New Chair of Board

Jonathan Higgs joins Advance as its new Board Chair

As a specialist national housing and support provider, we're pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Higgs as the new Board Chair.

Jonathan, who has been the Chief Executive at Surrey-based Raven Housing Trust since 2010, as well as being on the Board at housing association network, Placeshapers, replaces Marie Li Mow Ching who has been Advance’s Chair since 2019.

Jonathan has an expansive career in the housing sector, including senior roles at both Gloucestershire Housing Association and Home Group as well as currently holding the role of non-executive Director at Two Rivers Housing Association.

Julie Layton, Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled that Jonathan will be joining us as Chair and his experience across the sector will be invaluable to our team and customers. With our 50th anniversary on the horizon, Jonathan’s support and guidance will be instrumental in shaping our vision for the next exciting chapter for Advance.”

Julie added: “We’d also like to thank Marie for her valuable service on our Board since 2017, and as our Chair since 2019. Most significantly, Marie has helped us navigate our operations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – some of the most challenging years our customers and employees will have experienced.”

Jonathan, who will begin his tenure meeting Advance customers at a series of events, said: “I’m really looking forward to being able to contribute to the amazing work Advance does, particularly during its golden anniversary year. 

“I want to make sure we continue to treat each of our customers as individuals, who have choices and who feel valued. I have already seen the difference Advance can make and I look forward to helping it grow, working with our partners to provide even more homes and more support.”

Advance is celebrating its 50th anniversary from April 2024 with a year-long series of events and initiatives to reflect on the successes, challenges and changes it has faced as well as looking towards the future. Commemorative activities include a cookbook that will feature customer’s favourite recipes and cooking tips, while other customers will be able to participate in gardening sessions to help improve communal outdoor spaces. 

When commenting on our anniversary, Jonathan said: "For Advance to still be providing such integral support after 50 years is incredible. The entire team, both past and present, should be incredibly proud of half a century of difference they have and continue to make to so many people's lives.”