Inspiring women win national award for changing lives

03 November 2017

A team of seven women at an Oldham housing association has transformed local people’s lives, by giving them the skills and self-belief they need to get fulfilling long-term jobs.

First Choice Homes Oldham’s Directions employment team has helped 202 people over 18 months into work since their launch. And they won in the Excellence in Career Development category at the Women in Housing awards 2017, on Thursday Novmeber 2, for their help.

The awards celebrate the endless talent and achievements of women across the UK housing sector. The team offers intensive one to one support, training, work placements, and volunteering opportunities.

Judges said of the team’s win: “A deserving and inspiring nomination which demonstrates and provides evidence of the impact this programme has made to people across Oldham and Rochdale.  The success of this scheme speaks for itself, empowering people from marginalised communities and backgrounds to develop skills and confidence to successfully get into sustainable employment.”

A customer who now works for First Choice Homes said of the team: “My employment advisor was the first person who truly listened to me and what type of work I was interested in. The advice I was given was for a career and not for a temporary job. I absolutely love the work itself at First Choice Homes Oldham. I enjoy working with everyone in the service centre, they’re extremely helpful. The best part of the job is being able to speak to the people in Oldham and helping them in any way that I possibly can.”

David Smith, First Choice Homes Oldham Customer First Director, said: “I’m delighted for the team as they’ve worked so hard to improve the lives of our customers and the impact they’ve had in such a short space of time has been outstanding.”

Michelle Tomlin, Employment and Skills Manager said: “I am so proud of the team’s achievement and how dedicated the team are in supporting our customers. We are improving the lives of our customers and their families on a daily basis.”

The awards received an impressive 250 nominations over ten categories. An independent panel of 15 judges determined the worthy winners.

First Choice Homes Oldham, who own 12,000 homes across Oldham, launched the team in April 2016 to support customers to gain sustainable employment.

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