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05 October 2017

Newydd Housing wins prestigious creativity award

Newydd Housing Association’s ‘Rooms4U’ project has been named winner of the prestigious ‘Capturing Creativity - Pat Chown’ award at this year’s One Big Housing conference.

The award scheme was set up to recognise housing innovation in memory of Pat Chown, who dedicated many years of her life to the sector, helping people improve their lives and achieve their potential.

The scheme, which has been running for 18 years, received a number of high-quality entries that showed:

  • New ways of responding to day-to-day issues
  • New ideas about improving and regenerating communities.
  • Different ways of helping people to improve and make a positive difference to their lives

Newydd was awarded the prize because their entry demonstrated Rooms4U is a ground-breaking project which has made a difference to people’s lives. The housing association has recieved a £1,000 donation, which they will give to Vale Foodbank in Barry.

The judging panel said: “By looking at the pressing issue of capped housing benefit from April 2019 for under 35s and setting up a structured and wide ranging approach for the operation of shared accommodation, we feel that Rooms4U has made, and can continue to make, a real positive difference for the lives of younger people. We were impressed at the thoughtful and organised way that the project was set up to cover a number of linked strands including a robust matching process, pre tenancy workshops and the introduction of training and employment opportunities.

"In addition, they have worked with partners and are specifically looking to engage with the private rented sector in their area. All the above, together with their continued drive for other developments -such as a toolkit that can be used by others - shows a creative approach to help mitigate the major negative impact impending changes will have on people's lives. Many congratulations to Newydd for being very worthy winners, but also to all the other entrants for all the real positive differences they are making throughout Wales. We look forward to seeing more marvellous entries next year!”

Hazel Davies, Newydd Housing Association’s Rooms4U Project Officer, said, “I am over the moon that Rooms4U has won the prestigious Pat Chown Award. When a young tenant tells you that he used to drink daily, was depressed and even thought about taking his own life, but now feels great, as he has a stable home with like-minded people where he is warm, eating well and has even started job hunting, this certainly gives you goose bumps. Rooms4U, hosted by Newydd Housing Association, is demonstrating how important it is to support young people through a difficult time. Offering shared housing to people under the age of 35 not only provides a safe and secure environment but also leads to employment, improved mental health and a willingness to engage with local support services. I am excited to see how the project will develop over the coming months as we aim to also work with the private rented sector. I would like to thank Crisis UK for funding Rooms4U, our project partners and the Vale of Glamorgan Council for their continued support. The £1,000 prize will go towards the Vale Foodbank in Barry to help people should they find themselves in financial difficulty.”

You can read more about the award-winning project here.