[S]hortlisted for an award, Eden Housing Association represented Cumbria in a national award category that recognises excellence in engaging with contractors. It is the first time they have been nominated at the awards and only narrowly lost out on the top place.
The awards are organised each year by Tpas –tenant engaging experts who bring together landlords, tenants and contractors to improve services. The shortlisted entry from Eden Housing Association focused on their ‘Creative Van Art’ project which involved working with contractors ‘Partnering in Property Management Ltd’ (PPM), Kirkby Stephen Grammar School (KSGS) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The aim was to create artwork to be used as van wraps for PPM vehicles in the area and at the same time, create awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.
Students at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School stretched their creativity by designing a van bonnet that expresses how they feel about their local community. The two winning designs were then used as covers for the two PPM Ltd vans that travel across Eden.
Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer at Eden Housing Association co-ordinated the project, working closely with Mrs Modlin, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Art Teacher/Careers Advisor, and PPM Ltd.’s Managing Director Gordon McGregor who was one of the judges. “We wanted an activity that would create informal opportunity for students to find out about a variety of jobs and apprenticeships they may have never have otherwise considered and we wanted something they could enjoy over the summer months. The success can be seen in the number and quality of entries – and the fact that it led to two apprenticeships being taken up by students.”
“The design project was very much driven by the children’s interest. There were double the number of entries we anticipated, so PPM decided to commission two van graphics. They have been very supportive throughout the project and we’re pleased to see the vans on the road.”
To celebrate their achievements a team from PPM, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and Eden Housing Association travelled to Manchester for the ceremony.
Speaking after the event Carolyn Greenhalgh, Assistant Director for Housing and Support at Eden Housing Association said: “We are proud to be included in the Tpas Awards which showcase the compelling and inspirational success stories of tenants, landlords and contractors working together. To be included in this group is a real achievement. We are a relatively small Housing Association but place great emphasis on working with our communities so this accolade means a great deal – to us and our partners.”
PPM’s Managing Director Gordon McGregor also attended the awards and said “I was very proud to see this project do so well. It was one of the most innovative projects mentioned and is a great template that can be used for future partnership working.”
Every year Eden Housing Association runs numerous community activities, from training programmes and fun days to developing gardening skills and organising a community polytunnel project that enables residents to grow their own food.
To find out more about supporting community activity, contact Sarah Bowman at Eden Housing Association on 01768 861 400.