AFFORDABLE homes provider Havebury Housing has appointed a new chairman. Donald McKenzie, 49, has taken over from Jonathan Free and has pledged to maintain the organisation’s strong links with its residents.

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Mr McKenzie has served as an independent director on the Havebury Board for the past two years. He works as head of corporate finance for one of the UK’s largest social housing providers.

“Working with a large organisation and having a background in finance means I have a strong skills set to offer as Chairman of Havebury’s already dynamic Board,” Mr McKenzie said.

“We are a very caring organisation focused on our local communities and on getting the best possible value from our funding and grants.

“I am determined we will maintain the excellent links we have with our residents, employees and communities.”

Havebury Housing Partnership, which has offices in Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds, is a charity and not-for-profit association which currently manages 6,000 homes.

This year marked Havebury’s tenth year and its achievements included investing £80m in new homes and improvements, increased tenant involvement including back to work courses and completing a home for four adults with complex autism – a first for Havebury.

In his spare time father-of-two Mr McKenzie enjoys watching Norwich City Football Club.

: : WADDINGTON Brown, a specialist East Anglian recruitment consultancy for the Human Resources (HR) profession, has appointed Eithne Sanders as a recruitment consultant to support its client and candidate relations in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough regions. After identifying a gap in the county’s market, Eithne joins the Waddington Brown team with over 12 years recruitment industry experience and will be focused on expanding and supporting the consultancy’s reach into the area.

Prior to Waddington Brown, Eithne spent five years as a principal resource specialist for Alexander Mann Solutions, where she was responsible for the regional end-to-end recruitment services for several specialist areas within the business. She has also held HR and recruitment roles at Littlewoods Shop Direct Group and Co-Operative Financial Services and is CIPD qualified.

Director Emma Gunton said: “We are all very happy to have Eithne on board.” Eithne said she was pleased to have joined the firm.

: : A PIONEERING group of 15 Ridgeons employees celebrated graduating from Anglia Ruskin University at the Chelmsford campus, having been the first to successfully achieve the Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management.

The work based learning qualification, developed by Ridgeons in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), was introduced to help support the Group in its succession planning strategy, by developing a future talent pool from existing employees already within the business. Part funded through the Government’s Higher Skills at Work initiative, the two year qualification was launched in March 2010. In order to fulfil the requirements of the qualification, candidates committed to 15 hours of home study per week, the completion of six academic assignments, two work-based projects and twelve weekend tutorial sessions at the University. The qualification modules included finance, project management, marketing, leadership and work-based projects.

Of the 19 Ridgeons employees, ranging from counter staff to general managers, who embarked upon the qualification, 15 graduated in July 2012, all achieving at least a merit. Of those 15, nine have since been promoted to more senior positions. Four of the graduates, Adam Thompson, Fran Liston, Steve Sinclair and Dan Austin, are continuing with their studies at Anglia Ruskin University and are working towards achieving a BA (Hons) in Management.

Ridgeons graduate Adam Thompson said: “I would definitely recommend The Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management course to my peers. My outlook on business has certainly changed, and I have gained a much more rounded view of the company I work for and the overall business environment; something I would not have acquired so comprehensively otherwise.”

Managing director Angela Rushforth said: “There has never been a greater need to equip our managers with strong skill sets to enable them, and the company, to adapt to an increasingly complex and competitive market. The Ridgeons Foundation Degree in Management represents an excellent and logical progression from our existing management development tools.”

:: : MICK Graygoose has hung up his mastic gun and putty knife for the last time after 47 years of working with glass at Colchester-based building and glazing supplies company Kent Blaxill.

He was presented with vouchers by his colleagues and by managing director Simon Blaxill, who thanked him for his dedication.

Mick, 65, who lives at Peldon, joined the company as a trainee glazier in 1965. He went on to become a foreman in the Kawneer department and then of the fitting team, installing windows and doors across southeast England, including memorably in the fire station watch tower at Stansted airport during the long hot summer of 1995.

As the glass industry changed, Mick moved into the UPVC department and then in 2005 the glazing department.

Mick plans to use his retirement to pursue his interests, which include kayaking. He has two children and three grandchildren.

: : HAVERHILL recruitment agency 1st Stop has expanded its operation in the town and welcomed two new members of staff.

Recruitment consultant Lily Bagshaw and sales and marketing assistant Keeley Smith have joined director Lesley Whiting, business development manager Katrina Smith, apprentice recruitment consultant Rachel Anderson, resourcer Victoria Naxton-Kiddle and payroll administrator Anne Jillings.

Lesley said: “The time is right to expand and by adding Lily and Keeley to the team we can continue to grow and offer our clients the tailored service they like and expect from 1st Stop while taking on more clients.”

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