The Board

Use the links below to find out more about our resident-led Board, what it's like to be a resident Board Member and details of our current Board Members.

About our Board

Our Board is made up of:

  • six residents
  • two Lewisham Council representatives
  • four independent members.

Our Chair and Vice Chair are both Phoenix tenants. 

The Board plays a comprehensive role in managing and scrutinising Phoenix, as well as setting our direction. The role is supplemented by Audit, Development and Human Resources and Remuneration sub-committees.

The Board members carry out a rigorous appraisal process and self-assessment of their effectiveness annually.

Board meetings

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings. However, space is limited and we ask that you contact us in advance.

To find out when the next meeting is, please contact us

See our latest Board Papers

Being a Phoenix Board Member

We are proud to be a community gateway housing association. This means our Chair and Vice Chair are both Phoenix tenants, and residents are the largest group on our Board.

We hope the following information is useful to you if you are thinking of applying to our Board now or in the future. 

Why join our Board?

We are always keen to hear from people interested in joining our Board. You can be from any background. All we ask is that you are committed to helping us deliver our vision of working together to build a better future for our Phoenix community.

Becoming a Board Member is an opportunity to take an active role in overseeing how Phoenix is run, deciding how we spend our money, and setting our plans for the future.

You will be helping to improve the lives, homes and communities of thousands of residents in the Phoenix area.

Our Board is unusual in that tenants and leaseholders from the largest group. This reflects our commitment to put residents at the heart of everything we do through our community gateway model.

Resident shareholders vote to elect the resident members of our Board.

A chance to develop

Joining the Board is also an opportunity for personal development. As a Board Member you can gain a wide range of new skills, whether it's budget monitoring or working as part of a team. You will be offered an extensive programme of training to equip you with the information you need to direct the work of Phoenix.

There is a full induction programme for all new Board Members. You will also receive IT support.

How our Board operates

The Phoenix Board is made up of resident representatives, independent members and council nominees.

All Board members share collective responsibility for decisions taken by the Board and seek to work together in a professional and amicable way.

The role of the Board is to provide managerial oversight of Phoenix and to direct its managers and staff to ensure we achieve our aims and objectives.

As a Board member, you will have a key role in determining the future direction of services delivered to thousands of residents. This includes:

  • defining Phoenix’s aims and objectives and ensuring it meets them
  • establishing policies and plans for our future development
  • approving budgets, accounts and business plans
  • defining the levels and standards of service to residents
  • monitoring the performance and financial control of the organisation as a whole
  • appointing and appraising the performance of the Chief Executive and other senior managers
  • satisfying yourself that our affairs are conducted lawfully and in accordance with normal standards of performance and propriety.

Full details of the powers of the Board are set out in our Rules of the Association, which are available on request.

What is expected of you?

It is important that the Board works together as a team and that all members participate. It is also important that there is trust between Board Members and the Executive Team.

Board Members’ obligations include upholding Phoenix’s values and objectives, setting and upholding our core policies, contributing to and sharing responsibility for the Board’s decisions, attending appropriate meetings and representing Phoenix to the outside world.

Board members are expected to:

  • declare any conflicts of interest which may face them
  • respect the confidentiality of any information they are given
  • uphold the Code of Governance recommended by the National Housing Federation.


The Phoenix strengths define how we behave and interact with each other, our partners and our customers. We expect our Board Members to demonstrate the Phoenix strengths as well as our staff.

The Phoenix strengths are:

  • Community
  • Customer
  • Consideration
  • Collaboration

Our Board commitments

Board Members will have to make a number of commitments to Phoenix’s work.

These include:

  • Board meetings: The Board meets every other month, usually on the last Thursday of the month. Board meetings take place in the evening.
  • Sub-committee meetings – these take place regularly and cover particular areas of the Phoenix’s business, principally finance/audit, human resources & remuneration and development. We would expect each Board member to volunteer to be a member of at least one sub-committee relevant to his or her experience.
  • Representing the organisation at meetings with other bodies, at conferences and seminars and in meetings with residents.

We estimate that all Board Members will need to devote at least six hours a month to the role. Additional time will depend on what else you may wish to take part in.

You will receive a full Board Induction programme developed to meet your individual needs.

Declarations of Interest

In carrying out their responsibilities, Board Members need to be alive to potential conflicts of interest, which must be declared.

There are strict rules against any Board Member using their position for personal gain or benefit, or the gain or benefit of a family member, spouse or partner.

If you have this kind of connection with someone who is likely to want to do business with Phoenix, we would advise you against becoming a Board Member.


Service on the Board is voluntary and unpaid, although the Board can agree to pay members reasonable expenses in carrying out the organisation’s business.

Equality and diversity

The Phoenix area has a diverse, vibrant and strong community which we aim to promote and support. We will seek to ensure that the Board is fully representative of the local communities it serves, and will ensure that all members have a range of skills, up-to-date information and experience to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.

We positively encourage applicants from young people and from black and minority ethnic groups.


Residents of Phoenix who stand for election to the Board are expected to be of good standing.

That means you should:

  • be a full shareholder
  • have evidence of involvement in Phoenix. That could be attendance at our Community Links gatherings, or being involved in working groups.

You should not:

  • be willfully withholding rent or service charge payments from Phoenix
  • have any antisocial behaviour actions outstanding against you.

Full details of our eligibility criteria are available on request.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us.

Our Board Members

Anne McGurk
"I believe we all have a duty to do what we can, when we can, to promote the right of everyone to be able to contribute to society and share in life’s good things. I look forward to working with the Board, officers and residents to that end."

Anne was elected Chair of Phoenix in September 2016. She has spent almost all of her working life in the education sector in Lewisham after studying Art and Literature at college, and she has kept an active interest in all aspects of the arts throughout her life. Anne is now retired but was, for many years, the headteacher of a local primary school and consequently has extensive experience of working with local authorities, managing staff and overseeing budgets. Anne was a member of her own Local Area Panel for four years, a member of the former Phoenix Residents Group (PRG) for three years and Chair of PRG for the year 2012-13.

Carmen Simpson
Vice Chair
“I spent my working life putting residents at the heart of decision making. I look forward to doing the same on the Phoenix Board.”

Carmen became a Board Member in May 2016 and was elected Vice Chair in September 2016. Carmen became involved in Phoenix after years of experience in resident involvement and housing management in Lewisham and Southwark, and she is passionate after ensuring all residents have the opportunity to have a say on issues that impact on their lives.

Alan Hall
Council nominee member
"Phoenix considers housing in the broadest terms - housing, education, health and well-being – improving the lives of those in the local community."

Alan Hall is an experienced local authority member and is currently serving as a Labour councillor for Bellingham. He has had many roles on Lewisham Council and is Leader of Labour’s Non-Executive Councillors. He is also Chair of the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee. He has a keen interest in housing, having previously been Chair of Lewisham's Housing Committee. He has worked in the NHS in Lewisham ensuring that the patient's voice is heard and representing the public interest as Chair of Lewisham Community Health Council. Alan is a member of the Green Man and Development Committees.

Jonathan Slater
Council nominee member
"Phoenix considers housing in the broadest terms - housing, education, health and well-being – improving the lives of those in the local community."

Jonathan Slater is a local authority member and is currently serving as a Labour councillor for Whitefoot. He is Lewisham’s Mental Health Champion, as well as Chair of the Audit Panel. He has a keen interest in housing, where he is currently a member Lewisham's Housing Scrutiny Committee. As a Committee member he argued for selective licensing of private landlords by Lewisham Council that is coming into effect this year. Jonathan finally works at the London Voluntary Service Council that represents and supports all of London’s 60,000 charities and social enterprises, where he is their Employment and Skills Policy & Project Manager.

Andrew Harmer
Independent member
"I have deep roots in the Phoenix area and I am delighted to be working with local residents to improve housing conditions for all concerned."

Andrew is an independent member who joined the Board in October 2008. He qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and has lived and worked locally for almost 20 years. He is now a partner in a substantial firm of solicitors based in Bromley and he is head of their Housing Management Department, specialising in housing litigation. He is also a Deputy District Judge and a member of the Law Society's Housing Law Committee. Andrew is Chair of the HR & Remuneration Committee.

Jamie Carswell
Independent member
"I believe that great landlords can really make a difference to people’s lives. Living locally, I can see the great work that is underway here at Phoenix. It’s tough right now for every housing landlord in London, and I hope that I can use my knowledge and experience to help the Board to do good things in hard times."

Jamie Carswell is an independent member and sits on the HR and Remuneration sub-committee. He is also the lead board member for customer services and leaseholders. Jamie has worked in social housing for the last 15 years, most recently as a housing director in Tower Hamlets where he was responsible for a large capital programme and improving services for vulnerable residents and leaseholders. He has also been a local councillor in east London and understands the importance of working closely with local authorities to achieve things.

Mark Gayfer
Mark Gayfer
Independent member
“I am proud to be part of the work that Phoenix is doing to improve the opportunities and housing conditions for its residents, provide more much needed affordable housing in Lewisham and generally improving the environment in the borough.”

Mark is a chartered accountant and has over 20 years’ experience working at a senior level in social housing, most recently as Finance Director at Octavia Housing based in North Kensington. He is an independent member of the Board and chairs the Audit Committee. He is married with three children, went to school in Lewisham and has lived in the borough for more than 30 years.

Stephen Howlett
Independent member
"I have lived and worked in Lewisham, managing many new build and refurbishment projects within the borough. I am committed to providing quality housing with good customer service for Phoenix residents. I have therefore joined the Board with this in mind and hopefully will share some of the lessons I learnt over my 17 years as a housing professional."

Stephen joined the Board in July 2012. He has 17 years London-based housing association experience in development and regeneration, most recently as Senior Regeneration Manager at Network Housing Group, leading a team at Stockwell Park. He is Co-Chair of the Development Committee and a member of the Green Man Committee.

Donna Hughes
Donna Hughes
Leaseholder Board Member
“I relish the opportunity to deliver the underlying ethos of Phoenix Community Housing; the empowerment of our residents.”

Donna joined the Board in September 2017. Donna is a proud resident of Phoenix Community Housing, a leaseholder, who is committed to achieving the vision to work together to build a better future for our community. She has been involved in supporting both young and older adults through numerous volunteering initiatives. Donna has also been a regular attendee at our Home Ownership Evenings. She brings experience in Finance, Contract Management and Business Development, from her working life. On the Board, she is hoping to further enhance the satisfaction and services available to all residents.

Gail Nicholas
Gail Nicholas
Tenant Member
“I want to help to take Phoenix Community Housing into the next decade. I want us to continue to value all of our residents and staff, so that together we can continue to make Phoenix a housing association we are proud of.”

Gail joined the Board in September 2017. Gail is a tenant who is passionate about Phoenix and all that it has achieved. She is keen to build on that success and ensure that residents remain at the very heart of everything we do. She has helped to build a Parent Teacher Association from scratch and been a school Governor. Gail has been actively involved in Phoenix for several years, most recently on the Residents Communications Group and the Phoenix Gateway Committee, and now on the Board.

Michael Boniface
Tenant Member
“I care passionately about the environment and community. I want to ensure everyone's best interests are looked after. That is why I joined the Board”

Michael joined the Board in February 2016. Michael is also a member of our Phoenix Gateway Committee and is an active member of the Resident Communications Group. Michael has been involved in Phoenix since the beginning. He was actively involved in his own area and was a member of the Phoenix Residents Group (forerunner of the Phoenix Gateway Committee). Michael cares passionately about the environment and the community.