Edition Overview

Having taking a collective sigh of relief in early 2022, those leading organisations in 2023 continue to find themselves being challenged by factors beyond their control. Double digit inflation; political instability; restricted liquidity; pressure on supply chains and a continued focus on sustainability; delivery of high quality services with customers and users at the heart of them – the priorities are numerous. Despite these challenges, leaders across our sector have shown us time and again the opportunity to build on the positive connections and the focus on our local environments that were developed during the pandemic.

Our Social Housing and Built Environment practice group is committed to finding and supporting excellent and authentic leaders across infrastructure, local and regional development, housing and transport to deliver tangibly positive benefits for existing, emerging and new communities across the UK.

If the recent months have taught us anything it is that as leaders our capacity for resilience needs to be boundless, our ability to solve problems ongoing, our optimism about the future never ending, and through all of this our recognition of self-care high. We must learn lessons, but we must also embrace change and the ability to evolve, especially where it can bring positive outcomes in society at local and national level. We are delighted to be able to demonstrate this with two very capable and compassionate leaders operating in very different organisations. Both these individuals are great examples of leaders who have lead in multiple sectors and they show the value of taking experience from one sector and using it sensitively to solve problems in another.

We were privileged to speak to Anna Swaithes, in a newly created role as Head of Sustainability for the Crown Estate. Anna shares how she is embedding an organisational wide approach to sustainability, to bring impact across all its assets over the longer term and support how it engages with communities around the United Kingdom. As custodians of the long-term prosperity of the nation, The Crown Estate is a unique organisation in this country. Anna’s new role highlights the importance of sustaining the environment, communities and individuals, whilst balancing it with everyday priorities such as feeding and fuelling our daily lives.

We are also delighted to chat to Neil Sachdev MBE, sharing his wide-ranging experience and particularly in his current non-executive roles at the Houses of Parliament, East West Railway Company, Energy Savings Trust and LCR Property. Neil’s pedigree of property and infrastructure experience is augmented by his long executive career across the retail sector. Neil’s belief in a positive change delivered through partnership working is evident, and balanced with a need for looking beyond our island to look and learn from others to help sustain our future community-development and placemaking potential.

Saxton Bampfylde’s Leadership Services team works as an extension of organisations across the UK to help them recruit and develop the very best leadership. We are therefore delighted to include insights from Business Psychologist and Partner, Cassandra Woolgar as she considers the power of cross sector leaders grounded in values, respect and approach for executive and non-executive leaders in today’s society.

Our own Partner community is what makes us different in the marketplace and in each edition of CANVAS we like to share some further personal and professional insights, so I stepped up to the podium or riverside here (it is called View from the River) to talk about more about why leading the Social Housing and Built Environment practice is important to me and the sorts of leaders the industry is looking for as we move ahead.

We do hope you enjoy this edition and welcome any feedback you may have.


Vidhu Sood-Nicholls

Vidhu Sood-Nicholls

Partner, Head of Social Housing & Built Environment Practice


Social Mobility Day 2024

Concern Worldwide (UK) appoints new Executive Director

Richard Greenhalgh succeeded by Christian Brodie as Chair of United Learning’s Group Board

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew announces Susan Raikes as Director of Wakehurst

We have moved! Our new London location

Managing Risk in Professional Services: It’s not just about protecting the firm, but enabling it – Interview with Alastair Levy

Crystal Palace Park Trust welcomes Victoria Pinnington as new CEO

Nadia Fall appointed as new Artistic Director of The Young Vic Theatre

How lawyers are coming to terms with their own ‘Now and Then’

Nicola Dudley announced as new Head of Queen Margaret’s School for Girls

Gordon Seabright appointed new Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens

The General Pharmaceutical Council appoints new Chief Strategy Officer

A healthy perspective on executive search

Foot Anstey LLP appoints Non-Executive Director

South By Southwest comes to London

Saxton Bampfylde in action with charity Smart Works

Sue Ryder announces new Chief Executive

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Gabrielle Mathews

Liz Truss was correct. Well, on one fundamental point

General Dental Council announces new Chief Executive and Registrar

Andrew Comben appointed new CEO of Britten Pears Arts

Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE appointed as new Director of the British Museum

Saxton Bampfylde partners with Family Business UK

Professor Robert Mokaya appointed Provost and DVC at University of Sheffield

30 years on from the first Code: A personal account of the Corporate Governance Revolution

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Emma Fox, CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd

Leadership in the age of AI: CEO Breakfast with Doug Gurr, Director of the National History Museum

Sustainability Dinner with speaker James Cameron, Chair of Crown Agents

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Nigel Edwards

Middlesex University announces its new Vice-Chancellor

SafeLives appoints new CEO

Do the right thing: ESG in 2024 – Interview with Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Lamp House Strategy

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Helen Buckingham, Nuffield Trust

New GPhC Council members appointed for 2024 and 2025

RICS senior governance appointments

An Independent Mind: Sharpening the role of a law firm NED

CLCH appoints new Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Integration

Into Film appoints Fiona Evans as new CEO

An evening for current and aspiring non-executives with Kenny Imafidon

V&A announces Director of Collections and Chief Curator

RNLI appoints new leader to take charity into third century of lifesaving

Erika Lewis appointed CEO at Connected Places Catapult

Alex Frazer Announced as the New Head of Bancroft’s

Sue Baillie appointed as Woldingham’s new Head

Royal Hospital School appoints new Head

The University of Manchester appoints Professor Duncan Ivison as next President & Vice-Chancellor

Championing the Mission – Interview with Jonathan Morgan

Quadrant Chambers appoints Sarah Longden as new COO

New Oasis Community Learning Chief Executive Announced

Rachel Kent made Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Paul Drechsler CBE

Indhu Rubasingham appointed as Director of the National Theatre

Northumbria University, Newcastle appoints new members to Board of Governors

Professor Tom Crick joins DCMS as Chief Scientific Adviser

Norwich Theatre appoints Tom Sleigh as new Chair

MOSL announces Cliff Kamara as new Board member

Saxton Bampfylde welcomes Partner Hannah Scarisbrick back to the firm

Saxton Bampfylde ranked in Financial Times UK’s Leading Recruiters 2024

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and Association Welcomes Martin Houghton-Brown as Secretary General

Royal British Legion Announces New Director General

English Heritage announces New Blue Plaques Panel Members

Paul Ridd named Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announces Lord Tony Hall as new Chair

Team Consulting appoints new CEO

UK Civil Aviation Authority Appoints Rob Bishton as the new Chief Executive

The Box appoints Rebecca Bridgman as Head of Collections and Programme

English Heritage appoints Dr Nick Merriman as its new Chief Executive

Breadth and depth: leading across the regulatory landscape

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – August-September 2023

Wise counsel: bringing an external perspective to Higher Education

Looking through a different lens: a scientific scope from academia to government

Outside In: Leveraging External Perspectives in Higher Education

Samori Gambrah announced as Chair for New Art Exchange

Chris Auty appointed as new Director at London Film School

Cherian Mathews appointed as new Chief Executive of HelpAge International

Dr Dave Smith takes helm as UK’s National Technology Adviser

Now Teach appoints new CEO

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – David Hare MBE, CEO of Independent Healthcare Providers Network

Dr Paul Thompson appointed as British Council Chair

Appointment of new CEO for GLF Schools

Bas Javid appointed new Director General of Immigration Enforcement

New CEO appointed for the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source

University of Nottingham appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Béatrice Butsana-Sita appointed new CEO of the British Red Cross

Michael Plaut OBE announced as new Chair of Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Will Gompertz announced as the Soane’s new Director

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – June-July 2023

Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr appointed as new COO at University of Bath

PA Housing announces five new non-executive members to join board

Storyhouse appoints new CEO: Annabel Turpin

Claire Wood Hill announced as new CEO of The National Brain Appeal

OnBoard Programme broadens the horizon for board membership

James Williams announced as the next Director of the Royal College of Music

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Sam Jones

#7 Road to Recovery: Integration, inclusion and innovation in the Healthcare sector

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – April-May 2023

SCIS appoints new Chief Executive

Talk with Sir Stephen Wall to celebrate Pride 2023

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023