New Chairman at Rapport Housing & Care: Zach Miles Steps Down After Nine Years
After joining the board of trustees in 2012 and being appointed chair in 2014, Zach Miles has handed over to successor, Stephen Kemp, following seven years of chairmanship at Rapport Housing & Care (RHC).
Bringing a wealth of financial knowledge to the board, Zach saw the organisation through many challenging and joyful times, from home closures to new openings, as well as notably leaving the Abbeyfield movement.
“When I joined what was then The Abbeyfield Kent Society (TAKS) as a trustee nine years ago, I knew virtually nothing about the care sector but fortunately I did have some financial skills, which became useful rather quickly.
“I came to join the organisation as a friend of mine’s father had set up an Abbeyfield home in Sutton. He was working closely with TAKS and knew they needed trustees, so he put me in touch with the team. There have been some difficult times, in particular the care home closures but we have a lot to be proud of too, appointing a director of care really strengthened the structure of the team and we established ourselves as an independent organisation, which some people were cautious about.
“It’s been a particularly hard year and this isn’t this isn’t the way I’d have liked to spend my last year as chair but the efforts of our team have been fantastic. I’m sad to be leaving but I look forward to keeping in touch and visiting our new schemes when it is safe to do so.”
RHC’s trustees and executive team said their goodbyes to Zach following his final board meeting on Zoom, with Patron, Lady Anne Marie Nelson and Ambassador and former Chair, Robert Barnes, joining the virtual celebration.
Lady Anne Marie Nelson described Zach as having the very qualities of a good chair “courage, vision and boldness”, she affirmed that Zach’s predecessor, Robert, too was courageous in enabling the organisation to make a quantum leap, by taking on a number of the Kent County Council care homes, a momentous step in the organisation’s growth and development.”
With other directorship commitments, Zach isn’t bidding farewell to board meetings just yet but as of March 18th, he hands the reins at RHC over to trustee of two years, Stephen, who has a background in social housing, and will surely bring an entirely different skillset to the role.
“I changed careers in 1990, moving into the social housing sector because I wanted to help older people.” Stephen says, “sadly my career took a different turn but I did pick up a lot of valuable skills in the process. When I saw the ad for trustees with RHC I thought it was a great opportunity for me to get back to that purpose. The idea that I came into housing to help older people and I was now returning to that, at the end of my career, felt like it was full circle.
“I never expected to be chair but in the past two years, I have definitely caught the passion that exudes from the executive team, who despite the past year being tremendously difficult, have retained their enthusiasm for housing and care.
“And certainly with that passion I intend to continue to oversee the delivery of our strategic and business plans and I hope to see more extra care housing schemes being built, which we develop to such a high standard.
“I’m very grateful to my fellow trustees for the leap of faith they have given me, I’ll do my level best to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors and if I need it, I have Zach’s phone number!”
Zach (left) hands over the reigns to Steven (right).