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North-East housing association wins national ‘Employer of the Year’ title

ByPeter Barron

Sep 28, 2021

A North-East housing association has been named “Employer of the Year” at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

North Star Housing won the main award of the night at the event, organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing, and jointly incorporating the Housing Heroes Awards and the Women In Housing Awards.

The two awards schemes were brought together for this year due to the pandemic and Employer of the Year was the only joint category.

Judges at the ceremony, staged at Emirates Old Trafford, in Manchester, said they were “blown away” by the entries and that North Star staff had gone “several extra miles”.

Angela Lockwood, chief executive of North Star Housing, which has its head office at Thornaby, on Teesside, said: “This national honour is particularly rewarding in view of the fact that it covers a particularly challenging period when our staff were delivering frontline services during the pandemic.

“On top of the general services required across our stock, they were also running special schemes to support the elderly, the homeless and young people, so it was vital that they got it right.”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the association experienced a record low in sickness levels, and no members of staff were furloughed.

During that period, North Star Housing was also re-accredited with the Investors in People platinum award, with 93 per cent of staff returning a feedback survey, and 100 per cent of those saying they trusted the leadership of the organisation. In addition, 98 per cent said they felt trusted to do their job.

“The Employer of the Year award is not only fantastic recognition of the dedication of the staff during Covid, but the fact that we are seen as a really positive place to work,” added Angela, who has been chief executive for 12 years.

North Star Housing was established in 1974 and aims to provide affordable housing, invest in communities, and develop new homes across the Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and County Durham. It manages a stock of 4,000 houses and flats.