• (L-R) Nigel Wilson (CEO), Keith Loraine OBE (Chair), Brenda Naisby (Tenant and Board Member)

Sunderland resident and domestic abuse champion joins our Group Board


Brenda Naisby, an inspirational Gentoo tenant from Sunderland has been appointed to our Group’s Board of Directors.

Brenda, who is the UK’s reigning housing ‘tenant of the year’, brings a wealth of experience as both a tenant and local volunteer to the Gentoo Board. Having been actively involved with the Group for more than five years, most recently as Chair of one of Gentoo’s Community Engagement Forum in Washington, her position on the Board will ensure the voice of tenants is at the forefront of the Group’s decision making.

Earlier this year, Brenda was also named as tenant of the year by housing charity, TPAS, for the influential role she played in helping other residents in her community suffering domestic abuse, after she escaped an abusive marriage herself at the age of 74.

The appointment comes as former tenant Board member and retired Policeman Les Herbert comes to the end of his maximum nine-year term of service.

On speaking of her appointment Brenda said: “I will always be thankful to Gentoo for their support. They rehomed me to a place of safety and worked with me rebuild my life.

“It’s truly an honour to become part of their Board and give something back for all the help they have given me. I’m looking forward to representing tenants in my new role and ensure the issues that matter most to them are heard.”

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo said: “We are delighted that Brenda has accepted our offer to join Gentoo’s Group Board.

“Her experience as a tenant and an involved resident will be invaluable, bringing a new dynamic to our already diverse and experienced Board. Brenda will play a vital role in ensuring the voice of our tenants is heard throughout our organisation.

“On behalf of our Chair Keith Loraine OBE and I, I would like to also personally thank her predecessor Les Herbert for his invaluable contribution to Gentoo of the past nine years.”