Thursday, 22 July 2010

Praise for tenant who has made a difference for decades


A council tenant who has devoted his own time to helping make his area a better place to live has been named runner up for a national accolade.

Roy Birch is a Tenant Member of the board of Aire Valley Homes, one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) which manage and maintain the city’s council houses on behalf of Leeds City Council.

Roy was shortlisted for the ‘Board Member of the Year’ by the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA). The winners and runners were announced at a ceremony this week at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

A founding member of his local Tenants and Residents group, the 84-year-old was shortlisted because his energy and enthusiasm to put tenants interests first means he plays an active role not just at board level, but on repairs focus groups, the repairs and grounds maintenance procurement projects, estate walkabouts, his residents groups meetings and numerous other activities.

A tenant in Hunslet for 34 years Roy is now in his early 80s. He is incredibly hard working, humorous and passionate about ensuring tenants are respected and services the best they can possibly be.

Representatives from the 20 short-listed ALMOs across the country gathered for the award ceremony, part of the NFA’s annual two day conference and AGM. During the awards evening, hosted by Janet Street-Porter, the audience of 350 were treated to a performance by African drumming group NESTAC and films of all the shortlisted projects and individuals.

Andrew Feldhaus, chair of the Aire Valley Homes Leeds board, said:
“Roy will undoubtedly play down the difference he makes. At an age when many residents are taking a well-earned rest Roy has taken on enormous challenges.
“His active contribution to Aire Valley Homes has been key in ensuring that organisational issues do not detract us from delivering the best possible service to residents
“Roy’s commitment over the years in championing tenants interests in Hunslet and the wider community has been outstanding. I’m delighted his efforts have been recognised and everyone here at Aire Valley Homes is really proud of him.”

The Board Member of the Year category celebrates inspirational ALMO board members whose commitment has demonstrated outstanding support to their teams, residents and the community.

The awards were judged by an independent panel; Alison Inman, Chair of the National Federation of ALMOs; Michael Gelling, Chairman of the National Tenant Voice; and Roger Jarman, Head of Housing at the Audit Commission.

Alison Inman, chair of the National Federation of ALMOs, said:
“The NFA Awards always command a high standard of entry and this year has been no exception. The creativity, pro-activity and innovation shown by these individuals and teams and, above all, their steadfast commitment to housing and local communities should act as a benchmark for the entire ALMO movement.”

Designed to honour and credit the individuals and teams who do so much at ground level and beyond, the awards have been developed to recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of the country’s ALMOs – which manage more than one million council homes, over half of all social housing in England.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk