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Board Members

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All Board members - each one a volunteer - bring with them the expertise of their day-to-day profession or background. Together they determine MHA’s strategy and vision for meeting the needs of older people and ensure that the management team and staff deliver the service.

MHA has three Boards. Methodist Homes is the parent body, responsible for the overarching strategy, mission and values of MHA as well as all care homes and Live at Home operations.

Methodist Homes Housing Association is a housing subsidiary, responsible for all housing operations. MHA Auchlochan is a charitable subsidiary, responsible for Auchlochan Retirement Village in Scotland which provides a range of care homes and retirement living properties.

John Robinson (Chair)

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John stepped down from a successful executive career as CEO of the international medical devices business, Smith and Nephew plc in 2000, since then he has contributed to a wide variety of Non-Executive roles including Chair of George Wimpy plc (bringing about the big merger with Taylor Woodrow), Chair of Railtrack plc, Chair of The Abbeyfield Society and Chair of Voyage Limited.

As well as his MHA role, John is currently the Chair of The Abbeyfield Research Foundation, which invests in research into elderly care, and Chair of Hull Minster Development Trust, which has been set up to raise money for a transformation project which will see the 700 year old parish church reordered and the facilities within upgraded, for the benefit of the whole community. John is also a Trustee of several organisations including Livability and Methodist Independent Schools Trust.

A chemical engineer by training, John was a Methodist by upbringing but worships in his Anglican village church.  For John, it is not about denomination but more about Christians coming together to make a difference to their communities.   

  Ian Ailles

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Ian is currently Director General, House of Commons. He reports to the Speaker of the House of Commons and is a Member of the House of Commons Commission. As part of that role he is the project sponsor of the Renewal and Restoration programme for the Houses of Parliament.   

Ian’s principal career has been within the travel and leisure industry. He has worked for Thomas Cook (twice) and Wyndham. In that time he has held CEO, MD, COO and CFO roles encompassing retailing, online, airline and tour operating.  Most recently he was brought back to Thomas Cook to stabilise the UK division of Thomas Cook.  His travel operational roles have covered all parts of the world except the Americas and, closer to home, he led Wyndham’s acquisition of Hoseasons and James Villas in the UK.  

Ian’s non-executive and consulting roles have included a period with the NHS on the establishment of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the Church of England Commissioners, Chairman of the UK FTO (Federation of Tour Operators) representing all the largest UK travel companies and Treasurer of the Travel Foundation. He has also chaired a Private Equity IT company and worked for a Dubai based global education company.  

Prior to joining the travel industry he was an investment banker in the UK/US and is a qualified chartered accountant.  He is married with two daughters and lives in St Albans. 

Deborah Aplin

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Deborah is currently working with Mayfield Market Towns Ltd to promote a major new Market Town to include employment, public services, elderly accommodation and 10,000 homes in Mid Sussex. Alongside this role, Deborah is advising West London Colleges on their £500 million redevelopment of their Hammersmith site. 

Deborah has been a senior executive in the property development industry for the past 30 years, specialising in brownfield urban mixed use and mixed tenure schemes. Starting her career in the South West of England, Deborah quickly progressed to the urban challenges of London. The majority of her career was spent with the Berkeley Group.

Deborah delivered small, space restricted housing projects in Wandsworth in the early days, progressing to larger and more complex schemes such as Hampton Hill Theatre, Hampton Water works, Charter Quay Kingston, Imperial Wharf Fulham and planning on Kings Cross London. With a company change to Crest Nicholson, Deborah became Managing Director of their Regeneration Division and took that business through management changes leaving it as a thriving business producing over 600 residential units per annum, plus substantial commercial/retail.

Additionally, Deborah is an original Academician of the Academy of Urbanism, a member of the CITB think tank on training and improving skills in the construction industry, is a member of the Catherine Awards for the Variety Club and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Martin Burkitt

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Martin is currently working as a consultant with a number of corporate occupiers, providing strategic asset management and operational advice on their property portfolios. 

He is a Chartered Surveyor with 40 years of experience in all areas of real estate and has worked exclusively in the last 20 years with occupiers in the private and public sectors. He has worked with clients including Addison Lee, Cable & Wireless, Cobham, ITV, Logica, Remploy, TNS and WPP.

Having built up Fulcrum Corporate, the specialist Corporate Real Estate Adviser, he sold the company to Johnson Controls, at the time a global real estate and facilities management company, becoming VP Real Estate for EMEA. He recently stood down as Executive Chairman of Trilogie Corporate Real Estate.

Martin is an active member of CORENET and Federation of Corporate Real Estate. He is married with three children and divides his time between working in London during the week and living in Norfolk.

Hilary Cocker

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Hilary has extensive experience at Director-level in permanent and interim Executive roles in commercial private sector companies and regulated not-for-profit organisations. She brings considerable experience of business strategy development, leading change and financial and risk management.

A qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Methodist Church by background, she has worked in the affordable and social housing sector for the last 15 years, has her own consultancy business and has held a number of non-Executive roles. Hilary is also a member of the Housing Association Board.

Andrew Cozens CBE

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Andrew is a leading national social care and health policy analyst and improvement specialist. He has been working independently since April 2012 and his recent commissions include work for the Local Government Association in England, the Welsh LGA, the Health and Social Care Information Centre and a range of councils, voluntary and private sector organisations.

Before that, he was strategic adviser on children's services, adult social care and the NHS for the Improvement & Development Agency for local government and the LGA from 2006-12.

He has more than 15 years experience as senior manager in local government, 10 as director of social services for Gloucestershire and Leicester City.

He is a former President of the Association of Directors of Social Services. He is currently chair of Carers Trust and is a Board Member of In Control and of the National Development Team for inclusion. Until recently he was a non-executive director of the National Skills Academy for Social Care. He was honoured in 2004 for his contribution to social work.

Bala Gnanapragasam

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Bala, is a member of the British Methodist Church in London and vice president of the Methodist Conference.

Bala has over 20 years' professional experience in the international telecommunications sector, much of this at executive level at British Telecom, ECI Telecom, CTell Inc. and Interoute Telecommunications Ltd. Until 2010 he was Chairman of University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust, a post which he held for eight years.

Bala has served on a number of charitable bodies. These include London Ecumenical Aids Trust, Age Exchange, Applecart, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, and Christian Aid. He served two terms as an elected councillor of the London Borough of Lewisham and represented Lewisham on the Inner London Education Authority.

David Hall

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David's career includes a 20 year period as a senior executive in the metal industry, followed by the role of Chief Executive of County Durham Training and Enterprise Council.

His experience includes strategic planning and development, finance and HR. David has held a number of voluntary roles including Chair of the Board sub group for Equality and Diversity for his local NHS Trust, and Chair of Darlington Mind which provides care and housing support.

He is a former member of the Board of MHA. His latest appointments have taken him back to education as the Chairman of the governing body for an 11-16 academy, Darlington School for Mathematics and Science, from which he recently retired after five years service. David is an active member of the Methodist Church.

Vanella Jackson

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Vanella is the Global CEO of Hall & Partners, a specialist brand and communications research agency. Before this she spent 20 years working as a planner in some of the UK's best advertising agencies, including BBH, AMV and JWT.

Vanella's role is to provide inspiration, energy and direction for the company and teams, to help them develop strong client relationships and attract valuable new clients. Her highlights whilst at Hall & Partners have been to help the company grow successfully (doubling in revenue and trebling in profit in the first four years), becoming the first research company to win a place in The Sunday Times (Top 100 Best Companies to Work For) and Marketing Magazine's (Research Agency of the Year.) Vanella has also won a UK Woman of the Year award.

Before joining Hall & Partners, Vanella travelled around the world visiting 36 countries to interview the world's oldest people. The journey is captured in a book called 'The Book of Life.' Vanella has been happily married for twenty five years, with two teenage girls.

Norman Mann

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Before retiring, Norman's business experience was latterly with Cadbury Schweppes plc where he was involved in business planning, finance, and systems.

He is currently involved in education matters as a lay member of QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority), he sits on the Audit Committee, is Church Treasurer (LEP) and a member of Church Council.

Norman is the Chair of the Methodist Church Audit Committee and observer at Methodist Council. Norman is also Chair of the Housing Association Board.  

James Reilly

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James has recently retired after five years as Chief Executive of Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust. Prior to that he served for 27 years in London local government in Brent, Hackney and Hammersmith & Fulham where he held executive positions responsible for social services, housing, community safety and regeneration.

He is an active associate of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services having served on its executive and chairing the London Region for five years. In these roles he has exercised a range of board responsibilities.

Prior to this James worked through his Church in education and community development in the Philippines and Zimbabwe where he grew up.

James chairs the Integrated Care Council, a network of commissioners and providers delivering home care services and he is a trustee of the charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.

He has served on a number of national and London commissions tasked with recommending improvements to services, their governance and that of the professionals working in them.

Executive Directors

Methodist Homes (MHA) is a group structure comprising of the charity, Methodist Homes, Methodist Homes Housing Association and MHA Auchlochan.

MHA is run by a team of executive directors and governed by non-executive trustees. See a full list of our management and governance team below:

Sam Monaghan, Chief Executive

fb932a74-290a-11e8-b390-a0369f103266.jpgSam Monaghan joined MHA as Chief Executive in February 2018. He has extensive experience as a corporate director and senior operational and strategic manager within the Third and Public Sectors, in a career of more than 30 years in social care. Originally a graphic designer, Sam qualified as a social worker in 1988, working for 15 years in local authority social services, prior to joining Action for Children in 2003. In 2006, he moved to Barnardo’s as their Midlands Director and became Corporate Director of Children’s Services in 2013. 

Sam was drawn to the charity because of its strong values and the quality of care and support it provides to people in later life.  His focus is to build on these strengths; increase the connectivity between MHA’s homes and schemes and their local communities; enhance the development and diversity of the organisation’s workforce; as well as reinforce its existing partnerships with others across the sector and with key stakeholders. He also wants to amplify the voice of the older people the charity supports through its care, accommodation and community-based services.

Linda Zaidi, Director of Care Homes

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Linda joined MHA on 2 June 2014 as Regional Director. Registered General Nurse by background, Linda has many years’ experience in the operational clinical field.

She has worked both in the NHS and at a senior level for a number of large providers including The Priory Group, Four Seasons Healthcare and Runwood Homes where she was on the Board of Directors for the company.

Linda has extensive experience of leading operational teams to provide the highest quality of care for residents and also has worked successfully for many years in partnership with regulators and local professional bodies.

 Joy Kingsbury, Director of Retirement Living

Joy-Kingsbury-200-197.jpgJoy joined MHA in November 2014 and is responsible for the operational and strategic management of MHA's retirement housing, independent living services and domiciliary services.  She started her career as a registered nurse working across Portsmouth and South East Hants Health Authority. She has held senior management positions for a number of health, social care and housing providers and has worked as a Director of Care and Support for three housing and care organisations. 

Joy has graduate and post graduate level qualifications in management, disability studies and marketing.  She has been a Trustee of the older people's housing and support national consortium Erosh (essential role of Sheltered Housing), a member of the Department of Health's Learning Improvement Network developing excellent models for Extra Care Housing and was a member of the National Housing Federation's "Breaking the Mould" working group, looking at housing models for older people.

Anna Marshall-Day, Director of People Development

Anna_Marshall-Day.jpgAnna is responsible for all aspects of HR including payroll, organisational development, and internal communications.

Prior to joining MHA in 1998, Anna worked for local government, with roles in marketing and project management.  Anna holds a BA (Hons) degree in Humanities.  

Rev. Dr Christopher Swift, Director of Chaplaincy & Spirituality

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Rev Dr Christopher Swift will continue work to fulfil MHA’s strategic aims regarding faith in ageing and spirituality in later life. In addition to leading our Chaplaincy service, Chris will also be the functional lead for Volunteering across all MHA services.

Chris is an ordained Church of England Minister and was previously Head of Chaplaincy Services at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. During his career, Chris has also been Vicar at St Peter’s Church in Arkley, Barnet, and Chaplain at Barnet and Dewsbury and District Hospitals. He also led on the production of new chaplaincy guidelines for NHS England.

Chris has a PhD in chaplaincy in a modern context and a Master’s Degree in theology. His research has been published in a wide variety of academic journals and textbooks and he has presented at conferences in the UK and abroad on the role of chaplaincy in a care environment.

Mark Terry, Director of Finance 

Mark_terry.jpgMark joined MHA in August 2015. He was previously the Chief Financial Officer of the Devonshire Group, where his responsibilities included the charity of Chatsworth House Trust and the property and business portfolios of the Duke of Devonshire.  He is also a non-executive board member of the Crewe-based Wulvern Housing.  Prior to working at Chatsworth, Mark was Head of Finance at BUPA and before that held various finance leadership, commercial and strategic roles across NatWest’s finance and leasing subsidiaries.

Mark has a keen interest in the provision of care and housing for older people.  He brings significant commercial experience and believes in helping people achieve their potential through process improvement and technology.   

Annie Webber, Director of Quality

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Annie joined MHA in January 2014 and is responsible for regulatory compliance, service development / improvement, staff member training and development, health and safety and hospitality.

Annie has spent 20 years in the British Armed Forces. Starting her career in the Royal Army Nursing Corps, she held several senior positions. Latterly she was responsible for Primary and Community Care. 

Mandy Mottram, General Counsel/Company Secretary 

Mandy Mottram - MHA General Counsel Company Secretary.jpgMandy Mottram joined MHA’s Leadership Team on 8 May 2018 as Company Secretary/General Counsel responsible for MHA’s legal matters (reporting to the Chief Executive) and governance (reporting to the Chair).

Mandy is a qualified solicitor and barrister with significant commercial, property and legal experience at a senior level as both Company Secretary and Director. She joins us from The Co-operative Group and has previously worked at Eversheds, Trinity (Estates) Property Management and EMIS, who develop software for primary care and community care.

In addition to her work commitments, Mandy also works with the Co-op foundation, the Co-op’s own charity which most recently has been working on tackling loneliness.


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