Meet Lavinia Porfir, Board Member
In the latest in our look at new PCH Board members, we speak to Lavinia.
Lavinia was born in Romania and is proud to be living in Britain after moving here a few years ago. She lives with her husband and young daughter.
Lavinia grew up with her parents and an elder brother. She was always surrounded by history books as her parents are history teachers, but Lavinia made the choice to study something totally different. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, a Master’s in European Studies, a Master’s in Communications and Public Relations and an Advance Diploma in The Management of Resources in Public Administration.
Her first job was as a Junior Inspector at the Territorial Inspectorate of Civil Engineering and she learnt a lot on the job – most importantly how to work in a team and how each member of the team is important in their own individual way.
Lavinia worked for eight years as an adviser at Iasi City Council in Romania in its PR department, dealing with lots of people from different backgrounds and offering them support: “This experience helped me to be a good communicator and to understand the needs of customers and how important it is to place customers at the heart of an organisation.”
In England, Lavinia carried out social policy research for a charity which gives advice to people in need of support. She said: “This has helped me to be aware of the wide range of needs that customers might have and how to prioritise people’s needs. I was also a volunteer with an organisation that deals with a lot of vulnerable people and I know how important it is to be careful to the sensitive needs of customers.”
Lavinia works at Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council as a Community Engagement Worker and Advocate for BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) groups.
She became a tenant co-optee of our Customer Focus Committee (CFC) in April 2017. After contributing to the CFC for a year, Lavinia applied for the position of Board Member and was successfully appointed in September 2018. She added: “I really believe that PCH is part of the wider community and part of Plymouth as a city. I am really happy to be part of this story. From the moment I approached PCH, I felt the professionalism and dedication of the people who work here.
“Being a Board Member is a challenging role. I really hope this role will enable me to change the mentality regarding social housing and that I will be able to challenge some stereotypes and myths. I really believe in the three pillars – the three Ps from the PCH Business Plan – People, Places and Pounds.
"This role is a great way of developing myself and I know that I have a lot to learn and to understand – I am learning something new from every meeting and from each report that I read and this is fantastic."
“There is a lot of hard work going on inside PCH – staff, Executive Management Team and Board – they are all doing their best in order to make the right decisions for people.”
Lavinia‘s free time is dedicated to her family and they love to travel and visit new places, especially where important people from literature, science or music lived.
Lavinia’s biggest passions are watching documentaries about crime investigations, police dramas and psychological thrillers, collecting antique objects and porcelain dolls, reading and developing her ideas for fashion.