We are delighted to introduce the newly appointed Chair of the BCHA Board, who took on the role in April 2024. With a diverse background that includes leading roles in various public and not-for-profit sectors, Chris brings a wealth of experience to the position. This role is a continuation of his longstanding commitment to social causes, from mental health advocacy to supporting ex-offenders and tackling homelessness. As Chris steps into this voluntary yet pivotal role, his diverse expertise promise to enhance BCHA's mission and impact.

"I have been a Board member at BCHA since March 2023 and became Chair of the Board at the beginning of April 2024 - so I am very new.  

The role of the Board generally is to set the direction and strategy of the organisation, ensure that risk management and controls of the organisation are adequate and to support and challenge the executive team on the performance of the organisation. 

Chris Nicholson, New Chair of BCHA Board
Chris Nicholson, New Chair of BCHA Board

I have previously been on the Board of a small housing association but what attracted me to BCHA is that it is so much more than a housing association. I have varied experience in some of the other areas in which BCHA is involved. I have in the past also been on the board of a drug and alcohol misuse charity, have a keen interest in mental health issues as two of my children suffer from poor mental health and have also in the past advised government on employment of ex-offenders. BCHA's role in approaching the issues facing those experiencing homelessness in a holistic way chimes very much with my own views. 

I have not had a 'full time' job for about 5 years so spend my time in various advisory and non-executive roles. I have just finished 6 years as Chair of the Board of a large government agency, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and am a Board member of the Family Rights Group, a charity promoting family and friends' involvement in the care of children, often as an alternative to children going into care. I have a particular interest in this as my late wife and I adopted a sibling group of 4 children and I am currently kinship carer for one of my grandchildren. 

I also do freelance advisory work such as advising Ofsted on regulation of children's social care, reviewing a large NHS body and reviewing regulatory bodies for the Cabinet Office. Half a day a week I am a volunteer adviser for a debt advice charity. 

So I try to keep reasonably busy! 

In addition to the life experience I have mentioned I bring financial expertise having been a financial adviser at the large accounting firm KPMG and also understand the public sector well. I ran KPMG's advisory practice to the public sector, was at the heart of central government as a special adviser to a Cabinet Minister, and a long time ago was a Councillor and Leader of a London Borough. 

I am really excited to be leading a very able and experienced Board. There are immense challenges facing those who are at risk of homelessness but I am sure that our new strategic plan, our dedicated colleagues and our approach of putting the customer at the heart of all that we do makes us well placed to deal with these challenges."


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