David Chaffey has been the Chief Executive of BHT Sussex since 2023. He has worked in the housing sector for more than 35 years in both local authorities and housing associations and his motivation to do so stems from a strong belief that secure housing is transformational to people’s lives.
David began his working life in disability housing before focusing on housing and asset management, and was a Board member of a specialist mental health Housing Association for 15 years from its inception. He has always been passionate about listening to clients and tenants and is a keen advocate of resident involvement as demonstrated in his previous roles as Head of Resident Involvement at a national Housing Association and as Director of Housing and Property Services at BHT Sussex.
He is currently working with his many dedicated and talented colleagues in the organisation to lead BHT Sussex through the next stage of its development as a leading provider of essential services across Sussex.
David is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, holds a degree in Economics and Politics and has a Management Diploma from Roffey Park Institute.
Director of Finance & Resources
Sunil Desai is a CIPFA qualified accountant, with several years’ experience working in senior finance roles in large, complex and transforming local authorities.
He has specialised in housing finance and enjoys the satisfaction from improving service standards for residents and staff. Sunil has a successful track record, working collaboratively with service managers so they can make informed decisions about delivering value for money at a local level.
In his spare time he enjoys voluntary activities such as the London Ambassador programme, Sports Relief and fundraising activities. He also enjoys managing and coaching a local Colts’ cricket team.
Director of Advice and Support Services
Nikki Homewood is a BHT Executive Director with responsibility for advice and support services.
Since 2003 she has had overall responsibility for all BHT’s homelessness services, including BHT’s Addiction Services, the Phase One Project (formerly the Regency House Project), and special projects designed to have a high impact on changing the lives of individuals with complex needs.
Previously, from 1987 to 2003, Nikki worked in and managed First Base Day Centre.
Director of Mental Health and Support Services
Rachael Kenny joined BHT in 2020 as Director of Mental Health and Support Services. Prior to this she worked in NHS mental health services in Sussex for 20 years. She is responsible for BHT’s mental health services and for all activities in West Sussex, including those of Sussex Oakleaf that merged with BHT in April 2020.
Rachael has a Masters Degree in Social Work and is committed to putting client’s hopes and ambitions at the centre of service delivery and development.
Director of Housing and Property Services
Katherine has been with BHT Sussex for two years, first joining the organisation as the Housing Services Manager. She has worked within Housing Associations for over thirteen years, in various roles within housing management - focusing on areas such as Anti-social Behaviour, Safeguarding, Tenancy Fraud, Voids and Lettings, Resident Involvement and general Tenancy Management.
She has a Diploma in Housing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
She enjoys walks with her two dogs, spending time with her children, anything cooking or food related, and travel.
Head of Business Development
Jo Berry joined BHT in 2000 and has worked in a number of fundraising-related roles within the organisation over the past 20 years.
Jo has strategic input in the development of new business, income generation and in identifying new funding streams. She leads on the preparation of tenders and funding bids and provides guidance on service development, impact measurement and social value.
She has over 25 years’ experience of fundraising and marketing, and has led on a number of successful bids and campaigns, securing funds from the Big Lottery Fund, European Social Fund, Home Office, Department of Communities and Local Government, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, amongst others. Prior to joining BHT she worked for a fundraising agency on high profile campaigns for national charities including Greenpeace, YMCA and Friends of the Earth.
Head of Human Resources and Learning and Development
Daniel O’Connell is responsible for ensuring strategic objectives are delivered through Human Resource and Learning and Development strategies, policies and processes to optimise employee engagement and maximise employee effectiveness.
Daniel has over 20 years’ experience in local government and associated employers delivering externally accredited services, transformational change management and successful bids for investment in social housing.
Previous achievements under his stewardship include Investors in People, British Safety Council accreditation and Human Resource service accreditation in the Audit Commission inspection report during Hackney Homes Ltd successful bid for £225m investment fund for Decent Homes. Daniel is passionate about championing and inspiring excellence in people and organisation management and development through collaboration, engagement and purposeful services in an evolving workplace.
Assistant Director, East Sussex Floating Support
Paul has extensive experience in supported accommodation services for young people and adults with complex needs.
He has worked for BHT for 14 years, most recently as a Senior Manager for Support Services. Paul is committed to the continuous improvement of services for complex needs clients and the use of psychologically informed practice to support behavioural change.
Paul has a degree in Social Science and Research Methodology and his post graduate studies focused on the impact of problematic substance use issues on individuals and society. Outside of work Paul enjoys physical activities, reading and dancing.
Senior Manager, Advice Services
Sue has worked for BHT since 2004, initially as a housing adviser and up until recently as East Sussex Advice Manager.
Her current post includes highlighting the need for specialist advice services for residents of Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. She has a BA Hons degree from Sussex University in Sociology, which she undertook as a mature student whilst looking after her two children.
Senior Manager, Support Services
Simon has worked in homelessness for much of the past ten years; he was manager for BHT’s First Base project from 2009-2017 and has taken a lead role in the development of Dine the social enterprise catering company.
Dine provides work and learning opportunities for people who have experienced homelessness and its profits support the work of First Base.
Simon is committed to creating opportunities for people with experience of homelessness to realise their aspirations through learning, volunteering, and work. He is a member of the planning group for the Practitioners Alliance for Safeguarding Adults, Sussex Police Independent Advisory Group and the South East Coast Ambulance Service Inclusion Hub Advisory Group.
Senior Manager, Mental Health Services (West Sussex)
Emma has been working in mental health for twelve years across East London and Sussex; she is passionate about coproduction and developing new services.
For five years Emma oversaw community Mental Health services as an Operational Manager including Pathfinder Mid Sussex & Crawley, and Be OK, before becoming a Senior Manager in 2022.
Emma now oversees all mental health support we currently have across the West Sussex area. This includes a secondment to the Sussex Health and Care Partnership as a Third Sector Transformation Systems Lead, promoting coproduction of new and existing mental health services, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.
Senior Manager, Support Services
Simon has over 20 years’ experience in working with young people and residential settings for clients with complex needs. He oversees the Phase One hostel, the Intern Programme and the Hastings Young Peoples Service.
Simon initially came to BHT Sussex in 2011 having previously worked for a local authority and Ofsted. His strong experience in and knowledge of Care Quality Commission standards, Psychologically Informed Environments and Trauma informed Care enables him to ensure staff and clients are supported to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Away from the work environment, Simon enjoys playing the cajon and physical activities, believing a healthy body supports a healthy mind.
Senior Manager, Mental Health Services
Ian Wilson joined BHT Sussex in 2016 and has managed two of our CQC registered accommodation services (Archway & Shore House). Ian has extensive experience within the support and social care sector, having worked across supported living, community support, homelessness, residential care and mental health services.
He is the Senior Manager of Mental Health Services with oversight of Archway, Shore House, Route One and Threshold.
Ian is committed to improving the quality of support to those who use mental health services, and has a keen interest in trauma informed approaches, co-production and person-centred support.