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Home / About Arhag / Our People / Board Members

Board Members

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Reena Purchase


Reena became Chair of the Board in September 2022.

She is an accomplished leader and senior manager in the charity and housing association sectors. This includes fifteen years leading and growing the Octavia Foundation, a registered charity supporting people affected by ill-health, social isolation, low income or unemployment. Reena is known for successfully developing strategy and increasing income through fundraising and from charity retail to grow organisations and reach more people. Her previous roles within the housing and charity sectors include Director, Octavia Foundation, Head of Corporate Services, Presentation Housing and Grants Manager/Assessor HACT working with Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need.

As well as being multi-lingual, Reena is a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and provides mindfulness training and coaching to individuals.

Reena is passionate about supporting migrants and refugees and adding value through the services Arhag provides. As well as leading Arhag’s strategy to be the go-to organisation for migrant and immigrant issues, her vision is to create a positive narrative around the huge contribution migrants and refugees make to our society.

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David Maitland

Board Member and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee

David is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience working for several Registered Providers in London, the Midlands and the North. He is currently employed as "Head of Treasury & Business Planning" and has previously undertaken a number of roles at a senior level in finance, treasury and company secretarial. He is a founder Trustee, Chairman and Secretary of a small Trust involved in the rescue of Border Collies and has been a member of Lions Clubs International for over 30 years

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Boe Williams

Board Member

Boe has held several roles in corporate governance within the Housing sector. As Chair of a London ALMO, she worked closely with the Local Authority and led the organisation through a period of immense organisational and operational change. She has held a governance role in a subsidiary board of a G15 RP and in an umbrella ALMO representing four separate TMOs.

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Bulbul Ali

Board Member and Chair of the Operations Committee

Bulbul was appointed as a Board member on 28th September 2017. Bulbul has a BA in Housing Studies and an Msc in Real Estate & Development. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and an Associate Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Bulbul has worked for several G15 housing associations, including L&Q, Notting Hill and Clarion, in a career spanning over twenty years. He specialises in development and land acquisitions and is currently Head of New Business for Origin Housing Association.

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Diana Hamilton

Board Member

Diana was appointed as a board member on 23rd September 2021. She has over 35 years’ experience in Social Housing and Social Care, having been the Head of Housing in a local authority with responsibility for the housing stock and management of over 5000 tenancies.

Diana was also Group Director of Operations in a large social care organisation with a budget of £30m and a staff group of 650 - leading the delivery of housing and social care services to people throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

She was the Chair of the Watford Domestic Violence forum as well as the Health and Safety committee.

Diana holds a Post Graduate in Social Care Leadership.

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Helen Gribble

Board Member

Helen is a Board level Company Director with a track record of developing and implementing projects in support of strategic business goals. Her industry experience has included Travel & Hospitality, Rail Construction & Engineering, Financial Services, Not-for-profit, Retail and Professional Services within both the UK, Europe and Internationally. With deep experience in HR and Organizational Development in her current role Helen has responsibility for both the people and legal functions as well as opening new operating markets globally. Helen has Post-graduate qualifications in HR and general business. Helen also has an active interest in Refugee & Migrant Issues including being a board member of the CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum seekers) charity board for over 5 years.

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Keith Best

Board Member

Chief Executive of complex organisations and NED various bodies >30 years. Currently, adviser to London Hotel Group, Executive Chair WFM/IGP (international NGO) Chair Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust, Chair Charity 2020, Universal Peace Federation (UK); Secretary Parliamentary Outreach Trust, European Movement, St James’s Piccadilly; housing involvement since Brighton Housing Trust, current NED Commonwealth Country League; Patron of European-Atlantic Movement; frequent media appearances on migration and other matters; Freeman City of London; liveryman (Loriner).

Formerly CEO of national charities Survivors UK, Freedom from Torture, IAS (Immigration Advisory Service), Prisoners Abroad; Vice Chair of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles; served on Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Panel on Torture Prevention; practising barrister and Member of Parliament (Anglesey/Ynys Môn); Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Wales; named in the Society Guardian as one of the 100 most influential people in public services in the UK; Major in airborne and commando forces.

Author several books and articles; keynote speeches both in the UK and abroad; university lecturer. Speaks French and Welsh; married, two daughters. Ran London Marathon and abseiled down the highest hospital tower in the world (Guy’s) for charity. Enjoys being useful!

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Kassira Yacoubou

Board Member

Kassira joined Arhag in September 2023, coming from an extensive background in financial services. She is the current UK Head of Insurance Audits at HSBC and has over 20 years’ experience critically advising financial organisations including Swiss Life and Aviva. Kassira will bring a varied wealth of experience to Arhag’s board, where she hopes to focus on key issues such as social mobility & inclusivity, net-zero and the crucial role of the social housing sector in furthering these agendas. She also hopes to contribute new thinking regarding the financial aspect of the association, how to enhance engagement with tenants and ensuring the delivery of high-quality housing solutions, in accordance with Arhag’s commitments and values.

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Simon Davies

Board Member

Simon joined Arhag in November 2023, bringing with him over 20 years of experience working in the housing sector for a variety of public, private and governmental organisations. He has previously led on major projects for the British Heart Foundation, Ministry of Justice and Kier Group. Simon’s specialisms include procurement, growth and strategy solutions and asset development. Simon is currently a director at 4i Solutions Limited, a built environment consultancy that delivers services in cost management, contract partnering advisor and support, people development and much more. One of Simon’s key focuses is enhancing and improving engagement with residents, which he hopes to influence positively as a member of our board of directors.

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Claire Howe

Board Member

Claire joined Arhag in September 2023 and is currently an executive director of corporate services at Hertfordshire based housing association B3Living. She has 25 years’ experience working in the housing sector in a number of policy, marketing, communications and HR roles, and is also a member of the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH). Claire also founded a part-time coaching practice, creating bespoke training plans for housing and other professionals teaching skills such as presenting, leadership skills and much more. ED&I and effective external communications are key interests of hers and she looks forward to making contributions in these areas through her role as board member.