Board and Patrons

Gavin Cansfield

Gavin Cansfield (Chair)

Gavin has almost 30 years experience working in housing; developing and delivering support services for homeless people; general needs housing, specialist housing for older people and inner city regeneration. During that time he has worked for Tower Hamlets Homes, Hanover, Southern Housing Group and what is now Midland Heart. Gavin has a strong commitment to housing, its ability to transform people’s lives and provide a platform from which people can achieve their potential. He joined Settle formerly North Hertfordshire Homes in May this year as the CEO to oversee its housing across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and the successful market sales subsidiary, Rowan Homes.

Babu Bhattacherjee (Treasurer)

Babu Bhattacherjee has worked in the community regeneration field for over 20 years and currently manages the communities and neighbourhoods service for Poplar HARCA. His current initiatives include delivering a neighbourhood level community budget and building a world class youth centre.

Nick Atkin

Nick is Chief Executive at Halton Housing and a driving force for digital innovation in housing.  Nick has been fully paperless for the last 14 years and has driven through a fully flexible/ remote working approach across his business. He has led the drive for 90% of Trust customers to be accessing services online by 2018,  and for the last three consecutive years the Trust has been the most digitally connected organisation in the Visceral Business Connected Housing Index.

He been is included in the top 25 most influential people in housing, and  speaks, writes, blogs and tweets incessantly on housing issues and innovation in particular (@nickatkin_hht).

Jules Bickers

Jules leads the national Housing Consultancy team at Capita GL Hearn focussing on affordable housing providers, local authorities and developers across the UK helping to accelerate the delivery of new homes and new communities.

Jules joined Capita as Director of Housing in 2014 after seven years in consultancy. He is a former Managing Director of the Circle Housing Group (now Clarion) and has over 20 years housing sector experience across large and small Registered Providers, local authorities, sub-regional groups, private developers and voluntary organisations and hostels.

Matthew Gardiner

Matthew is currently on secondment from Trafford Housing Trust as L&Q Head of Ideation, examining how global trends provide pointers for where the social housing sector needs to be, in what is now a rapidly changing world.  He divides his time between London and the NW – where he's doing some “Smart Cities” work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.  Matthew has worked in social housing since the late 1970s – in London until 1988, then Liverpool and for the last 15 years in Greater Manchester. 

 Samantha Hyde

Samantha has worked for and advised some of the highest profile brands in the UK, such as Comic Relief, Channel 4, the Ministry of Sound and TalkTalk on topics ranging from corporate social responsibility, talent management or special projects relating to wider business plan delivery.

Samantha has held exciting roles such as that at Save the Children where she was Director of the UK Programme and CEO of the Camelot Foundation where she was responsible for the delivery of high impact grants to some of the most marginalised communities in the UK. Samantha recently returned full time to her role as Director of a management consultancy based in the UK, Square the Circle.

Samantha is a Group Board member for London and Quadrant andwas co-opted on to the board in May 2014 and fully appointed to the Group Board in September 2014.

Davida Johnson 

Davida has extensive experience in Petrochemicals with executive expertise in marketing and strategy development. Having recently completed a Chartered Director certification she is now focused on adding value and an independent perspective within Non Executive director roles in the Voluntary sector.

 Suzanne Rastrick

Suzanne is currently Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) for NHS England and principle advisor to HM Government on allied health professional (AHP) matters. She trained as an Occupational Therapist and subsequently held executive posts in the NHS including as Director of Nursing and Chief Executive. Since 1993 Suzanne has held Non-Executive roles in the commercial and not-for-profit housing sector, including as Audit Committee chair on four occasions. She has been actively involved in the due diligence processes during two mergers of housing association entities. She has a particular interest in the wider Public Health impact of social housing and the contribution it makes to social value.

Jitinder Thakar

Jitinder is the CEO for a small and dynamic HA called Local Space Ltd based in East London working in innovative partnerships to provide housing to those in greatest need. With a background in property development spanning over 20 years she brings a commercial approach to her work. Jitinder also provides considerable non-executive knowledge with wide experience of the housing sector and also having served as the Deputy Chair of a Local Enterprise Partnership.

Our Patrons

Dr john Sentamu

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu is the Archbishop of York, president of the YMCA and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He was Adviser to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Inquiry and chaired the Damilola Taylor Murder Review.

Lord Best

Lord Best is President of the Local Government Association and Chair of Hanover Housing Association. He is active in the House of Lords and was Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation until his retirement.