We held our fourth annual Unlocking the Potential of People Awards this week to celebrate our residents who give their time to make a difference in their local area.
Held on Wednesday 30 October 2013, the day was a celebration of our resident volunteers with over 70 residents from across the Group attending.
Residents took part in a round table discussion session to talk about issues that affect them. Two guest speakers also gave talks on their personal backgrounds, building businesses and connecting people with opportunities.
A highlight of the day was a performance by some of our young residents from Hackney, who wanted to share their experiences through a track they had created as part of a music production project which Southern Housing Group has funded.
Malcolm Groves, Chair at Southern Housing Group, opened the event and said, “Today recognises the value that active residents bring to their communities through volunteering.
“It is a great opportunity to bring together resident-led community groups and individuals who volunteer their services to their community. It has been fantastic to hear about so many inspiring projects from our residents.”
The award categories and winners for 2013 were:
1. Bringing Communities Together Award
Winner – Jeorgina Soares, Rochelle Robinson and Fatuma Nalule from London
These volunteers decided to run a range of projects during the school summer break after recognising the need for some positive activities for children and young people at our Barking Riverside development.
Runner-up – The Portsea and Fratton Time Bank Volunteers
2. Good Neighbour Award
Joint Winners – Lorraine Austin from Portsmouth and Denise Hurford from London
Both winners were nominated by their neighbours for volunteering their time to help their communities through a range of social events and community activities in their sheltered schemes.
3. Greener Living Award
Winner – Loren Cave from the Isle of Wight
Loren has tirelessly worked with the children of her local estate to grow flowers and vegetables, with many horticultural awards being won as a result.
Runner-up – Fred Kingsley from Reading
4. Young Person Award
Winner – Mousuf Chowdhury from Wiltshire
Mousuf volunteers every week at our job club in Durrington, giving up his free time to help residents with their CVs and job search whilst also providing valuable advice to build their confidence.
Runner-up – Jordan Searle from the Isle of Wight
5. Making a Difference Award
Joint Winners – Valerie Lockett from London and Natasha O’Brien from Reading
Natasha O’Brien spends her spare time working to improve the local community and improve communications amongst her neighbours. She was also elected as Chair of the West Village Residents’ Association (WVRA) to help address local issues. Valerie contributes her personal time as a Digital Champion, helping residents to get online and improve their IT skills.
6. Special Award
Winner – Iris Hunt from Reading
This special award went to Iris for her significant contribution to resident involvement at Southern Housing Group, helping us to improve our services.