Aico host the Community Awards 2022

Aico, the European Market Leader in Home Life Safety, has recently hosted a  new award ceremony – the Community Awards – at the International  Convention Centre, Birmingham.  

The ceremony was designed to recognise excellence within social housing and  the local community, with 11 curated categories to provide entrants with an  opportunity to showcase their inspirational projects and innovations. Aico also  utilised the event to raise funds for the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC), which  offer a range of vital support services to individuals, and their families, who serve  within the electrical sector. 

With 300 guests in attendance from across the UK, the event was hosted by  Carl Jones, BBC Radio Presenter and Master of Ceremonies. Carl Jones says of  the awards ceremony, “It was a fantastic evening of celebration. The hall  delivered a real ‘wow’ factor to get things off to a terrific start. Standing at the  lectern as Master of Ceremonies is always a privileged position at events like  these – because it means I get to see the magical expressions on the faces of  winners when their names are announced. You can see how much it meant to  them to be recognised in front of colleagues and peers on an evening when so  many people made new friends. It was a joy to share the stage with such  inspirational people.” 

Also in attendance were special guest speakers, George Clarke, architect and  TV presenter, and Ed Clancy OBE, triple Olympic champion. Ed Clancy OBE  spoke to the audience about the importance of teamwork in achieving success,  drawing on his own experiences as a Team Pursuit cyclist for Great Britain. Ed  comments, “It was a great evening and a privilege to be a part of the Community  Awards 2022. It was fantastic to hear all about the positive work that Aico and  their partners are doing for their communities. Everyone had a good time – I  very much enjoyed George Clarke riding round on my bike in his tux!” 

The finalists were chosen from over 200 entries and selected by five judges;  Neal Hooper, Managing Director of Aico, Gavin Smart, CEO of the Chartered  Institute of Housing, Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of Enginuity, Fayann Simpson  OBE, Group Board Member and Senior Independent Director of L&Q and  Mandeep Bhogil, Director of Operations at Tower Hamlets Community Housing. 

The first award of the evening was presented to a Shropshire-based educational  facility, Derwen College, which won College Initiative of the Year. As a specialist  college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities,  Derwen’s entry focused on their Vintage Charity Shop that provides valuable  work experience for students.  

Pete Evans, Commercial Manager of Derwen College comments “We were  delighted to be shortlisted for the College Initiative of the Year. To find out we 

were overall winners was wonderful; especially as the competition from across  the UK was so strong. We were very proud to be recognised for creating and  opening our Vintage Advantage charity shop. Launching during a pandemic  was challenging, to say the least, but everyone’s efforts have made it all  worthwhile – the shop is proving to be a huge success.” 

The 10 remaining awards were received by a diverse range of organisations that  operate or offer services within the housing sector.  

Fire protection company, Millwood Servicing, were the deserving winner of the  Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, which included two unique  employability schemes to give fair and equal opportunities specifically for the  disabled and disadvantaged.  

The winning initiative for Resident Engagement was Scotland’s leading housing,  care and property-management provider, Wheatley Group; through engaging  with vulnerable residents via events and home visits, the organisation has  significantly improved fire safety. 

Kerry Storrar of Berneslai Homes was announced as Woman in Fire Safety for  the improvements she has brought to the organisation while working as a  firefighter in her spare time. 

The Neighbourhood Transformation category was awarded to Grand Union  Housing Group for the improvements they have made to a local estate through  working in partnership with the local authority, police and the community.  

Sita Luka of Northampton Partnership Homes won the accolade of Inspirational  Colleague of the Year for her work with the most vulnerable residents to  implement an innovative solution that improves fire safety. 

Lesley Baird of TPAS Scotland was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement  Award; through her determination and targeted strategy work, Lesley and her  team have positioned the organisation as the number one for tenant  engagement expertise in Scotland. 

The Community Awards recognised Adam Pearce of North Star Housing Group  as its Rising Star for his passion and enthusiasm for his role as Property and  Repairs Manager.  

Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the strategic Housing Authority for  Northern Ireland, won Sustainability Project of the Year for their evidence-based  pilot project, which has helped reduce carbon emissions and fabric heat loss  within their housing stock. 

The Best Distributor Community Initiative was awarded to Quantum Electrical  Distribution, whose ‘green initiative’ programme is making a meaningful  difference within their business and the communities they serve.  

The final award of the evening celebrated the Electrical Contractor of the Year.  ADS were the winning nomination, recognised for their proactive approach to.