18 Aug 2021
In December 2020, Craigdale Housing Association applied for the best frontline housing story award at the CIH Scotland housing awards as a way of recognising the considerable efforts of their small team during a very difficult year. Chief executive, David Mackenzie shares more about their experience.
Our Craigdale Cares story was about how our staff overcame challenges caused by the pandemic in 2020 and showed that housing associations and their staff can act quickly on what matters most within communities. Craigdale’s ethos is about caring for tenants, listening, and advocating on tenant’s behalf. Judges were impressed by our entry and the Craigdale Cares project clearly demonstrated excellence as a frontline housing story in 2020.
For our entry, we wanted to highlight the exceptional work from our staff team and highlight the positive financial impact that the Craigdale Cares campaign made to our tenants.
We received confirmation that our entry had been shortlisted in January 2021. The excitement started to build. Just being shortlisted was an achievement and our staff and board were excited about the news. This started the year off on a positive note and we could look forward to a “virtual” award ceremony in February 2021.
The award ceremony was certainly different this year, with tables set up in a virtual conference room and an opportunity to “meet” with colleagues from other organisations in a virtual bar. Staff and board members joined with other organisations and the event was very well hosted, with slick handovers and fun events as part of the afternoon. Clearly a lot of effort had gone into preparing for the event and thankfully everything went to plan.
The big moment came in the second part of the event, and when we were announced as winners - we were thrilled and delighted! A pre-arranged award acceptance speech had been written (just in case) and I was pleased to accept the award on behalf of our brilliant staff team. Our board were also so proud that the Craigdale staff team had been recognised for their outstanding work during 2020.
As the chief executive of Craigdale Housing Association, it was a very proud moment and to be recognised for our commitment during such a difficult period was very special. We were so glad that we had taken the time to put our entry forward for consideration and despite strong competition within our category, we were thrilled that our story was chosen for an award.
I can honestly say that we enjoyed our moment and whilst it would have been great to have been at a “live” event the ceremony, this was a very welcome boost to everyone at Craigdale. We hope to follow this up again at this year’s awards ceremony and look forward to the return of a live Scotland Housing Awards in Glasgow on the 25 November 2021. If you haven't submitted your entry yet, make sure you do by 17 September 2021.
David Mackenzie is the chief executive of Craigdale Housing Association.