We have been shortlisted for two national awards.
Staffordshire Housing Group (SHG) are in the finals at the Housing Hero Awards, which celebrate the people who make a difference in housing and the local community.
Organised by Inside Housing, the national publication for the housing sector, and the Chartered Institute of Housing, SHG are down to the final eight for both Inclusive Team of the Year and Inspiring Leader of the Year.
Revival’s befriending service has been nominated for Inclusive Team of the Year. The team of volunteers help improve the social, mental and physical wellbeing of isolated and lonely adults in Stoke-on-Trent through regular home visits, helping them attend community activities and practical support with appointments and paperwork.
Since its launch four years ago, more than 300 customers from various backgrounds, have been supported by their team of 169 volunteers.
One customer, Albert, said his volunteer, Toni Cowans, has changed his life by talking to him about everything and anything including his family, the war and politics. The 92-year-old said: “The Befriending Service has opened up my world. I’m very lucky, – it makes my day when my volunteer visits because I’ve got company. My life is a wonderful life at the moment.”
Toni, from Smallthorne, says Albert has also changed her life: “I’ve learnt so much about history from him. He’s fascinating. I see him on a Monday and it sets me up for the week. It makes me feel good to know I’m helping Albert. A couple of hours a week is nothing to me and we both get something from it.”
Also shortlisted is Staffordshire Housing Group’s Chief Executive, Diane Lea, in the Inspirational Leader of the Year category.
Since becoming the CEO in 2005, the Group has grown and gone through a huge transformation, with Diane at the helm, now employing over 300 staff at Staffordshire Housing, Revival and Arch.
Diane Lea said, “It’s extremely humbling to be nominated and if this gives recognition to the organisation and the great people that work here who inspire me daily then nothing makes me happier.”
Nicola Recine, customer services advisor at Staffordshire Housing Group, said: “She (Diane) is so passionate about the company and makes everyone feel like they are part of something to be celebrated.
“She seeks feedback personally from everyone to get our thoughts and ideas for ways to improve our services and the way we work. I don’t feel like a number – I feel part of a great organisation.”
The Housing Hero Awards will be celebrated on Monday 25 June, where winners will be announced.