Amber Valley housing group honours tenant ‘superheroes’

Taking on the world, one home at a time: Futures Homescape's award winners.
Taking on the world, one home at a time: Futures Homescape's award winners.

Tenants from a Derbyshire housing association have been honoured at the group’s first award ceremony for community superheroes.

Futures Homescape, which manages around 6,000 affordable homes across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, hosted its inaugural Tenant Power Awards at Lumb Farm, Marehay, to celebrate tenants’ commitment to helping their neighbours and improving where they live.

Voted for by her peers, Karen Slater, from Belper, took the top prize for her attitude in the face of adversity and for inspiring others to get involved with volunteering in her community.

Despite being treated for breast cancer, Karen has continued her work as a tenant quality inspector, has started helping others with guidance over their finances, and is an active member of the community.

She said: “It was a bit of a shock to win the award and I’m honoured really to know that other tenants think I’m worthy of it. Overwhelmed would probably be an understatement.”

Claire Smith, from Heanor, picked up an outstanding contribution award for her efforts in helping the association collect valuable data about other tenants, excelling in her role as a tenant quality inspector and as a member of focus groups which have driven change in the organisation.

Futures Homescape executive director, Paul Parkinson, said: “Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for a Tenant Power Award.

“These people make a huge difference to their fellow tenants and are instrumental in helping us to improve and develop our services so that they are tailored specifically for the needs of our tenants.”

Gemma Barnett, from South Normanton, picked up the Rising Star award for her enthusiasm towards volunteering opportunities, in particular for her response to the Derbyshire Challenge Consultation which highlighted the pressures and possibilities of independent living.

The winners each received a certificate and a high street voucher to go with their titles, and all nominees were treated to lunch at Lumb Farm.

The awards capped a positive year for the association and its tenants.

Earlier this month, the tenant scrutiny panel became one of the first ten groups nationally to achieve the Quality Assured Scrutiny Accreditation standard.

The national scheme, run by major industry watchdogs, is designed to help tenants improve their communities.