Three forward-thinking tenant groups, supported by Cardiff-based Linc Cymru Housing Association (Linc), have fought off competition from across Wales to scoop four awards at the annual TPAS Cymru Participation Awards, held in Llandudno [14 July].
The Awards recognise and celebrate the hard work and commitment of those engaged in projects and schemes to empower housing association tenants and benefit local communities.
With their “inclusion not exclusion” motto, Bridgend-based Brackla Events Committee was awarded first place in the Community Action category.
In 2015, the committee launched a new programme of activities and events run by tenants and residents which led to a number of significant changes in the local community, including the creation of community clubs for 5-12 year olds and the over 50s, a volunteering programme for 16-18 year olds, and a new fruit and veg co-operative.
John Udraufski, treasurer of the Brackla Events Committee, said: “We were over the moon when we were told that the committee was shortlisted for an award, but to be crowned first place has been the icing on the cake. We’re thrilled that a small community group has achieved national recognition, and we can’t thank Linc enough for helping us achieve this through their ongoing support.”
The Willowbrook Tenants Association, a group of tenants based at one of Linc’s independent living schemes in Newport, was awarded second place in the Participation in Housing Related Support category for its Active Aspirations project.
As part of the project, tenants were given the opportunity to engage with community members through a series of creative events involving gardening, music, and arts and crafts. One event saw pupils from Newport’s Millbrook Primary School attend a multi-media interactive World War II day, in order to learn more about the war by listening to some of the older tenants relive their memories. The group also plans to produce a publication titled ‘Recipes for Successful Activities’, so that other tenant associations can benefit from their experiences.
Linc’s Tenant Service Testers (TST), a group developed to ensure standards of tenant scrutiny across the organisation were maintained, also scooped awards for second place in the Tenant Scrutiny category and third place for Improving Services.
In 2015, the group set out to test whether Linc was delivering its complaint-handling service in line with set standards. After attending workshops, testing real-life complaints and conducting a staff survey, the TST group praised aspects of the service but was also able to make a number of recommendations for improvement.
Nicola Smith, Executive Director of Linc Homes, said: “For a number of our groups to be recognised at an awards, showcasing the very best in tenant participation across Wales, is a fantastic achievement and testament to the dedication and passion that our tenants put in to making a difference within their local communities.
“Ensuring that our tenants feel supported, empowered and confident in their day-to-day lives is at the core of our business and we actively support and encourage them to get involved in these groups. Congratulations to our tenants and staff for their commitment and hard work to achieve this.”