Young Leaders 2012 shortlist: Voting closed

The voting for 24housing magazine’s Young Leaders in Housing award for 2012 has now closed.

Candidates will be informed today (17 February) whether they have been successful in making it to the next stage where the top five young leaders will be sent to the National Housing Federation’s Leaders’ Forum and Exhibition in London next week.

Backed by housing minister Grant Shapps and supported by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the National Housing Federation (NHF), the award aims to highlight the future leaders in the sector.

The top five candidates to pool the largest number of online votes will be published in the March edition of 24housing magazine.

The winner of this year’s award will win an iPad, a day shadowing NHF chief David Orr and a short course in management worth £1,500 provided by Reed Learning.

Jon Land, 24housing Editor, said: “For the second year running, the standard of entries for our Young Leaders Award has been outstanding. Cutting nearly 100 entries down to a shortlist of 12 was incredibly difficult but it just goes to show how many rising stars we have working in the housing sector at the moment.”

Joanne Claridge, 29, act family manager, Stockport Homes

Joanne Claridge

Joanne started her career with Stockport Homes as a housing advice officer, progressing to strategic development officer then manager within four years.  In 2011 Joanne was successfully appointed as ‘act family manager’, a new post within the organisation and tasked with the creation of a brand new team from multiple backgrounds to support families with complex needs. Her successes so far include supporting 36 families which has seen increased school attendance, a reduction in offending, improved health outcomes, housing stability, a reduction in anti-social behaviour referrals and, ultimately, helped to reduce external service costs. Joanne encourages her team to challenge the status quo, in doing so they make a profound difference to lives of service users and the local community.

Nominated by: Sandra Coleing – director of corporate services


Michelle Evans, 28, strategy and policy manager, East Durham Homes

Michelle Evans

Michelle ventured into housing after attaining her law degree. Seven years after coming into the sector, she is strategy and policy manager at East Durham Homes, part of the senior management team and is currently studying for a MSC in housing studies. Strategic planning and project management are key attributes and Michelle has lead on successful projects, including a ‘two-star’ inspection with ‘excellent prospects for improvement’ and the attainment of the customer service ‘excellent’ standard. Michelle has only been employed by EDH for three years but within that time, she has obtained the respect of her colleagues through excellent motivational and influencing skills and displaying strong emotional intelligence.

Nominated by: Paul Mains – assistant chief executive


Aaron Peake, 26, project officer – chief executive’s office, Homes for Haringey

Aaron Peake

Aaron started as a graduate trainee in 2009 supporting the chief executive and leading on our first worklessness scheme. This involved recruiting and mentoring a long-term unemployed Haringey resident to help her towards a housing qualification and gain full-time employment. From the start, Aaron has shown calm, self-assured integrity, intelligence and tactful communication skills to drive through projects that make a difference and impact positively on the organisation. He set up the Campsbourne Housing Partnership working with other social landlords, local service providers and local residents to tackle anti-social behaviour and unemployment on the Campsbourne estate. He currently leads on our Project 2020 involving partner organisations across and beyond Haringey to provide employment opportunities for young people in the borough.

Nominated by: David Sherrington, head of chief executive’s office


Rachel Molyneux, 24, organisational development business partner, Helena Partnerships

Rachel Molyneux

Rachel has progressed from enthusiastic learning & development apprentice to well-respected organisational development business partner. Her passion has been rewarded with four promotions and she has juggled work with study to achieve impressive qualifications, including a post-graduate degree. She confidently takes the lead and successfully project-managed an award-winning scheme which enabled tenants to gain qualifications for community work on behalf of the Airport Group, an alliance of housing associations. An innovative talent management report she wrote for her degree is forming the basis of Helena’s talent management programme. She volunteers as Change Champion, promoting new ways of working which are at the heart of Helena’s business transformation strategy. She was brand champion during Helena’s re-brand and, in her current role, supports managers to make the changes needed to move the company forward.

Nominated by: Penny Aspden, head of organisational development


Hannah Boyd, 27, trainee housing management solicitor and interim tenancy standards manager, Midland Heart

Hannah Boyd

As Midland Heart’s trainee housing management solicitor and interim tenancy standards manager, Hannah has helped shape our response to the agenda set by the Localism act and tenure reform. She has also developed an influential role tackling anti social behaviour in Birmingham and has become a member of Birmingham’s multi agency gang unit and reducing gang violence groups. Hannah has developed influential relationships with key partners that have led to successful outcomes in terms of resolving serious cases of ASB and improving best practice and joint working across the city. Hannah has contributed to the anti-fraud initiative that has developed in Birmingham which is being used to shape national policy.

Nominated by: David Taylor, head of lettings and tenancy standards


Sara Parkin, 29, housing advice manager, Futures Homescape

Sara Parkin

Since joining the organisation as a graduate eight years ago and starting work as a homeless prevention officer, Sara has progressed to becoming the highly successful leader of the homelessness team. Sara’s quiet, reserved and determined approach to leading the team has helped deliver top quality performance and both regional and national recognition for her team. Her unique approach has been to put her team’s needs first and is always willing to muck in. Sara has also made sure that the service has excelled by achieving a record percentage of homeless preventions (72%), securing £12,000 in external funding, securing a three-year contract renewal with the local borough council and reducing B&B usage by 93% and costs by 94%.

Nominated by: Paul Whittingham, head of housing


Crystal Fernandes, 26, group sustainable communities programmes manager, Circle

Crystal Fernandes

Crystal is committed and fiercely passionate about creating opportunities for others to succeed. An example was the complete set up and running of the Future Jobs Fund (145 candidates) at Circle Housing, which ran for 18 months. In terms of leading by example, I believe she sets an incredible standard with all that she does. She places importance upon putting people at the heart of it all and ensuring their lives are enhanced by the work she does. Another example was establishing and ensuring our apprenticeships programme offers the very best experience in all aspects to each individual.

Nominated by: Lydia Bolwell – group sustainable communities officer


Edward Farnsworth, 29, head of business planning and development finance, L&Q

Edward Farnsworth

Ed joined L&Q as a graduate trainee in 2005. He now heads up a team of managers and analysts responsible for preparing development finance accounts, new business and group financial plans. He empowers his team to make decisions on the future of the business, creating a dynamic and friendly working environment. He was responsible for the development of an award-winning new housing product UpToYou, represented L&Q on a panel of registered providers that developed MyChoice Homebuy and produced annual financial benchmarking reports for the G15. He has recently taken up a position on L&Q’s internal development & sales board which is responsible for approving and monitoring performance of its significant development pipeline.

Nominated by: Waqar Ahmed group director, finance, L&Q


Emma Moody, 25, income manager, L&Q

Emma Moody

Emma has worked for L&Q since 2007 starting out as an assistant in the operational support team. She has since moved to the L&Q direct revenue team and has been promoted three times in last few years to managerial level as she was recently appointed to the position of income manager. Emma has consistently demonstrated commitment to her work and leads her four teams of 30 staff by example with an impressive innovative approach. Her values are an asset to the L&Q direct revenue team and to L&Q more generally.

Nominated by: Sally Kneller, income manager


Chris Marshall, 25, head of operations, Gentoo

Chris Marshall

Chris started at Gentoo as a neighbourhood operations manager trainee in February 2009. This was his first post in a management position managing a team of staff in a very busy area office. His ability to engage with a wide range of customers, partners and local stakeholders lead him to build effective relations, which has enhanced our service delivery to the Washington management area. We are extremely impressed how Chris absorbed processes, procedures and polices and built upon these by sharing his knowledge and understanding with his team members. Chris has developed into an effective role model and was awarded a Rising Star award as part of Gentoo’s annual Grafta awards. He progressed to head of operations in November 2011 and he has an extremely bright future ahead of him.

Nominated by: Michelle Meldrum, deputy director


Amy Hamilton, 27, project co-ordinator, Dale & Valley Homes

Amy Hamilton

As a newly promoted project assistant in 2009 Amy was immediately thrown into a major project – our relocation. We had six weeks to remodel a vacant building and move into it. The director responsible was needed elsewhere. Amy delivered a high quality result on time. En route she learned how to get builders to deliver on time and to spec. Amy’s determination to succeed has also shone through in leading two other major projects:  an £8m new build scheme and the development of the website.  Her leadership skills go way beyond project management. She created and mentored a network of staff from across the organisation to run the site.  She was recently named employee of the year. It is telling that this was based on the votes of her colleagues.

Nominated by: Colin Stockwell, chair of the board

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