Tributes to social housing director

Helena Partnerships board member Marlene Newman
Helena Partnerships board member Marlene Newman

A social housing provider has paid tribute to a popular long-standing board member who has died after a long illness.

Helena Partnerships expressed its sadness at the death of Marlene Newman, a former chair of the provider’s tenant and communities committee (TCC).

Marlene, who was due to step down at Helena’s AGM this year, played a major role in setting up the TCC and helped ensure housing tenants were able to express their views and have a say in how the business was run.

Her time on the board also saw her help to found the Torus Group in April 2015 by merging Merseyside-based association Helena and Warrington housing concern Golden Gates.

Tributes to her were paid in St Helens describing Marlene as someone who tirelessly worked for the town and its people.

In a joint statement Helena Partnerships chair Peter Styche and Torus Group chair Graham Burgess said: “In Marlene we had an amazing supporter for housing and for the town of St Helens.

“She was tirelessly committed to ensuring that young people had the very best opportunity to thrive and we believe that this will be her legacy.

“We have lost a true friend and supporter and our thoughts go out to the Marlene’s family.”

Helena Partnerships said Marlene was a passionate believer in tenant involvement and also played a key role in ensuring the business had forward-looking and challenging governance and stewardship.

Torus Group chief executive Rob Young said: “We are deeply saddened by the news. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Marlene for the last nine years.

“She was a dedicated supporter for tenants and young people and a friend to Helena who made a significant contribution towards helping us continue to make a difference to those who need our help most.

“She was a remarkable and inspirational woman and had such passion for St Helens, its people and communities. Marlene will be dearly missed.

“On behalf of everyone at Torus and Helena, our thoughts are with Marlene’s family at this sad time.”