Meet our Tenant Advisory Panel.
Valerie Oldfield has been a social housing tenant for 33 years and an active tenant for 18 years. Valerie was voted in as a board member by residents for three consecutive terms, resulting in nine years on the board of her housing association.
Valerie has been active in many tenant involvement activities: a member of the performance review group, repairs group, scrutiny group, resident design group, readers’ panel, and a member and chair of the residents’ forum. Valerie also attends various residents’ focus groups.
Coming from a business, creative and community background, Valerie strongly believes in residents and their housing associations working together, and in the development of the relationship, understanding and services of social housing.
Joseph De-Ville is 44 years old and married with three children. One of his children is 18 and has Autism, while Joseph also has Asperger’s.
Joseph likes all things housing related, and has gained a CIH – Certificate in Housing Practice Level 2, and an open award – Understanding Scrutiny in the Housing Service.
He has lived in four housing association properties with different providers. He has worked on tenant boards, scrutiny panels and design panels. Joseph brings with him a good aptitude for seeing things in new ways, and he is keen to explore ways to make things better.
Reverend James Olanipekun has lived in Poplar since 1991. He was once a member of Tower Hamlets Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, a trustee of Tower Hamlets Street Pastors, Raine’s Foundation Trust, and Christ Apostolic Church. He is also the immediate past vice-chair of Poplar housing and regeneration community association board in East London and is the current chair of one of the estate boards in Poplar Harca stock. Reverend James Olanipekun was a pioneer member of the Housing and Diversity Network London Region steering board.
Reverend James Olanipekun is a trained teacher and an author of six published books on Christian topics. He has been a volunteer pastor for over twenty years for a diverse congregation and was a recipient of the 2015 LBTH Civic Award for Outstanding Services to the community. Reverend James Olanipekun is happily married to Jummy and blessed with children who are also involved in the community positively.
Janet has been a tenant for nearly 11 years and came to social housing late in life, due to the sudden and catastrophic illness of her late husband, who needed 24-hour care when he eventually left hospital. Janet and her husband lost their home and she had to move whilst he was still seriously ill, and gave up her full time work to care for him.
Janet threw herself wholeheartedly into tenant involvement in order to keep her brain ticking over and to learn what it was all about. She has served on many tenant committees, including presently the scrutiny and independent complaints panel. She was also a board member for nine years.
Janet was a county councillor for four years, during which she served on the social services committee, and also the police authority and fire service authority. She is also a hospital volunteer.
Born in Lambeth, London, Joyce trained as a teacher at Redland Teacher Training College. Over the next 40+ years, she taught in Oxfordshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Manchester, returning to Oxfordshire in 1990 to work in schools and a prison for young offenders. Joyce ended her teaching career after 45 years, then working as a consultant for special education for young men in prisons across southern England.
Her work with Sovereign over the last few years has seen her heavily involved in engaging with residents. She helped to form their award winning ‘triangle of engagement’ and is chair of the resident and board partnership.
When she’s not doing this, Joyce loves to read and travel. When she was younger, she enjoyed fell walking and travelled extensively in Australia and New Zealand.
After spending 12 successful years in the armed forces, Ray embarked on a career in distribution and logistics, spending the last 10 years in board-level positions.
He became a sheltered housing tenant in July 2007, and was so impressed by the quality of his living environment that he decided to give something back to his housing association by becoming the tenant rep for his scheme.
In September 2013, Ray became a tenant board member of Liverpool Mutual Homes. During this time he was on a sub-committee that negotiated further refinancing with their lenders. Ray was also on the assets and investment committee.
In September 2016, he became chair of the landlords committee – a position he held until November 2018 – during which time he oversaw some major changes with a view to establishing clear communications channels between tenants, management, and the board.
Kiera has been a member of Preston Community Gateway tenants’ committee since January 2014. She has been involved in social housing for the most part of the last 19 years. She was a director and board member of Moor Nook estate management board for approximately seven years, as well as belonging to many other groups.
She has also been involved in Scrutiny Live, and is a member of the A Voice for Tenants steering group.
As a tenant living in social housing, Kiera is interested in the way that the sector develops and changes, and believe that tenants are an integral part of the whole process, as well as in the management and delivery of the services provided by social housing groups.
Neal Wylde is 50 years old and has lived in rented accommodation for 32 years in both private and social housing.
For the last seven years, Neal has been an involved tenant and has sat on a number of panels within social housing. He was chair of an investigative panel looking to improve poor performing areas and trying to make recommendations that would benefit both tenant and landlord. Neal is passionate about ensuring the needs of tenants with disabilities are always taken into account and are at the heart of housing association decision-making.
Neal prides himself on always trying to play devil's advocate and listen to both sides fairly. He has had work experience in retail and wholesale, the motor industry and transport logistics. In all these trades, Neal has worked up to a managerial level, allowing him to experience all aspects of the job. Neal has a wide variety of interests that help him broaden his view of life. He is happily married with no children.
Sharron is the mother to two grown up children and “granny to my two ‘grandsquids’, as I call them!”.
She took the plunge and decided to get an extra education, so she is now a student social worker studying at Manchester Metropolitan University and she also works for Derbyshire County Council in their library service.
In between studying, Sharron enjoys walking in her local countryside with her friends and her German Shepherd dog, especially when there is a nice beer garden to sit in along the way.
Sharron says she’s also a bit of a geek: “I pretend it’s to keep me current and ‘down with the kids’, but actually I just like playing Playstation games and watching superhero movies.”
Stephen Johnson is 52 and was born and raised in London. He studied at Hammersmith and West London College and Durham University where he obtained a BA Honours Degree in Politics. Stephen previously worked with London's homeless at St. Martin in the Fields. He has lived in social housing since 1994 in Notting Hill and is very active in resident involvement activities such as the Health and Disability Group provided by his landlord. In 2010 Stephen helped set up Local Scrutiny Panels for tenants and leaseholders to scrutinise landlord performance, such as on repairs.
He feels strongly about anti-social behaviour (ASB) and how it is tackled within social housing, as well as how specific groups are affected by ASB and crime. Stephen is active with the Notting Hill Genesis LGBT residents' group and sits on an LGBT police community consultation committee that meets monthly at Kensington Police Station. Stephen also lives with health and disability issues and advocates for adaptations to allow full participation in meetings and other tenant involvement activities.
Sheila is a 63 year-old divorcee, who was born and bred in Derbyshire and is now retired. She lives in a little fishing village in Northumberland called Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. Sheila has three children who are now grown up with children of their own, who live in Derbyshire.
Sheila was educated at a grammar school with further education in between having her children. She has done a variety of jobs, from factory to office work.
In her spare time, she enjoys walking the dog, reading and sleeping.
Daisy Halford is a wife, mother and Rooftop Housing Volunteer, based in Evesham, Worcestershire.
She previously worked with children for nine years before moving into a small customer care team. She is a former residents’ excellence panel member, and has been volunteering with Rooftop for two and a half years.
She has been involved in scrutinising many aspects of housing, including repairs, and aids and adaptations. She spoke at the Together with Tenants summit on 1 May at Millennium Point in Birmingham, and has been to two consultation events on the Social Housing Green Paper. She also engaged with the Housing Minister at the time of the Green Paper. She is hoping to start a CIH Housing Practice course to further her knowledge of social housing.
Camella has been a social housing resident for over 20 years and has been active in tenant/landlord activities for all of those years. She has a professional background in housing management consultancy, research, policy development and community capacity building.
In the 1990s she provided consultancy services to local authorities and housing associations across England on issues which included tenant participation and involvement, housing management, crime reduction and concierge services and estate and neighbourhood regeneration. She lived and worked overseas for ten years providing training and capacity building services to NGOs in the Eastern Caribbean and later across Latin America and the Caribbean on social security policy development.
She holds a BSc in Sociology and Law from Brunel University and M.A in Social Policy and Administration from Goldsmiths College.
I have been involved with various Tenants and Residents Associations for over 38 years. For the past ten years I have been involved with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing in developing a tenant and employee owned housing association based on Cooperative values. Twenty two years ago I was one of the founders of Turf Hill Estate Management Board, where I live, which is still going strong today. At that time we turned around a very unpopular estate and managed to secure £9.2 million improvement grant under estate action funding. Today we are very successful and have become a popular estate where people want to live, but I believe, we can still do much more.
I am Chair of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Representative Body and also chair of the Customer Panel. I am also chair of our Estate Management Board. I am delighted to have been elected to represent Meet the Person on the panel.