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02 December 2016

Capturing Creativity - Pat Chown Award 2016

A new approach to dealing with safeguarding issues affecting vulnerable children and adults as well as people suffering from domestic abuse has won the Capturing Creativity - Pat Chown Award 2016.

Cause for Concern had been entered by Charter Housing Association and the new way of working means staff are able to respond faster and more effectively to those in need of their help.

In coming to their decision, the judges said: “Charter Housing’s Cause for Concern won because of the real impact it has made on peoples’ lives by addressing safeguarding concerns in a different way.

The “simple” change of approach had a significant impact by adapting existing systems to work in a more people focussed and effective way. In addition, it works across the business and with other organisations, helping to sustain tenancies. All of this is achieved within their existing resources.

The judges and I would like to congratulate Charter Housing on winning this year’s award and thank everyone else who entered for the positive differences they are making to the lives of others.

We look forward to seeing more marvellous entries next year!”

The Pat Chown Award celebrates life changing initiatives which are making a difference in Wales. The winner is chosen by a panel of judges which this year shortlisted four entries.

Charter Housing wins £1,000 for a Welsh based charity and is donating the money to “1 Step at a Time”.

The award and trophy was presented at a dinner at Community Housing Cymru’s Annual Conference in Cardiff.

Stephen Evans, Director of Housing at Charter Housing said: “We are delighted to win the Pat Chown Capturing Creativity Award for 2016 for our Cause for Concern project. This is a really prestigious award, and we are particularly pleased to have been recognised by our colleagues in the housing sector.

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our tenants is paramount for us at Charter. Cause for Concern has ensured our staff can easily raise and report concerns they may have, and has allowed us to act quickly and effectively. It is a simple system that means we have been able to help over 550 households over the last two years, and one which we will continue to develop and improve in the future.”

The other three finalists were:

United Welsh - Empty Homes Wales - 'New Lease of Life'.

The project, underpinned by a new leasing model introduced in 2014, helps homeowners bring their empty homes back into use, by transforming them into habitable spaces to provide much-needed homes and helping homeowners protect their assets.

In its entry United Welsh said:

We believe Empty Homes Wales should win for two reasons.

Firstly, it has made a heartfelt difference to local people, exemplified through the case studies in our supporting document.

Secondly, we believe our Specialist Projects team deserve a pat on the back!

Prior to introducing the new leasing model in 2014, we had transformed seven empty homes.

The innovation of the team in thinking of new ways to achieve results with Empty Homes Wales has produced a 243% percentage increase in the number of empty homes leased by United Welsh since the new way of working was launched.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council - Housing and Health Action Areas

This is a collaborative, multi-agency approach to tackling poor housing and health by focusing on reducing the number of homes with hazards and the number of empty properties.

In its entry, Rhonda Cynon Taf CBC said:

In a time where resources are under pressure, the project has demonstrated that a targeted approach and pooling resources in one area is an effective method of securing improvements in housing and health. The project has proved that housing activity can be a catalyst for collaborative partnership working and achieve tangible benefits to health and wellbeing.

After a slow start due to the need to gain the trust of the community, service providers and residents are now actively encouraging other members of the community to take advantage of the opportunities to improve both housing and health enabled through this project.

Newydd Housing Association -The HAPI project (Healthy, Aspiring, Prosperous and Inclusive)

The two year, Big Lottery funded health and wellbeing project in Rhondda Cynon Taff aims to empower people living in RCT to obtain the knowledge, skills and confidence to make positive health choices and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

In its entry, Newydd said:

The HAPI project provides an important part of the mosaic of health and wellbeing provision for vulnerable people in RCT. Independent evaluation evidenced the positive impact on participants’ lives who reported increased confidence, physical fitness, emotional wellbeing and resilience. Key partners too remain engaged, enthusiastic and supportive.

The team’s accessible, supportive approach and enthusiasm has led to high levels of engagement and has helped ensure that the project continues to be popular, successful and effective.

The HAPI project has already exceeded its engagement targets and activities are now becoming mainstreamed and sustainable which is a fantastic outcome for local residents.

The Pat Chown Award has been running since 2000. Last year it was presented to the YMCA for its Steps Project.

Andrea Reynolds, Senior Support Worker at Cardiff YMCA Housing Association, said they had been proud to win it.

“The project has had another successful year helping many adults with severe and enduring mental health conditions to access step down accommodation and support.

The partnership with the NHS in Cardiff and Vale has enabled us to provide a joined up package of care and support for each individual, facilitating a safe discharge from hospital or Continuing Health Care.

We liaise regularly with mental health professionals from Community Mental Health Teams across the Health Board and the joined up working is a key feature of the project.

We are currently unsure about the future of the project after April 2017 but until then we will continue to support all of our residents to achieve their goals, resettle into the community and access suitable longer-term accommodation.”

You can read a blog from John Chown about this year's Pat Chown Capturing Creativity Awards here: