Nine unsung Swindon heroes recognised for going the ‘extra mile’

Leading sheltered and supported housing provider Stonewater which owns and manages supported housing projects in Swindon, has been shortlisted for two top accolades at The Foyer Federation’s Spark Awards.

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Foyer Young People’s Specialist Coach Stephen Baker has been nominated for the Unsung Hero Award which celebrates staff members whose contribution in the workplace may go unnoticed. At age 20, Stephen lived at Swindon Foyer as a resident when he took on an apprenticeship with Stonewater (then Jephson). With support from the Foyer staff, he moved out and has now worked for Stonewater for eight years. He was nominated by the Swindon Foyer team for consistently going above and beyond to support the young people living at the Foyer, and for being a source of inspiration of what they can achieve after they leave.

The Swindon projects’ Residents’ Committee has been nominated for the Extra Mile Award which recognises Foyer residents that have gone the extra mile for staff or peers. The Residents’ Committee is a team of eight Swindon Foyer residents who meet regularly to discuss what matters to them - from changes in policies, to activities going on and ideas for the future. Their aim is to provide young residents with a voice and influence the services in Swindon.

The Foyer Federation creates programmes, campaigns and ideas for Foyers to implement, filling gaps in community services and inspiring policy and decision-makers to make a more effective investment in young people. Organised by The Foyer Federation, The Spark Awards celebrate talent across the sector and this year will mark the Federation’s 26th anniversary.

“I am really proud of Stephen and the Residents’ Committee for being shortlisted for these awards,” says Guy Stenson, Stonewater’s Director of Housing Strategy & Transformation. “Stephen has moulded himself into a real inspiration for the young people that he helps support and it’s a pleasure to see how far he has come. The Committee, meanwhile, is a really proactive and engaged group of young people who truly deserve to win.

“Both Stephen and the Committee work incredibly hard to provide an excellent service, supporting young people in their own communities and I am so pleased that their dedication to making a difference has been recognised. I wish them all the best of luck at the awards, although to all of us at Stonewater, they are already winners!”

Stonewater owns and operates four foyers, two women’s refuges and a wide range of other supported housing projects for adults and young people across the South of England.

The winners of the Unsung Hero and the Extra Mile Awards will be announced at the Foyer Federation Spark Awards ceremony in Birmingham on 4 October 2018.