Meet our Board Members - Sue Dann
One of five children, Sue was born in Birmingham and grew up on a council estate in Quinton. Sue was a good girl at school, working hard and enjoying her sports; mainly hockey, tennis and netball and competed in long distance race walking for an athletics club and originally wanted to be a physiotherapist.
Sue was the first child in her wider family to go to a grammar school, stay on at school at 16 and complete her A Levels and go on to College. She moved to the South West at 19 studying Hospitality and Catering in Torquay.
Sue ended up as a Lecturer at Exeter College, then living in Hong Kong before returning to South Devon College, followed by a stint at Plymouth University. Sue’s last job was supporting unemployed people back into the workplace.
Sue said: “I think being raised in a council home has really helped in being on the Board – I really understand why good social housing is so important, everyone deserves a decent home and I think my experience gives me a customer focussed approach to ensure we are there for our tenants.”
Sue was first appointed to the PCH Board as a Councillor a number of years ago. Having completed her Board Membership as a Councillor and wanting to stay on, Sue was co-opted onto the Board until a position became available that she could apply for as an independent Board Member.
Sue has been on the Board for eight years and tells us about the early days: “I remember thinking how little I knew about housing and how bewildering it all was. But you learn, and the skills I have gained in the workplace have come in really useful as a Board Member.
“The great thing about being a Board Member is that you’re part of a team. We have been to conferences and away days together when all the Board talk through ideas of the direction we want PCH to go. The way we all come together always involves hard work, a bit of humour and you come away feeling like you have made a difference.”
Sue cites the completion of the transfer promises and the development of North Prospect as huge achievements the Board have delivered: “Seeing the transformation of North Prospect and knowing we were doing such a good job for our residents and the city of Plymouth was fantastic but the challenge is to keep going even when there are obstacles in the way.
“Our residents are our reason for being and sometimes we have to make difficult decisions but keeping people safe is a priority – for example the situation with the Mount Wise Towers where we are doing everything within our powers to support residents.
“I see an exciting future ahead for PCH ensuring we keep our values and visions intact, supporting people and communities as well as building new homes.”