Meet the winners - G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards

On Wednesday 11th May, the winners for the inaugural G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards were revealed at an event at the Museum of London Docklands.

The G15, in collaboration with UNIFY, organised the first ever G15 Ethnicity Awards in Housing Awards to recognise Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in the housing sector.

Colleagues from across the G15 were invited to make nominations for a range of awards that recognise the immense contribution of minority ethnic colleagues. Nominations were judged blind.

Now you can meet the winners!

Future Leader Award - Marie Victoire, Hyde Housing

Marie Victoire
Marie Victoire, Future Leader Award Winner. Joined by Kate Davies (CEO, Notting Hill Genesis) and Andy Hulme (CEO, Hyde Housing).

Marie was described by her colleagues when being nominated as an inspiration. The work that they have done on promoting diversity and inclusion is phenomenal.

Marie actively challenges where things aren't quite right. She always speak openly with all levels of the workforce and is well respected. Marie is always determined to challenge what they believe isn’t right, and has been vocal on the amount of work that’s needed to do to meaningful things that include employees of Black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

Marie's team talk about how they have ‘pulled’ the team through many difficult situations, despite their own deadlines, projects they are working on, or external matters outside of work.

She is described as ‘selfless’, always putting the team first. They always come to work with a ‘can do’ attitude, and strive to do the best work, always with a smile on their face. Here attitude is infectious.

Resident Hero Award - Charlaine Nkum, Optivo Resident

Charlaine Nkum
Charlain Nkum, Resident Hero Award Winner. Joined by Alan Townshend (CEO, Southern Housing) and Fiona Fletcher-Smith (CEO, L&Q)

Charlaine is known for their determination to support and empower others, sharing lived experience and bringing their expertise in inclusion and diversity to the table.

Charlaine has overcome many challenges, but no matter the obstacle, difficulty or bias faced, they have been stoic and a true example of how courage and determination can push past adversity. Nothing phases her, if it’s something that will support their family, their local community and even issues at a national level - they’ll take it on. Charlaine has gone on to use her life experiences to work as a Diversity and Inclusion Officer for a local authority, where they use their knowledge and influences to empower other residents. She has led a session for International Women’s Day on overcoming the biases of domestic abuse in the BAME community.

Charlaine has worked with the GMB to support the creation of a charter protecting survivors, being invited to speak at Parliament on the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.

Supportive Colleague Award - Irene Adeyinka, Peabody

Irene Adeyinka
Irene Adeyinka, Supportive Colleague Award Winner. Joined by Anne Waterhouse (Interim CEO, A2Dominion) and Ian McDermott (CEO, Peabody)

Irene is a passionate and influential colleague who has been a positive agent of change. She has supported colleagues individually and collectively to gain insight into the feelings of front-line staff, so that their organisation can reflect and make changes where necessary to practice and culture.

She has supported colleague networks to enable colleagues to be heard, but never takes the credit for any outcomes allowing colleagues and customers to speak, whilst gently guiding them in a direction that will bring success.

Irene set up and facilitated ‘listening sessions’ for front line staff, so that they could discuss and share examples where they felt that they were treated unfairly or had less opportunity than other peers. She also proposed a series of activities that would build confidence and insight for colleagues.

Irene has also been instrumental in the delivery of a wide range of programmes focussed. The nomination for Irene described them as a real asset to their organisation and beyond.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Gabriel Codjoe, Network Homes

Gabriel Codjoe
Gabriel Codjoe, Lifetime Achievement Award. Joined by Helen Evans (CEO, Network Homes) and Paul Hackett (CEO, Optivo)

Gabriel has worked in housing for 35 years at all levels, delivering a comprehensive and brilliant service, helping to enhance the lives of residents.

Gabriel has the instinct to connect to everyday people with their openness, strength of character and, most importantly, communication skills.

Their performance convinced their organisation to recruit them to lead a team where they were able to demonstrate not only their potential as a future leader, but display personal qualities that made the partnering agreement a huge success.

In 2003, Gabriel seized the opportunity to progress their career and managed a local housing office. They brought their considerable experience of housing management to the estate which was going through one of the biggest estate transformations in London.

Between 2008 and 2011 they were a significant contributor in stabilising that organisation's assimilation into the housing association.

In 2011, Gabriel was promoted to Director. Since then, Gabriel has led on several projects around digital transformation and led on several cultural change initiatives.

Racial Equality Action Group Award - RISE (MTVH)

RISE (MTVH), Racial Equality Action Group Winners. Joined by Geeta Nanda (G15 Chair & CEO of MTVH).

RISE was chosen as the winner of this award for its work to promote and accelerate racial equality and inclusion through leadership, participation, and allyship.

The group has set out goals to create a working environment and policy framework for ethnically diverse People of Colour which is open, supportive and promotes equality of opportunity.

During the last 12 months, the group has led the charge on creating the best structures for listening to and engaging with colleagues, and delivering a range of events. Personal development workshops covering topics such as communication skills, networking and mentoring, authenticity, confidence building and resilience and emotional intelligence, have also been delivered.

Crucially, the group has also delivered events in the community, including at local schools.

Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who was nominated by their colleagues.

UNIFY Special Recognition Award - Notting Hill Genesis

Notting Hill Genesis, UNIFY Special Recognition Award Winners.

Recognising Notting Hill Genesis' leadership and commitment to achieving change, the organisation was recognised as the winner of this special award decided by UNIFY.

Photo credit: Sean Pollock Photography.