One of the country’s most innovative care providers is celebrating after an outstanding double win at a prestigious award ceremony.
Blackwood Housing and Care, collected trophies for the ‘Robina Goodlad Excellence Award’ sponsored by West of Scotland Housing Association and the ‘Excellence Award in Developing Skills and Capacity’ sponsored by Riverside at the Chartered Institute of Housing Awards held at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel.
Lizanne Burton, a tenant, member of Blackwood Board and member of Blackwood Foundation Board, scooped the Chartered Institute of Housing’s ‘Robina Goodlad Excellence Award’ for her relentless campaigning for disabled rights and using innovation to ‘help people to live life to the full’.
Lizanne has been promoting and contributing to Blackwood’s very own award winning social media platform – bespoken since its launch. The innovative design and technology site provides information and advice for people with disabilities or independent living needs.
She has lived in Blackwood’s Craigevar development for more than 20 years and has been a long-term member of the Blackwood Scrutiny Panels, made up of tenants, who ensure the organisation is constantly meeting its own high standards.
The organisation also came out on top for its Leadership and Culture Change Programme – which commends the innovative approach that Blackwood implemented to support staff through a major cultural change and give Blackwood leaders the confidence and skills to extend and embed learning and development throughout the organisation.
Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive of Blackwood, is thrilled with both awards – and has also praised Lizanne for her achievements.
She said: “We are all extremely pleased Lizanne has won this award. She is utterly selfless and incredibly modest and I’m not sure she realises how inspirational she actually is.
“Since I took on my role here she has been a huge help to me and the same is true for so many of our staff who are in contact with Lizanne on a daily basis.
“We did not tell her we were putting her name forward and when we told her she had been
shortlisted her response was typically modest – she insisted she had not done anything to warrant it, let alone win.
Fanchea added: “To have received two award wins overall is absolutely fantastic, the whole organisation is thrilled. We have implemented a lot of change this year and to see this publically recognised is a great feeling.
“There is so much more we are aiming to achieve, in terms of providing the most innovative levels of housing and care we can for our customers.
“We are certainly looking forward to continued positive change – and hopefully even more success.”
Working in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, Blackwood is more widely dispersed than any other care or housing provider and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.
With over 1500 homes throughout the country it is a leader in helping those who are disabled, elderly or living with sensory impairments live more independently.
Blackwood recently unveiled its tech-savvy new headquarters, located in Edinburgh’s Dundee Street.
The event was attended by notable figures such as Housing and Welfare Minister, Margaret Burgess – and members of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.