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New female-driven networking group launched by LUSH Cymru

Lush Cymru launch event 2024

Real estate advisor, Savills, along with partnerships developer, Lovell, Acuity Law, Yolk Recruitment and Newport City Homes, have together launched LUSH (Ladies Unite in Social Housing) Cymru, a brand-new networking group for professional women who deliver and manage affordable housing in Wales.

The official launch event for the organisation was held on Thursday 27 June at The Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff and was sponsored by Savills, Lovell, Acuity Law and Yolk Recruitment. Attendees were able to discuss challenges faced in the industry, share ideas on making improvements within the sector and, most importantly, build relationships.

Further events are set to be held in future that will allow other organisations to get involved in the conversation.

Caroline Jones, an associate director in the development team at Savills Cardiff, explained: “We recognised that there was a niche in the local market for women who work in the affordable housing sector to meet and share ideas. The demand for affordable housing is greater than ever and it certainly comes with its challenges.

“We therefore thought that by setting up LUSH Cymru, it would give the ladies an opportunity to discuss and learn from each other by meeting up regularly. We are hoping this will enhance the support and well-being of ladies who work in the sector and grow their network, so they have more contacts to call upon for advice.”

Gemma Clissett, regional partnerships director at Lovell, said: “Lovell is absolutely thrilled to be involved in the launch of LUSH Cymru, which aims to create a great networking platform for professional women working within the housing sector who would like to learn more and share some of the challenges we face in the course of our work.

“We’ve been talking to lots of ladies who have all expressed concern that there is a lack of networking opportunities for women in Wales. Hopefully this will be the start of a long-standing collaboration between women in the sector that will empower us to drive the changes and innovations we want to see in the space.”

Liz Gibbons, Partner at Acuity Law, added: “We are thrilled to have launched LUSH Cymru last week, an initiative dedicated to empowering and supporting women working in social housing across South Wales. This event marked the beginning of an opportunity to build new relationships, cement existing friendships, share ideas and best practice. We aim to create a platform where women can thrive, connect and inspire one another. We are committed to making a positive impact and look forward to seeing the growth and success that will emerge from this initiative.”

Hannah Welfoot, Principal Talent Consultant at Yolk Recruitment, commented: “Along with a fantastic group of ladies that work across the social housing sector, we identified that there was a gap for a networking group in South Wales, so we set up LUSH Cymru. We wanted it to be accessible to all women, no matter how early on or seasoned they are in their career, and give us all a chance to connect, share ideas and form friendships with other like-minded professionals that share the same passion for working in the social housing sector.

“Six months in the planning and we launched on 27th June, our first event held at The Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished – we had a fantastic turnout, giving us ladies the chance to catch up with old faces and meet new ones. The launch was a resounding success and we can’t wait to share details of the next. I’m confident that this will be a group that continues to grow and evolve, and I look forward to what the next six months and beyond brings.”

Sophie Wint, Director of Finance and Procurement at Newport City Homes, said: “I’m really excited to be involved in the creation of LUSH Cymru on behalf of the social housing sector. Working in the sector can be challenging, and there is a clear demand for a space for women to come together, share experiences, build networks and support each other. The launch event was a great success and I look forward to many more well attended events in the future as we build our programme.”

Helen White, Chief Executive of Taff Housing Association, who also attended the event, said: “It was great to network with like-minded colleagues in a relaxed setting. The day job can feel quite overwhelming at times so an opportunity to discuss the challenges, trials and tribulations of working in housing is always so valuable. I’m looking forward to more events with LUSH Cymru soon.”