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Elim Housing Board

About the Board

Elim is governed by a board of volunteers who are selected to contribute a range of skills to the organisation. The Board is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction of the organisation, for monitoring its progress in meeting that vision and direction and ensuring that the organisation provides good value for money. Elim has adopted the National Housing Federation Code of Governance, which sets out in more detail the role and expectations of the Board and the Senior Leadership Team.

To undertake its work, the Board meets quarterly as well as having informal awaydays and Board seminars. It also undertakes its detailed work through three committees and a subsidiary Board. These are:

People and Culture Committee (PAC)
Focusses on people-related issues, both the service to our customers and the support to our staff colleagues.

Development & Assets Committee (DAC)
Focusses on property-based issues including the improvement of our existing homes and the building or purchasing of new ones.

Finance, Risk & Audit Committee (FRAC)
Focuses on money-related issues, including accounts, audits, borrowing and risk management.


Sally Mason, chair of the Elim board

Sally Mason, chair of the Elim board

 Sally Mason was appointed to the role of chair in September 2021. You can find out more here.

Elim Board and Committee Members

Sonia Furzland

Joined: 2018

Current professional role: Executive Director of Operations, Newport City Homes

Sonia has worked in housing for over 30 years and has a special interest in customer involvement, place based leadership and operational management.

"I feel keenly my responsibility as a Board member to ensure that we deliver safe, high quality homes and that the decisions we make need to be informed by our customers priorities and aspirations"

Elim committees: FRAC

Kathryn Pennington

Joined: 2019

Current professional role: Regional Development Director, Vistry Partnerships South West 

Kathryn has worked in housing for 13 years. Her experience extends to development and sales of all types of housing across all tenures.

“I have a strong partnership approach to delivering on goals with clear vision and shared objectives and I take pride in delivering social value and place-making with community engagement underpinning sustainable communities.”

Elim committees: DAC 

Ian McLeod, BA (Hons), ACMA, AMCT

Joined: 2020

Current professional role: Finance Director Curo Enterprise, Director of Treasury, Curo Group 

Ian has held senior finance positions at housebuilders and housing associations for the last 20 years. He is also a member of Elim's Risk and Audit Committee.

“I joined the Board as I wish to help Elim achieve its goals in supporting people and providing safe, secure, high quality homes that change people’s lives.”

Elim committees: FRAC

Mark Williams, FCT, ACMA, CGMA, HNC, BSc  (Hons)

Joined: 2013

Current professional role: Treasury Manager, Sovereign

Mark is also a member of Elim's Risk and Audit Committee. He has special interests in Finance, Housing Development, Financial Planning, Compliance, and Treasury and Risk Management.

"I became a Board Member to obtain experience with a focus on helping solve issues that make a difference to people's lives."

Elim committees: Chair, FRAC

Jacqui Darbyshire, BSc, MRICS

Joined: 2015

Current professional role: Estate Surveyor and Project Coordinator, Bath Spa University

Jacqui is also a Director of Lime Property Ventures and has a special interest in Property Development and Management.

"Elim is an open-minded organisation keen to diversify, grow, and yet keep its core values at heart."

Elim committees: Director of Lime Property Ventures

Sally Mason

Joined: 2020

Current professional role: Sally has over 25 years' experience in HR and Organisational Development in both private and not-for-profit sectors, ranging from hospitality to social housing and believes strongly in the link between excellent customer service and high performing staff teams.

 “I have always respected Elim’s commitment to providing their residents with the best support and care and look forward to helping the organisation deliver its values and vision.”

Elim committees: PAC, Chair of the Group Board

Paul Smith

Joined: 2020

Current professional role: Chief Executive of Elim Housing and Lime Property Ventures.

Paul has worked in housing for over 30 years, both supported and general needs. He has been the Chief Executive of two organisations, Housing Potential UK (the housing skills body) and the Furniture Re-use Network. He has worked at a senior level for two housing associations and prior to joining Elim was the Cabinet Member for Housing at Bristol city Council.

Paul believes his priorities are excellent customer service, sustainable growth of the business and ensuring good governance informed by the views and needs of our residents.

Elim committees: DAC, FRAC, PAC, Director of Lime Property Ventures

David Heyes

Joined: 2017

Current professional role: Head of Operations, Dancerace 

David chairs the Elim Organisational Development Committee supporting effective change and transformation.

"My parents benefited hugely from social housing, as did I. I passionately support Elim’s fantastic people in their aim to provide homes and services that change people’s lives."

Elim committees: Chair, PAC

Melissa Barber

Joined: 2017

Current professional role: Head of Marketing and Communications, Beard Construction

Melissa has special interests in Communications, Marketing, PR, Digital and Branding.

"I am always thinking outside of the box, coming up with creative, innovative ways to implement marketing and communications strategies that effectively reinforce and build brand awareness and achieve long term business objectives."

Elim committees: PAC

David Stollard, BEng, CEng, MICE, MAPM, MBA

Joined: 2017

Current professional role: Programme Manager, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

David has over 20 years’ experience in the deployment of large mixed use capital projects across the world.

"I'm very keen to ensure that my skills and experience can be deployed to further benefit the immediate community, and I hope this will continue to be of a benefit to Elim Housing.”

Elim committees: Chair, DAC

Stuart Palmer

Joined: 2020

Current professional role: Retired housing professional

Stuart has over 35 years experience of planning and leading strategic housing service delivery, with a focus on organisational change, developing effective partnerships and targeted services.

“I have worked with many Housing Associations but, I was attracted to Elim because of its approach in sourcing and providing  a wide range of excellent housing solutions to help people at different stages of their lives”.

Elim committees: DAC

Lime Property Ventures’ Independent Directors

Nick Cooper (Chair of LPV Board)

Joined: 2021

Current professional role: Strategic and development land agent.

Nick has worked in residential development for over thirty-five years, both in land agency and in senior roles within private housebuilding companies.

“I joined the board as I wanted to use my property development experience to assist Lime Property Ventures growth”

Martyn Smith

Joined: 2021

Current professional role: Consultant.

Martyn was on the board of Elim for ten years, including three as Chair.  Most of his career has been in finance, in a range of public and private sector businesses, many of them with significant property activities.  In addition to his consultancy activities he is currently a trustee of several charities.

"When, a few years after leaving the Elim board, I was asked to consider joining the board of LPV and help to establish it, I jumped at the chance.  It is very satisfying to generate trading profits to help Elim with its mission."

Join Us

Elim Board Members have a three-year term which can be extended for a maximum two terms. We are frequently looking for new members to serve on our committees and Board. We are particularly interested in people from under-represented groups, residents in our properties, people who have lived experience of homelessness and people from the Gypsy and Traveller community. If you would like to be considered, please email

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