The board of Realise charity consists of members of the community and business leaders from across Staffordshire. The role of our experienced board is to provide strategic direction for the charity and ensure we deliver on our values and vision.
Philippa Holland, Chair
Philippa retired from the Senior Civil Service in 2009, having spent much of her career based in the West Midlands, where she had particular responsibilities for housing, regeneration, local government and wider public sector performance. She was awarded the OBE in 2006. From 2009-2014, Philippa was a Board Member and Deputy Chair of ART, a social enterprise based in Birmingham providing loans to small business. Philippa joined Aspire in 2011 to chair Aspire Housing until 2019. She became the chair of Realise charity in February 2019.
Sinéad Butters MBE, Group Chief Executive, Aspire Housing
Sinéad has been Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing since 2006. Under her leadership the Aspire Housing Group has grown and broadened its services via the acquisition of Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training. In October 2015 Sinéad become Chair of PlaceShapers, the national network of over 100 community-based housing associations, with a collective goal to achieve real and lasting improvements in the communities they serve. In the 2016 New Year Honours list, Sinéad was awarded an MBE for her services to housing.
Will joined Aspire in 2007 and he has more than 25 years’ experience in the housing, regeneration and social enterprise sectors. He has previously held senior positions in local government and with regeneration agencies. Will is the Managing Director of PM Training, the training and employment arm of we are aspire.
Wendy joined the Realise charity board in February 2019. She is the Managing Director and founder of the Strategi Solutions Group, offering culture change to organisations, along with HR outsourcing, Learning and Development, PR, Marketing and Design and Health and Safety. Wendy was a finalist at the Forward Ladies Business of the Year Award in 2016, won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, and has led Strategi Solutions Group to be a finalist in the National Business Awards, Personnel Today Awards and the Staffordshire Chamber Awards.
Gill has been a Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Councillor since 2010, was Deputy Mayor and then Mayor from 2017-2019 and has held various roles on council committees during that time. She has worked for over 35 years in the public and voluntary sector working with vulnerable people in the community. Gill has 34 years military service (now retired) including operational service, currently works for NHS and is involved in organising the annual Newcastle carnival event.
Christina Holdcroft, Patron
Tina is a director at Holdcroft Heating and Gas Fitting. She previously held a senior role at Welcome Break. Holdcroft Heating won the Training Excellence Award at the Sentinel Business Awards in March 2014. Following a key role being the chair of Realise charity, Tina now continues her role as Patron of the charity.
Who we help
Who we help
Celebrating 10 years of Realise support with Nicola Hudson
Back in 2009, Nicola Hudson became the first apprentice to receive support from Realise charity. Here she talks about her full-circle journey and the impact Realise charity has had on her career.
Finding a support network thanks to Realise charity
A single mum in the local area had lost her business and was suffering from mental health problems. Realise charity stepped in alongside other local charities in the area to help provide school uniform, bedding and money to buy daily essentials.
17 year old Dave Thomas, was struggling to get to work and back living 40 minutes from his place of work. After a request was put forward to Realise charity, Dave got sorted with a new bike and helmet to help ease his journey!
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