Governance

Our Group Board is responsible for making sure that our activities are carried out to a high standard that keeps on improving.

The Group Board is currently made up of 11 individuals, which includes our Chief Executive and two residents. Each member brings valuable skills and experience from other sectors and organisations to their role. As a provider of social housing, we are regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing. 

The Group Board are also supported by a number of committees and resident groups to ensure our services are consistently improving to meet the needs of the people we help and house. 

Our board

  • OCTAVIA   Sandra Skeete CEO 270919 0017

    Sandra Skeete

    Chief Executive, Octavia

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    Sandra Skeete

    OCTAVIA   Sandra Skeete CEO 270919 0017

    Chief Executive

    Sandra has worked in the housing sector for several decades and has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles within a diverse range of housing organisations.

    As well as being the CEO of Octavia, Sandra also sits on the Board of One Housing Group and is a trustee of Leadership 2025, a charity working to positively disrupt the housing sector by championing support for diverse leadership. 

  • Sandeep Katwala 2

    Sandeep Katwala

    Chairman

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    Sandeep Katwala

    Sandeep Katwala 2

    Chairman

    Sandeep joined the Octavia Board as Chairman on 24 April 2017. Sandeep lives in west London and has a background in banking and law. He was recently appointed as the Vice Chair at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. He is also the Chair at WeCoproduce and is a member of a private equity fund advisory board.

  • Rosalind Stevens

    Rosalind Stevens

    Board member

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    Rosalind Stevens

    Rosalind Stevens

    Rosalind has over 30 years experience in policy advice, specialising in consumer protection. She is the Chair of Octavia's Group Corporate Services Committee and is also an Octavia resident.

  • Steve Smith Board Member

    Steve Smith

    Board member

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    Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Board Member

    Steve is a business owner, a member of Octavia’s Tenant Services Group and it’s Complaints Panel. He is also an Octavia Housing tenant.

  • Debbie Sorkin

    Debbie Sorkin

    Board member

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    Debbie Sorkin

    Debbie Sorkin

    Octavia Board member

    Debbie Sorkin is National Director of Systems Leadership at the Leadership Centre. She has an extensive  background in social care leadership and she holds other non-executive roles in the sector.

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    Visakha Sri Chandrasekera

    Board Member

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    Visakha Sri Chandrasekera

    Octavia   Visakha Sri Chandrasekera 101218 0223 sRGB

    Board Member

    Visakha is an independent housing consultant with nearly thirty years of experience in the sector, having worked for local authorities, the Housing Corporation/HCA (now Homes England), and the Morgan Sindall Group. Her experience covers private and public sector housing development, governance and leadership.

  • Shiela

    Sheila Fitzsimons

    Board Member

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    Sheila Fitzsimons

    Shiela

    Board Member

    Sheila joined the Octavia Board in July 2019.  Sheila worked at the Guardian for over 20 years and led all their digital transformation projects.

    Recently she has worked in the Cabinet Office for the Government Digital Service. 

  • john board

    John Holman

    Board member

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    John Holman

    john board

    John has operated at Director and board level in housing associations, ALMO’s, local authorities, PFI and private sector, leading on organisational change and delivering large capital programmes. His roles have included, Head of Housing Investment & Asset Management and Director of Property & Development. 

    He has an MA in Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, Member of the Institute of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.  

    At Octavia John has a particular Board responsibility for buildings and estates

  • Hugh

    Hugh Thornbery

    Board member

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    Hugh Thornbery

    Hugh

    Hugh was previously the CEO of Adoption UK, Director of Business Development at Action for Children, along with other roles and also a Chair of Trustees at various national charities. He has an MBA in Public Service Admin and currently runs his own consultancy. Hugh was awarded a CBE in 2016 for services to children & families.

    At Octavia, Hugh is Chair of the Corporate Committee and has particular board responsibilities for charities, communities, and equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • Terry G

    Terry Gallagher

    Board Member

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    Terry Gallagher

    Terry G

    Board Member

    Terry is the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. He was appointment on the 1 January 2020. Terry has a 30 year career in finance spanning both commercial and public sectors. He is a non-executive board member of another housing association and is Chair of their Funding & Treasury Committee. Previous experience includes Director of Corporate Services at Sheffield Homes and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Lambeth Living. He is a Fellow of the institute of Chartered Management Accountants and holds an MBA.

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    Paul Williams

    Board Member

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    Paul Williams

    IMG 0330

    Board Member

    Paul is the Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. He was appointed on the 1 January 2020.  He is also the Vice Chair of Hexagon Housing Group and Chair of Horniman Housing Association, a wholly owned non-charitable subsidiary of Hexagon. Paul also serves as a Board Member at BHT Sussex Housing Trust and at Chichester Greyfriars Housing Association.

    His executive career included periods as Director of Resources and Company Secretary at B3 Living, Group Finance Director at English Churches Housing Group and Group Director of Finance at Downland Housing Group. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

  • Our senior management

  • OCTAVIA   Sandra Skeete CEO 270919 0017

    Sandra Skeete

    Chief Executive, Octavia

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    Sandra Skeete

    OCTAVIA   Sandra Skeete CEO 270919 0017

    Chief Executive

    Sandra has worked in the housing sector for several decades and has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles within a diverse range of housing organisations.

    As well as being the CEO of Octavia, Sandra also sits on the Board of One Housing Group and is a trustee of Leadership 2025, a charity working to positively disrupt the housing sector by championing support for diverse leadership. 

  • Abbi

    Abbi Agana

    Director of Business Excellence and Innovation

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    Abbi Agana

    Abbi

    Director of Business Excellence and Innovation

    Abbi joined Octavia in August 2020 as the Director of Business Excellence and Innovation. 

    Abbi brings over 17 years’ experience of successfully delivering people centred transformational change and innovation in a career that spans housing, the NHS and the private sector. An experienced values driven leader, she has held senior roles at Golding Homes, Southern Homes and Peabody and currently sits on the Board of 2020 Change and Brixtonhouse.

    Abbi holds an MBA in Strategic Management and in creating and identifying value in organisations through data.

  • Dave Woods

    Dave Woods

    Development Director

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    Dave Woods

    Dave Woods

    Development Director

    Dave Woods is Development Director at Octavia, who are lead partners of the Connected Development Partnership; one of the Housing Corporation’s Preferred Partners developing over 1000 homes in London and Hertfordshire.

    With over 20 years experience of developing new homes for RSLs in Central and West  London, Dave is considered an expert on affordable development matters.  He also represents the National Housing Federation on a number of research projects and working parties where he represents the social housing sector.

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    Sarah Shaw

    Director of Housing, Care and Communities

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    Sarah Shaw

    Octavia   Sarah Mbatha 290318 0245 5M sRGB

    Sarah joined Octavia in 2018 as Director of Housing, Care and Communities, bringing more than 20 years’ experience of improving operational housing services.

    Sarah’s last role was at East Thames, where she led a programme which transformed the culture, performance and finances of the organisation.

    Sarah is passionate about the value of social housing to change individual lives, and the wider societal benefit it provides.

  • Lynsey1

    Lynsey Bradshaw

    Finance Director

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    Lynsey Bradshaw

    Lynsey1

    Finance Director

    Lynsey joined Octavia in November 2018 as Finance Director and brings a wealth of experience across commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

    Lynsey’s last role was at Peabody where she was Finance Director for Development, Regeneration and Commercial, and Lynsey qualified as a chartered accountant with BDO specialising in real estate tax.

    Lynsey is committed to the social housing sector, and the mission and history of Octavia.