Meet the team

CHIP’s services are delivered by our Social Value Manager and is governed by a board of trustees who agree and monitor the charities objectives, programmes and projects.

Emma Macaulay

Social Value Manager

Before joining CHIP Emma has been working in Education for the past 12 years, leading on business and policy development in secondary education. Previously to this, Emma spent 10 years working in the third sector, focusing on marketing, fundraising, and design for several charities, both in the West Midlands and nationally.

She has also embarked on several mental health initiatives, with a degree in Psychology and Criminology, completing a range of courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Counselling.

In addition to her professional background, Emma has also completed a range of Interior and Graphic Design qualifications, completing commercial projects in the Midlands, with her own business importing and exporting antiques. Emma is a member of both the British Psychological Society and the British Institute of Interior Design.

In her spare time, Emma loves designing, reading, and embarking on adventures on her motorbike, where she has explored many areas of the UK and Europe on two wheels! She is also a keen ice-skater, reaching Stage 6 through Skate UK.

Tracey O’Brien

Chair of Trustees

Tracey O’Brien is an experienced non-Executive, in the social housing sector, and is a representative for the voluntary and community sector across a range of strategic health, employment and partnerships boards, bringing a considered and informed perspective.

Originally from Salford, she has lived and worked in the West Midlands for four decades, where she now lives in Staffordshire. Tracey established 3C Solutions Ltd which works on a wide range of commissions from the private, public, and not for profit sector, including interim business management and support, embedding delivery programmes, and supporting Non-Executives and Boards with their Strategic Planning and Governance.

On a lighter note, she is a keen walker and enjoys cycling, reading, and listening to current affairs podcasts. One of her aims for the next 12 months is to start to learn the piano (again) and update her vinyl collection, which 30 years ago she thought she wouldn’t need again!

Jayne Stringer


Jayne is an experienced Procurement Professional who has worked in Social Housing for the past 18 years.

She is a dedicated member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and brings her wealth of expertise to Connexus Homes Limited, where she is responsible for delivering a professional and customer focused procurement management service. Her role involves providing strategic and operational procurement guidance to colleagues, ensuring the seamless functioning of procurement processes.

In addition to being a trustee for CHIP, Jayne is also a non-executive Director for CHIC.

Jayne is dedicated to making a positive impact both in her career and within her community.

 Hailing from Shropshire, Jayne finds joy in her spare time by indulging in her passion for the outdoors. Walking her two Labrador Retrievers allows her to unwind and connect with nature. Furthermore, Jayne and her husband share a love for travel, exploring different corners of the world together.

Sarah Payling


Sarah is currently the Group Event Director for Ocean Media Group Ltd, where she manages a range of projects including Housing, HOMES UK, Inside Housing and Social Housing conferences and awards). Sarah is the founder of Unlock Net Zero.

In addition to being a Trustee for CHIP, Sarah is also a Non-Executive Director for CHIC. Sarah has spent almost 30 years heading up media portfolios – most recently in sustainability, housing and built environment.

Sarah was born in Yorkshire, from where she crossed the Pennines to university in Manchester, where she also met her husband. In addition to her busy work life, she is parent to her third rescue Labrador, where she loves walks with him. Sarah also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, travelling, and opera.

Gordon Shirley


Gordon trained as a Quantity Surveyor and worked for Social Housing Landlords across the Midlands, for 30 years, in Development, Asset Management and lately as Operations Director.

He then spent 10 years as CHIC’s Commercial Director before retirement to concentrate on his own projects.

Gordon loves walking, sailing, and travelling to obscure parts of the world. A recent Grandparent, he now has new excitement to fill his days!

Fred Bentley


Fred joined Lloyds Bank in 1973 and reached the senior rank of Branch Director for Southeast Wales. He was also the Principal of the Lloyds Training Centre at Hindhead Surrey and part of the Banks Graduate Recruitment Team.

Since leaving Lloyds he has been the Head of Skills at Business Link, West Midlands, with the Third Sector Consortium (3SC) managing Welfare to Work programmes such as the DHS Work Programme and Future Jobs Fund. More recently he has been running his own consultancy, Bentley Skills Ltd, and operating as the former Social Value Manager for CHIC.

Away from work Fred spent nine years as Chair of two housing associations: Festival and Fortis, as well as seven years on the Board at Stourbridge College.

Fred’s main interests are sport with both football and golf high on the list! He recently chaired the Worcestershire Golf Club Ltd in Malvern. If there is any time left his five grandchildren keep him fully occupied!

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