About the Stakeholder Strategy Day

The Stakeholder Strategy Day is our internal conference for Board and Committee members, engaged customers, and senior colleagues. It comes at an important time for Riverside. We will just have entered the second year of delivering ‘Forward Together’, our Corporate Plan for the group, and it is a good time to reflect, take stock and check we are on course.  It will also be a month after the Regulator of Social Housing has introduced long-awaited changes to the consumer regulation regime. This has been billed as nothing short of a re-set in the relationship between customers and landlords, placing much greater emphasis on important issues such as transparency and respect, underpinned by a thorough knowledge of the condition of our homes and the circumstances of the people who live in them.

To help us navigate this, I am delighted to announce that our keynote speaker is Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman. As well as adjudicating the most serious complaints, Richard is a passionate advocate for customers, and is playing a key role in driving service improvements and best practice across the sector. We have asked him to focus on his recent spotlight report, “Attitudes, Respect and Rights”, where he has publicly challenged providers to create a “Relationship of Equals” with customers. We will use his session as the springboard for some roundtable discussions later in the day.

I will also be very pleased to welcome Paul Dolan, our new Chief Executive. This will only be his second week at the helm, so we are going to ‘go easy’ on him, inviting him to tell us a little bit about himself and giving you the opportunity to quiz him about what makes him tick.

This is the first of our strategy days that we’ve ever held in London, and given our recent merger with One Housing, it is perhaps overdue. So, it was natural for me to ask Jehan Weerasinghe, our Managing Director for London, to chair the day and share some of the important work his team are doing across the capital. We’ve chosen a central and accessible venue, which is also a bit special – a real centre of medical excellence overlooking the graceful Lincolns Inn Fields. I am sure it will be conducive to our discussions.

This webpage tells you all you need to know about the day. It provides practical details about travel and timings, which we will update as we get closer to the day. You might want to bookmark this page. I would be grateful if you would confirm your attendance by completing the RSVP form below by Thursday 25 April.

I very much look forward to welcoming you on the day.

Terrie Alafat CBE

Agenda

  • 9:45

    Arrivals, registration and refreshments

  • 10:25

    Welcome and introductions
    Jehan Weerasinghe, Managing Director, One Housing

  • 10:30

    Attitudes, Respect and Rights
    Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman

  • 11:05

    Short film

  • 11:10

    Chair’s welcome
    Terrie Alafat, Group Chair

  • 11:45

    Greetings from the new Chief Executive, with a Q&A session
    Paul Dolan, Chief Executive

  • 12:20

    Short film

  • 12:30

    Lunch and London exhibition

  • 13:30

    Attitudes, Respect and Rights
    How ‘Human Centric’ are our services?
    Patrick New, Executive Director for Customer Service

  • 13:45

    Afternoon workshops

  • 14:45

    Short film

  • 14:50

    Workshop feedback

  • 15:10

    Chair’s closing remarks

  • 15:30

    Conference close

Guest speakers

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman for England

Richard was appointed as Housing Ombudsman from 1 September 2019. He has extensive experience in the housing sector, with previous roles including Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, chair of the Homes for London board and a non-executive director of Homes England.

During his eight years at the Greater London Authority, Richard was responsible for housing investment and land generation programmes. He also led the creation of the first team at City Hall to address rough sleeping, commissioning around £10 million of services each year, as well as the first Social Impact Bond on homelessness.

Richard is a former board member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has been an election observer in Somaliland and Ukraine. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and sits on the Administrative Justice Council.

Richard also chairs the Ombudsman Association and is a board member of the British Library.

Terrie Alafat, Group Chair

Terrie served as Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing from 2015 to 2019, and has a wealth of housing experience spanning over 23 years.

Her previous appointments include Director of Housing at the Department of Communities and Local Government where she was responsible for national housing polices including affordable housing, homelessness and supported housing.

Her wealth of knowledge of the housing sector and her work in shaping policy will be instrumental in continuing to take the Group forward as one of the country’s leading providers of housing and homelessness services.

Paul Dolan, Group Chief Executive

 

Paul has a successful track record in delivering transformational business and culture change. He is experienced in organisational turnarounds, taking businesses from positions of serious regulatory failure to full compliance.

Paul has led both not for profit and commercial businesses, and managed stakeholders through complex organisational change.

In 2019, he successfully led Accent to a record-breaking deal with the UK social housing sector’s lowest ever price on a long-dated public bond.

Paul created the #MorethanHomes campaign to raise £1m for the Trussell Trust. Backed by the National Housing Federation, Chartered Institute of Housing and the Northern Housing Consortium, More than Homes is an initiative established to build on the collective power of the housing sector, to respond to the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19.

Prior to his time with Accent, Paul was a former chief executive of Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust (JJHT) from February 2014 to April 2017, where he steered the organisation to financial stability, regulatory compliance and through a comprehensive reform of governance. He delivered JJHT’s new vision and provided the organisation with a clear purpose and a national voice for retirement living.

From 2010 to 2014, Paul was chief executive of Sadeh Lok Housing Group, leading the organisation through governance, organisational and cultural business transformation. This included reviewing the composition of this complex group, which included a national children’s charity and employment agency, establishing a new vision and business objectives which resulted in regulatory upgrades for viability and governance within 12 months. Paul went on to grow Sadeh Lok’s property portfolio by 7% within 18 months and secure the Investors in People Gold Standard.

Paul previously chaired the National Housing Federation Yorkshire and Humberside Region CEO group and has been appointed by the regulator as a statutory appointee to a non-compliant lease-based provider.

Prior to a number of senior housing management roles from 2002 to 2010, Paul won a scholarship to work as a chef for Raymond Blanc in 2002 at 2 Michelin star restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Jehan Weerasinghe, Managing Director of London

Jehan joined as Managing Director of One Housing and part of Riverside’s executive Team in September 2023. Prior to joining he worked for the Wheatley Group in Scotland where he held the role of Managing Director of Customer Experience. He was also MD of Wheatley Homes Glasgow for the bulk of his time at Wheatley, which is Scotland’s largest housing association (45,000 homes). Jehan worked for L&Q for over 16 years between 2002-19, where he held a number of roles relating to regeneration, mergers, stock transfers, operations and community investment. His last role at L&Q was Regional Operations Director. In his time at L&Q he was involved in the mergers of East Thames and Ujima.

Prior to his career in housing Jehan also worked for IBM Global Services Ltd and the Office for National Statistics. Jehan holds degrees in Sociology (University of Reading) and Comparative Social Policy (University of Oxford).

We’ll also hear from our senior leadership team on the day.

Please let us know if you can join us,
deadline for RSVPs is Thursday 25 April.

Staff chatting at the reception desk at The Crossings, Hull 

In Image: Jade Gunstead

Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

About the venue

We’re delighted to say this year we will be heading to The View at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

Located just a short walk from Holborn station, The View was fully reimagined and modernised for events in 2021, with a focus on innovation and sustainability.

Famed for its world-leading research and scientific endeavours, the venue is headquarters to The Royal College of Surgeons of England and The Faculty of Dental Surgery, and boasts a large terrace overlooking London’s largest public square, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

While the building is fully accessible, please let us know your requirements as early as possible on your RSVP form about any specific access requirements you have in advance, so we can help you on the day.

Getting there

The View, 38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3PE

Travel details from the venue

The View is centrally located at Lincoln’s Inn Fields within easy walking distance of Holborn (Piccadilly and Central lines) and Temple (District and Circle Lines) underground stations. It is a short taxi or underground journey from most major rail stations. Two NCP car parks are situated nearby.

By car

The nearest multi-storey car parks are in Drury Lane and Bloomsbury Square.

By bus

A number of buses stop nearby.

High Holborn (travelling east and west): 1, 8, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242

Kingsway (travelling north and south): 1, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243, 521

Aldwych (travelling east and west): 9, 11, 15, 23, 341

Aldwych (travelling north and south): 4, 6, 13, 26, 76, 77A, 139, 172, 176, 341

If you do require help arranging travel, please contact your normal point of contact in Riverside or One Housing Group.

Accommodation

We hope that most people will be able to travel to and from London on the day. If you do require overnight accommodation in the city, please contact your normal point of contact in Riverside or One Housing Group.