Supporting Communities operates as a Company Limited by Guarantee (Trading Company) as per the Companies Act, 2006 and is regulated by the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland. Our Board members are:
Lorraine Campbell, Chair
Lorraine Campbell spent her entire working career with the Housing Executive. She was Regional Manager with responsibility for the management, maintenance and improvement of over 36,000 homes. Throughout her career, she championed customer service and tenant participation. As District Manager, she set up the Housing Executive's first customer panel and hers was one of the first offices to achieve a Charter Mark. Subsequently, as Assistant Director, she developed a strategy which delivered Charter Mark and later Customer Service Excellence accreditation for all local offices. She has worked with the Housing Community Network at all levels.
Since retirement she has served as a Board Member of the Community Relations Council and Fold Housing Association, and participates in Business in the Community's Time to Read programme.
Linda Watson, Vice Chair
Linda has been the co-ordinator of Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group since 2006. The community group, situated in the Waterside area of Derry/Londonderry, offers a wide range of programmes and outreach services for the local community.
Linda is a member on many boards and forums both locally and regionally including Supporting Communities, Foyle Women's Information Network, Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, Waterside Community Safety Forum and the Board of Governors of Lisneal College. Linda is currently the co-chair of the Making Life Better Partnership (formerly Western Investing for Health), Chairperson of the NI Housing Executive’s Central Housing Forum, Chairperson of the West Area Tenants Scrutiny Panel and is an independent member on the Police and Community Safety Partnership within Derry City & Strabane District Council.
Basil Davidson, MBE
Basil joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service in 1984. Since then he has worked for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, Department of Finance and Personnel, North/South Ministerial Council, Social Security Agency, Northern Ireland Prison Service and the Northern Ireland Office. In 1999 Basil received the MBE for his work in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
During his time in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister and the Department of Finance and Personnel, Basil was the Head of the Digital Inclusion Unit and delivered a range of projects aimed at driving up the use of ICT and the Internet in Northern Ireland.
Basil represented Northern Ireland on the National Digital Inclusion Steering Group and was instrumental in the creation and delivery of the Internet Made Easy CD which was delivered to every home in Northern Ireland. During this time, he also delivered on a number of other important projects aimed at developing IT literacy with older people, the disabled, long term unemployed and rural communities.
After graduating from Ulster University with a BSc Housing Management Degree, Paul spent ten years within the social housing sector. After working for several housing associations, Paul joined the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations in 2015 where he supported housing associations in understanding how policies such as welfare reform impact upon tenants and their communities.
Recently Paul has left the social housing sector and has moved to the National Trust where he works in external affairs. This role includes supporting the National Trust to engage with local councils and play an active role in community planning.
Since graduating from University after completing a BSc Housing Management Degree, Martin Meek has spent his entire career within the housing movement championing the rights of those with complex housing needs and working with vulnerable tenant groups. He currently oversees the direct and joint management of supported housing schemes within Choice Housing Ireland Ltd, both in NI and the ROI and manages two homeless hostels in Belfast and Strabane.
In recent years, he has been hugely involved in the development of new supported living schemes, meeting Government strategic objectives for the resettlement of patients from long stay hospitals throughout the island of Ireland.
He is the current Chair for the Housing Support Forum and sits on the Committee Representing Independent Supporting People Providers (CRISPP).
Siobhan spent over 20 years working in the Social Housing sector in NI across a range of key disciplines including Housing Management, Property Maintenance and Corporate Services. From 2012 until 2015 Siobhan worked as Head of Corporate Services at Helm Housing where she led a large team with direct responsibility for Governance, Human Resources, Communications, Marketing, Research, Facilities Management, Health and Safety, Customer Services and Corporate Assurance. A champion of delivering excellence in all services, Siobhan's expertise in Governance led to Helm Housing's achievement of a range of recognitions and achievements including Customer Service excellence; Investors in People; ISO 9001:2000: OHSAS 18001 for Health & Safety and the Northern Ireland Quality Award.
She is currently working for a private Healthcare Company where she is leading new business development programmes.
Steve Pollard is a Lecturer in Management Development with The Business Institute, Ulster University Business School. He is Course Director for Social Entrepreneurship and for Civic Leadership & Community Planning. An experienced Non-Executive Director and Business Adviser, Steve has held senior roles in the public, private and third sectors. This includes experience in vocational education and training in the further education sector as well as running privately held training organisations.
Steve has a long standing interest in community economic development with a particular focus on enterprise and skills. Steve is also a Board Member South Eastern Regional College and Arts & Disability Forum. Previously held related Non-Executive Director roles include Belfast Harbour Commission, Ulster Community Investment Trust, East Belfast Business Initiative, Action Mental Health, Enterprise NI and Prospects Ltd.
Jim joined the Board as a community representative from Cloughmills Community Action Team where he performs the role of Treasurer using his expertise as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant.
Following graduation with a BSc from Queens University, Jim moved to London to begin a career in Public Finance serving in various capacities with the London Boroughs of Camden, Greenwich and Wandsworth where he was Chief Accountant. He then moved to West Sussex to become Director of Finance for Crawley Borough Council responsible for Financial Management, IT, Council tax and Business Rate Collection, Housing Benefits, Fraud Prevention and Concessionary Travel. He developed a particular expertise in Housing Finance in each of these authorities who were all providers of large scale housing developments and also provided an interim pension fund management service to another London Council following retirement.
Jim has always been willing to support the voluntary sector and has served on the Management Committees of local Citizens Advice Bureau and Council for Voluntary Service in Sussex and for a local service club and animal charity in Northern Ireland.
John (Jack) Close joined the board of Supporting Communities in January 2019. As a strong advocate for extending tenants’ rights and for forming a closer partnership between Housing Associations and Tenants, Jack has served on the Tenant’s Forum and Policy Panel for Clanmil Housing Association and has been involved in several Scrutiny Panels which have been successful in introducing new practices into the Association’s policies. Jack also represents Clanmil Housing on the Housing Policy Panel which acts as a sounding board to the Department for Communities on all matters relating to housing policy and tenant participation and involvement.
Jack is a retired teacher who taught English for 17 years at St George’s Secondary School in London before moving to Africa with V.S.O. to establish teacher training facilities and English Literature Libraries to support teachers in Kenya. From there, he held several head teacher positions in schools in both Mombasa and Nairobi until returning to the UK in 2000.