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Charmaine Simei - 'Yes, social housing is an honourable profession'

Published on: 16 Jan 2024

It was the late 1980s, and 17-year-old Charmaine Simei had moved from her Catholic-school upbringing in Peterborough to London for a traineeship with fashion designer John Galliano. 

Living in London, she saw street homelessness for the first time. When she was just 19, it hit close to home, with the death of a good friend from school. The “talented, gorgeous, young man” was found dead in a London shop doorway.

This helped “plant a seed” that led Ms Simei to a career in housing, and three decades later to become chief executive of Tuntum, a Nottingham-based, 1,600-home Black and minority ethnic-led housing association.

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