Meet the Team
We are a small but passionate team, dedicated to providing the best possible service to our residents.
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 lives in Rochester in Kent, and has an adult daughter. 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 – Corporate Services Manager
Cassandra joined PCHA in May 2018, originally in the role of Finance & Admin Officer. Now Corporate Services Manager, 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. In her free time she loves working out, walking, travelling... and baking healthy cakes!
Jean – Tenancy Services Officer
Jean joined PCHA in June 2020 as a Tenancy Services Officer. Her work experience in housing management and support sectors spans 13 years across smaller community organisations and larger registered social landlords and local authorities.
Jean has particularly enjoyed being part of smaller and more community focussed organisations which she believes are uniquely placed to respond to local and individual needs in a proactive and committed way. She enjoys the day to day engagement with residents, and relishes the chance to get involved and make a difference.
Jean lives locally and is a lover of the great outdoors – cycling, walking and on occasions jogging her way around the local parks and green areas!
Nina – Tenancy 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 started with PCHA as a Customer Services Officer and is currently completing a secondment to Tenancy Services Officer.
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.
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!
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.
Roger – Director of Finance
Roger has been with PCHA since April 2020 on a part time basis. He has worked as a Finance Director and financial consultant in the social housing sector for 20 years and prior to that had senior financial posts in diverse sectors such as professional football, oil exploration and library services. A qualified chartered accountant, he splits his work time between PCHA and a wide portfolio of consultancy assignments mainly around business planning, assurance, risk management and ad hoc tasks such as helping shape social housing provision on a Caribbean island.
Roger lives with his wife in Kings Hill, Kent and spends his spare time following Sutton United FC and Surrey County Cricket Club, enjoying life with his 2 grandchildren in Nottingham and learning how to play the guitar should an unlikely vacancy arise in a reformed 70s punk or German kosmiche band.
Alex – Customer Services Officer
Alex joined PCHA in May 2021. This is her first role in social housing, having spent six years as an assistant manager for a florist and over 10 years in other customer facing roles. She has a real love for working with people and delivering a dedicated and caring customer experience. Motivated by problem solving and service providing, Alex is thrilled to be able to put her passion to good use in helping the residents of PCHA.
When not running around after her two year old daughter, Alex loves gardening, anything Arts-and-Craftsy and exploring English countryside and beaches.
Leonie – Customer Services Officer
Leonie joined PCHA in March 2021. This is her first role in housing, but she has over six years’ experience in customer-facing roles. Leonie really enjoys working with, helping and getting to know different types of people. The environments she has worked in have been very different, but she believes you must live outside your comfort zone to have the best experiences and broaden your perspective by speaking to people from all walks of life.
Leonie is very happy to be a part of the PCHA team. She feels like she can really make change here and will be able to directly help people change their situation, even if it is just a dodgy light bulb!
Outside of the office, Leonie loves all things creative. She really enjoys writing poems/scripts and throwing herself into a really good film or book. She is also a trained mentor for young ladies who struggle mentally or emotionally and just need someone to vent to – a bit like a big sister/little sister relationship. She really enjoys catching up with her mentee each week and watch them grow into their skin.