Phoenix tenant Anne McGurk elected new Board Chair

Updated: 30 September 2016 at 07:54am

We are very pleased to announce the election of Anne McGurk as our new Board Chair.

Anne becomes our second tenant Chair since our creation in 2007 as London’s first resident-led community gateway housing association. She was unanimously elected to the role at a meeting of the Phoenix Board last night (Thursday 29 September). Carmen Simpson, also a Phoenix tenant, was elected to the role of Vice Chair.

Anne succeeds Pat Fordham MBE, who has stood down from the role after nine years but who will remain a Board Member over the coming 12 months. Pat was presented with flowers and given a standing ovation by fellow Board Members.

A former primary school headteacher, Anne has been actively involved at Phoenix over a number of years, most recently as our Vice Chair.

She said: “It’s an enormous privilege to take the helm of an organisation that’s striving to change our community for the better through the involvement of its residents.

“I’m determined to work together with fellow Board Members and the senior management team to build on Pat’s legacy. This is far from an easy climate for housing associations, but there are exciting times ahead for Phoenix, with our restoration of the Fellowship Inn to a new community venue, our development of new homes across south Lewisham, and our ongoing efforts to regenerate our area and improve people’s lives.

“I hope through my example, and the combined will of everyone involved with Phoenix, that more social landlords across the country will be encouraged to involve their residents in all that they do. And I hope more will recognise that truly positive change only really happens when communities work together.”

Under our rules both Chair and Vice Chair of the Board must be tenants. Residents form the largest group on our Board and there are wide ranging involvement opportunities, covering everything from communications to scrutiny.

Our Chief Executive, Jim Ripley, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Pat Fordham over the last nine years. Under her stewardship, Phoenix has become a thriving housing association in sound financial health and with a growing national reputation.

“I’ve always seen resident leadership and involvement as our core strength, and I’m so pleased that our Chair and Vice Chair remain Phoenix tenants.

“I’d like to congratulate Anne on her election, and  I’m hugely looking forward to working with her on building on our successes, and to the next stage of our journey.”

Find out more about our Board.