14 December 2018

I recently joined the board of my housing association, L&Q. I started attending meetings in April but became a full member in September. I am new to the board but I’m not new to L&Q as I’ve been a resident for over 20 years and an Involved Resident (an official resident representative) for over 15 years.

In that time, I’ve been chair of a neighbourhood committee, chaired L&Q’s complaints panel, chaired the Resident Board and been part of the resident involvement group. I have built many relationships with staff and residents from top to bottom.

I really thrive on getting out and about and meeting teams across the organisation. It’s allowed me to get know the organisation and get a ‘warts and all’ view that no report or presentation could provide.

I first got involved all those years ago because I wanted to improve things and contribute to making L&Q better for all residents. It’s that desire that continues to drive me now that I am on the board.

I’ve been on the board now for almost eight months and it’s been an immersive experience. It’s been challenging too. I’ve had to get to grips with new areas like development, audit and risk, and financial accounts.

My fellow board members have been great. I’ve asked so many questions and everyone is willing to assist me.

So, what have I been up to?

In the summer, I attended two conferences: CIH’s Housing 2018 and the National Housing Federation’s National Housing Summit. It was great to meet people from different organisations and to see how the housing sector is trying to adapt, innovate and provide homes and services in more creative ways.

In September, I attended the Labour and Conservative party conferences with the L&Q executive team. At the Labour conference I spoke on a panel alongside our COO Andy Brown. It was a pretty challenging discussion on how housing associations can reconnect with their social purpose. It was clear from both conferences that housing is at the forefront of political thinking and that it’s understood that housing associations have an important part to play in this.

I’ve also been on many visits to new developments across a number of our regions. L&Q is increasing its geographical reach and I’ve been on visits to meet with our joint venture partners. Since being on the board I’ve also co-chaired an independent investigation into building and maintaining quality homes, which has involved more visits to our existing estates and homes.

The last eight months have flown by. So far I’ve attended over 80 meetings, visits and events! Every day is different. Just last week I started the morning at a development committee, hearing about future development plans, then I went on a tour of some of our care and support schemes. I finished the day by attending an evening reception for our annual resident’s awards. I’ve been on the judging panel for a number of years and it’s great to see the amazing things that resident have achieved and the impact they have in their communities.

I’m at the start of my journey as a board member and so far it’s been challenging and enjoyable in equal measure. My reasons for being involved are the same as they were fifteen years ago: to make L&Q the best – and I want to continue to have a positive impact within L&Q for many years to come.

Fayann Simpson

Fayann Simpson is a resident board member for L&Q

Fayann has recently joined the L&Q Group Board having been an L&Q resident for over 20 years and an involved resident for over 15 years. She is currently chair of Resident Services Group, Chair of the South Neighbourhood Committee and Deputy Chair of the Customer Experience Committee.

Fayann is passionate about resident involvement and is a firm believer in the value of effective resident involvement to both improve services and hold L&Q to account. Over the years she has been a member of the Resident Involvement Group, a chair of a Neighbourhood Committee, chair of L&Q Resident Board, Chair or L&Q’s Complaints Panel and been involved in the planning and facilitation of the Resident Conference.

My journey from resident to board member