The team behind Achieving and Harnessing Board Diversity, a partnership between Together Housing, Progress Housing Group and Housing Diversity Network, has been shortlisted for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Year Award.
The project, which has also been shortlisted for a 24 Housing Diversity Award, aims to unlock the potential of future leaders by championing diversity.
Between them, Together Housing Group and Progress Housing Group have appointed 11 candidates to the programme, seven of whom are female (64% compared to the industry average of 36%) and five identify as BME (45% compared to the industry average of 6.8%).
Tahir Idris, Together Housing Group’s Equality & Diversity Manager, said: “As a provider of homes and a major employer, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive organisation that recognises the diverse needs of our customers and colleagues. As such, we are delighted that our work to bring together different experiences to best represent the communities we serve has been acknowledged by independent experts in the sector.”
The other two finalists come from Pendleton Together, part of the Together Housing Group, which manages 1250 refurbished homes on behalf of Salford City Council as part of a £650 million government-backed regeneration scheme.
Environmental Services Apprentice Aiden Peppard has been shortlisted as Apprentice of the Year and the Estates Services Team, which Aiden is part of, has been shortlisted for Frontline Team of the Year.
After dropping out of college, Pendleton Together saved Aiden from becoming another unemployment statistic by taking him on as a volunteer. His commitment was quickly recognised and it wasn’t long before he was offered an apprenticeship.
Aiden is now studying towards his NVQ in Level 2 Local Environmental Services College and in less than 12 months, he has won two internal awards for his dedication. Now he’s hoping to receive external recognition for his work, which includes leading on a pilot project to tackle fly-tipping.
Operating in areas within the most deprived 1% in the country, the role of the Estates Services Team is primarily grounds maintenance and caretaking. However, they have become ambassadors to the organisation, leading on equality and diversity projects and communications with residents, as well as getting involved in safeguarding, recycling and fire safety.
Deborah MacDonald, who heads up the Estates Services Team and manages Aiden, said: “I am so proud of what my team collectively and Aiden as an individual have achieved over the last 12 months. They live and breathe our visions and values, delivering high performance for our customers and having a positive social impact. I am so pleased their hard work and enthusiasm has been recognised by the Housing Heroes judges.”
Organised by Inside Housing in partnership with Chartered Institute of Housing, the awards showcase the people that help housing organisations do the vital work they do. The winners will be announced on 24 June.