Meet your Customer Experience Panel members

Andy Sage - CEP Independent Chair

Andy Sage - CEP Independent Chair

Andy’s career in social housing spans almost 30 years and ranges from being a frontline housing officer to running his own consultancy specialising in change management and stakeholder engagement. His work ranges from leading on a multi-million regeneration project that turned around Moss Side in Manchester to volunteering in the COVID-19 crisis through a local community enterprise.

Andy has committed his career to ensuring stakeholders have a strong voice and the customer perspective is at the heart of how housing providers and public bodies do business. Andy is particularly skilled at capturing and articulating the views of customers and building positive relationships to get the job done. He was appointed in 2015 to recruit the other CEP Members and provide challenge and share good practice from his work with other housing providers.

A little more about Andy…

I am committed to lifelong learning and currently training to be a Community-Led Housing Enabler and completing a SustainABILITY Mastermind with other professionals from across the world through the Green Gorilla. I live in Norfolk and spend much of my time trying to avoid bumping into CEP Vice Chair Alan Banton and his family!

Alan Banton – Thrive leaseholder and Vice Chair of the CEP

Alan Banton – Thrive leaseholder and Vice Chair of the CEP

Alan’s career encompasses a range of sales and sales management positions. He is currently enjoying working with Apsley Paper Trail (who manages Frogmore Paper Mill, site of the world’s first commercial paper making machine). Here his responsibilities include managing a volunteer workforce, maintaining a diverse property portfolio and working with partners to ensure regular revenue through rental income.

Alan is an accredited landlord and member of the National Landlord Association. He owns two Thrive leasehold properties in Chorleywood, alongside a number of other rentals he manages. His experience of being a Thrive customer, as well as a landlord himself, means he brings two perspectives to the CEP and Thrive’s Offer & Ask.

A little more about Alan…

I share my home with my wife, and we are occasionally visited by our two sons. We enjoy the open elements and fresh air and holiday frequently to the Norfolk coast, see recent pic!

Eni Bankole-Race – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Eni Bankole-Race – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Eni has been a tenant with Thrive Homes for a number of years and has a strong belief in inclusivity. She values the importance of representing customer voices and ensuring voices are heard across all perspectives.

A little more about Eni…

I have previously served on several boards in the past and I am currently a Public Governor with a local NHS Trust. In my spare time my hobbies include Art and Writing

Martin Brooks – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Martin Brooks – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Martin brings an extensive range of experience across several previous positions including being a Parish/District Councillor, Chair of the Viewpoint Users Voice Council and Founder of the Leavesden Hospital History Association. To date, Martin currently volunteers as a Mental Health/Learning Disability advocate and joined Thrive’s CEP in April 2020.

Martin has a passion for representing the voices of others. Together with his years of experience both working in the community and being a Thrive tenant, he is committed to contributing towards developing good quality services and a fair deal for customers.

A little bit more about Martin…

I am Canadian by birth, English by blood and American because I grew up there. I moved permanently to the UK in 2006 to be closer to my family and to pursue my love of history, heritage and the performing arts.

Geoff Fellows – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Geoff Fellows – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Geoff has a background in motoring and road transport and has previously worked as a Sales Director. He has also worked in social services, for the Royal Mail transport division as well as being an advanced driving coach.

Geoff has been a Thrive tenant for many years. He has a real passion for bringing people together and brings a wealth of local opinions and experiences to the CEP.

A little more about Geoff…

I began dancing Ceroc Modern Jive in 2000 and have since taken up ballroom and Latin dance too. I enjoy sports, especially where there is healthy competition. I have an ambition to travel as much of the world as possible to meet new friends.

Joan Fernando – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Joan Fernando – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Joan’s working life has been in non-commercial organisations, such as disability, education, the NHS and medical libraries.

Joan has been a Thrive tenant for over 10 years, and originally joined the Scrutiny Panel in 2010 before becoming a CEP member in 2015. Joan has a particular interest in social housing with an emphasis on equality and diversity to support and represent the needs of all customers. With a good understanding of Thrive and experience working with a range of people and communities, Joan is committed to helping shape a fair deal for all customers.

A little more about Joan…

I have always had an interest in supporting individuals with disabilities and I am a parent of a severely autistic son who now resides in supported living in London.

I love classical music and I have an interest in politics. For over 10 years until the end of 2019, I worked as a volunteer for Oxfam books & music where I gained lots of knowledge and experience in book valuations. I have supported a number of branches including Rickmansworth where I live, as well as Oxfam Books & Music stores in St Albans and Aylesbury

Denise Gumustekin – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Denise Gumustekin – Thrive tenant and CEP member

Denise has been a tenant of her existing Thrive home for more than 40 years. She first joined the Thrive Customer Experience Panel in 2015 because of a keen interest in social housing and felt that there was a need for tenants to engage in open communication to exchange ideas and experiences. Denise has worked largely in financial and legal services with a parallel interest in communications and brings a critical eye to the CEP.

A little more about Denise…

I am a keen sports fan, supporting both Chelsea and Watford FC. I have two sons and three grandchildren and I enjoy cooking, reading and spending time in the garden with my West Highland Terrier.

Richard Joseph – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Richard Joseph – Thrive tenant & CEP member

Richard has a varied career as a project management specialist spanning 25 years. With experience both nationally and globally across many disciplines, Richard has experience in digital marketing, (specifically social media), email and mobile app technology as core communication platforms for customers.

Having been a Thrive tenant since 2015, Richard is very familiar with the services it provides and feels able to confidently contribute towards shaping its offer and making sure customers continue to receive quality experiences. His varied background means he has a lot to offer and is never shy to bring new ideas and innovations to the table.

A little more about Richard…

I am a real sports fanatic with my number one passion being rugby. Coming together and working as a team is important to me, and I have a real interest in backing community projects.

Alison Watt – Thrive Shared Owner & CEP member

Alison Watt – Thrive Shared Owner & CEP member

Alison works for a UK based tour operator, organising holidays in the UK and all over the world. She likes being involved in the local community and has spent time getting to know a range of people by being a Volunteer Coordinator for the Local Rhythms of the World music festival.

Alison has lived in her Thrive shared ownership flat for 15 years. Her main interest is ensuring that a range of views are heard, and that Thrive communicates with all customers in a clear and efficient way. She is committed to helping Thrive to deliver quality services whilst improving overall customer experience.

A little more about Alison…

I am a keen traveller and previously spent 17 years living in Italy. I’m always looking for ways to get involved and I really like the concept that the CEP is a "critical friend" to Thrive