Who we are

We’re a locally governed and managed housing association with ambitious plans.

Company structure

We’ve established three wholly owned subsidiary companies to support our growth. You can find out more information on each subsidiary company below.

 

Meet the group

Our subsidiary companies

Myriad Capital PLC

This is the Group’s financing vehicle that was formed for the purpose of securing funding to deliver on our housing development objectives. It was established in 2013 with the issue of a £200m bond to CHP.

Myriad Housing Ltd

Myriad Housing lets and manages housing development contracts on behalf of CHP for social and affordable rent, submarket rent, and a small number of homes for market sale.

Myriad Homes Ltd

Myriad Homes was established to progress profit-making commercial opportunities for re-investment into CHP's core activities. This is achieved by working with a variety of land agents, architects, contractors, consultants and investors to secure appropriate house building opportunities. These include:

  • utilising CHP land bank opportunities for infill or redevelopment;
  • acquiring market sites with or without planning permission;
  • progressing joint ventures with CHP to deliver mixed tenure housing schemes. 

Myriad Homes aims to deliver cost effective construction solutions through efficient procurement as well as optimise sales through high-quality design and marketing.

Board members

Our Board members have overall responsibility for setting our strategic corporate objectives and monitoring performance against them. They’re also responsible for overseeing the management of our finances and resources and how we deliver our services.

 

Meet the board

Our current Board Directors are:

Nicola Sawford - Chair

Nicola Sawford Nicola is a portfolio non-executive director with over 30 years of business experience. She is a qualified chartered accountant, and her senior executive experience covers all operational areas and a wide variety of organisational structures and sectors. These include professional services, telecommunications, retail, media, financial services, regulation and charities.

As well as chair at CHP, she is chair at Milton Keynes Development Partnership, a board member of the Bar Standards Board and trustee of the charities Changing Faces and The Access to Justice Foundation. She’s also a member of the Managing Partners Forum advisory board and an advisor to Legl.

In her executive career, she spent 12 years as Chief Executive at Serle Court, a leading barristers’ chambers driving significant growth. Prior to this, having completed her training at Price Waterhouse, she worked in a variety of financial, commercial and analytical roles at BhS, the BBC, The Stock Exchange, BrokerTec, Vesta and Affinity Internet Holdings.

Neil Fisher - Vice Chair

Neil Fisher Neil has been a qualified accountant since 1995. He is finance director for Breyer Group PLC – a contractor, based in Romford, serving the local authority and housing association sectors– with a turnover of £70m and around 300 employees.

Neil is responsible for financial and management accounts, strategic planning as well as asset and treasury management.

Neil has extensive experience in development and property, particularly house building, having worked with Beazer Homes, Hills Building Group and the Thomas Bates Group over the years.

Stephen Bennett DL

Stephen Bennett DL Stephen is a Fellow and former UK President of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and has experience of working in both commercial and academic organisations.

In his role as Secretary and Clerk at Anglia Ruskin University, where he worked for 23 years, he delivered more than £200m of new development in Cambridge, Harlow, Chelmsford, Peterborough and Colchester.

He was Chair of the Bridge Academy Trust based in Chelmsford and Ongar, is chair of the finance committee at Chelmsford Cathedral and sits on Writtle University College’s audit committee.

Formerly he was a member of the Law Society Governance Review Group, Secretary of the Association of Universities in the East of England and a director of Essex Business Link. He was also a member of the Essex County Council Education Committee and a local government remuneration adviser.

Stephen has had a varied career across management and academic posts in education, utilities and development.

As a member of the executive team at Anglia Ruskin his personal responsibilities encompassed governance and legal, estates and facilities management, security, including anti-terrorism, risk management and business recovery planning.

In 1995 Stephen was made a Freeman of the City of London and in 2017 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex.

Rosemary Braithwaite

Rosemary Braithwaite Rosemary is financial controller at Highways England and joined the CHP board in 2013. She is a chartered accountant who trained with the National Audit Office and has a wealth of experience in public sector and charity accounting as well as risk management.

For 13 years she worked in Land Registry, the Government trading body which deals with the registration of property ownership in England and Wales. Rosemary subsequently moved to the Valuation Agency, an executive arm of HM Customs and Revenue, providing property valuations and advice to support taxation and benefits.

Rosemary’s skills lie in developing and implementing financial strategies, leading financial operational delivery for companies, negotiating funding and service level agreements and improving risk management.

Peter Cogan

Peter Cogan Peter’s experience lies in customer relations in key service industries in the UK, Ireland and abroad.

Customers have always been at the heart of his career, with early experience in telebusiness with Coca Cola and with Schweppes.

His expertise is in identifying customer needs and implementing strategies to deliver them. Whether that’s in banking, where he was a Director of Transactional Banking for Barclays, or at Thames Water Utilities, where he was Retail Customer Operations Director. 

From 2001-2008 Peter worked for 3, the mobile telecommunications company, establishing contact centres for customers before undertaking the role of Head of Customer Service, reporting directly to the MD of 3 Ireland.

During his time within the banking sector, Peter developed his customer service profile as Head of Online Banking & Local Business (offshore) with Barclays, before undertaking the role of Banking Director, based in Mumbai.

Following his time at Thames Water Utilities, Peter took on the role of Chief Operating Officer for Just Energy (UK), where he had responsibility for the operational running of the UK business and future growth strategy.

Peter’s current role is Executive Director of Customer Service at RHP Group.

Paul Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer

Paul Edwards Paul joined us in February 2016 as Director of Resources and became Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Paul is responsible for Finance, Treasury, Governance and Assurance, and the Procurement teams.

With over 20 years in the housing sector, Paul has a wealth of experience. He spent six years as Director of Resources at Havebury Housing Partnership and nine years prior to that as Director of Treasury Services at Swan Housing Group. He has also previously served as a non-executive director at Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust and Circle 33 Housing and is currently a Board member at Local Space.

Paul is a member of the National Housing Federation’s Financial Policy Advisory Group (FPAG) and a member of the SORP working party, which is responsible for setting the accounting standards for the sector.

Since joining us, Paul has successfully refinanced the organisation and led on the RSH regulatory engagement processes. He has also been instrumental in the maintenance of our ‘A-’ credit rating from S&P.

Mary Gibbons, Chief Executive

Mary Gibbons Mary has led CHP as Chief Executive since August 2018, having previously been the CEO at Hundred Houses Society and an Executive Director at Swan Housing Association.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director at HACT and an Advisory Board Member with Essex Business School.

Having studied Housing Management and Development at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Mary holds an MBA from the University of Essex and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Mary’s passion lies in building more homes, making sure CHP’s existing homes are safe and warm, and delighting customers. She’s committed to ensuring customers’ priorities are met by our people and that we provide them with a great experience that’s dedicated to their needs.

Fred Goymour

Fred Goymour Fred has had a long and successful career in the banking sector, where he specialised in social housing finance. Since his retirement, he has continued to develop his knowledge of the housing sector.

In addition to his extensive experience in banking, Fred has also worked with a major land and property company, a charitable housing and social enterprise group. He is currently an associate consultant with a partnership working across housing, charity and education, where he provides specialist editorial and strategic input on social housing finance and treasury-related issues.

Throughout his work with housing associations, Fred has been keenly aware that customers’ interests are paramount in any financing partnership, and these remain at the core of his current consultancy and board duties. Attending scheme openings (pre-pandemic) and being able to talk to customers, employees and others involved has given him first-hand experience of customer relationships, and wider non-financial issues, in the housing sector.

Outside of work, Fred is a keen musician and plays bass guitar in an Americana cover band. Reading, golf, fishing and birdwatching take up his other free time.

Sarah Jones

Sarah qualified as an accountant in 1998 and has held a variety of senior finance roles in PLCs and private equity backed businesses before joining the housing association sector in 2014.

In her current role as CFO on the board of Anchor Hanover Group, an operator of social housing and care homes for older people, Sarah has experience of working in a complex organisation regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing and the Care Quality Commission. Sarah has also held the role of Company Secretary in a number of organisations.

With extensive experience of working with Boards and Committees in a financial capacity, Sarah brings a wealth of experience to CHP and to its Group Board, including high standards of governance and financial viability, and development of corporate strategy and risk and assurance frameworks.

Rooted in Epping, Essex, with her partner and two sons, Sarah cites drama, music and gardening amongst her interests. Sarah is a Trustee of Arthritis Action and Vice Chair of Governors at Roding Valley High School.

Karen Mayhew

Karen Mayhew Karen has worked in the housing sector all her career, starting as a graduate trainee with Greater London Council and rising through the ranks to become a housing association Chief Executive at an award-winning Suffolk housing association.

As Chief Executive she was accountable to a Board of Directors for the delivery of overall strategy, business plans, financial affairs and management of the business. She uses that experience and expertise to support CHP as a Board member.

Karen is currently Director of Homes for Cambridge and Peterborough, a strategic alliance of developing Housing Associations in the Eastern Region. She also represents housing associations on the Cambridge and Peterborough Housing Board providing a contact point between statutory authorities and housing associations. This role has been particularly significant in view of the holistic response required to meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Karen chaired the Funding Working Group tasked to ensure CHP could continue to finance its ambitious new homes strategy into the future. She is also a member of the Customer Experience Committee focusing on the delivery of responsive quality services to our customers.

Karen lives in West Suffolk with her husband and has held a range of voluntary sector roles from school governor, parochial church council member, church warden and board director.

Marc Noaro

Marc Noaro Marc is a people person, currently serving as Chief Customer Officer with Eurostar. He progressed swiftly through the ranks of Eurostar, gaining several awards along the way for customer service and change management.

His strengths lie in successfully engaging with a whole variety of stakeholders from passengers to government officials, trade union members and colleagues.

His work roles have encompassed major change management with involvement in HR, operations, security and motivational leadership.

Marc has broad experience in senior operations, customer service and people roles with a proven track record of delivering real improvements to customers and employees within the constraints of a complex, international transport business.

Marc has always worked in the transport industry, beginning his career at Gatwick Airport before joining Eurostar in his first role as terminal controller.

Joanna Wanmer

Joanna Wanmer Joanna is a CHP leaseholder and has been an active resident for more than 20 years after becoming involved with the CHP resident forums.  Joanna went on to co found the Disability Advice Group, the Flaternity Residents Association and Chair the Leaseholders Group before being appointed to the role of Board Trustee in October 2014.

Joanna has worked in both the public and charitable sectors, in a range of roles including customer engagement in strategic commissioning for adult social services specialising in sensory impairments, accessibility, inclusion, equality and diversity.  Joanna delivered Essex County Council’s National Sensory Conference’s in 2011 and 2013. Joanna then went on to work with the Young Essex Assembly, supporting their involvement with the British Youth Council and the UK Youth Parliament.

Joanna was an Activity Coordinator at Action for Blind People for 15 years, and at the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). At the NDCS she was responsible for leading and managing Ofsted regulated events for deaf children and young people in England and Wales. Here she utilised her skills and experience in risk management, safeguarding and health and safety.  In December 2019 Joanna started a new role at NDCS as a Local Engagement Officer, within the Policy and Campaigns Department. She works at a local level to support parental engagement on local forums and coordinating local campaigns. Joanna holds local health and education services to account for the quality of services provided for deaf children and young people in London, East Anglia and the South East.

Senior team

Our Leadership Team are responsible for implementing the strategies and policies set by the Board and for the delivery of our business plan. They’re accountable to our Board members.

 

Meet the Leadership Team

Our current senior team is:

Mary Gibbons, Chief Executive

Mary Gibbons Mary has led CHP as Chief Executive since August 2018, having previously been the CEO at Hundred Houses Society and an Executive Director at Swan Housing Association.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director at HACT and an Advisory Board Member with Essex Business School.

Having studied Housing Management and Development at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Mary holds an MBA from the University of Essex and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Mary’s passion lies in building more homes, making sure CHP’s existing homes are safe and warm, and delighting customers. She’s committed to ensuring customers’ priorities are met by our people and that we provide them with a great experience that’s dedicated to their needs.

Paul Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer

Paul Edwards Paul joined us in February 2016 as Director of Resources and became Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Paul is responsible for Finance, Treasury, Governance and Assurance, and the Procurement teams.

With over 20 years in the housing sector, Paul has a wealth of experience. He spent six years as Director of Resources at Havebury Housing Partnership and nine years prior to that as Director of Treasury Services at Swan Housing Group. He has also previously served as a non-executive director at Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust and Circle 33 Housing and is currently a Board member at Local Space.

Paul is a member of the National Housing Federation’s Financial Policy Advisory Group (FPAG) and a member of the SORP working party, which is responsible for setting the accounting standards for the sector.

Since joining us, Paul has successfully refinanced the organisation and led on the RSH regulatory engagement processes. He has also been instrumental in the maintenance of our ‘A-’ credit rating from S&P.

Michael Barber, Digital and Transformation Director

Michael joined us in November 2019 as Digital Director responsible for maintaining and improving CHP’s IT systems. Michael subsequently became Digital and Transformation Director in February 2021 by taking on responsibility for business change activity, leading the ongoing operational and digital transformation of the business.

Michael has operated at IT Director level for over 25 years and brings with him a wealth of experience from multiple sectors. He is reasonably new to the housing sector but has worked for several years as the Director of IT at the Peabody Trust, as well as at CIO level in several housing related businesses (real estate, home improvements).

Since joining us, Michael has delivered new agile working methods for CHP alongside building solutions for our customers to self-serve where they would prefer to. Michael has also been fully engaged in transforming CHP into a new flexible operating model enabling our teams to get closer to our customers.

Naomi Cohen, Communications, Policy and Engagement Director

Naomi joined us in May 2019 as Interim Head of Communications and took on the new role of Communications, Policy and Engagement Director in July 2021. Naomi is responsible for the Customer Engagement, Community Investment, Complaints, Communications, Policy and Insight teams.

CHP is Naomi’s first role in the housing sector. She has extensive experience in a variety of national and international public, private and voluntary sector organisations. She has held senior positions as an employee, consultant and interim in a range of areas with links to housing including mental health, environmental sustainability and post-16 education and training. Most recently she spent 11 years in financial services, in marketing, communications and product development. Ten of these were setting up and establishing the Nest pension scheme.

Naomi has extensive Trustee and Non-Executive Director experience including as chair of remuneration, development, and communications committees. She helped found two charities working in domestic violence and volunteering and had a weekly radio broadcast for six years. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Since joining us, Naomi has substantially reshaped and developed the communications function at CHP. She has also been instrumental in leading our response to the coronavirus pandemic, making good use of her prior experience managing crises and change.

Rachel Hadley, People and Culture Director

Rachel joined us in January 2020 as People and Communications Director, and became People and Culture Director in July 2021. Rachel is responsible for the HR, Facilities, Business Support and Corporate Health and Safety teams, and is our Leadership Champion for both Wellbeing, and Diversity and Inclusion.

With a career of over 24 years working across all HR disciplines, Rachel brings a wealth of commercial experience to her first role in the housing sector. Her previous HR roles have spanned sectors as varied as manufacturing and financial services. Rachel is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and acts as a CIPD mentor to support development of HR professionals. She currently serves on the Pension Strategy Board of Essex Pension Fund as an employer representative.

Since joining us, Rachel has led her teams in responding to the significant HR, Facilities and Health and Safety challenges that the pandemic has presented. She continues to play a pivotal role in embedding our values and culture, to make CHP a Great Place to Work.

Simon Hague, Interim Customer Services Director

Simon joined CHP in January 2020 as Interim Neighbourhoods Director, subsequently moving to Interim Director of Customer Services. He brings a wealth of social housing experience and knowledge working for over 20 years in social housing for housing associations and local authorities. He has held a number of senior positions including seven years as Head of Housing at Optivo and two years at Moat as Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods.

Simon’s passion is social purpose, delivering an excellent customer service and to help people in housing need. His aim is to build strong communities where people can flourish and get the best opportunities. He believes everyone is entitled to a good quality, affordable and safe home.

Carl Hockey, Growth and Partnership Director

Carl Hockey With over 20 years of experience in the housing sector, Carl brings a wealth of knowledge. Carl has previously worked across Essex, London and Hertfordshire for housing providers such as Circle 33, Anglia Housing Group and Swan Housing in development and sales, housing management and policy development. Carl is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Since joining the company over 15 years ago, Carl has been integral in helping us expand our housing remit now operating and providing homes in 13 of the county’s 14 local authorities. Not only has he overseen the construction of 2,500 new build properties while at the company, he was also heavily involved in establishing Myriad Homes – our private sales subsidiary.

Leading the Development and Sales Team, Carl and his colleagues aim to deliver further homes for our customers – in both urban and rural locations – by building and acquiring properties for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright private sale. Carl also has strategic responsibility for our relationship with Legal and General Affordable Homes.

Thomas Kearney, Homes and Places Director

Thomas joined us in August 2021 as our new Director of Homes and Places. He has over 11 years' experience working for housing associations in London and Essex.

Thomas started his career in the sector in housing management before moving to senior roles in asset management. He has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced from the development and day-to-day management of housing association homes, through to reactive and planned maintenance.

Over the last five years, Thomas has held senior management roles at Notting Hill Genesis and Peabody that have involved the delivery of planned maintenance, day-to-day repairs, heat networks, complex building resolution and cladding remediation projects.

Thomas is passionate about the sustainability agenda. A key focus area for Thomas is how we’ll deliver on our plans to improve the thermal and environmental performance of our customers’ homes over the next 30 years.