Railway People - Anne Rowlands

9th May 2017 | posted in News

There's no typical life in the week of Railway Housing Association Chief Executive Anne Rowlands, and that’s how she likes it.

Whether it’s attending a conference, preparing board papers or popping out for a quick swim, no two days tend to be the same for Anne, who oversees the running of the one of the UK’s oldest housing associations (it will celebrate 100 years in 2019).

Anne says: “I tend to divide my week between the office and meetings/conferences elsewhere. Our office is just opposite Darlington Railway Station so it easy to hop on a train, although despite overseeing a housing association with railway in its title, I unfortunately don’t get any discount!

“I am lucky because I have a very strong team behind me, so it means I can maintain a strategic overview of everything whilst allowing my directors and staff to get on with the important jobs of ensuring our residents are happy and that we are well run, financially viable organisation.

“Like all housing associations we have a board so I spend time getting papers ready for meetings, covering areas such as policies and performance.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is meeting residents and every three months I attend meetings of our resident focus groups where we share what we are doing as an organisation. It’s good to keep in touch with residents and for them to know they can have direct access to me.

“I also attend various conferences and seminars on housing so I can keep on top of what is going on in the housing world and to speak to other people in the sector.

“I meet regularly with the Chief Executives of two housing associations that are like ours, Pickering and Ferens, which was initially set up to help find homes for former fishermen, and Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association, which was founded to help former miners.

“Like Railway, both organisations now provide homes for people whatever their background, but it’s good to be able to speak to, and bounce ideas off, them.

“Even though I am busy doing all this, I still enjoy having a cuppa with my PA Karen, chatting to staff and occasionally I sometimes even manager to pop out for lunchtime swim!

“It’s a great job which I enjoy doing and I love the variety; it’s certainly never dull.”


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