A Midlands-based social landlord has appointed four new members to sit on its very first Trainee Board.

Platform Housing Group has welcomed Neelam Heera, Kaeden Bunting, Remi Turton and Edd Hall to a new scheme which has been designed to increase diversity in housing Boards of the future.

In partnership with The Chartered Institute of Housing, Platform Housing Group launched the 2 year development programme earlier this year in order to offer Board experience to those individuals who may find it a challenge to gain such opportunities.  In the long term, it is hoped that the new Trainee Board members will go on to become full Board members either at Platform or elsewhere within the housing sector.

Clare Durnin, Executive Director (Corporate Resources) at Platform Housing Group said : “We are delighted to welcome Neelam, Kaeden, Remi and Edd to our first ever Trainee Board.  Ensuring our Board better represents the communities that we serve is vital in today’s world and this latest initiative will further strengthen our business as well as complementing the existing Board’s diverse and robust commercial presence.”

During their 2 years on the Trainee Board, its members will gain valuable experience and insights from attending Board meetings as well as being individually mentored from Board members.  They will also hold their own Trainee Board meetings to discuss important issues as well as studying modules relating to governance, resulting in an accredited CIH qualification at the end of the 2 years.

More than 100 applications were received for the Trainee Board positions; the criteria included a passion for social housing and an interest in making a difference within the sector.  The successful candidates all come from diverse backgrounds with a real desire to increase their knowledge and improve their skills.

Neelam is a 32 year old project manager from Huddersfield; Edd, a 35 year old maintenance supervisor from Telford; Remi, a 32 year old project manager from London and Kaeden, an 18 year old project management apprentice from Birmingham.

Clare concluded : “Continuous development of our business critical areas is crucial to ensure we meet the needs of our customers, partners and stakeholders.  Our aim is that our new Trainee Board will  help us to move successfully into the future.”

Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19).  The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.

Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.