Reward for valued Housing 21 staff

Housing 21 has announced the winners of its ‘Living our Values’ staff awards, which recognise those members of its workforce who go the extra mile in delivering an excellent service.

All members of staff were invited to nominate their deserving colleagues and the winners were decided through a judging panel made up of representatives of the staff council, directors, board members and heads of departments.

More than 90 nominations were made, almost double the number nominated last year when the awards were launched.

The winner of the Outstanding Service Award, chosen by the executive team for special recognition was Christine Birch, Commissioning Project Manager who is based at Housing 21’s Bradford office.  Christine was singled out not only for her outstanding work in the commissioning and marketing of new extra care schemes and services but also for stepping in at short notice to support colleagues in an another area of the business during a crisis.

Cheryl Mills, Outreach Senior Support Worker in Liverpool who helped a service user transform his life by escaping abuse, achieved the Making a Difference Award. The Unsung Hero Award went to Jane Darbon, Office Services Support Manager at the organisation’s Head Office for going above and beyond her role to set a high standard of customer service and communication with all her customers.

The Leadership Award went to Michelle Wignall, Branch Manager at the Blackburn care office for motivating, supporting and inspiring her team during branch changes whilst the Oakleigh Day Centre team in Sutton achieved the Improvement and Innovation Award for being a motivated and flexible team who work together to improve delivery, content and quality of the centre’s activities.

Of the four finalists for Team of the Year, two teams were selected as joint winners – the Barnet Care Team and the staff at Wilshaw House Day Centre in Ashton-under Lyne. The Barnet team provided an excellent service through a time of huge uncertainty whilst the team at Wilshaw House, which provides a dementia day care service, were nominated by relatives of service users for the consistently high level of support they provide for clients.

The Over and Above category was awarded to Judith Ludlam, community carer based in Blackburn for continually going out of her way to deliver a quality and caring service to service users.

Pushpa Raguvaran, chief executive of Housing 21 said:

“I am very proud to be able to acknowledge these members of staff for their hard work and dedication. It is particularly pleasing that as well as receiving nominations from their peers and colleagues, some of these nominations were supported by residents and service users. For me, this is where Living our Values makes the biggest impact – in delivering great customer care to everyone who uses our services.”

The awards were presented during a special ceremony held at the Kensington Roof Gardens following a BBQ lunch.  Around 100 people attended the ‘Oscar’ style occasion, which included film footage of all the shortlisted nominees as well as gold envelopes containing the category winner’s name.

In addition to receiving a trophy, individual winners were presented with vouchers to the value of £100 whilst winning teams were given £200 to spend on something they could all enjoy.  

View film footage of the finalists.


Editor’s notes
  1. For further information, please contact Wendy Gornicki, PR & Information Officer, Housing 21 on 0370 192 4338 or email
  2. Housing 21’s mission is to promote independence and choice for older people through quality care, health and housing services. It provides around 124,000 hours of community care each week and manages 18,200 sheltered and extra care apartments.
  3. Housing 21 has a total workforce of around 7,300 people.