Sinéad Butters MBE is the Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, which incorporates PM Training and Realise charity.
Sinéad has been with Aspire Housing for over 18 years, rising to Chief Executive in June 2006. The company is a leading housing provider and property developer in Staffordshire and Cheshire, helping more than 20,000 customers with over 9,000 affordable rental homes and support services. Under her leadership, the business has grown and broadened, acquiring Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training.
“Staffordshire University has been a really important partner in PM Training,” said Sinéad, who lead the acquisition in 2008. Since then, the company has grown from a revenue of £2m to £6m, with the profits invested into Realise charity, so far amounting to over £2.5m. PM Training works with 1300 local businesses preparing young people for work, supporting adults into employment, creating practical apprenticeships and helping organisations to upskill their workforces. Each year they support around 2,500 individuals and create over 250 apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds.
In 2010, Sinéad oversaw the creation of Realise, the Aspire charity. With gift aid from PM Training, donations from local people and business, Realise provides essential support to help people in Staffordshire progress in their education and gain employment.
Sinéad’s start at Aspire was as Regeneration Manager in October 2000, just eight months after the housing provider was founded. Originally from Staffordshire, she had completed a degree in History and Politics at Keele University, before joining the civil service as a VAT officer. After seven years in HM Customs and Excise, she became a Senior Finance Officer at the Regulator of Social Housing.
She was involved in registering the then recently developed housing associations, a way for local councils to provide homes for low income families. Over the course of a year working to set up Aspire Housing, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Sinéad got to know the staff, made friends and eventually was offered a job. After three years, she was promoted to Director of Business Development, then Director of Operations and, finally, Chief Executive.
In October 2015, Sinéad became Chair of PlaceShapers, a national network of over 100 community-based housing associations. The following year, she was recognised in the New Year Honours list, awarded an MBE for her services to housing. In 2017, Aspire won the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Sinéad in recognition of her inspirational leadership in promoting opportunities for young people, raising standards in housing and apprenticeships and championing best practice in community engagement and social mobility.