Home Group apprentices win regional award

May 2nd, 2018 in Home Group News

A group of Home Group apprentices

Karen Hayles and Claire Davies – apprentices with Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of homes for sale and affordable rent – have both been named apprentice of the year in the CIH Regional Awards 2018.

Representing the North East and Yorkshire & Humber, Karen and Claire have today been announced as regional winners, recognised by the Chartered Institute of Housing for their outstanding work.

Karen works as a housing apprentice at Homeside Lodge, a supported housing service for older people in North Tyneside. Nominated by her line manager, her dedication to go above and beyond was also recognised by colleagues and residents.

Only six months into her role, Karen recognised a gap in occupancy and facilitated an open day to promote the service to potential residents, social workers and commissioners, leading directly to 16 enquiries within two days of the event.

Karen said: “I feel like I’ve come a long way since I started at Home Group, and this award has helped me celebrate that.

“The role has helped me focus my skills, all while doing work that makes a difference to people’s lives. I hope I can continue developing and moving up the ranks – I have the taste for success now!”

As apprentice of the year for the Yorkshire & Humber region, Claire’s journey to Home Group’s apprenticeship programme began when she was a supported customer.

Despite only being in the role for five months, she’d impressed her line manager and temporarily transferred to another service to cover annual leave, with an increase in responsibility – she never left!

Claire applied for a full time position at the service and is now a permanent housing management worker. Covering a number of homelessness services in Scunthorpe, her remit covers a wide range of activities and responsibilities including lettings, rent collection and health & safety.

Claire said: “My route into work with Home Group has been quite an extraordinary journey, but it’s been great. I was only five months into the programme when I volunteered to help out at another service, but the guidance and training I’d had gave me the confidence to go a level higher.

“To go from service user to full time employee in four years is surreal, but it shows that if you’re willing the opportunity is there.”

Stuart Campbell, employability manager at Home Group, added: “We’re over the moon to have not one, but two apprentices recognised for their efforts at Home Group.

“They’ve grabbed the opportunity with both hands and the work they do is making a real difference to our customers and residents. And their backgrounds are testament to our approach to apprenticeships – regardless of whether you’re a school leaver or a career changer, all you need is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn!”

As regional winners, the pair will now progress to the national Housing Heroes Awards 2018.

Find out more about the opportunities available with Home Group’s apprenticeship programme at https://www.homegroup.org.uk/Careers/Apprenticeships.