AbTN Wingivers low resout Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency (LHIA)LHIA

LHIA is one of 17 independents among 200 Home Improvement Agencies in the UK, dedicated to helping the elderly, disabled, and vulnerable live independently in their own homes. We employ 26 people, turnover £900k and serve a county of 730,000.

Introducing LHIA’s Chair, Tim Nicol 

Tim has a private sector business background, mainly in consumer goods Marketing, with 20 years’ experience of corporate life and 15 years of independent agency and consultancy work. He is a Chartered Marketer with particular interests in branding and innovation. Tim has a number of volunteer roles in his local community and spent a year (2010/11) in another village community working full time on a Lottery sponsored and BBC televised community project, called Village SOS.

What does your organisation do?

LHIA keeps vulnerable people out of hospital and institutional care by providing home adaptation and handyperson services to make sure their home is equipped and safe for their needs. We are funded by local authorities and grants, and are increasingly working in a consortium to deliver a wider range of Wellbeing services, all focused on delivering home independence.

Why did you become a Chair?

I had been a Trustee Director of LHIA for around 4 years, and served under two other Chairs in that time. One day I found myself in the position of being the longest serving Trustee when the incumbent resigned. I was initially reluctant to take on the role, and took over firstly as interim Chair, which quickly became a permanent role due to a lack of other candidates.

What do you most enjoy about chairing?

I have been around long enough to help the agency through some challenging times, and I have a strong personal sense of direction for LHIA, so I do ultimately enjoy the leadership role. Steering strategy and developing people have always been rewarding for me and I get a lot out of my LHIA experience and responsibility.

Do you have any key tips or lessons to share with your fellow chairs?

As in many walks of life, the trick when dealing with people is to listen more than you speak. I try to hold the old adage in mind that “the Lord gave you two ears and one mouth- use them in that proportion”.
A Chair should not just be good at running a meeting by proper preparation, sticking to time, makings sure all the voices are heard, etc, but if you can’t manage the basics you won’t be trusted to do the tougher stuff.

Why did you join the AoC?

As a new Chair, I wanted to learn how this job is done properly. I regard my time at AoC events as primarily CPD (Continuing Professional Development) time, and an opportunity to improve my knowledge and skills. “Every day is a school day”, and I have yet to be disappointed in an AoC event.