County Voice

County Voice 2019: Issue 3

Great achievements celebrated at Council’s housing awards

Denbighshire Housing Tenants have been awarded for their achievements at the first ever Denbighshire Housing Tenants Awards ceremony hosted in Rhyl recently.

The awards, arranged by Denbighshire Housing, was held at the 1891 restaurant in Rhyl and celebrated the achievements and participation of tenants from across the county, for the work they do within their communities and projects that are happening across the County.

The entries were shortlisted in the eight categories. The winners were:

Communal Garden of the Year award: Trem Y Foel Residents Association, Ruthin

Trem y Foel tenants have been working together planting various, bright and seasonal plants, ornaments, hanging baskets to create a place that can be enjoyed by everyone. The tenants have had recognition for their garden through the Wales in Bloom and Ruthin Garden Show for Community Garden of the Year.

Tenant Garden of the Year award: Angela Carrington-Roberts

Angela is known locally for her ‘green fingers’! Her garden has been part of the National Garden Scheme, which gives visitors a unique experience to her gardens, as well as raising money for various health charities. Her planting incorporates both hardy and seasonal plants, giving all round appeal to anyone that walks past. She is also very environmentally aware so recycles rain water and has her own compost.

Community Project of the Year award:  Friends of Pengwern, Llangollen.

Working with the Nature for Health project, the Friends of Pengwern have really helped improve the local, natural environment and wider community. Their work has made a real difference in their community, bringing people together to look after their local and natural environment, while encouraging others to take a pride in their community. Project activities include dry stone walling, community woodland, willow weaving and so on. The group are now leading on this and working with the Woodland Trust.

Housing Resident/Community Group of the Year award:  The Marsh Community Association, Rhyl

This group are made up of residents from the local area who voluntarily run The Phoenix Centre on Rhydwen Drive in Rhyl. The have created a safe and welcoming place for residents of all ages as well as delivering an activities programme that is making a difference to people’s lives. Working with third sector groups, activities include homework club, movie nights, gardening club, job club and so on. Feedback from residents include; “volunteers always have a welcoming smile”, “people here are always happy to help”, and “it’s a bright a cheery atmosphere as soon as you walk in”.

Denbighshire Housing Customer Service of the Year award: Shirley Rippingale

Shirley has recently retired after working for Denbighshire County Council, and living in sheltered housing for 18 years. She has been described always going above and beyond, in everything that she did as a warden. Her commitment to delivering excellent customer service to tenants helped increase community engagement and tenants feeling safe. Organising community activities, in her own time, making sure everyone were included and has access to supportive services and organisations.

Tenant of the Year award: Stuart Nield-Siddall

Over the past few years, Stuart has experienced some challenges in his personal life which he has overcome and look at straight on. His commitment and enthusiasm to voluntary work in his local community, has helped support him living an independent life and making a difference. Local residents and communities really praise his voluntary work in Coronation Gardens in Rhyl and the Golf Club and they think very highly of him. As well as volunteering, Stuart really enjoys attending self-development cooking classes, giving him the skills and confidence to live a full and independent life.

Young Tenant of the Year award: Bethan Owen

Bethan’s passion for wanting to give people an opportunity, make a difference and learn new skills are just some of the reasons that she decided to run her own karate club in Rhyl. She wanted to provide a chance for people, who couldn’t perhaps afford mainstream prices or 12 month contracts, who wanted to develop themselves, have a change of scenery and to learn karate. The karate club offers a weekly meeting place for families to come and chat, become fitter as well as bringing the community together. Volunteering in the community is also really important to her, which is why she is also a police cadet. She has won a number of awards nationally, including the Pride of Sport Award, the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award, two International Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Under 16 Female UK Martial Arts winner, UK Hall of Fame, finalist in the St David’s Award and this May, she will become the UK Martial Arts Magazine winner!

Denbighshire Housing Award: Gina Jones

As Chairperson of the Marsh Residents Association and a valued member of her community, Gina took it upon herself to make a difference in her community, challenging stigma. She took over as Chair in 2017, when the Phoenix Centre was at a low point and has worked wonders ever since. The centre is now thriving and new faces are coming through the door. Working in partnership with third sector organisations, has been key in delivering a wide programme of activities and courses benefitting everyone. Thanks to Gina and her passion for making a difference, the centre is personal, engaging and has changed people’s lives.

Jamie Groves, Denbighshire’s Head of Facilities, Assets and Housing, said: “We were honoured to host the first ever award ceremony, to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our tenants. The panel was delighted at the quality of the applications which showed the vast amount of good work going on in communities county-wide.

“There are some great examples here of tenants making great efforts to look after their properties, as well as some exemplar community projects that help improve the life of residents living in their community. Their hard work, commitment, drive  and amazing efforts help the housing team to provide a great service to tenants.

Geoff Davies Lead Officer for Community Housing told the packed audience about the vision for Denbighshire Housing is to invest in council homes and neighbourhoods to the highest standards, working with tenants to agree priorities but recognising that people then make communities great places in which to live.

The evening’s main sponsors were Roger W Jones, Rhyl & Jewson. The other sponsors were Alliance Leisure; Hags; Liberty Gas;  AICO;  SC2;  G Parry Home Improvements;  Capita One; Greenspace team, Denbighshire Housing; Torus; Sherratt a Howdens.

During the ceremony, there was a performance from Côr Sain y Sir. The choir is made up of Denbighshire County Council staff.


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