Aphra Mactaggart joins Commonweal’s Board, furthering Mactaggart family legacy
Commonweal Housing has recently welcomed Aphra Mactaggart to its Board of Trustees. Her appointment further entrenches the philanthropic legacy of the Mactaggart family, and their pivotal role in the creation and continued work of the charity.
She joins Commonweal’s Board as its youngest member, offering a fresh vision and understanding of the issues facing young people in the UK.
This is particularly pertinent as the social justice charity pivots its efforts and resources towards injustices affecting young people, a group acutely impacted by ongoing socio-economic crises, as part of its new thematic areas. Alongside young people, Commonweal’s focus also includes issues relating to migration, asylum and human trafficking and the criminal justice system, including youth justice.
Aphra has a degree in Sociology from Newcastle University and has spent the last two years training as a midwife at Royal London Hospital.
Aphra Mactaggart, Trustee Commonweal Housing said: “I am excited to join the Board of Commonweal with my family’s longstanding involvement and my own passion for the causes Commonweal champions. I aim to infuse a fresh, younger perspective into the Board’s work, ensuring a brighter future for those in need. With a special interest in issues that impact women and girls.”
Aphra joins the Board following the recent appointment of experienced housing researcher Dr. Elanor Warwick, who was appointed to the Board in March. Both replace former Trustees Sneha Patel, Jeremy Swain, Becky Rice and Sarah Jackson OBE, who all recently left the Board after helping to broaden the charity’s strategic direction.
The Mactaggart family has strong historical ties to housing and tackling social injustices. Throughout the early 1900s, Sir John Mactaggart Bt. was a visionary of how to deliver affordable housing, building affordable homes across Scotland, London and the United States.
His legacy then came under the chairmanship of his great grandson, Sir John A. Mactaggart, who founded Commonweal Housing. Sir John chaired the charity during its initial years and sat on the Board of Trustees for 14 years before stepping down in 2017. He was then appointed the role of Honorary President, where he continues to support the charity today.
The Mactaggart legacy throughout Commonweal’s work continues with Sir John’s son, Jack Mactaggart, who sat on the Board of Trustees for four years before being appointed Chair in 2020.
Prior to Jack becoming Chair, former Labour MP for Slough Fiona Mactaggart Chaired Commonweal. Fiona, the first Sir John’s great granddaughter, has a long history of tackling social injustice and experience improving the effectiveness of charities. She was instrumental in steering Commonweal into the well-established charity it is today and remains a dedicated Trustee.
Aphra, who is the daughter of Commonweal’s founder Sir John, was appointed to the Board earlier this month. The Board now includes eight Trustees with in-depth knowledge covering social housing, policy, finance, and development and regeneration.
Ashley Horsey, Chief Executive at Commonweal Housing said: “The legacy of the Mactaggart family is the foundation in which Commonweal was established. Over the years, the Mactaggart family has played a vital role in shaping the work of Commonweal, offering their expertise and knowledge. I am pleased to welcome Aphra to the Board and look forward to her insights and support, especially around the injustices facing women and girls.”