Our dedicated volunteer trustees bring with them huge amounts of experience and knowledge of the older people’s housing and support sector to feed into our activities.

Robin Deane Chair

Robin is head of independent living at Optivo, one of the UK’s biggest housing associations. 

He’s responsible for services to 4,000 people living in 85 sheltered and extra care schemes in London, the South East and Midlands.  Robin has forty years’ experience in community development and housing, including roles in neighbourhood management, regeneration, partnerships and performance.  He believes older people’s housing makes active, supportive communities that people love to live in and create better health.

Karen Palmer Treasurer

Karen is a qualified accountant who trained in a manufacturing environment.

She has also worked in agriculture and education. For the last 14 years Karen has worked in social housing. At Optivo Housing Karen is currently the Senior Finance Manager in the Finance Reporting Team. Karen lives in Kent with her husband and has 2 grown up sons.

Emma Macpherson Secretary

Emma has worked in the charity sector for nearly 30 years, originally in the arts as an orchestra manager and freelance project administrator running events and festivals.  She has also worked with education and community charities and chaired a specialist theatre company devising work for the criminal justice system.

Currently working for a small sheltered housing Charitable Trust in Birmingham, Emma has over a decade’s experience in the housing sector.  She is a fervent advocate of small local charities, and of the important role sheltered housing plays in supporting older people to stay independent in their later years.

Other Trustees

Jane Endersby Oxford, Berkshire & Bucks Network Chair

Jane has worked in older peoples services since 1992 and has experience in residential care, floating support, community alarm service and sheltered with Nottinghill Housing Trust and L B Hammersmith and Fulham.

Since 2004 Jane has worked with Catalyst Housing Limited as Head of Specialist and Sheltered Housing, with responsibility for the strategic direction for services, development of extra care schemes and overall responsibility for the operational function of the sheltered and supported housing stock.

Lucy Hales

Lucy is an experienced, knowledgeable and effective housing professional. 

She has worked in social housing for over 30 years, with nearly 20 years leadership experience at a senior level in both strategic and operational management.  Positive and enthusiastic, she has a proven track record in leading retirement housing teams, supporting and driving change in organisations to deliver, modern, high quality, responsive and customer focused services. 

As a Head of Retirement Housing for Housing 21, Lucy leads a team working across the business’s Central Region.

Ken Johnson North West Network Chair

Ken has worked for The Riverside Group for more than10 years and is now quality officer for older people’s services with national responsibility for more than 120 sheltered schemes.

Ken is so a member of the CHS Code of Practice Practitioners Working Group.

Chris Jones Midlands Network Chair

Chris has worked in older persons housing & care services for over 20 years for local authorities, housing associations and Almshouse Charities in both operational and strategic management roles.

He has previously chaired Supporting People & Care Provider Groups, Safeguarding Board Committees and been a member of the National Housing Federation Housing & Health Group.  Chris is presently the CEO of an Almshouse & Care charity, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and chair of erosh Midland Network.  

Ann Karas

Ann has spent 25 years working in the social housing sector, the last 15 of which were managing the retirement living (sheltered housing) accommodation for a local authority.

She has seen at first hand the benefits of sheltered housing and is passionate about the role of erosh in promoting it and advocating for the sector. She wants to see the UK provide more high quality older people’s housing services to cater for the growing numbers of older people wanting to live independently and well.