New Chair Appointed to Lead Housing Association

30 September 2013

Fold Group appoints Diana Fitzsimons as new Chairperson

Northern Ireland's leading social enterprise, FOLD Housing Association, has announced the appointment of Diana Fitzsimons to the role of Chairperson.

Fitzsimons, with 30 years experience in planning, housing and urban regeneration, has taken the top role at the association, which provides housing, care and support to over 30,000 homes.

Since its establishment in 1976, FOLD has developed an innovative range of services, enabling people to choose to continue living in their own homes or to move to Fold accommodation. FOLD caters for a broad client base, ranging from older people to families and single people. FOLD also supports people with chronic illnesses and complex needs through its award winning dementia and day care schemes and the FOLD Brain Bus service.  The association provided Europe's first vital signs telemonitoring service as part of the TF3 Consortium and supports around 25,000 homes across Ireland through assistive technology. With over one hundred housing schemes and over five thousand homes throughout the province, there is a FOLD presence in almost every city and major town in Northern Ireland.

Fitzsimons has played a significant role in housing, planning and development activity across Northern Ireland, working on major projects including Titanic Quarter, Sirocco, Odyssey, Giant's Causeway and the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan.

Announcing Mrs Fitzsimon's appointment, Chief Executive of FOLD, Mr. John McLean said, 'The experience Diana brings to the team will be invaluable to FOLD going forward. Her experience in housing and development will help us as we work to become the provider of choice for families and individuals in need of housing, care and support. I look forward to working with her.'

Diana Fitzsimons said: 'I am delighted to take on this role. I have been impressed by the commitment shown by FOLD to create quality, affordable accommodation that fits both the unique needs of their diverse customers as well as creating a well structured environment. I look forward to working with the team to deliver on our promise of first-class housing and support services for the people of Northern Ireland."

Diana takes over from Billy Cameron OBE who retired after 15 years with the organisation.  He had previously headed up the NI Housing Executive. Mr Cameron had just confirmed a very positive outturn for the 2012/13 year at the June AGM and a Substantial Assurance Rating of FOLD by the Department for Social Development. Mr Cameron said, ''Mrs Fitzsimons has great knowledge and experience, her appointment marks the start of a new chapter for the organisation. I have been privileged to see FOLD grow to the force for good it has become and will follow their progress in the years to come.  Fold's strength remains it people, their professionalism and dedication. I wish Diana and the Board continued success as they move forward''


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