Neil Turton (Supporter/Investor Director) has wide-ranging business management experience at a senior level. Previously CEO of Nisa, he is the current managing director at Sugro Limited. He is an associate at Co-operatives UK and has been a strong driver supporting the development of Student Co-op Homes.
Chris Jarrold (User Director) lived in Birmingham Student Housing Co-op for over two years and has been involved with SCH as a director since day one. Now an engineering graduate, he currently lives locally in another housing co-op, inspired by his student experience. His core responsibilities in the co-ops that he’s been a part of have covered maintenance, home improvements, co-op finances, and co-op administration. His time living in co-ops has driven him to engage with the co-operative and social-ecology movements through setting up, developing and volunteering with many co-ops and social-ecology groups.
Vivian Woodell (Supporter/Investor Director) has extensive experience in co-operative entrepreneurship. He was the founder of The Phone Co-op and served as its chief executive for 19 years. He is currently the CEO of The Phone Co-op Foundation for Co-operative Innovation and Vice President of The Midcounties Co-operative Ltd., as well as a non-executive director of Co-operatives UK, The Co-operative Loan Fund and West Oxfordshire Community Transport Limited. He also serves on the board of the Co-operative College Trust. Vivian has been supporting the student housing co-operative sector since the beginning, notably through the acquisition of properties by The Phone Co-op for Birmingham and Sheffield student housing co-ops.
Dr Scott Jennings (User Director/ Society Secretary) is an active figure in the student co-operative sector. He set up the Nottingham Student Housing Co-op, and has been an active member supporting the Co-operative to this day. He project managed the creation of Student Co-op Homes. He is a director of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH). His involvement in co-operative housing organisations, at a local level and in national federations, has taught him a range of governance skills as well as stakeholder engagement and communication strategy across a breadth of contexts. Scott has also led on international relationship building with North American Student Co-operatives (NASCO) and other organisations to take on best practice and promote a more interlinked global movement. Scott brings his collection of experience and dedication to help drive SCH forward and establish new student housing co-ops of different shapes, sizes and structures.
Tom Roberts (User Director) is the current chair of SCH. He’s a founding member of Nottingham Student Housing Co-op and is currently studying for his ACA. He became a keen housing campaigner after investigating a number of housing scandals for the local press and worked with Scott to begin developing the co-operative model in Nottingham. He has a specific interest in using SCH to challenge assumptions about both students and student housing, letting them become a responsible force for good in their communities and not a nuisance. He sees the co-operative model as a chance to give something back, from students and to students, to give them a chance to build their skills and use them.
Mike Shaw (User Director) has been a key driver and enabler of the student co-operative movement. He co-founded Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative, managed the negotiations with the council and housing association to start managing the property, and has since been overseeing the co-op’s finances and renovation works. He also helped set-up Students for Co-operation, a national network bringing together various kinds of student co-ops in the UK, and was an active force behind the creation of Student Co-op Homes.
Ruthie Walters (User Director) is a co-founder of SEASALT Housing Co-operative, a student housing co-op in Brighton. From registering as a co-op, building the group’s membership to working with a local Community Land Trust to launch and run a successful community share offer, Ruthie has been involved with every step of setting up a student housing co-op. She graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in International Development with Spanish and now works in advocacy and campaigning. Ruthie is passionate about good-quality, affordable housing and sees student housing co-ops as a powerful alternative to the increasing financialisation of student housing.
Jamie Risner (User Director) was a founding member of Sheffield Student Housing Co-op and is now a chartered building services engineering working on the design of zero-carbon buildings.
Mikey Brown (User Director/ Society Treasurer) is a Director and Treasurer of Birmingham Student Housing Co-operative, where has lived since July 2020. He is a keen activist for affordable, safe and well maintained student housing and believes passionately that the Co-Operative sector is the ideal solution to the problems of the private rental market. A mature student, he has experience in the private sector managing teams and delivering process changes to drive efficiency as well as in negotiation as a litigation executive. He is currently President of the University of Birmingham Guild of Students, a platform he uses to advocate on behalf of the student body on a wide range of social and political issues.
Lisa Hartley (Operations Manager) joined SCH in Spring 2021 on a part time self-employed basis. She has been working with student co-operatives for over five years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Her initial experience with student led co-operatives was through supporting food and bike co-operatives at Brighton Students’ Union in 2016. In February 2018, she recruited a group of students and helped to set up SEASALT Housing Co-operative. She has been working with them as their Community Housing Enabler for the last 3.5 years, in partnership with Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT). Lisa has been involved throughout the SEASALT journey; including registration, business planning, policy making, community engagement, and a successful community share offer.