THE managing Director of a Winwick charity has been appointed regional president of a national institute.

Catherine Nicholson, who founded Fortunatus Housing Solutions, has taken up her new role with the Lancashire and Cheshire Association of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV).

The IRRV is the professional body for those working in the field of revenues, benefits and valuation in the UK.

It currently has more than 5,000 members who support each other’s professional development and share best practices.

And following her official appointment, Catherine said it is a great honour to be given the opportunity.

“As a member of the IRRV for 27 years, it is an absolute privilege to now be able to represent Warrington and the wider north west region,” she stated.

“With Fortunatus Housing being based at Winwick Quay, I am a strong advocate of charities in Warrington and the surrounding areas.

“After studying with the institute for four years while working as head of benefits at St Helens Council, it is a great chance to be able to bring local issues to the fore.”

Fortunatus is a Warrington based supported accommodation provider and charity, which provides a ‘home for life’ to vulnerable adults with severe and enduring Mental Health conditions.

And Catherine wants to use her time their and new position at the IRRV to highlight issues in the Warrington area on the national stage.

“The job will involve me speaking at various events and attend functions,” said the Newton-le-Willows native.

“This will allow me to bring to the national attention big issues in Warrington regarding housing, social inclusion and income maximisation.

“I will also be able to speak about the work we are doing in the town specifically to help improve these issues.”

The IRRV also have some influence over government policy and educate local authorities about topics including business rates, housing benefits and everything in between.

Although they do not specialise in mental health, Catherine is hoping to use her expertise in the field to raise awareness surrounding how to approach it.

“I am planning to use the IRRV seminars and best practice guidelines in the area of supported accommodation funding to speak up about mental health,” she added.

“With my experience at Fortunatus who specialise in mental health, all my presentations will concentrate on the daily work we do in Warrington and on social media.

“Our charity has won several awards for its work in the community, and we know how important mental health is.”