innovative thinking and excellent levels of service

proactive in our desire for change

Concept was born out of a desire to make a positive contribution to the affordable housing crisis. Our priority is to provide desperately needed homes for social and affordable rent whilst supporting residents who aspire to a home for life.

Everyone that works for Concept is committed to this shared vision and has the attitude and the skill to deliver on it. Our board, management and operational teams have been built with experienced people including many who bring a strong growth mindset from the commercial sector.

We are proud to have built a reputation for having a team that can think flexibly and act with intent and pace.

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the board

Adrian Bland – Chair
Adrian is an experienced property lawyer, law firm leader and chair. He has led the legal work on some of the best known property developments in the country. At the same time, Adrian has worked as executive chair and practice leader in three major national and international law firms. In a non-executive capacity, he has contributed as chair or board member to organisations (including charities) in the arts, business and real estate sectors.

Adrian aims to ensure highly professional standards of governance, decision making and corporate leadership as befit the scale of Concept`s operations today.

Safraz Hussain

Safraz joined the board after he saw first-hand the good work that the organisation was doing in Birmingham.

Safraz was a founder member of, and has been involved with, a Homeless Outreach Project in the City for over 10 years and is dedicated to helping homeless people and developing anti-homeless strategies. Safraz joined the board to help maintain, challenge and develop the reach and standards of that service and also has a strong background in project management, particularly I.T. which is vital to the continued success and efficient, responsible growth of the organisation.​

Abdus (Jeb) Samad
Jeb has worked in the public sector for over 20 years (DWP and local government) and understands the intricacies of working with diverse local authorities.

Jeb joined the organisation to help to support low-income people and to challenge the standards of the organisation to provide high quality accommodation.

Ian Hughes
Ian was previously a Housing Association Group Chief Executive for over 20 years. He has extensive knowledge and experience in community services and social housing.

He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor before holding a number of senior executive positions in the public sector and housing associations. He is currently a non-executive Board Member with two other housing associations.

Ewelina Sorbjan
Ewelina is a housing director with legal background and over 15 years of experience of working for local authorities, ALMOs and a housing association. Having started her career in litigation with a strong focus on home ownership, Ewelina, brings a wealth of technical expertise on leasehold and landlord and tenant matters.

Ewelina has a strong focus on all things resident, and the overall support needs presented by individuals to ensure that everyone can live their best life.

Jean Jarvis MBE
A dynamic and entrepreneurial leader with an enthusiasm for and expertise in Social Enterprise and Social Housing. Jean is a former Chief Executive and Managing Director and has thirty years’ experience as a founder practitioner – setting up and running successful social businesses as well as advising others. She also has extensive experience in a variety of board roles.

A perennial networker with significant national and international contacts, Jean has acted for the Government as a social enterprise ambassador; working with the Home Office; and was honoured with an MBE for Services to Social Enterprise in 2011.

Currently she is studying fine art and silversmithing at Hereford Art college, acts as a business mentor and donates time to a local charity board, whilst finding time to travel and enjoying walks in the beautiful countryside where she lives.

Raj Shroff
Raj has over 30 years’ experience in the Care and Support sector starting as a volunteer in a large Direct Access Hostel for homeless men and leading a Midlands based Housing Association as Director of its Supported Services and Deputy Director of Care and Support.

Raj is a director of a consultancy company working with organisations who deliver care and support services in the public, private and voluntary sector. He has an MBA and an Executive Leadership Certificate awarded by Cranfield University’s School of Management.

Raj is a Non-Executive Director of a CIC supported housing association having previously served on a national learning disabilities charity board, been a director of a bond scheme and a trustee of two local homelessness charities. He is currently a custody visitor for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and a Cadet Forces Instructor.

Commercially focussed Raj is interested in ensuring Care and Support services are viable and are quality driven for focussed outcomes for customers. Having managed budgets in excess of £70 million p.a. with large staff teams and been a New Business Manager, Raj has the ability to see solutions to problems and deliver operationally to strategic objectives.

Raj has a keen interest in enabling colleagues to see the potential for services when they are efficiently resourced and is passionate about future proofing services.

Akhlaq Ahmed
Akhlaq Ahmed is a chartered accountant and has previously led regional forensic and compliance practices for a number of global accountancies (including two of the ‘Big 4′).

Akhlaq’s sector knowledge covers both public and private clients as well as working with regulators and government agencies. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and has over 20 years’ experience in assisting businesses and organisations in governance, compliance reviews, financial audits and assessments. He has led a number of independent board reviews in the public and private sector, supporting organisations with independent assessment of effectiveness of its boards.

Julie Haywood
Julie Haywood has spent most of her career within housing and community investment. Most recently she was Director of Community Investment for Walsall Housing Group where she worked for 17 years, leading innovative customer focused services. People and communities really matter to her, and she is passionate about the role that housing can play in promoting inclusivity. Julie currently holds Non-Executive roles for Adullam Homes and Milton Keynes Housing company.

David Sleath
David started life as a Trainee Travel Agent, owning his own business in his early 20s and becoming a main Board Director of one of the leading National Trade bodies for Travel Agents.

His career path saw him move into property and business development roles in the travel sector ultimately becoming Property and Development Director for Going Places Leisure Travel Ltd – the retail division of Airtours Holidays PLC – with responsibility for a National Estate of in excess of 1,000 retail outlets.

On leaving the sector in 2001 David fulfilled a couple of Interim CEO/Corporate Turnaround roles before establishing his own award-winning residential development company. It was here that David developed a personal interest in affordable housing and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

David is a passionate advocate of everyone deserving a home that is affordable to buy or rent and affordable to occupy and in his MMC journey has developed close links with the market leaders in renewable energy in the residential market.

David is Managing Director of an MMC start up and hopes to contribute to solving the housing crisis in the U.K with particular emphasis on finding solutions for homelessness. With in depth knowledge and contacts across the industry, including within the MMC sector, Institutional Funding markets, structural warranties and the Residential Development space, David has also worked closely over recent years with experts in the Supported Living Space.

David hopes his contacts, commercial and entrepreneurial expertise will enable him to make a meaningful contribution to the Concept Board.

the executive team

David Fensome – Chief Executive
David has 4 years social housing experience with other Registered Providers. He has a further 20 years’ commercial experience with several blue chip companies, 15 years of which was as a company Director. Plus he has 10 years’ experience, as an owner/Financial Director, supporting vulnerable people in the care sector.

David has specific experience in building and directing organisations with rapid growth strategies, enabling them to plan for and manage that growth effectively and efficiently. He has a passion for helping vulnerable people due to personal circumstances.​

Wayne Hainsworth – Director of Resident Services and Partnerships
Wayne has over 25 years’ experience delivering transformational change across housing and local government, having held multiple executive positions including Managing Director of Merton Priory Homes and Executive Director of Customer Services at Wandle Housing Association.

Wayne is a creative and engaging leader who takes a whole system approach to working with residents and stakeholders to co-design and deliver sustainable improvement programmes that place residents at the heart of what we do.

As a qualified and practicing Executive & Transformational Coach Wayne combines his passion for excellence in housing with his passion for nurturing talent and supporting residents and colleagues alike to achieve their full potential.

Stephen Duffill – Finance Director
Stephen is CHA’s Finance Director and has more than 25 years’ experience as a senior finance professional, 8 years of which have been within the social housing sector. Prior to joining CHA, Stephen held Executive Director positions with Stafford and Rural Homes and Housing Plus Group, and for more than 10 years ran his own consultancy business delivering measurable benefits for SME, Charitable, Not for Profit and other public sector organisations.

Stephen is a qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Andy Frankum – Director of Health & Safety and Compliance
Andy has over 20 years’ experience as a health and safety professional, having worked in the logistics and social housing sectors. Andy has over ten years’ experience in the social housing sector and brings a wealth of experience to Concept.

Andy has driven national policy initiatives to improve safety and has led award winning corporate health and safety functions overseeing risk and working at both strategic and operational levels across a number of housing associations.

Andy also chairs the National Social Housing Fire Strategy group and is a member of HSE Interim Industry Competence Committee. Andy was also named as the 4th top influencer in fire safety in 2021 by IFSECGlobal.

Catherine Rogerson – Company Secretary and Head of Governance & Human Resources

With 25 years’ experience in the social housing sector, Catherine joined Concept as Company Secretary & Governance Lead in 2022 having previously been Company Secretary for a large housing and care provider in the Midlands.

Her earlier career in local government and the private sector spanned human resources, training and payroll and she has recently been appointed as Head of Governance & Human Resources at Concept.

Catherine has undertaken voluntary work with various charities and schools and is an affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Governance.

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