Tuesday 2nd April 2019
I set out on my path to become a solicitor thinking I would be a family lawyer as I knew I wanted to help people in my role. I was incredible lucky to have amazing mentors at Coffin Mew and Clover, where I trained, who combined my social values with my skills (drafting, detail and list writing!) and suggested a role as a commercial solicitor specialising in social housing – this proved to be the perfect fit for me.
In the early days of my career I focussed on the supported housing sector. This timed beautifully with the introduction of Supporting People and I worked closely with providers as this funding stream was restructured, putting in place new Supporting People grant agreements. This remains an area close to my heart and I really enjoy hearing about innovative schemes in the care and support sector, thriving despite difficult financial situations and working with people who are really passionate about what they do and the customers who are their focus.
In 2013 the Social Housing team moved to Capsticks, where I have been really proud to see our social housing team grow, with experts in the field who share my love of the sector. Working for numerous housing providers to support them in their contractual and governance arrangements means that I really feel that I’m contributing to the sector and as a team we can cover all our clients’ needs.
I have seen many changes in the sector over the years. For me personally one issue that changed my work significantly was the decision that social landlords were public bodies from a procurement perspective (a decision made whilst I was on holiday, so I came back to find my clients entering into a whole new world!). Since then I have worked closely with my clients to assist with their procurements, from the early days of helping clients to navigate their way around the legal requirements to now working with excellent registered providers looking to use the procurement rules to ensure they buy the best services for the residents, getting value for money and building contractor relationships.
I continue to feel that social housing is the right fit for me. I get to indulge in my love of list writing, whilst feeling that the work I do has value for my clients and their customers. As Capsticks looks to the future, I am proud to be part of a team that has a clear growth strategy and a commitment to invest in the social housing sector, supporting our clients, the sector’s trade bodies and fellow consultants and suppliers and keeping the foundations of helping communities thrive, at the heart of what we do.