Thursday, 20 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Thursday, 20 June 2024

HYELM embarks on its next chapter following new appointments

HYELM, a not-for-profit charity landlord seeking to address the shortage of affordable housing for young people, has appointed a new Board Chair, CEO and Finance Director to lead the next phase of its strategic vision.

Vanessa James, who has previously served as a governor on the board for Westminster University and on the Board of Riversmead Housing Association (part of the Network Housing Group), has joined as Chair of the charity’s board. With 20 years of practice in law, Vanessa has built a reputation for her pragmatism and extensive knowledge regarding housing and homelessness – something that will be integral to her work at HYELM.

In addition, Simon Wright, who has served as Director of Operations for the last eight years at HYELM, has been appointed as CEO. Throughout his time at the charity, Simon has played a fundamental role within the team to help drive HYELM forward, including work on a major rebranding project.

Bringing almost 40 years’ worth of experience, Martin Grundy has also joined the charity as the new Finance Director. Having previously worked for the charity on an interim basis, Martin has rejoined the team to lead the financial operations as HYELM embarks on its next chapter.

Having housed young people for nearly 100 years, the appointments come as HYELM embarks on an ambitious strategic plan over the next 18 months. Vanessa and Simon will lead the organisations’ growth, developing and expanding its offering, accommodation, services and facilities. Critical to this will be delivering a new residence which will provide high standard, affordable, rented accommodation, facilities and services for a further 156 young people on a site acquired in the vibrant and emerging regeneration area of Colindale, North London. Vanessa and Simon will also be implementing bold strategies for growth beyond the delivery of Colindale, as the charity seeks to meet increasing demand resulting from London’s chronic shortage of affordable housing.

Simon Wright, CEO at HYELM, said:

“For nearly 100 years, HYELM has had a positive impact on thousands of young workers’ lives by setting the benchmark for high quality, affordable housing in the capital. Never before has this offering been so important, and it’s an honour to be playing a part in the next chapter of the organisation’s journey amongst such a fantastic, knowledgeable and passionate team.”

HYELM’s work will continue to promote positive, stable and safe environments by working with residents and the local community to ensure that those they house remain at the heart of what they do. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HYELM has offered industry-leading support to its residents. From rehoming London’s key workers in its Old Street development during this period of uncertainty to exploring employment opportunities within the charity for residents who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and setting up a rent deferment scheme, protecting the safety and wellbeing of residents has always been at the heart of HYELM’s approach.

For further information regarding HYELM, please visit:


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