From education to employment

Communities That Work Announces Board Changes


Communities that Work (CtW), the national body for housing and employment in England has announced new appointments and changes to its board of directors. 

Debra Scarratt, group employment services manager at Abri Group, has been appointed vice chair, following Julie Haywood’s retirement from whg in the summer. Julie, who is also a non-executive director at Adullam Homes Housing Association has been a board member at Communities that Work for over nine years, holding the post of vice chair for four years. In her new role, Debra will be responsible for oversight of the board with the chair and treasurer, and will sit on the board executive committee deputising for the chair.

Communities that Work also welcomes Sandra Coleing, assistant chief executive of Stockport Homes, who has been appointed director. She will join Rob Bowley and Jo Pownall – who have taken on new board roles. Rob is head of business development at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing and is now Treasurer. Jo has moved into a new role as employment and training development manager at Clarion Housing Group and retains her role on the board, with Clarion.

Communities that Work has a membership of over 100 housing organisations who own and manage over 1.6 million homes across England. 

Lynsey Sweeney, Chief Executive at Communities that Work, said:

“We are thrilled to be announcing our recent board news  and would like to take the opportunity to thank Julie Haywood for everything she has done for Communities that Work and our members over the last decade.

“We extend a warm welcome to Sandra, who has joined us from Stockport Homes. There is no doubt the next year will bring unprecedented challenges to our members and the communities they represent. With the rising cost of living and the inflation increase, it is going to be more important than ever to help people secure sustainable employment. Together as a board, we will continue to drive this forward and bring more opportunities to the communities that need it the most”.

Speaking of her move to vice chair, Debra Scarratt said:

The turbulent economic climate and the cost of living has forced many of our communities into difficult situations. More and more people are finding it difficult to secure employment and a lack of available skills training has become a greater barrier to securing meaningful, long-term employment.

“The services we offer at Communities that Work have never been more important. We will continue to represent community voices, push for more employment opportunities and the chance to create a better quality of life. I am extremely proud of the work we do at Communities that Work and I am looking forward to working with fellow members of the board to make this happen.”

Information on further Board vacancies will be shared the Communities that Work AGM on 15 November.

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