Local housing association, North Star Housing Group, celebrates receiving national recognition for two of their future leaders.

North Star is a group of housing associations operating across the North East and North Yorkshire.  They build and rent high quality affordable housing to meet a variety of needs, including specialist supported housing. They are committed to creating homes and building futures as well as investing in people at every level.

North Star put people at the forefront of everything they do, and invest heavily in their staff. The local housing provider is particularly keen to attract and nurture the next generation of young leaders, providing a range of opportunities for staff to develop their skills by offering work-based learning and professional development that supports the growth of managers now and in the future. North Star works in partnership with Teesside University to develop professional managers, as well as delivering an internal young leadership and team managers programme. And most recently, the organisation involved all staff from every level in developing their next five year business strategy.

Two young professionals from North Star have been shortlisted for national awards for their exceptional contribution to the housing sector. Stef Bull, Customer Services Team Leader, has been shortlisted for 24Housing’s Young Leaders Award, and Laura Wood, Group Lead for PR and Communications, has made it into the top 10 for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Inside Housing’s Rising Stars Award.

24Housing’s Young Leaders competition recognises the brightest young talent in the sector. Stef has made it into the top 20, recognised for her enthusiasm, energy and drive and ability to lead and deliver an exceptional customer services provision. Stef said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted. I really want to raise the profile of Social Housing to young people as it really is a truly amazing career path.”

The next stage will be an online vote to narrow it down to a top 10. The top 10 will then pitch their ideas to a panel of housing professionals, being whittled down to five finalists who will present at the National Housing Federation’s Annual Conference in September.

The CIH and Inside Housing Rising Stars competition recognises a truly outstanding individual working in housing. The award showcases the talent and commitment of up-and-coming housing professionals across the industry. Laura was recognised for showing real passion, commitment and a desire to drive the sector forward and when asked what becoming Rising Star would mean to her said: “I would love to use the Rising Star opportunity to become a role model for young women in the sector, to encourage more young women to choose careers in housing, and to inspire future leaders in the same way the women I have worked with have inspired me.”

Carole Richardson, Director of People and Culture at North Star, said: “Stef and Laura are inspirational young women. They have worked hard to develop and achieve success. At North Star we are committed to developing leadership throughout the business. We know that this helps to keep people, and the business strong. We are very proud that two of our staff have been publicly recognised for their leadership skills.”

Voting is now open and finalists are taking part in a series of tasks to determine the winner, who will be crowned at the Housing Heroes Awards on June 25 2018.

To vote visit www.cih.org/risingstars and http://www.24housing.co.uk/news/young-leaders-top-20-announced/