"Its been a real pleasure to recognise these enthusiastic and dedicated people for the valuable work they have put in."
Emma Grimes, Employability Manager
Volunteering plays an important role in the Beyond Housing culture, making a significant difference to the lives of the individuals involved as well as to those who benefit from the services provided.
Beyond Housing offers a range of volunteering opportunities enabling people of all ages to try something new, gain experience, develop skills, improve career prospects, build confidence and meet new people.
Volunteers play an active part at a range of Beyond Housing locations, including Westfield Farm tenant resource centre, The Dunes extra care housing development and at Re:Furnish, a not-for-profit enterprise in Saltburn that offers low cost, high quality alternatives to more expensive high street furniture stores.
Award winners at the ceremony included:
· Micky McDonald, who was presented with the Harry Slattery Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to making a positive difference to Beyond Housing customers, members of the community and colleagues. A garden volunteer at Westfield Farm since April 2016, Micky likes to keep busy and has been asked to help out on a number of garden projects with Beyond Housing, including the Park Court and Bankfields projects, while also helping local care homes with their horticultural enterprises. Micky has proved himself to be a totally dedicated volunteer, available nearly every day from 8.30am until 5pm and taking so much pride in the Beyond Housing gardens that he often calls in at the weekend to water the plants in the summer.
· The Friends of Westfield Farm gained the Community Impact Award. This group has grown from strength to strength over the years, making a big impact on the local community with wide ranging events including tea parties for the elderly at Christmas, coffee mornings and garden produce shows.
· Jonny Wardell won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award for the outstanding success he has made of his role within the diverse team of volunteers at Re:Furnish. Customers and colleagues alike have really warmed to him, reporting that he’s always polite and willing to help others.
· Andrew Allen was rewarded with the Rising Star Award in recognition of the impact he has made as a newcomer to his volunteering role. Andrew overcame his lack of confidence and self-esteem and within weeks was chatting with and supporting Westfield Farm visitors with a winning smile and his cheery nature. Always professionally turned out, Andrew’s enthusiasm and commitment has had a very positive impact on the image of the Farm to visitors.
· Steve Wright won the Peer Award for Unsung Hero, nominated by his fellow volunteers. Steve volunteers at both Westfield Farm and Beyond Housing’s Redcar office, and was chosen by his colleagues for his commitment to helping and supporting others.
· The Team Recognition Award went to involved Beyond Housing customers from both Redcar and Scarborough who have shown amazing team work over the last year; getting to know each other, discussing how both legacy organisations carried out resident involvement and researching how other housing associations carry out involvement to create Beyond Housing’s new customer involvement framework.
Emma Grimes, Employability Manager said: “While Beyond Housing recognises and values all its volunteers for the time and effort they dedicate to their roles, the awards were introduced to celebrate those who have gone the extra mile or who had gained a significant achievement over the last year. It’s been a real pleasure to recognise these enthusiastic and dedicated people for the valuable work they have put in”.