Spotlight – Five minute interview with an ERoSH member

In the first of our ‘Spotlight’ features we speak to Kevin Williamson, who is Head of Housing with Care Services for City of Westminster Council. Kevin was a co-opted member for a couple of years before joining the executive committee and becoming a trustee about three years ago. He currently jointly chairs the Collaboration and Development Committee and Marketing Committee.

Why did you get involved with ERoSH?

I got involved with ERoSH because I believe in the merits of sheltered housing and the possibilities and opportunities for society and communities if we exploit the resources that are our buildings and the associated staff, who are often key people in their localities and the conduit to information and services that truly enable choice, independence and control.

What are the benefits of being involved?

Access to some of the most experienced, passionate and informed individuals and organisations in the sector. Access to some of the best practice in the sector; an understanding of how legislative changes impact in different communities and across different tenure; a national perspective on what challenges exist in the sector and how they are being overcome; insight into the future of sheltered housing and how the sector is modernising and evolving to meet the changing needs of older people in Britain today against a back-drop of limited resources and a need for greater cohesion across public and voluntary services.

Why would you recommend people get involved?

The challenges within the sector and the pace of change are unprecedented. Now, more than ever, providers need to look to each other to find the best way of ensuring funders and commissioners are fully aware of their services and understand the potential of those services in achieving wider agendas such as the ‘Big Society’ and addressing the challenges brought about by changes in social and healthcare provision.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the sector at the moment?

A lack of vision from commissioners and strategic leaders. Our sector could be key to enabling an entire generation to manage their own health and wellbeing more effectively. We could help to deliver the Government’s ‘Big Society’ agenda and reduce health and social care costs. However, I fear that the need to deliver quick wins will blur the view of the possibilities and benefits for the longer term and we will fail to optimise our true potential.

What are you most proud of – personal or professionally?

Personally, my family, they are the reason I get up every day, and professionally, I have the pleasure and the honour of leading a team of staff who genuinely make a difference every day to thousands of people. When we are at our best, we take the words off the page and we make them real, you can’t buy that!
If you would like to be interviewed for our ‘Spotlight’ feature please email Lucy Beaumont or call her on 024 7656 0448.

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