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Penge Churches Housing Association Ltd.

PCHA is a Co-operative and Community Benefit Society 1908R with Charitable Status

Homes and Communities Agency Reg.No. L1243. A member of the National Housing Federation

MEET THE TEAM

We are a small but passionate team, dedicated to providing the best possible service to our tenants. 

Karen Cooper, Chief Executive

Appointed as Chief Exec of PCHA in December 2016, Karen has worked at a senior level within the social housing and voluntary sector for over 25 years. Her interest in social housing came from being homeless herself when she was pregnant with her daughter; she realised that having a safe affordable home is an essential building block for life. She started off working in supported housing for people with mental health problems, and then went on to be the Chief Exec of three small community-based housing associations. In 2006 she set up her own consultancy business and since then has worked with a range of housing and support providers, offering advice and training to enable them to improve services, successfully engage tenants, and achieve their visions.

Karen is also the Chair of Evolve Housing and Support, a charity working with a range of homeless and vulnerable people in London.


Karen lives in Rochester in Kent, and has an adult daughter living in Croydon. In her spare time she practises yoga, swims and dances ceroc.

Steve Thorn, Director of Operations

Steve joined PCHA in June 2019, bringing with him 15 years of experience in the housing sector in both rural and inner-city environments. Prior to that he was a police officer in the Thames Valley constabulary where he carried out mobile patrol duties across Berkshire. 

Steve manages the operational team and is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of housing services to residents such as repairs and maintenance, voids and lettings, rent arrears collection, estate management and resident engagement. He also supports Karen by assisting with strategic management of the organisation to ensure PCHA continues to grow and provide housing services to the local communities across Penge and the surrounding areas.

Steve lives in Andover, Hampshire with his wife and has two adult children living nearby. In his spare time he enjoys heading off into the countryside in his micro campervan for long walks and al fresco dining.
 

Natalie – Maintenance & Estates Officer

Natalie joined PCHA in July 2015, originally providing support for both repairs and finance. She now focuses exclusively on repairs and maintenance for PCHA properties and estates, and is responsible for ensuring repairs are actioned effectively and to a satisfactory standard.

Natalie decided on a career in social housing in 2015, and hasn’t looked back. She is qualified in level 2 Repairs & Maintenance with the recognised CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing). She is dedicated to providing great customer service to our tenants and maintaining great relationships with our contractors.

Cassandra – Exec Assistant & Corporate Services Officer

Cassandra joined PCHA in May 2018, originally in the role of Finance & Admin Officer. Now Karen's Exec Assistant and Corporate Services Officer, she is involved in many aspects of the running of PCHA, including finance, IT, events organisation, recruitment, and supporting the work of the Board.


Cassandra lives in Bromley and loves the local area. She is excited about being involved in the community and helping to improve facilities for PCHA residents. 

Prior to joining PCHA, Cassandra worked as a nutritionist and writer before deciding it was time for a change of career. She is also a fitness instructor and teaches weekly classes in Dulwich, Herne Hill and Croydon. In her free time she loves going to the gym, walking, travelling... and baking healthy cakes!

Danuta – Customer Services Officer

Danuta has had a varied working life since moving from Birmingham to London. She spent several years as a PA including to the Head of the Charity Commission at the Home Office. 

Danuta also worked part-time in an Estate Agent’s office and in a Bromley primary school providing literacy support to children. She is a qualified medical secretary and worked for the Bromley Primary Healthcare Trust.

Danuta's leap into housing came in 2003 when she joined Hyde Housing working as a Customer Service Advisor and Housing Assistant in their Bromley office. Enjoying the contact with tenants, she obtained Customer Services qualifications and later became the Manager of a Customer Service Team, leaving Hyde to join PCHA in April 2012.

Danuta enjoys gardening and exploring the countryside, when the weather permits... and eating curries!

Danny – Housing Graduate

Danny joined PCHA in 2019 as a Housing Graduate through the graduate scheme Charity Works. Whilst completing his degree in International Development with Economics from the University of East Anglia, Danny volunteered as a youth mentor with a refugee integration project in Norwich. He also worked as a research assistant on a climate change project in Kampala, Uganda during one of his summers.

 

Danny currently lives in Forest Hill and is excited to work on his doorstep in Penge where he hopes to help tenants through a number of projects with PCHA.

 

In his spare time Danny is a big music fan and keen climber who loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Naomi – Finance Manager

Naomi joined PCHA in 2019 as Finance Manager, bringing with her over 20 years of accountancy experience. Naomi manages all aspects of finance for PCHA.

Prior to joining PCHA, Naomi worked in central London, where she built up a large team and successfully ran the Finance department of a high-end recruitment company. After ten years she decided it was time to make some changes to her lifestyle in order to be more accessible to her young family, including working more locally.

Naomi grew up and lives in the local area and is excited about the opportunity to work at PCHA and support the local community she knows and loves.

In her spare time Naomi loves to do anything creative, from painting and drawing to crochet. She also loves to bake, cycle and practice yoga.

Mick – Maintenance Operative / Handyman

Mick brings with him eight years experience working in a similar role for a care home run by Hexagon Housing Association. His main role is to carry out fire alarm and emergency light testing of all of PCHA’s properties as well as carrying out health and safety checks.

In his spare time, Mick likes to travel, read and watch movies, and is a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). He's also into DIY and loves fixing things! 

Nina – Customer Services Officer

Nina worked across a variety of industries before joining PCHA in 2019. With a passion for helping people, Nina has always worked in customer-focused roles, with a particular interest in the charity sector.

Nina brings her experience as a Receptionist, Housing Officer and Support Worker to her new role, and likes the idea of working locally for a community organisation.

She likes to spend her time taking walks with her dog, cooking and eating sweet treats. Nina also loves to travel and discover herbal remedies from around the world that she can share with others.
 

Sam – Resident Support Officer

Sam joined PCHA in November 2019 and has a passion to advocate for the vulnerable, empower and support people to overcome difficult circumstances.

Sam has over 15 years within Health and Social Care, with particular experience in the areas of mental health and addiction. With a ‘can do‘ attitude and quirky persona, Sam is excited to see how she can be of benefit to the residents of PCHA, encouraging them and finding workable solutions to problems they may face.

Sam also delivers i-act training for Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing. She lives in Kent with her husband and four barmy cats, and welcomes any opportunity to travel and experience other cultures.