Aire Valley Homes Community Awards Winners Announced
Published by JenCooke for National Federation of ALMOs in Communities and also in Housing
L-R Martin Smithurst, FHM Managing Director, Winner of Young Resident of the Year Jay Smith, Chair of the Aire Valley Homes Board Councillor Peter Gruen, BBC Look North Presentor and host Harry Gration
Individual tenants, residents and community groups from South Leeds, whose actions and initiatives make a real difference to people’s lives and their neighbourhoods, were recognised at a ceremony at the John Charles Centre for Sport last night (Friday 9 April).
Hosted by BBC Look North presenter, Harry Gration and attended by Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and MP for central Leeds, The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Andrew Barker and 150 invited guests, The Aire Valley Homes Community Awards were sponsored by Frank Haslam Milan and The Cyril Sweett Group.
Among the winners is 11 year old Jay Smith from Rothwell, who, despite pressure from other youths in the area, has taken an active role in the community in which he lives. Speaking authoritatively at meetings, Jay, who won the ‘Young Resident of the Year’ Award, provides a voice for other young people on his estate giving an insight into their hopes and needs. Jay gives up his school holidays voluntarily clearing litter and weeding in the elderly people’s community garden, encouraging his peers to get involved as well.
‘Group of the Year’ winner, Denshaw and Newlands Tenants and Residents Association commitment to the community has resulted in a number of positive changes in the area. Its regular ‘fun days’ bring together a number of local agencies under one roof to allow residents the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns with the fire service, police, Aire Valley Homes, Morley Elderly Action, and individual businesses in the area of Morley.
A local community dance troop from Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) opened the ceremony with a ‘dazzling’ performance. DAZL’s aim is to improve the mental and physical health of young people and the wider community in South Leeds through dance, by offering classes and arranging performances.
Aire Valley Homes Chief Executive, John Clark, said: “I am really impressed by the standard of entrants to the Aire Valley Homes Community Awards. These Awards were designed to recognise the people and projects that bring life and passion to a community. By thanking people in this way we hope to give a pat on the back to those who deserve it, keep peoples enthusiasm and interest going and let other people know that they too can get involved and become great community champions.”
Chair of the Board, Councillor Peter Gruen, said: “The Awards have been a fantastic success and we hope the outstanding level of response to this inaugural event means we are able to continue in future years.”
The Aire Valley Homes Community Awards have been made possible with the support of its sponsors Frank Haslam Milan and Cyril Sweett Group.
Established since 1928, Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) has grown into a progressive and forward thinking construction organisation providing a customer focused service to residents across Leeds.
Part of the Keepmoat group, they carry out maintenance, refurbishment and responsive repairs for the public sector as well as building new homes for rent and shared ownership, sheltered accommodation and schools.
One of the leading contractors in tenant participation, FHM ensures tenants and residents are fully involved in the decision making processes and are one of only four contractors to be re-awarded the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Contractor Quality Mark.
Martin Smithurst, FHM Managing Director, said: “Having delivered work in Leeds for a number of years we have been delighted to sponsor these innovative awards which have so successfully highlighted the many diverse and dynamic initiatives helping to improve the lives of all who live in the area.”
Cyril Sweett Group plc is an international construction and property consultancy offering expertise in quantity surveying, project management and a comprehensive range of specialist services such as health and safety consultancy, sustainability, building surveying, dispute resolution and contract advice.
Aire Valley Homes is the arms-length management organisation (ALMO) responsible for over 15,000 homes in South and South East Leeds.
List of Winners and Finalists:
Resident of the Year
Young Resident of the Year
Group of the Year
Denshaws and Newlands TARA
John O’Gaunts TARA
Whiterose Residents Association
Best Community Initiative
Mothers Pride Teatime Club
SLATE South Leeds Alternative Trading Enterprise Hunslet
Aire Valley Homes Employee of the Year
Margaret Garnett, Tenancy Management Officer
Helen Smithson, Tenancy Management Officer
Alan Thorpe, Customer Involvement Officer
Isobel Thorp, Supported Housing Officer
Special Recognition Award