Education Partnership North East and Sunderland College CEO Ellen Thinnesen has been appointed as a new board member at Gentoo Group.

Ellen Thinnesen has 23 years’ experience in the further education sector, 10 years in hospital, health and social care sectors and currently chairs the NELEP (North East Local Enterprise Partnership) Skills Advisory Panel.

She joins Hannah Pollard, who is Head of Accounting and Reporting for EDF Renewables UK.

Commenting on her new appointment, Ellen said: “Both housing and education have a deep social purpose and there is great synergy between Gentoo and the work of the further education sector. As part of a values focussed governance function, I am looking forward to supporting Gentoo in the delivery of its ambitious vision and strategic goals for the people and communities of Sunderland.”

Gentoo Group Chair, Emily Cox MBE, said: “I am delighted to strengthen the Gentoo Board by welcoming Ellen and Hannah. They both bring along a vast amount of experience which will be extremely valuable in making the best decisions for our tenants.

“They have already proved valuable to the board since taking up their positions, and I look forward to working with them and the rest of the board to drive further positive change, making sure Gentoo stays true to its social purpose and delivers for tenants in Sunderland.”

Gentoo provides more than 60,000 people in Sunderland with a place they can call home. A values-led organisation with a clear social purpose, Gentoo believes that everyone has the right to live in a good quality home that they can afford.

Every year Gentoo invest millions of pounds to keep existing homes safe, secure, and compliant. They also play their part in helping to deal with the UK housing crisis by building hundreds of new, modern homes for rent in Sunderland.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19