BERNESLAI Homes staff have praised their former chief executive who retired last week.

Helen Jaggar was chief executive for 12 years, having a career in local government which spanned 39 years. She has previously worked in London and Leeds before coming to Barnsley in 2007.

Fellow staff at the social housing provider said Helen’s leadership ensured Berneslai Homes has provided high quality services to make sure people are safe, comfortable and proud to live in their home, which is affordable to them.

In addition to the basic council house services Helen has provided added projects which has ensured tenants health and well-being are taken care of.

These services included dealing with domestic abuse and mental health issues, helping people pay their rent, acquiring and bringing empty homes back into use and employing apprentices.

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Speaking at her leaving presentation, Helen said: “It has been a huge privilege and an honour to be chief executive of Berneslai Homes and I am sad to be leaving.

“We have an amazing team of staff, who always go the extra mile and do the right thing, their values and approach have impressed me every day.

“It’s been great to be part of this journey and to see the difference we make to people’s lives and the communities within Barnsley, I’ve become very attached to the place.

“I have every confidence that the new chief executive Amanda Garrard will continue this legacy and contribute to its excellent work, success and achievements and I wish her all the best in her new role.”

Paul Hayes, chairman of the board, added: “Helen’s approach has always been about providing quality services to our customers and she’s done that with integrity, strategic vision and direction. Helen lives and breathes our values and set the direction of travel for our culture from the start and her leadership skills are such that she always gets the best out of people.”

Leader of Barnsley Council Coun Sir Steve Houghton said: ”Helen‘s leadership of Berneslai Homes put council housing in Barnsley on the map, I know that Helen has transformed our approach to housing services and when I speak to other people around the country they always say Berneslai Homes is a national exemplar of good practice.

“So my thanks to Helen for all she has done and I wish her well in her retirement.”