I’d like to start off my blog with a huge ‘thank you’ to David Gibbens for originally setting up the EHN (which was originally called NAEPP) and for regularly ‘going that extra mile’ in dedicating his time to making the EHN the success it is today. Without David’s passion, time, enthusiasm, terrific eye for detail and ability to understand complex issues, we would not have our current thriving EHN. We’ll miss you when you retire, David, as no one person could ever replace you.
This set me thinking back to when I ‘posted’ my very first question on the EHN forum (years ago). I had expected to wait a week or so for a reply from others doing empty homes work, but was hugely appreciative of getting a quick reply, then others started replying too, so I had a lot of very useful advice when I started out in my empty homes role. Thank you David and all the best for the future!
I’m already looking forward to this year’s EHN conference in Birmingham on 24th May, where David has everything down to a fine art. There’s the usual wide selection of speakers (including myself on the ‘Rural empty homes strategy’ panel and David Sanderson from Carlisle on ‘Making the case for an Empty Homes Officer’). And it’s always great to learn new ways to help our empty home owners and to ‘network’ with new and old colleagues.
On the conference programme is Helen Williams of Empty Homes (Agency) who will be talking about ‘The challenge of empty homes’. Helen visited our Cumbria Empty Property Group back in January and listened to the variety of empty homes issues in our one county whose six regions include one city, towns and rural areas. Each area has different problems and therefore different solutions are needed. It was a very fruitful discussion and exchange of ideas and hugely useful and supportive.
Best wishes from the Lakes,
Lynne Leach, Empty Homes Officer, South Lakeland District Council