 4500 properties across Central London. Octavia is the oldest housing association in the country
Miles established G-Force, the Genesis LGBT Network group in 2010, the Genesis LGBT Residents Forum in 2012, and was a founder of HouseProud in 2014, observing how well the different Housing Associations networked at diversity conferences. Miles was accepted onto the coveted Stonewall Leadership Conference in 2013
He co-chaired HouseProud for two years from its inception and on becoming Communications Officer created the website. Miles was nominated LGBT Diversity Champion of the Year in the 2017 NatWest LGBT Awards.
Miles is also a passionate member of the CIH International Travel Group and travels abroad frequently to share best practice and global housing solutions. Miles's visits have taken him to Copenhagen, Detroit, Mumbai, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and Lille.
Puja Mitra - Events Officer
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Puja is currently D&I Lead of an international children's educational charity based in London, UK. She also is a mentor at New Routes, a charity in Norwich that works with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and their families to support their well-being and ambition. She started her journey in Diversity and Inclusion beginning of 2019 in Clarion Housing Group and played a key role in scaling up the work – from strategic phase to implementation. My area of focus was disability, gender, sexual orientation and race and how to make intersectionality work in the organisation.
She was Event Co-ordinator of LGBTQ+ community in Clarion Housing and Chair of Mosaic Team (Inclusion Group).
Before she began her D&I journey, she was a People consultant in a top management consulting firm doing digital transformation and led HR workstream for clients in two continents; her key area of focus was change management and inclusion.
As a professional she is authentic and have both privilege and lived experiences – Brown woman with access to higher education, have experiences of chronic pain and anxiety. She has leveraged her lived experience to raise awareness and influence leaders, clients and colleagues to be allies on race awareness, endometriosis and mental health in the past.
Puja is passionate about rights and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in global space – especially in the UK and India and how to factor in intersectionality while working on inclusion and representation in workplace. Her aspiration in her new role in House Proud is to ensure leaders in this sector listen and learn from LGBTQ+ colleagues and residents and as next step act to narrow the gap of inequality that exist is society and reflects in the workplace.
Lynne Nicholls - Events Officer
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Lynne Nicholls is a long-standing London housing sector professional, consultant and board member, currently on the board of Watmos Housing Trust
Most recently Lynne headed up Regional Service Charges and Section 20 at Clarion Housing. She also co-chaired Clarion's LGBT+ staff network.
Lynne is a passionate LGBT+ activist, and has chaired the Pink Singers - the longest-running LGBT choir in Europe. She became involved in HouseProud at its inception, taking on a variety of roles, including co-chair and is currently HouseProud’s Events Officer.
Lynne has masterminded the HouseProud London Pride presence over many years, organising a vast number of housing staff and residents from many organisations to march together each year and alongside Pamela Sinnott founded HouseProud's bi-annual conference.
She is passionate about inclusive education and is a trustee for Schools Out and a speaker Diversity Role Models on bisexuality and faith.
Dewbien Plummer - Diversity and Inclusion
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Dewbien is an experienced housing professional with 20 years’ experience in tenancy & leasehold management for local authorities, ALMO’s & G15 registered social providers. In addition, her first home was a council property and many of her family members still live in social housing properties.
Currently Head of Housing Strategy and Improvement at the Royal Borough of Greenwich in south-east London.
As a member of the LGBT+ community; Dewbien identifies as bi/pan sexual; and as a woman of Caribbean descent (black). She's very passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly as it relates to those of us with ‘multiple’ identities and how we can improve the experience of our colleagues and residents.
Throughout her career Dewbien has been involved in the leadership and co-ordination of a number of staff networks including; LGBT, Women’s and the Race Equality Network.
Harriet Proffitt - Young People's Officer
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Harriet has worked in the Social Housing Sector since 2014, she began her career as a Repairs Planner before becoming a Housing Officer for Notting Hill Genesis in 2015. Since May 21 she has started working on the Service Improvement Project as Lead Project Manager for the East Region. Harriet is passionate about residents, ensuring they are treated fairly and with respect. She hopes to continue to help improve customer satisfaction within NHG.
Harriet is excited to work with HouseProud as the Young Persons Officer, she is looking forward to be able to use her own experience coming out within the work place to help other young people with the same struggle.”
Pamela Sinnott - Membership Officer
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Pamela Sinnott is the Commercial Manager for Care and Support at Notting Hill Genesis. Notting Hill Genesis is one of the largest housing associations in London and the south-east, providing homes to over 170,000 people in over 64,000 properties across the capital, home counties and East Anglia. Pamela joined Notting Hill Housing in 2015. Pamela is responsible for leading the commercial development of care and support services for older people, successfully growing the turnover of the department year on year in line with the demand for housing care and support from and increasingly ageing population.
Pamela has a 25 year track record of working in social housing within care and support, prior to working for Notting Hill Housing, Pamela led the commercial development of Metropolitan HA’s care and support directorate for over 8 years, having previously worked for Threshold Housing.
Pamela has a keen interest in diversity and inclusion which has seen her chair a number of successful LGBT staff and resident network groups including HouseProud. She has also worked with colleagues to support an annual International Women’s Day event across social housing in London and several BAME events.
Pamela was the winner of Inclusivity Champion in the Women in Housing Awards 2018
Cressida Stanley-Williams - National Membership Officer
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Cressida has worked as part of the HouseProud committee for seven years now and previously held the position of Co-Chair.
Cressida has an 18 year history in housing operations and works for Housing 21 providing older people’s specialist housing, as a Business Improvement Manager across all areas of operations.
Cressida is passionate about LGBT+ and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She helped to establish, and co-chaired LGBT+ staff networks in previous organisations, alongside supporting resident LGBT+ network groups. What HouseProud achieves and how we can support LGBT+ housing professionals never fails to amaze her!
Her focus is on continuing to have maximum impact in making the voice of LGBT+ colleagues heard as widely as possible within the sector.
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