Midlands executive director awarded woman of the year

A Midlands-based executive director, from housing association Stonewater, has won a national award for going above and beyond for a customer that was affected by the Salisbury Novichok poisoning at last night’s Women in Housing awards.

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Sue Shirt, the Executive Director for Customer Experience at Stonewater won Woman of the Year: Tenant/Customer Focus after being nominated by a Stonewater customer and chair of the organisation’s scrutiny panel, Roger Pearce.

Sue is described by colleagues as having a tremendous commitment and enthusiasm for everything that Stonewater does, and more notably for her commitment to delivering the best possible service to all of its customers.

Nicholas Harris, chief executive of Stonewater said: “Given her down-to-earth pragmatism, compassion and empathy and ability to inspire many of our colleagues, customers and partner agencies to go the extra mile every single day, I’m not surprised that Sue has won Woman of the Year: Tenant/Customer Focus.

“In 2018, an incident relating to the Novichok poisoning resulted in Sue taking charge to assess what support the community and affected family needed, as well as making sure it was delivered. This included evacuating people from their homes in under 45 minutes and working with partners to find alternative accommodation. This is just one example of Sue making sure our customers receive the best possible service, no matter the circumstance.”

Sue Shirt, Executive Director for Customer Experience at Stonewater said: “I’ve worked in social housing for more than thirty years and its something I’m genuinely passionate about. Making sure Stonewater achieves the best results for its customers is at the heart of everything we do as an organisation and I feel honoured to have won this award.”

The not-for-profit organisation was shortlisted for another three national awards and won the award for improving the lives of women or communities (large) with its South Asian Women’s Refuge.

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday, October 10, at the Emirates, Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester.