10 August 2023
A day in the life of our Chief Executive, Sarah Jones
Have you ever wondered what day-to-day life looks like as an Anchor colleague?
In this blog you will get to know a bit more about our Chief Executive, Sarah Jones, including how she became Chief Executive of Anchor and her favourite aspect of the role.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Sarah Jones. I’ve worked at Anchor since September 2014, when I joined as Finance Director. I later become Chief Financial Officer and, in August 2022, Chief Executive.
My role is to combine the views of residents and colleagues with what’s happening in the outside world and the views of the Board - to ensure we have the right strategy.
I spend most of my time as CEO in listening mode and that means being prepared to be challenged and informed by what I hear.
What does your typical day look like?
I don’t have a typical day. They’re all different. That’s what makes it interesting. I might be spending a day at care and housing locations and hearing colleagues’ and residents’ views on our services, what they love and more importantly what we can do better. It might mean going to a care home and getting involved in activities. The next day I could be going into the City and having conversations with potential investors. I could be meeting with the National Housing Federation or National Care Forum or talking to policy makers in Whitehall or politicians in Westminster.
The key in my role is making sure that somehow all those different aspects are joined up – so, for example, taking an experience from a day with colleagues or residents and using that to inform conversations about investment or government policy.
I also see my role as about influencing people to be more joined up across the organisation – as well as influencing in the outside world.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve worked on recently?
We say we want people to love living in later life – and we mean it! So, with that in mind, it’s been really interesting working out the right things to prioritise.
It’s also been fascinating to get involved in policy discussions with politicians too, though sometimes also frustrating!
What’s your favourite thing about your role?
Going to our housing locations and seeing the impact we have with residents across all our services is fantastic, and I love seeing excellent person-centred care first hand in our care homes too.
In the last six months, what’s been your proudest moment?
Anchor achieving Gold accreditation from Inclusive Employers was an enormously proud moment – particularly as we’re only the third organisation to have achieved it (though I know there’s still much more we can do). Then getting the highest possible score for our governance and viability from the housing regulator and confirmation of our A+ stable credit rating. Many other organisations have seen downgrades so we can be particularly proud that the housing regulator and our lenders have faith in our strategy and approach.
What was your first job?
I started off doing a paper round when I was 14. After a while I was doing four of them, then got a massive promotion which meant I could go behind the desk in the newsagents! I was working two nights a week and Saturday mornings as well as doing my schoolwork.
What’s your best wellbeing tip?
I love being with my dogs and I love gardening. I’m also a West Ham fan and their late goal against Fiorentina to win the Europa Conference League final did wonders for my wellbeing!
How did you come to work in your current profession?
Before I joined Anchor I was with office supplies distributors Spicers Ltd, where I was Chief Financial Officer. I’ve held a variety of senior finance roles across large corporate and private equity businesses, including Carpetright Plc, HMV and The Burton Group/Arcadia.
Anchor gave me the chance to put my skills to use in an organisation with a purpose that really matters to me.
To learn more about working at Anchor, our culture and where you fit in, click here.