Housing group is up for six awards

Longhurst Group chief executive, Julie Doyle
Longhurst Group chief executive, Julie Doyle

One of the area’s largest housing groups has been shortlisted in six categories at a national awards ceremony.

Longhurst Group, which owns and manages over 21,000 properties across the Midlands and East of England, will be represented in force at this year’s 24housing awards.

Those shortlisted include group chief executive Julie Doyle, who has made the final of the Chief Executive of the Year category, two money saving experts, a community champion, and a training scheme that supports people back into work.

“The group can take great pride in being shortlisted in so many categories,” said Julie Doyle.

“It illustrates the variety and the impressive and innovative nature of the work that colleagues do to improve the lives of our customers.

“The housing sector continues to face significant economic and social challenges but we are always adapting and finding new ways of working to ensure that we provide a high-quality service.”

She added: “From a personal point of view, it is a real honour to be shortlisted for an award and I look forward to attending the event to find out more about the fantastic work being done in housing right across the UK.”

The group will also be represented in the Housing Professional of the Year category by money advisor Pam Mahli who recovered almost £300,000 for Longhurst Group customers in the last financial year, including £60,000 of PIP claims and discretionary housing payments totalling £8,000.

Money guidance officer Steve Thomas has also saved customers thousands of pounds over the years. Affectionately known as the ‘money man’, Steve has been shortlisted in the Welfare Wise category after successfully appealing 20 out of 22 Department of Work and Pensions decisions last year and securing almost £90,000 of additional benefits for customers.

Jemma Betts, a resident of one of Longhurst’s housing estates, has been shortlisted in both the Community Achievement and Housing Professional of the Year categories, due to the work she does to help customers by making referrals to local charities, employment and training schemes and making applications to local schools. She has also given up her own time to set up a project that helps children build confidence and have fun by playing African music.

The fifth finalist is the Axiom Academy which is shortlisted in the Best Training Scheme category. Delivered by Axiom Housing, the newest association to join Longhurst Group, the Academy has supported over 75 people into work in the last five years and delivered 12,500 hours of learning across 239 courses.

The winners will be announced on October 12.