Following the announcement in April regarding the intended merger between Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) and Sussex Oakleaf, the Boards of the two organisations have confirmed that the merger is to go ahead in April 2020.
The new, merged organisation will be led by Andy Winter, who is currently Chief Executive at BHT. Andy has over 30 years of experience in social housing, community development and mental health services, including advice, information and support for local people combatting homelessness, domestic violence and drug and alcohol addictions.
“This is an exciting time for the two organisations and by coming together we will be stronger than the sum of our parts. The merged organisation will be a leading provider of mental health services in Sussex as well as in our other areas of activity including housing and homelessness, addiction work, and legal and advice services.
“We are working on a name which will reflect the rich heritage of the two organisations and offer continuity for all our tenants and clients – and our ambitious plans for further growth in all aspects of our work and in the areas within which we work.
“We believe it will deliver tremendous benefits to clients and staff and look forward optimistically to the next chapter in our development, as a bigger, better housing and mental health specialist support provider in Sussex.”
Philippa Thompson, who is the current Chief Executive at Sussex Oakleaf, will be leaving the organisation on 31st March 2020. She said:
“I will be sad to leave Sussex Oakleaf and the talented and committed team of people, including our peer mentors and volunteers, who provide such good and supportive services to people struggling with their mental health in Mid Sussex, Crawley and Brighton and Hove – but I am so pleased that we will be forging a strong and sustainable future for all the people that we work with in the shape of this merger.”