Meet Ruth Jackson

June 17th, 2016 by Homelife Editor in Features

A bespectacled woman with short hair smiles at the camera - Ruth Jackson

Customer board member, Ruth Jackson, has been a Home Group customer for 15 years. She first started volunteering four years ago joining the board earlier this year. Ruth is the customer voice for board room decisions.

With so much to learn, Ruth shares with us her journey so far, what led her to become a board member and her first impressions.

Ruth says: “After my second board meeting I knew I was still on a steep learning curve…

“When the opportunity came up to apply my first thoughts were 'well, I know a lot about the Group and I've sat on several boards so all that will be familiar, plus I like working with Home Group and think I can help.'  That was then....I had been involved with the North West Viewpoint team for a number of years, as well as a number of national projects and consultations and thought I knew how Home Group ran its business, on the customer side at least. Now I accept that I knew very little.”

Home Group Board meets every two months with a presentation and discussion the night before.

“Although I was initially nervous everyone put me at my ease. My first board meeting was a different matter. I had read all the board papers (two large documents of reports) but the meeting covered many subjects of which I knew nothing and I quickly realised how much I had to learn! The up-side of this was that I found the national operations of a very large business completely fascinating, - finances, strategy, politics and contracts were all covered; meat and drink to a nerd like me!”

Ruth spent some time visiting executive directors to learn more about the business which helped.

“My second meeting made quite a lot of sense and I am beginning to think that I will be able to contribute a customer opinion (which is my role). It’s important to have a customer on the Board (and I think this applies to many organisations) when public money is being handled and a customer is the reason why any organisation exists; those with governance responsibilities need to know what their customers think.

“My business experience as well as that of being a customer will make a difference. I'm certainly not afraid to speak up! Its early days at the moment, another six months should help me see the answer more clearly.”

Ruth has since attended a North East Viewpoint meeting.

Viewpoint teams are groups of customers who review our services and also assess Home Group against the delivery of our customer and client promise. We’ve got seven viewpoint teams across the country.