Award for housing officer who gave stroke victim her voice back
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A housing scheme manager who helped a stroke victim get her voice back has been honoured with an award.
Wendy Theaker was named Northwards Housing’s Employee of the Year at the housing association’s annual staff awards last Friday.
Wendy (pictured), who has been working in housing for 26 years, discovered that one of her new tenants, Joyce, had been unable to speak properly following a stroke 20 years ago.
Frustrated at being unable to communicate, Joyce had retreated into her shell and was a shadow of her former self. But Wendy refused to give up and sat with her for a few hours a day, teaching her how to speak again. Wendy’s help has changed her life for the better.
The annual event, which this year was hosted by former Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding, honours exceptional employees from Northwards, which manages more than 13,500 homes in the north Manchester area.
Wendy said: “I just sat with her and went over words that she might use, trying to get her to pronounce them. It’s taken a while and you still have to listen hard, but you can get the gist of what she’s saying.
“It’s really boosted her confidence and now, every Tuesday, she goes out to a local church to help feed the homeless.
“I just want to give people a good quality of life – I’m proud to do the job that I do.”
Also honoured was Pat Scappaticci, head of retirement services and caretaking services. Pat was given a special award by chief executive Robin Lawler, to mark her hard work in bringing retirement housing into the 21st century.
Pat, who successfully battled breast cancer last year, said: “Northwards is an incredible place to work – without the support of my colleagues and team members, it would have been impossible to get through it.
“I live and breathe my job.”
Robin Lawler, chief executive, said: “Every year, I’m blown away by the commitment and dedication shown by our staff here at Northwards.
“Our staff regularly go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that our tenants get the best service. It’s all about making people’s lives better – and our staff do that every single day.”
READ NEXT »