Photo of Phoenix Community Housing's annual general meeting at the Fellowship and Star in Bellingham

New resident leaders step up at Phoenix

Updated: 17 September 2019 at 10:51am

A new generation of resident Board Members was elected at one of the UK’s biggest meetings for tenant involvement and leadership.

Simon Barlow and Simone George were elected to serve as Board Members of Phoenix Community Housing at our annual general meeting (AGM), while serving Vice Chair Carmen Simpson was re-elected.

Simon and Simone are both past graduates of our school of social housing, the Phoenix Academy. Simon has also served on our Resident Scrutiny Panel.

Simon said: "As a Phoenix resident for almost the entire life of the organisation, I’ve seen the area and our homes change for the better. I decided when I saw the vacancy for the Board that I wanted to ensure the uniqueness of Phoenix and its approach to supporting the community continues. I wanted to play an active part in this as this will only continue if we all play our part."

Residents make up the largest group on our Board, while both the Chair and Vice Chair positions have to be held by tenants.

From left to right: Simone George being awarded her Chartered Institute of Housing-accredited Level 1 Phoenix Academy certificate by then-CIH president Alison Inman, Carmen Simpson, Simon Barlow.

More than 80 residents who are shareholding members of Phoenix Community Housing joined us to approve the minutes of last year’s meeting, accept the annual report and approve the financial statements.

Cllr Paul Bell, London Borough of Lewisham Cabinet Member for Housing, officially opened the AGM and spoke on the importance of social housing. Alison Inman, former President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, was the principal guest speaker and Cllr Jonathan Slater, Lewisham Cabinet Member for the Community Sector, spoke about the work the council is doing including on sustainability.

Residents also had an opportunity to ask questions of our Executives – which ranged from repairs to estate walkabouts from our housing management teams. The AGM was held for the first time in the historic pub that Phoenix restored, The Fellowship and Star.

Anne McMahon, a Phoenix resident, said: “I really enjoyed my first AGM, it was a really friendly atmosphere and very nice to meet some staff!”

Jim Ripley, Chief Executive of Phoenix Community Housing, said: “This is Phoenix’s 12th annual general meeting and every year I’m so proud to see a packed room of residents engaging in our resident-led model. Each year people show they care about their AGM and each year they challenge us. I promise we’ll go away, think about what our residents have said, and work together to build a better community and do more.”

We run consultations events throughout the year, with our summer Chat & Chips evenings proving as popular as ever drawing in nearly 400 residents. Our next major consultation event is the Christmas Community Links on Saturday 7 December.