North West member groups

Find out how you can get involved with member groups in the North West.

If you have any questions about our groups, contact our External Affairs Manager (North West):

North West Chief Executives’ Forum

This group is open to all housing association chief executives in the region, and acts as a place where chief executives can share information, challenges and expertise on the issues that matter to them.  This group is chaired by Ian Munro and meets every quarter.

Interest groups

Asset Management Group

The aim of the group is to share best practice, network and discuss current asset management issues.

Topics discussed include:

  • asset management strategies
  • environmental strategies
  • fire safety
  • beyond decent homes
  • managing budgets
  • supply chain partnerships
  • regulation.

Chair: Rob Collier, One Manchester

Community Housing Associations North West

The group consists of senior officers of smaller housing associations. The meetings are structured to include many relevant topics for discussion and often there is a speaker. The group work together in respect of procuring training for staff, benchmarking; and conference facilitation, eg governance with board members, tenants and residents, staff.

The group work to a business plan which they have produced and set goals to achieve.

Chair: Phil Earl, Forum Housing Association

Development Strategic Group

The Development Strategic Group provides an opportunity for developing housing associations to discuss development issues at a strategic level.

The group informs the Federation on lobbying work, ensuring that we are able to represent your interests effectively.

Meetings include presentations from key partners and offer the opportunity for Chatham House discussions focussing on the key issues affecting the provision of new homes, current market conditions and national and local approaches to addressing them.

Chair: Robbie Mannion, FCHO

Finance Forum

The aims of the forum are to:

  • discuss the latest strategic financial and technical accounting issues
  • share ideas and experiences on relevant issues
  • canvass views from members and feedback to the National Housing Federation and our regulators
  • provide support and advice.

The meetings provide the opportunity to informally discuss key issues and concerns with colleagues, forming networks that can be useful throughout the year. Speakers have presented on issues as diverse as business planning, the new SORP, financial inclusion and the credit crunch. The Federation and Homes and Communities Agency representatives also attend regularly to provide topical updates.

Chair: Michelle Allott, Together Housing Trust

Health and Wellbeing Group

The forum represents providers working in partnership with colleagues locally, to achieve a shared approach to the planning and delivery of supported housing services across the North West.

The group provides information and shares good practice amongst associations and other providers. The meetings include opportunities to hear from speakers on national and local topics, opportunities for consultation, and for sharing intelligence and good practice.

Chair: Donna Kelly, Onward Homes 

Health and Safety Group

The Health and Safety Group meets bi-monthly at the National Housing Federation’s Manchester office. The programme is intended to make it easy for people with busy schedules to drop in or out as they are able.

Chair: Carl Dennis, The Guinness Partnership

Housing Management / Welfare Reform Group

The North West Housing Management / Welfare Reform Group meets on a quarterly basis at locations across the North West and has a temporary focus on welfare reform.

The purpose of the group is to:

  • share best practice across the North West  
  • benchmark key performance indicators
  • have guest speakers on a range of topics, based on the theme of the meeting.

Typical agenda items are:

  • mitigating the impact of welfare reform
  • customer service excellence
  • allocations and Choice Based Lettings
  • tenancy sustainment and tenant profiling
  • the wider Anti-Social Behaviour agenda.

Chair: David Loveday, Arcon, Justin Freeman, City West

Human Resources Forum

The Human Resources Forum in the North West meets on a quarterly basis, holding the meetings in a variety of locations, discussing relevant HR issues.

This includes sharing best practice, guest speakers on current hot topics and benchmarking key information.

Chair: Marie Wild, MWA People Solutions

IT Forum

The IT Forum meets every quarter at member sites across the North West. The forum provides an excellent opportunity for people responsible for IT.

Third party suppliers are often invited to give presentations on subjects of mutual interest. It is strategic, rather than technical, in nature. It also provides a channel to influence policy and decision making on ICT related issues within the Federation and the HCA and to receive feedback from those bodies.

Chair: Colin Arnold, Wirral Partnership Homes

Communications Network

The PR network meets quarterly and provides an opportunity for those with responsibility for PR and communications to come together, share ideas and learn from one another. The meetings usually have a guest speaker discussing a specific topic such as social media, PR in a crisis, use of websites etc.

The network is also kept up to date with media opportunities and latest news through the email group.

Chair: Caroline King, Helena Partnerships and Susan Fox, The Regenda Group

Federation contact: John Pierce

Social Impact Group

The aim of the group is to share best practice, network and discuss current issues relating to corporate social responsibility.

Topics discussed include:

  • Social accounting
  • Social enterprise
  • Staff volunteering
  • Sustaining communities
  • Organisational approach to green issues

Chair: David Hoyle, New Charter Housing Trust 

Other groups

Merseyside/Lancashire Financial Inclusion Forums

These groups provide a forum where practitioners can share which best practice ideas / suggestions that housing associations can incorporate into their practices to tackle financial exclusion amongst their tenants. They collate information to improve working practices, including benchmarking statistics of KPIs of participating members, introduce key speakers to the housing associations who provide training to their staff and tenants, financial literacy for tenants, and understand what other organisations such as Credit Union, CDFIs and the Federation / CIH can offer their tenants.

Merseyside Chair: Paula Skinner, Lancashire Council

Lancashire Chair: Paul Bayes, Greenvale Homes

RING North West

RING NW is an informal, mutual support networking group. It was formed early in 2005 by a small group of involvement officers, looking to share good practice and knowledge.

RING NW welcomes new member from across the North West (Carlisle to Stoke, Liverpool to Burnley).

Membership is open to any Registered Provider in the North West for a small subscription of up to £50 per annum (this covers meeting costs, guest speakers and incidental costs).

Members can access each other by email or share/view information posted on our online forum via zetaboard.

We hold quarterly “themed” meetings in January, April, July and October. Meetings are spread across the area meeting in Crewe, Manchester & Wirral.

For more information please contact the chair: Lynn Cullen, Bolton at Home.