Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) is delighted to announce the appointment of Valerie Lee as the organisation’s new Chair of the Board, starting her role this winter.
Valerie has been an integral part of the Board at PCH since joining in September 2020, a role she took on after leaving a full-time executive position in London to return to the South West region.
Having grown up in Plymouth from the age of six to 21, Valerie attended Plymstock School, where she was once Head Girl, before leaving for university in Warwick, and her time spent in the city means Valerie is passionate about giving something back.
PCH Chair Valerie Lee said: “I am delighted, privileged, and humbled to be appointed as Chair of Plymouth Community Homes.
“The position offers a fantastic opportunity for me to make a real difference to the lives of people across Plymouth, an area I know really well, and there is a lot that I want to contribute, as well as continuing on the great work carried out by the team to date.
“Some of the priority areas I hope we can look to address include housing need, homelessness in the local area, and supporting our residents living with the cost-of-living crisis, which is going to be really tough for some time to come.
“I also have a passion to do everything we can to help play our part in moving to a net zero carbon world, and for PCH to be more sustainable in all of its work.”
Valerie takes over as Chair of PCH Board from Nick Lewis, who has stepped down following the completion of his five-year term.
Valerie brings with her a wealth of experience in business to the role, having enjoyed a successful career in the retail sector for more than 30 years, working for major brands including Boots, Clarks and Debenhams and leading large-scale transformation programmes.
In 2018, Valerie trained as a non-executive director, obtaining an accredited diploma qualification from the Financial Times, and began to build a new career supporting organisations which strive to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the South West region.
During the last three years, and in addition to serving on the Board of PCH, Valerie has held roles as Chair of the Circadian Trust, Associate Non-Executive Director at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP), Chair of the Future Hospital Committee at UHP and Chair of the new Integrated Care Partnership between the NHS Trust and Livewell Southwest.
Valerie’s experience as a non-executive and board member has led her to see the benefit in partnership working across the city, to help address some of the broader issues faced in health, wellbeing and social care.
Valerie said: “I believe my non-executive positions will add significant benefit and synergy to each other, enabling me to stay heavily involved and aware of issues and connections across Plymouth.
“I’m especially keen to capitalise on partnership opportunities in the city, and work closely with organisations like University Hospitals Plymouth, to help deliver real change for Plymouth.
“I have real admiration for the team at PCH, the culture, and the commitment to great customer service.
“At PCH, there are always opportunities to learn and there is a real genuine desire to hear the voices of residents and customers. The culture is also one of psychological safety, where those ideas are welcomed.
“I do want to bring an even bigger external perspective to the organisation, as sometimes it is easy for the social housing sector to be inward looking, when the solutions to some of the bigger issues across Plymouth will require us to look outwards and build those relationships with our partners.”