Cestria wins top accolade in prestigious award
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
A County Durham housing association has won a prestigious award and been shortlisted for three other accolades in recognition of its hard-working staff.
Cestria Community Housing, which owns and manages homes in and around Chester-le-Street, has won the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) award for Outstanding Financial Communications in the Housing Association National Accountancy Awards (HANAA).
The award recognises Cestria’s progressive and innovative financial team, as well as the way the Association has provided excellent customer service, financial stability and good conditions for investment.
The housing association has also been shortlisted for three Housing Heroes Awards by Inside Housing for IT Team of the Year, Inspirational Colleague of the Year and Tenant Engagement Colleague of the Year.
Paul Fiddaman Chief Executive of Cestria Community Housing, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be recognised for our hard work in so many different sectors of our business and winning an award has been an honour.
“Our finance team has worked hard to ensure that we are providing a first class service and staff members who have been shortlisted for the Housing Heroes Awards are definitely heroes in my eyes after all their hard work in the community.”
The judges of the HANAA’s said: “Cestria Community Housing demonstrated how a small team really punched above its weight.
“They met all the entry criteria and their entry made a lot of sense. They got the message across very well and communicate information in a clear, understandable format.
“The judges liked the real time reporting and thought the use of video technology to support finance system users was a great innovation that reduced the amount of time the team spent training colleagues.”
Angela Knox, Housing Officer at Cestria, has been shortlisted for Tenant Engagement Individual of the Year in the Housing Hero Awards for her work with residents in the area.
She works to ensure that communities in the Chester-le-Street area are happy, healthy and vibrant places to live by managing estates, allocating properties and handling requests for alterations to residents’ homes.
Litter picks were organised by Angela in the community, along with flower planting which saw residents of all ages coming together to take part and a Nettlesworth Community Café is due to open this summer.
Donna Bruce, a Nettlesworth resident said: “Since Angela has been working in the area she has encouraged us and helped us to set up all sorts of events which have really brought the community together.
“Her help has been invaluable and has made such a difference to the community – there is a real sense of pride in local people now.”
Michelle Fortune was nominated for the Inspirational Colleague of the Year Award in the Housing Heroes Awards after going the extra mile to volunteer at Cestria and stepping up to become a mentor.
Cestria was also shortlisted in the Housing Heroes Awards for IT Team of the Year for their support services after they upgraded systems and included tenants in projects such as the Online Owls - a £9,500 Big Lottery funded scheme which helps local people get to grips with their laptops, computers and tablets and get online.
The winners of the Housing Heroes Awards will be revealed on 23rd June in Manchester.