11 September 2020: Housing provider’s heroes make national finalists
Leading housing provider Stonewater was named a finalist in five categories in the 2020 Housing Heroes Awards.
Three teams at Stonewater were shortlisted, as well as Steve Bladen for Tenant Innovator of the Year and George Blunden, who retired as the organisation’s chair last September, and has been recognised in the Lifetime Achievement in Housing category.
Over the last year, Stonewater’s people team has launched a number of initiatives to promote inclusivity and celebrate diversity across the organisation and amongst customers.
This has included the creation of Employee Networking Groups for BAME and LGTBQ+ colleagues, as well as a customer disability focus group, which has contributed to the organisation being recognised for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Year.
The organisation’s specialist South Asian Women’s Refuge was also shortlisted for the Support and Care Team of the Year (over 7000 homes) award. The refuge which is often in high demand and on average can accept only a third of all referrals as a result, has supported 22 families since January 2019, of which 12 have successfully moved on.
In addition to this, Stonewater recently completed the build of its 3000th home at its rural scheme Valley Cottages in Winterbourne Abbas. The milestone is just one of countless achievements in the last year, resulting in the social landlord’s development team being recognised for Development or Maintenance Team of the Year.
Nicholas Harris, Chief Executive at Stonewater, said: “Recent events have shone a light on the need for greater action being taken on issues around diversity, supporting those affected by domestic abuse and ensuring everyone has a place that they can call home.
“Ahead of this, our colleagues have been wholeheartedly committed to tackling these issues and I’m proud that this hard work has been recognised by the Housing Hero Awards judges.”