About the Older Peoples Housing Champion’s network

Care & Repair England set up the national Older People’s Housing Champion’s Network to:

  • raise awareness of the scale and nature of the impact of poor and unsuitable housing on older people’s health and wellbeing
  • influence decision making and bring about improvements in policy & practice

Local Champions share practice and keep an eye on the ground in their areas on housing and ageing issues, help to co-ordinate and stimulate local action and act as a source of local intelligence. Care & Repair England offers local Champions support on this.

Local Champions are: –

  • East: Diane Minns (Cambridge) 
  • East Midlands:  John Simmons (Derbyshire)

This is a short clip (4mins) of John Simmons, Chair of the Older Peoples Housing Champion’s Network. John has a background in Adult Care, and he speaks passionately about the importance of safe, secure and decent homes in being able to live well with independence and dignity in later life. 


  • London:  Ellen Lebethe (Lambeth) 

In this short film clip (5mins) Ellen Lebethe, the Champion for London talks about her many years of experience as a social activist and what inspires her to campaign for better housing for ageing.


In this short clip (2.5mins), Esther Salamon, Housing Champion for the North East, speaks about her experience of  and passion for Community-led Housing- and of ensuring that people themselves are at forefront of the housing planning and decision making that impact their lives. 


  • North West:  Joan Rutherford (Manchester) and Pauline Whittaker 

Below is a short clip (2.45 mins) of Joan Rutherford, Housing Champion for the North West, speaking about her experience as a Town Planner and of the importance decent, affordable and accessible homes for all, focussing on the long term impact that good quality housing investment can make to communities. 


  • South West:  Tony Watts OBE and Jill Turner

In this short clip (3.5mins) Bill Rollinson MBE, joint Housing Champion for Yorkshire and the Humber, speaks about his early experience as a Town Planner, later as former CEO for the Home Improvement Agency in Leeds (Care&Repair Leeds) and currently as Chair of Leeds Older Peoples Forum. 

In this recording (3.25 mins), John Welham, joint Housing Champion for Yorkshire and the Humber, talks about his many years of experience working in the housing sector and of the impact that poor quality housing can have on health. John is also a Trustee of Care & Repair Leeds and Leeds Older People’s Forum. 


  • West Midlands:  Sue Gillespie

For details of the skills and interests of the local Champions see older-peoples-housing-champions-skills-and-interests-march 2020.

If you would like to contact any of the local Champions listed above, please do get in touch with Care& Repair England in the first instance and we will forward accordingly: info@careandrepairengland.org.uk

For information on the meetings of the network see Summary-of-meetings-Older-Peoples-Champions 2020.

For further information about the network contact info@careandrepair-england.org.uk.