Parting Shot: Jim Wintour of United St Saviour's Charity

The outgoing director of the sheltered accommodation charity wants to see more beneficiaries on boards

Jim Wintour
Jim Wintour

I like dealing with people face-to-face and have loved that in my current job – I have eight staff, compared with 1,800 in a previous role, so I can work directly with them all. I can also talk to residents about their problems rather than sitting on a committee discussing how to claw back £10m. In the voluntary sector, you can have fun as well as make a difference.

I'm proud to have started a small housing cooperative in Glasgow, which for the first time allowed residents to buy their homes and take over the running of them. I'm also proud of our campaign to manage Hopton's Almshouses in south-east London after the residents felt strongly that they did not want to be managed by an organisation from outside the area.

I think it is essential that charities are democratic and I would like to see more of their users on boards, rather than just the great and the good. They should also look at whether their objects are discriminatory. Hopton's used to be for men only, which we felt was unlawful and discriminated against women – men did not have more housing need.

I plan to travel when I retire in the new year, but will remain a trustee of the Greenwich NHS Charitable Trust.

United St Saviour's Charity provides sheltered accommodation for retirees in the London Borough of Southwark

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